The excitement of wearing your new leather boots is often tinged with a little fear. This is because boots take time to break in. And, until this happens, you are bound to have more than a few blisters.
However, can you save your feet the pain and trouble? Is it possible to hasten the breaking in process so that you can wear your leather boots more comfortably? The good news is that there are options out there to make things easier. However, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach.
As such, you may need to try out a few different techniques until you find the one that works for you. Here are your top options:
What is the Fastest Method to Break In Full Leather Boots?
The Ice Method
If you are looking to stretch out your boots with minimal investment, this is what you should do. For each shoe, fill a freezer bag with water. It is a good idea to double bag these so that they don’t leak water – the last thing you want to do is to get the inside of your shoes wet!
Then, place a bag into each shoe. Following this, place the shoes in the freezer. When the water in the bags freeze, they will expand. This causes the boot to expand as well. Once the water is frozen solid, you can take the boots out of the freezer.
Slowly let the ice in the bags melt. However, keep checking on them to ensure that the moisture from the bags isn’t soaking the inside of your shoes.
If you want a surefire way to stretch out your boots and want to be quick about it, get yourself a boot stretcher. You should be able to find this at a shoe store or online. You need to place this mechanism inside your shoes and extend them so that they push the material outwards.
Make sure to do this in small increments – you don’t want to extend your boot too much either. Leave the stretchers inside your shoe for about six to eight hours or for as long as the instruction manual tells you to. When you remove them, the boots should have extended to give you more wiggle room.
In case you can’t find a boot stretcher in time, you may want to check with your local shoe repair store. They may have such a device and could help you out with this problem.
Use Leather Condition Along with Other Techniques
Regardless of which technique you use, it is a good idea to get yourself some leather conditioner or softener first. This substance is used to soften the leather and help it retain its exterior at the same time.
Follow the instructions of the leather conditioner and work it into the surface of your shoes. Then, try out one of the methods mentioned here. This way, you get a dual-action. The leather conditioner will soften the leather on the outside, while the ice or boot stretcher will work its magic on the inside of the shoe.
What You Should Know About DIY Quick Tips
The internet is filled with plenty of tips on how to break in leather boots quickly. While this may seem like sound advice, take them with a grain of salt. While some of these techniques may work, be aware that they also have the propensity to damage your boots.
So, on this note, here are some methods you should avoid:
Don’t Soak Your Boots
One of the common recommendations you will find is to wear your boots, get into a tub of water, and allow them to soak through. Then, you are supposed to walk around in the boots until they are completely dry.
Now, there are two issues with this. Firstly, water exposure can cause some boots to shrink! If this happens, you will have an even bigger problem on your hands, so it is best not to take that risk.
Even if your boots don’t shrink, there is always the risk of mold. Leather boots can take an incredibly long time to dry – days in some cases. During this period, there is a chance that mold may begin to grow on the leather. Needless to say, this will ruin your shoes.
Don’t Apply Direct Heat to Your Boots
Another piece of advice you might hear is to apply direct heat to your boots, typically via a hairdryer. Unfortunately, heat exposure can damage the leather of the shoes and even cause discoloration. Even if the damage isn’t immediately apparent, you may be setting up your shoes for cracks later on down the line.
Some people imagine they can get around this by using a hairdryer on low heat. Nevertheless, you still run the risk of damaging the shoes. It’s difficult to know how the leather in your shoes might react to such heat. So, save yourself the trouble.
These are some of the best tips for breaking in your shoes quickly and safely. Follow these methods and you will enjoy wearing them without having to worry about blisters or any kind of discomfort.