How to Break in Boots Fast

Shoe rack by closet
Style only goes so far -- your boots should be comfortable, too. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

The perfect pair of new boots can lend you the confidence you need to hit the streets or take on the hiking trail, but overly snug kicks have a tendency to take the pep out of your step. No matter the style, genuine leather boots need the most breaking in, but even non-leather and synthetic materials often start off a little stiff. By nature, breaking in boots takes time, but you can accelerate the process by using a combination of methods.

Step 1

Use a spray bottle to lightly mist the inside of genuine leather boots with a combination of half rubbing alcohol and half water. This trick helps relax the fibers of the leather.

Step 2

Wear your boots indoors as much as you possibly can. No matter how silly it looks, every minute you spend in your new kicks helps speed up the break-in process. Tie your boots snugly rather than wearing them loosely. As soon as your boots feel comfortable enough indoors, start wearing them on small outdoor trips, such as on-foot errands and walking the dog.

Step 3

Wear socks that are at least as thick as the ones you typically wear with your boots. Even better, double up with two pairs of thick socks. For full-grain leather boots, lightly dampen a pair of thick socks and wear them as you break your boots in to speed up the break-in process. “Lightly” is the key word -- don't soak your boots through, or you may damage them and end up with sore feet.

Step 4

Roll up two towels and stuff one tightly in each boot any time you're not wearing them. This keeps the break-in process going when you're not active, and it also helps boots maintain their shape.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol

  • Spray bottle

  • Thick socks

  • Towels

Tip

If you don't have the luxury of time to break in your new boots, try on different pairs at the store. As a rule, the lighter the boot, the easier the break-in. Some lightweight boots may feel comfy on your foot right out of the box.

If you're truly pinched for time, bring your boots to a cobbler. In some cases, a professional can have you in and out with a perfect fit in under an hour.

Warning

Follow any care instructions or warnings provided by the manufacturer of your boots.

If your boots continue to pinch or cause you any sort of pain after the break-in process, they simply might not be the right shoes for you. Try another pair to avoid injuring your feet.

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