How to break in Hiking boots
It’s hard to enjoy the mental and physical benefits of a hike if your feet are in constant agony. That’s why it’s essential to break in your boots beforehand, to help prevent painful blisters and cuts. There are a variety of ways you can go about breaking in your walking boots, but we’ve pulled together a few of our top tips and tricks to help you out.
Our Top 7 tips to breaking in your walking boots
Buy well in advance
Although it’s tempting to put on your new walking boots and head for the hills straight away, we strongly advise not to! Most walking boots require a period of adjustment (usually around 3 weeks) so make sure that you buy them in advance, giving yourself time to break them in.
Wear them like a pair of slippers
Trade up your cosy slippers for your new walking boots! By wearing your new boots around the house it will help begin the breaking in process, allowing the boots to mould to your foot shape. However make sure to wear a pair of thick walking socks with your boots to prevent nasty blisters.
Go on a few short walks
Once you’ve got used to wearing them around the house, it’s time to take them outside! Take them on short 10-20 minutes flat walks to see how they feel. As they become more comfortable gradually start walking longer distances, treading across different terrain, and doing more uphill routes.
Wear With the Correct Walking Socks
Very important! Be sure to wear the correct walking socks when breaking in your new walking boots. This will help reduce any rubbing whilst the boots are at their stiffest.
Insoles Can Help
Insoles can be of great help. If you use specialist insoles ensure to put them into your new walking boots.
Work the leather
The tongue and ankle cuff of your new walking boots will typically be stiff for the first few times that you wear them. They will gradually soften over time, however you can help speed up the process by working the leather with your fingers.
Get the Right Fit
The break in process won’t turn a poor fit into a good one, so it’s important to make sure that you get the right fit. If your new boots are either too big or too small this can
Things to avoid!
With Do’s, there always comes Don’ts. So here are our top three things to avoid when it comes to breaking in your new hiking boots:
Don’t: Use A Hairdryer
You may have heard the tip of using a hair dryer to heat your boots and stretch the leather, however we wouldn’t recommend this. Although it may soften the leather it also dries it out and draws natural oils out of the leather.
Don’t: Soak Them In Water
Leather is a porous material, so when it becomes wet it softens. Which leads to another common tip – to soak your walking boots in water. Then wearing them whilst they’re wet to help them mould to your feet. However, similar to the hairdryer hack this dries out the leather and can cause it to come brittle. Wearing wet boots also isn’t the most pleasant experience!
Don’t: Freeze Your Boots
Another supposed ‘hack’ to breaking in your walking boots is to freeze them. This is done by filling freezer bags with water, placing them inside your boots and then placing the boots in the freezer. The water then freezes and expands, aiming to stretch the boot. However, this is difficult to control and could lead to the seams splitting, and exposure to extreme temperatures can damage the leather.