You could use just one bag, but I like to use a second one as an added safety measure since there is water involved. Resewing loose or rotted seams with an awl or two needles is particularly easy. Known as "dry stretching," a shoe-stretcher can take several days for it to have an effect; check the fit every now and then. If you can build up a collection of a few pairs — you will never be forced to wear new ones and you can break them in at your leisure — saving your feet. The results are exactly what I would expect to happen, and I like to live my life free of agonising pain whenever possible.
New leather boots pinching your feet a little? Tough leather Doc Martens won't mould to your foot shape? Wondering if the old cowboy trick of getting in the bath with those new boots will bring blissful relief or ruin the leather? Blisters, squashed toes, pressure on delicate foot bones, muscles and tendons — not to mention the cramp that attacks out of nowhere during the after-dinner speech or the entrée course of your romantic date — can make new leather boots a joy to look at but a nightmare to wear.
If you'd rather not be hobbling around painfully on that special night, here are a few tips to break in your new leather boots so you'll be walking on air.
Doctor Martens are gorgeous, and I love mine with every fibre of my being, but they are basically tough leather work boots, and they are known for being some of the most painful and stubborn boots to break in.
If you just 'go for it' and wear them straight out of the box, your feet will be a shredded, bloody, blistering mess by the end of the day. When they're worn in, they'll be some of the most comfortable boots you ever owned, but until that joyous day, I have to agree with one forum post I saw where a woman wished that she could hire a fifteen-year-old punk rocker to break them in for her.
This really does vary from pair to pair and person to person. My housemate has fewer problems than I do when it comes to breaking in tough leather boots and almost never gets blisters, but I seem to take a long time to persuade a new pair of DMs to get comfy. Between us, we think it's an average of one or two hundred hours wear before they're really broken in — which could be a month or a year depending on how long and how often you wear them.
If the boots are rubbing and pinching mercilessly, or it seems to be taking a very long time to break them in, cobblers have a machine that can stretch leather boots just a little. If your new boots are just too painful to wear, bending them first might help. Then set in a warm place for an hour. After an hour, bend the boot still stuffed with newspaper — bending the toe back as if you're trying to make it touch the front upper laces. Bend it backwards and forwards like this for a few minutes and then remove the newspaper and work some more oils or wax into the leather again, inside and out , then re-stuff with damp newspaper, leave in a warm place for an hour and keep repeating the process.
If you do this for a while every day for a couple of days, it will take a lot of the pain out of wearing them in, but you will still have to wear them and walk around in them before they properly mould themselves to your foot shape. Like many, many other people, I used this method when I was a fifteen-year-old punk rocker. Not sure I'd be brave enough now, but it does work.
Leather stretches and moulds through a combination of warmth, moisture, movement, and actually being on the shape your foot that you want it to mould to. Wearing them continuously like this gives them the warmth of your feet, the moisture through your feet sweating, and the leather will stretch in all the right places. If you do use this method then 1 I salute you, you're a braver and hardier soul than I am; 2 take them off every now and again to check that you're not actually getting trench foot or gangrene; 3 socks and blister plasters will be your only friend and ally for these three days, change them often to give your feet some relief.
Most boots aren't quite so arduous as Doc Martens, but since all feet are a slightly different shape, and some are more sensitive than others, even the softest leather can sometimes rub and pinch.
The 'culprit locations' are the same as for tougher boots, and the way of breaking them in is quite similar, but a lot quicker in most cases. If the boots are unlined , work some specialist leather wax buy from a reputable cobblers on the high street into the inside and outside of the boots wherever they rub, and wherever they crease and 'dig in' when you walk.
Because soft boots are often patterned and the leather is more delicate, I personally will not risk using baby oil or petroleum jelly on them. If the boots are lined , work the leather wax into the outside only of the boots.
As with tougher boots, wearing blister plasters and a pair of socks will protect you from the worst rubs and pinches though with fashion boots socks will probably need to be very thin and sheer because the boots will be closer-fitting. If the boots are tight in a particular place — if they press down onto the top of your feet or really pinch your toes, stuffing them tight with socks or damp newspaper after working leather wax into them, and then putting them in a warm place will stretch them a little; and if this fails, as with tougher boots you can get them stretched by a cobbler very cheaply — and if you do choose to get them stretched professionally, they'll be stretched in just the right places.
Some people speed up the process by providing a little extra warmth by using a hair drier on the boots, either whilst wearing them, or after stuffing them with socks or damp newspaper. I have used this method a few times, and although the leather does become softer and more flexible for a short time, it doesn't seem to me to shorten the breaking-in period, and I do wonder if repeated sudden heat might damage the leather and cause it to dry out, and maybe cause the leather to crack at some point in the future.
These three methods are a bit extreme for my liking, and I would absolutely not trust my boots to any of them. The idea is to wrap them in a sheet and then pound them repeatedly. Although I can imagine and understand why this would soften up tough leather, I can also imagine that a violent blow in the wrong place could separate the sole from the upper irreparably and send the boots back to meet their maker at considerable cost , or the trash can.
Unless broken in means "broken down" to you, don't do this. Water will soak into the unprotected threads in the insole seams and cause them to rot. Mildew will form inside the shoe, where it's nearly impossible to get out. An equally unworkable way to break in and stretch tight boots was related by a shoemaker who's been repairing shoes for 50 years. Farmers would, he claimed, fill their boots with cracked, dried corn and add water.
The corn would swell to many times its original size, pushing against the leather evenly in all directions to stretch arid soften it.
Well, with all that in mind, the bad news is that there's no quick way to make new boots fit and feel like old ones. Breaking in boots takes time, travel, and, unfortunately, some pain as your skin and the leather work out an adequate compromise.
You can, however, ease the process somewhat. First, make sure your boots fit, and when you find a brand that fits well, breaks in without undue hardship, and gives good service, stick with it no matter what the "in" boot happens to be at the moment.
Try on several styles in various length and width combinations. Listen to the outfitter: He or she can advise you on what boot to buy for your intended activity.
Try different sizes on each foot. Few people realize that their feet are probably of slightly different shape and size, and that sizes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Once you've got a pair of boots you like, find out what they're made of. Chrome-tanned leather and oil-tanned leather are very different in their strength, water-resistance, and response to dressing and chemicals. Take the trouble to ask or write the maker before you start slopping goop all over them.
Now you're ready to take them home and break them in. One tactic that minimizes discomfort while breaking in a boot is to use an already broken-in leather or foam-rubber insole. These are available from shoe repairers, and the foam kind can be found at drugstores and the like. Keep a couple of pairs of these in use in various shoes and sneakers, and you'll always be ready to slip a pair into your new boots. Take them along when you go shopping to make sure they'll fit well.
Actually, using insoles in all your shoes at all times is a good way to gain miles of comfortable travel. Before setting out on your first jaunt, apply a waterproofing solution or wax to your boots. Here's where it's important to know what your boots are made of. Oil-tanned leather should be treated with oil — neat's-foot is cheapest, mink oil more expensive — or an oil-based commercial coating.
Chrome-tanned leather, on the other hand, doesn't like oil, which clogs the pores. For new boots, an oil-based paste is probably best for oil-tanned leather, as it won't soak in readily and won't saturate threads.
Chrome-tanned leather should be sprayed with silicone spray, or waxed with a good shoe wax. Many people mistakenly assume they don't need to waterproof new boots; they think the "factory" does it. Well, in many cases they're wrong, and even if they're right, the months those boots spend in transit and storage take their toll on any waterproofing with the exception of silicone. With your boots thus protected, get your feet ready. If you wear your boots with no socks for a few hours indoors — no heavy walking, of course — you'll soon feel where they're likely to pinch, rub, or bind.
Reinforce those places before setting out on your first serious walk by applying moleskin or plastic adhesive bandages. Next, wear two pairs of socks, both cotton. Avoid wool and synthetic socks in new boots, as they tend to slip and slide inside the boot, and you'll be doing enough of that anyway. Loosen the bottom laces, but keep the top few tight enough to avoid chafing at your ankles. Now, walk, avoiding tough terrain, steep slopes, rocky hillsides, etc.
Gradual, rolling terrain is best. Check your laces once in a while. Your feet will probably swell and the laces will become tight, so loosen them. Stop and rest your feet from time to time, and take a look at them, too. Patch up any spots that may be becoming blistered, with moleskin or adhesive bandages, and promptly treat any broken skin you find.
Try to spend as much time in your new boots as your feet will allow. The wearing process is slow, but it is easier to work on it continually for a week than once a week for a month; the leather will "remember" which way it's supposed to stretch. If, through vanity or ignorance, you've bought a pair of too-small boots, you can stretch them with shoe trees.
It's better to find a shoemaker who'll do this for you, though, as he or she is less likely to split a seam by using too-large stretchers.
Most "shoe-ease" products are alcohol-based, which will certainly allow leather to stretch, but will just as certainly hasten breakdown. These products are usually sold in small amounts in aerosol cans, which makes them expensive and hard to apply to the right spot inside the shoe, which is where you need them.
A better way is to use a cotton ball soaked in 70 percent isopropyl rubbing alcohol which has very little water in it. Wring the cotton almost dry, then rub the alcohol on the spot you want to stretch; don't soak the entire inside of the boot. Wearing two pairs of cotton socks, don the boot immediately and wear it for at least an hour. This "shock treatment" isn't good for your boots, but it can help solve problem cases for people with oddly shaped feet.
Boots must be thoroughly dried before waterproofing. You do much more harm than good by coating leather that still has a lot of moisture in it. And that means the insides, too, as perspiration contains salts and acids which will work on leather and thread. It should be standard procedure to wipe out your sweaty boots with an absorbent cloth every time you take them off. Drying boots that have become soaked or covered with mud takes time. Unfortunately, you don't have much time in the field, and so will seldom be able to properly dry your boots overnight in camp.
One thing not to do is try to speed up the process by applying heat or hanging the boots near the fire or stove. This will dry the boots, all right, but it will also crack the leather and cause it to blister and stiffen.
Remember, leather is skin. How to Soften Leather Shoes. Did this video help you? Tips When picking out leather shoes, choose unfinished over treated leather for a naturally softer feel.
If you continuously find shoes of a certain brand pinch your toes or heels, invest in another brand. Make sure your shoes fit you properly.
If they are too big or too small, they'll feel wrong on your feet no matter what. Keep bandages and ointment on hand for the first week or two you're wearing your new leather shoes, as this will be when you have the most blisters. Do not soak your shoes in water. Did this article help you?
I physically searched shops to shops, but did not find answers. On Google searching, I found the most practical and result-oriented reply on wikiHow. SD Sheila Doris Jun 28, I never thought of treating the leather, but will now. AK Ajay Kumar Nov 27, I tried and succeeded.
I strongly recommend the methodology shown in the video. A Anonymous Jun 16, I took about a dozen applications before it softened a little, but it is a little softer. JS June Stimpson Sep 20, Ideas were not too expensive either.
JV Joan Virtudazo Dec 3, Thank you very much. AE Agapito Esparza Sep 26, My Red Wings look and feel amazing! A Anonymous Feb 2, BQ Barbara Quigley Sep 8, LR Lynnie Rearick Aug 27, MC Marjorie Clegg Nov 26,
Why do your feet hurt when wearing new shoes?
Leather boots and leather shoes need to be broken in to be comfortable. Depending on the kind of leather and the type of construction, this can take a little or a long time. In the course of researching this subject, we encountered suggestions ranging from the barely plausible to the patently ridiculous, all of them aimed at breaking in new boots in the shortest amount of time with the least discomfort to the wearer. This is the single best strategy for breaking in your new leather shoes. Wear your shoes little and often to begin with. Then increase the time you wear them by 10 minutes a time until you can wear them comfortably for an hour. Too often shoes are bought for a night out, or to go to work in. Find great deals on eBay for new leather shoes. Shop with confidence.