Ways to Break in Steel-Toed Boots

Steel-toed boots are a popular option for anyone working at potentially hazardous work sites, such as construction zones, or for those who require extra protection for their feet. Work boots, such as the steel-toed variety, are also particularly slow to break in. It's always wise to take a few weeks to break in a pair of steel-toed boots before wearing them for any length of time at work or play. This process will help reduce the possibility of blistering, and rubbing of the skin and bones in your new boots.

A man wearing steel-toed boots. (Image: tonefotografia/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Wear the steel-toed boots around for an hour or so every day for a few weeks before wearing them all day long. This process will slowly allow for the fibers in the boots to mold to your feet, and for you to get used to the feeling of the steel toe at the tip of the boot. Wear a pair of thicker socks to give some cushion and allow for the fibers to stretch slightly. If you are wearing these in a colder area, the socks will also protect your toes from the cold of the steel toe.

Step 2

Bend the body of the boot back and forth a couple of times before putting the shoes on each day to encourage flexibility in the sole of the boot.

Step 3

Place an insole in the boot to give your foot some extra comfort if you feel there isn't enough cushioning after wearing them a couple of days. The insole will create some extra cushioning in the bottom of the shoe and help the sole conform to your foot.

Step 4

Place moleskin on any areas of your foot, such as your heel or toes, to create a barrier between areas that may chafe against the body of the boot. Moleskin is a soft, thin material that adheres to skin and can be found in almost any drug store.

Step 5

Increase the length of time you wear the boots after a couple weeks to three or four hours a day. Once the boots start to feel comfortable and there is no longer any chafing effects, you are most likely safe to wear the boots during your regular work routines or adventures.

Things You'll Need

  • Thick socks

  • Moleskin

  • Insoles


Always make sure you buy boots in the right size. Try them on with thick socks and with medium socks to ensure the fit is correct and there is not too much room for error in sizing.

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