Do You Know How To Break In Boots Without Blisters?


Are you an outdoor enthusiast just like me? If you are, then you know how annoying and painful blisters can be, don’t you? They not only ruin the joy of buying a new pair of boots but also your whole trip. No matter what brand of shoes you pick, no matter how expensive those shoes may be, and no matter how strong you think you are to withstand the pain of blisters and still keep going, nothing will really work if you don’t know how to break in boots.

how to break in boots


Your new pair of boots is supposed to give you more confidence and provide more safety on the hiking trail (hiking safety essentials). And if you’re planning to wear your brand new boots without breaking them in first, be prepared for a painful and frustrating experience.

It doesn’t matter if those boots are made from genuine leather or high-quality synthetic materials, they are inevitably going to be stiffer than you think during the first few days.

So what’s better; breaking them in before you wear them on the hiking trail or ruining your hiking adventure by not breaking in the boots beforehand? I think the former, right?

How to Break in Leather Boots?

The Wet Method for Breaking in Leather Boots

how to break in boots


When it comes to leather, water is extremely helpful. Using water to break in leather boots is one of the most effective and fastest methods. Regularly walking in wet leather boots helps in significantly reducing the stiffness of the material.

Now you may think that water shrinks leather so how can it help loosen up the material this time? Leather boots are made of leather that has already been subjected to maximum shrinkage, so they’re not going to get any smaller.


Soak Leather Boots in Water

At the beginning of your day, along with pouring coffee in your cup, fill up your leather boots with water in the same manner. It doesn’t matter if the boots have drainage holes in them; the point is to get them fully soaked in water.


Add Two Layers of Socks

Wearing two pairs of socks can go a long way in preventing the formation of blisters on your feet. A double layer (double socks) also serves as a moisture source that keeps the boots wet throughout the day.

Wearing two pairs of socks can go a long way in preventing the formation of blisters on your feet. A double layer (double socks) also serves as a moisture source that keeps the boots wet throughout the day.


Lace Them up

The next step is to lace up the leather boots and get on with your day. It’s as if you’re wearing normal shoes. While it’s true that wet leather boots might feel a tad strange and even uncomfortable initially, but it’s nothing you can’t live with for a few hours.

After a while, you’ll notice that the leather is getting less stiff, which just means that the boots are loosening up. So adjust your laces again because tightly bound laces tend to speed up the process.​

How to Lace Your Boots "Left Over Right"?


Dry the Leather Boots

Once you get back home at the end of the day, untie the laces and remove the insoles. It’s time for the leather boots to sit in front a fan and drain out all that moisture and water. Gore-Tex leather boots normally take less than 10 hours to dry up completely, so leaving them to dry in front of a fan overnight is a great idea.

You can repeat the process a few more times in order to achieve maximum flexibility and minimum stiffness with your leather boots.​

How to Stretch Leather Boots? Leather Care

The Dry Method for Breaking in Leather Boots

Unlike the wet method, the dry method takes considerably longer but it can be used for all kinds of boots. The dry method is mostly adopted in colder climates when wearing wet leather boots outside is not such a good idea.

  • 1. Wear two pairs of socks

Add double layering with two pairs of socks under your leather boots. This significantly helps in reducing blisters and makes it possible for you to wear the boots more frequently before taking them on the hiking trail. Around 7 days of constant wear is what it takes to break in leather boots.

  • 2. Do some physical activity wearing the boots

For these 7 days, it is highly advisable to carry out as much stair climbing or jogging in these boots. The goal is to help the boots take the shape of your feet and get accustomed to all the pressure points.

  • 3. Hammer the boots

If you want to break in boots using the dry method, hammering the boots in order to reduce maximum stiffness in the leather is one of the most effective and quickest methods. But there’s one drawback; hammering doesn’t help in getting your feet accustomed to the boots and vice-versa, so blisters might still occur.

How to Break in Hiking Boots?

how to break in boots


  • 1. Wear Hiking Boots Inside the House
Ahnu Women's Sugarpine Boot Hiking Boot,Deep Teal,9 M US

How to break in boots for hiking? Simply wear the hiking boots for a few hours in your house. But don’t forget the socks; pair them up with your hiking socks. Lace them up pretty tight and ensure that the tongue of each boot is properly lined up while the gusset material has been folded flat. It is important to know that the amount and kind of creases that develop on your boots during the break-in period are permanent and will not fade away with time.

  • 2. Return them if they Cause Excessive Pinching

Despite the fact that hiking boots are initially a tad too stiff, some of them have the tendency to cause excessive and constant rubbing or pinching even after wearing them for a few days. This just means you bought the wrong pair of hiking boots. So the best idea is to exchange them for a different, more comfortable style.

  • 3. Expand your Horizons

Once you’ve worn the hiking boots enough inside the house, it’s time to take them out. But not to the hiking trail, rather run some small errands like going to the local store or working in the backyard. Steadily increase the level of activity in terms of adding more distance and time, so you can literally open up the hiking boots at every stage of physical activity.

  • 4. Add some Weight

After you’ve taken the hiking boots outside the house to carry out less stressful physical activities, it’s time to be more vigilant. Do you know how to break in hiking boots for a heavy-duty hiking adventure? Wear the boots with some weight on your back. In order to ensure that your hiking boots are ready for more challenging hiking trails, you must add a little weight to your back during the break-in period.

But at the time of breaking them in with weights, if you feel extremely uncomfortable or are experiencing severe pain in your feet, you should immediately take off the boots. You might have purchased the wrong pair, so it’s better to correct this mistake than to eventually create a big problem from a small one.

  • 5. Visit a Shoe Repair Shop

After the completion of the break-in period, if a single hot spot or pinch remains, you can easily get rid of that at a shoe repair shop. In fact, your local REI store might have useful stretching devices to help you with preventing and treating all kinds of boot fitting-related problems.

(How to clean work boots without ruining them?)​

How to Break-In Hiking Boots?

How to Break in New Shoes (Walking Boots)?

When learning how to break in new shoes, especially walking shoes, remember that heavier shoes take longer to break in than lighter shoes. Breaking in walking shoes is one of the most common and the easiest to resolve problems when it comes to footwear.

  • 1. Buy walking shoes well in advance

If you want to know the secret to how to break in boots, just know that buying them well in advance can go a long way in providing that much-needed comfort during your first walking or hiking trail in that particular pair of shoes. If your walking expeditions have already been planned for the future, then buying walking shoes at least a month in advance is highly beneficial. Otherwise, walking will seem like a painful instead of a fun activity.

  • 2. Wear walking shoes inside the house
New Balance Women's WW1400V1 Walking Trail Boot, Grey, 7.5 D US

Just like hiking boots, wearing walking shoes inside the house for a few hours daily can help loosen them up. Again, don’t forget to put those socks on. After constantly wearing them in the house doing what you normally do, you will notice your feet feeling more and more comfortable with each passing day. That’s the break-in period successfully doing its rightful job.

  • 3. Go for a test walk

Instead of directly wearing the walking shoes at your next big walk, trying taking a short test walk in them around the block. But before you do that, ensure that the shoe laces are not tied too tight or too loose.

Once the walking shoes don’t seem to cause any pain or blisters during the test walk, it’s time to up the game. Introduce your walking shoes to uneven or inclined and declined surfaces to make the most of the short break-in period.

  • 4. Flex the sole

If you want to know how to break in boots that have stiffer soles, then flexing the soles is the most effective solution. Many of us find the soles to be very stiff during the break-in period. And the only way to deal with this issue is to constantly flex the soles using your hands. This has proved to be highly useful in not only making the soles less stiff over time but also softening the footbed.

You should know that if you don’t do anything about reducing the stiffness of the soles, they can give rise to several foot ailments or problems in the long run. But don’t overdo it, you’ll end up damaging the soles. The best way to carry out this procedure is to do some form of physical exercise in the walking shoes (mostly squats).

You Got It!

The kind of pain and discomfort that a blister causes can wreck your entire hiking trip. So it’s always a better idea to know how to break in boots in order to prevent the formation of blisters or any other boot fitting-related problems. This way your boots will do exactly what they’re supposed to do; provide exceptional grip and support without causing any damage to your feet.


  • Soak them in water.
  • Wear them around the house with two pairs of hiking socks.
  • ​Be more vigilant by adding a little weight to your back when taking the boots out for a test walk or run.
  • ​Buying boots at least a month before your hiking trip.
  • ​Flexing the soles.

Since now you know how to break in boots fast, it’s better to keep this mind for the rest of your life if you’re a passionate adventurer who simply loves to spend more time out in the woods than inside the house. And if you’re anything like me, then you’ll be buying a lot more pair of boots than you can imagine. So it’s always better to be safe than sorry, right?

Is there anything else that you would like to add? And did you find the content useful?

Please feel free to express your honest opinion and share your experiences.






Lamont Ly

My name is Lamont Ly and I have spent the countless number of hours researching and studying the best solutions for foot care related problems. My goal is to save your time as well as money by offering all the assistance backed by relevant and reliable information so that the health of your feet is not compromised in any way.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: