In this article, we are going to talk about the pain-free way of breaking in a new pair of hiking boots. I have previously talked about if you should purchase hiking boots or hiking shoes, you can find that article here.
So, you have just bought a new pair of hiking boots, and they look great. You most likely want to get out on the trails with your new purchase, but, before you go too far, I highly recommend breaking your new boots in correctly. Regardless of how much your new boots cost or how perfect a fit they are, you will need to take the right amount of time to break them in. Doing this properly at the start will ensure a lifetime of comfort out and about.
The first thing is to make sure you have a correctly fitting boot, which is why I prefer to buy footwear in person rather than online. Be sure to take in to account foot width as well as length, if the boot is too tight on the width then go for the next size up. Go outdoors is a personal favourite of mine. I have always found a good selection of quality footwear.
Some footwear made of light materials may seem ok straight away, others, especially if they are made of leather may need considerable time to break in properly. Time is necessary so that materials can soften up, and your boots and feet can adapt to one another. Take the time now to avoid discomfort down the road.
So, let’s look at the top tips of breaking in our new hiking boots;
1. Wear them inside first.
Try walking around your house with your socks and new boots on as a gentle, low-pressure way helping loosen your boots. A gentle walk on carpets and wood flooring will no be too much of a strain on you or your boots. As at this stage, the boots will be most stiff. It’s a good chance to ease them in gently.
2. Try a gentle walk in your neighbourhood.
Try an easy 10 to 15-minute walk, even if it’s just going to the corner shop of chippy, this will give the boots the next level of breaking in with them being on a more solid surface outdoors. This is also a good time to assess the fit of the boots you have just purchased, and any issues should be sorted at this stage.
3. Short day hike
Now to complete the final step would be taking a gentle day hike. Try using a lightweight backpack also, just to put a little more pressure on the boots. After this step, you can gradually increase the weight and distance.
Safety and care
As with anything, Listen to your body. Your body will tell you if there is something wrong. If you get a hot point or are feeling rubbing you may be trying to do too much too soon. Read about blister prevention and care here.
I have heard many people saying you don’t need to break new boots in, also some suggestions like just soak new boots in water, or go for a long hike first time to really break them in.
These suggestions don’t work, and they can damage your boots, and cause some severe discomfort on your feet.