When your new pair of shoes comes fresh from delivery there’s always the excitement to wear them right away. But in some cases, the shoes could feel slightly small due to the stiffness of the new leather. However in time, the shoe’s leather will stretch and fit your feet like a glove. This brief adjustment or break in period is necessary to allow the feet and shoes to adjust and get used to the feel and fit.
We compiled a few and simple precautionary measures that you can easily do at home to minimize discomfort.
Take it slow
As much as you’d want to wear your new leather shoes right away, it actually pays off to wear them for small periods of time. On the first day, you can start to wear them around the house for half an hour to one hour. On the second day, you can wear it for 2-3 hours. On the third day, you can try to wear it much longer but not longer than a day. After this period, your feet would have adjusted to the shoes albeit a slower process.
Warm it up
One of the best ways to soften leather is to put warmth into it. Avoid storing your new pair in a cold room. If possible, try putting socks inside the pair and use a hairdryer to warm it up. Make sure it’s not too hot because it may damage the material. This process will help mold your feet into them.
Use Leather Lotion and Shoe Trees
Using Wren’s leather shoe cream, gently apply some on a clean cloth and spread this all over your leather shoes. Always place shoe trees before storing them. This step will help stretch the leather and avoid moisture from staying inside the shoes. Apply this every week until your shoes are comfortable to wear then eventually reduce to applying every month as part of your shoe care routine.
Double your Socks and Target Hotspots
To prevent discomfort or any soreness, I recommend you double up your socks when breaking into your new pair. After wearing it for some time, you will be able to identify parts of the shoes that are uncomfortable. Before you wear the shoes again, mash these pain points with your hands to soften the leather.
Tie them Up Tight
There’s always this misconception that you loosen the laces to allow your feet to breathe, but not everyone knows that in the long run it is better to tie them up tight and wear over short periods of time. This process will help the leather stretch and will give you greater comfort soon.
These are just tips we gathered to help you break in your new pair. Keep in mind that not all shoes break in the same. Some are easier and others really take time to fully break in. It will vary depending on the kind of shoes and leather used. Not because the shoe feels stiff it should be ruled as uncomfortable. Usually the most comfortable shoes start off really stiff but once broken in, it would feel more supportive and comfortable. Everything varies, but this is just to give you an idea on what to expect.
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For more tips on how to care for your shoes, read the Shoe Care Guide.