Last Updated on October 5, 2022 by Sarah Jaffe
It seems like everyone has a pair of high-quality leather boots. They’re rugged and stylish all at once. But there’s one thing that can ruin the perfect pair of leather boots: a painful breaking-in period.
You know the feeling all too well. You slip on your brand-new leather boots and spend the next week walking around with sore feet and blisters. So, how long does it take to break in leather boots? And is there anything you can do to make the process any easier? Keep reading to find out.
Buying a new pair of leather boots is an exciting experience, but it’s frustrating when they’re stiff and uncomfortable to wear. It can take a few days for your new leather boots to break in and feel comfortable. You might not even be able to wear them all day at first.
Follow our simple guide on how long it takes to break in leather boots, and you’ll be wearing them in no time. We’ll also show you how to make the process a little bit easier.
How long does it take to break in leather boots?
To fully break in your leather boots, it usually takes between 80 and 120 hours or approximately three to four days. However, this number will change depending on how often you wear them and what activities you use them for.
Do Leather Boots Hurt At First?
It’s not uncommon to experience some discomfort when you first start wearing leather boots. This is because the leather is stiff and needs to be broken in before it’s comfortable. You might notice that your feet feel cramped or that you’re getting blisters. This is normal and will go away as you continue to wear the boots.
Moreover, it also depends on the type of leather and how it’s been treated/tanned. Some types of leather are very stiff and take a while to break in. Others are much softer and won’t require as much time. If you’re concerned about breaking in your boots, you can always try wearing them around the house for a few hours at a time.
How To Break In Your Leather Boots
Leather boots are a great investment. They can last for years and years, but only if you take care of them. One of the most important things you can do for your leather boots is to break them in properly. This may seem like a daunting task, but we promise it’s not as difficult as it seems. With a little bit of time and effort, you can have your leather boots fitting like a glove in no time.
The first thing you need to do is check that you have the right tools. You’ll need a good quality leather conditioner and boot stretcher. We also recommend using a shoehorn to help get your foot into the boot without damaging the leather. Once you have all of your supplies, find a well-ventilated area where you can work. You don’t want to do this in an enclosed space because the chemicals in the leather conditioner can be strong.
Conditioning the Leather
The first step in breaking in your new leather boots is to condition the leather. This will help to soften the material and make it more pliable. Work the conditioner into the leather with your hands, making sure to cover every inch evenly. Once you’re done, let the conditioner soak in for at least 30 minutes before moving on to the next step.
Stretching the Boots
This is where the boot stretcher comes in. If you don’t have one, you can try using two heavy-duty rubber bands or even socks filled with rice. Whatever you use, insert it into the toe of the boot and leave it there overnight. This will help to stretch out the material so that it’s more supportive for your feet.
Wearing Them Around The House
Now that your boots are conditioned and stretched, it’s time to start putting them to use in the house. Put them on for short durations at first, such as when you’re doing laundry or cooking dinner. You can gradually increase the amount of time you wear them each day until you’re comfortable wearing them for extended periods of time.
5 Best Ways To Break In Leather Boots Faster
You finally made the plunge and bought that beautiful, luxurious pair of leather boots. But now you have to break them in, and that process can be painfully slow. You want to be able to wear your new boots ASAP, so how can you speed up the breaking-in process? Here are a few tips.
If you find that your leather boots are still feeling a bit stiff after a few days of wearing them around the house, you can try applying heat. This will help to soften the leather so that it molds more quickly to your feet.
One way to do this is to fill a pair of old socks with rice and microwave them for about 30 seconds. Then, put the socks on over your leather boots and leave them on for about 15 minutes. The rice will retain heat well and help to stretch out the leather.
Another option is to use a hair dryer on low heat; just hold it about 6 inches away from the boot’s surface and move it around until the entire boot is evenly warmed.
Wearing Them Outside
Once you’ve broken in your leather boots a bit by wearing them around the house, it’s time to take them out in public! Start by wearing them for short periods of time when you know you won’t be doing a lot of walking; picking up groceries or running errands are perfect times to do this.
Then, gradually start wearing them for longer periods until they feel comfortable enough to wear all day long. With proper care, your leather boots should only get more beautiful with age.
Use a boot stretcher or shoe trees
A boot stretcher is a tool that you insert into your boots to stretch them out. Shoe trees are inserted into shoes and help to keep their shape and prevent creases.
Wear them with thick socks
Wearing your boots with thick socks will help to stretch them out faster. Just be careful that you don’t wear them for too long at first, or you could end up with blisters.
Use mink oil, Vaseline, or lanolin
These products can help to soften the leather of your boots and make them more flexible. just be sure not to use too much, or your boots could end up looking greasy.
Walk in them as much as possible
The best way to break in leather boots is to just walk around in them as much as you can. After a while, they’ll start to adjust to the structure of your feet and they’ll be much more comfortable. Just be sure to take breaks so that you don’t end up with sore feet.
What Things You Should Avoid When Breaking In Your Leather Boots
Leather boots are an excellent investment; they’re durable and stylish, and they only get better with age. Of course, before you can enjoy years of wear and tear, you need to break them in first. But be warned, breaking in your leather boots is not as simple as it seems. There are a few things you need to avoid if you want to ensure that your boots last for years to come. Here are few of them:
Avoid getting them too wet:
Getting leather boots too wet is one of the biggest mistakes people make when attempting to break them in. It’s understandable; after all, the best way to break in a new pair of shoes is to wear them around in the rain or snow. But if you get your leather boots too wet, they will shrink and become deformed. So when you’re breaking in your leather boots, make sure to keep them away from puddles and snowbanks.
Avoid over-bending them:
One of the most common blunders people make with regard to breaking their leather boots is overbending them. When you bend a boot past its natural limit, it will crack and weaken the material.
As a result, your boots will be more susceptible to future damage. To avoid over-bending your leather boots, be careful not to force them into awkward positions; for example, avoid sitting with your feet crossed for extended periods of time.
Avoid walking on hard surfaces:
The quickest way to damage your leather boots is to walk on rough ground. The constant impact will cause the leather to weaken and crack over time. So when you’re breaking in your new boots, ensure to steer clear of concrete sidewalks and asphalt roads. Instead, stick to softer surfaces like grass or dirt paths.
Avoid over-stretching them:
Leather is a natural material, which means it has a limited amount of giving. If you try to stretch your leather boots beyond their natural limit, you’ll damage the material and make them uncomfortable to wear.
To avoid overstretching your boots, be careful not to lace them too tightly; there should be about an inch of space between your foot and the end of the boot when they’re laced up properly.
Avoid using harsh chemicals on them:
Harsh chemicals will dry out the leather and make it more susceptible to cracking and premature aging. So when you’re cleaning your new leather boots, avoid using any kind of chemical cleanser or polish; instead, stick to gentle soap and water solutions. Also, avoid leaving your leather boots in direct sunlight; sunlight will also dry out the material and cause it to crack over time.
Don’t wear them for too long at first:
Wearing your boots for too long before they’re properly broken in can lead to blisters and other foot problems. Slowly increase the time you spend wearing them by beginning out with shorter periods.
Don’t neglect them:
Leather boots require some care and maintenance to stay in good condition. Just like any other type of shoe, they need to be cleaned and polished regularly. Neglecting your boots will shorten their lifespan and make them more difficult to break in.
The Benefits Of Breaking In Your Leather Boots
When you first get a pair of leather boots, it is essential to break them in before wearing them for long periods of time. Here are a few benefits of breaking in your leather boots:
1. There will be more comfortable for them:
Breaking in your boots will enable you to shape them to the size of your feet, making them extra relaxed to wear.
2. It will last a longer time:
If you take the time to break in your boots, they will be better able to withstand the wear and tear of everyday use.
3. They will look better:
If you want your boots to look more natural, you’ll have to break them in. That means wearing them everywhere until they conform to your feet. It’s a tedious process, but it’s worth it in the end.
4. Customization is possible:
By breaking in your boots, you can mold them to better suit your personal style. However, you should be careful not to overdo it, otherwise, you’ll end up with a pair of shapeless disaster boots.
5. A better fit will be possible if you:
Breaking in your boots will allow you to get a better fit, as they will conform to the shape of your feet better.
6. Walking will be easier for you:
breaks in your boots will make it easier for you to walk. They’ll be more flexible and won’t give you blisters. So go ahead and give them a try.
7. You will be able to run more easily:
Breaking in your boots will allow you to run more easily, as they’ll be softer and easier on the joints.
On the basis of the above observations, it can be concluded that breaking in your leather boots is essential if you want them to be comfortable, last longer, look better, and conform to the shape of your feet.
Additionally, it’s important to be aware of the risks involved in breaking in your leather boots with water, as it can permanently damage your boots if not done correctly.
Would you not like to have a pair of comfortable, fashionable, and durable leather boots? So go ahead and break them in.
Using water to break in your leather boots can help to stretch them out quicker than not doing anything at all. This is especially true if you use hot water, as the heat will help to loosen up the fibers in the leather. It’s a fairly low-risk method, as long as you’re careful not to soak your boots for too long.
That being said, there are also some drawbacks to breaking in your leather boots with water. For one thing, it’s important to be aware that this method can permanently damage your boots if not done correctly. And, even if done correctly, it can shorten the lifespan of your boots by causing the leather to dry out and crack over time.
Ultimately, whether or not breaking in your leather boots with water is a good idea comes down to personal preference. If you’re someone who likes to take care of their belongings and wants their boots to last for many years, it’s probably best to stick with traditional methods like wearing them around the house or using boot stretchers.
If you’re impatient and don’t mind taking a bit of a risk, then breaking in your leather boots with water might be worth a try.
No, you cannot break in boots without wearing them because the boots need to be shaped to your feet. Wearing the boots will help mold them to your feet better than any other method. Breaking in boots can be a painful process, but it is worth it in the end when you have a great-fitting pair of boots.
Sarah is the brains behind BootsNerd. Sarah Jaffe is a writer, editor, and boots lover based in Brooklyn, New York. She has done BA (Hons) in Footwear Design from De Montfort University, UK. She loves to write about boots and has a particular interest in vintage and sustainable fashion.