Break In Your New Shoes

In Products by Alnoor Ladhani, Chiropodist

Everybody knows the fear of buying a brand new pair of beautiful shoes, only to find out that they are a pain to walk in. It doesn’t take long to break in new shoes; however, the pain and discomfort you experience in the process is often almost debilitating.

There are a number of habits you can get into, when breaking in new shoes, which will make the process much more pleasant. You don’t need to spend a lot of extra money, and you may already have some or all of the things you need.


As you probably already know, blisters are one of the most common complaints from breaking in new shoes. First of all, it is important to identify the likely places your new shoes will cause blisters. Not all shoes are designed the same, so you should not assume that blisters will form in the same places as they did with previous shoes.

The easiest way to do so is by taking your shoes out for a spin, while you are in the safety and comfort of your own home. Those areas where you feel rubbing or discomfort are the most likely spots where you will get blisters.

By moisturising your feet and keeping them hydrated, you will significantly reduce the chance of getting blisters. Petroleum jelly based products, such as Vaseline, lock in moisture and help prevent blisters.  You can also use normal skin moisturisers – especially those designed for extra dry skin.

Applying Heat

As is often the case with new shoes, there are particular areas of the shoe which cause the worst blisters, discomfort or pain. You can treat these areas with heat, in order to soften the material and prevent the hard material from rubbing against your feet.

This method should only be used on leather, as other materials are not as receptive to applied heat – it may damage or warp the shoes out of shape. While wearing your shoes, use a hairdryer to apply gentle heat to trouble areas. Around half a minute of heat, on each area, is more than enough to do the trick. It is important to walk in the shoes, after each area has been treated, to allow the material to relax before it cools down.

Wet Moulding

This tip is for shoes such as sandals, which you wish to mould to the shape of your feet, without dealing with edges digging into your toes. However, this method is not recommended for shoes that do not fare well when wet.

First of all, fill a container or bucket large enough to submerge your feet in with water. Put on your shoes and position your feet in most comfortable position, within the shoes, as possible. Next, plunge both feet into the water. When you take your feet out, make sure to squeeze off any excess water.

Continue to wear your shoes, still damp, while you go about your normal day. Obviously, due to the fact that your shoes will make an audible squelching sound and leave damp patches everywhere you go, you should reserve this method for when you have spare time to spend at home.

Extra Padding

A lot of people do not like to wear thick socks with their shoes. However, thicker socks will provide your feet with extra padding, which will act as a barrier between your feet and the shoe. Granted, your feet will likely feel restricted and sweaty in thicker socks, but they will be secretly helping you to break in your shoes, too.

Thicker socks will also help the other methods discussed here to stretch and shape your new shoes. When there is a gap between your feet and the material of your shoes, stretching the material can take months. However, thicker socks will greatly speed up the process and reduce the time it takes for the material to stretch.

For more tips on how to lessen the burden of breaking in new shoes, speak to our friendly chiropodists at Step By Step. We can provide you with all the advice and care you need to maintain proper foot care.