What to Know About Breaking in Your New Kicks

By  //  March 3, 2022

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Breaking in shoes has a troublesome air about it. Not only does this slightly painful process take time, but it is shrouded in mystery and dark superstition. Indeed, there are those hocus-pocus types that will chuck their latest acquisition into washing machines and microwaves to facilitate the break-in process — but this is not always recommended.  

Instead, there are some ways that your Air Jordan 1s can be broken in simply, safely, and in record time. Following are some pointers on how you can preserve your shoes and your feet after purchasing a new pair of shoes.  

1. Protect The Hot Spots. 

The first thing to do will be to consider your feet. Many of the discomforts and blisters associated with breaking shoes in can be prevented with a little care and planning. The heel of the foot is the most important contact point, so we can be sure that this area needs protection.

Depending on the fit, the sides of the feet and the tops of the toes can also need some protection and care. If you are not sure where you will need protection, wear your shoes around the house for a couple of hours. You’ll figure it out pretty fast.  

Blisters are formed when there is friction between your shoe and your foot. This friction can be reduced with a small application of lotion or petroleum jelly to the hot spots of your feet and toes.  

But there are some unconventional ways that friction can be reduced and blisters prevented. Antiperspirant is one option that is often used in the hot summer months. Unlike regular deodorant, antiperspirants interfere with the sweating process in the area where it is applied. This can actually make your blister condition worse by increasing friction in the foot and shoe.  

Another common tactic for preventing blisters is using paper surgical tape. This tape is designed to be applied and removed to wounded flesh easily so it can be applied to the foot to protect the skin from blistering. Runners will use this technique to protect their feet: if blisters do form while running many miles, the tape can be removed easily and gently. The best part about this effective form of protection is that it can be found at your local drug store for about 69 cents.  

2. Chunky Socks 

Now we can begin applying methods of shaping your shoes as quickly and painlessly as possible. Chunky socks can be used with a shoe shaper — or even a good-sized potato— to begin working the materials of your shoe into shape. If you have a job that allows you to sit at your desk for hours on end, use this time to wear your shoes, with those chunky socks. You will be breaking in your shoes gradually, without all the walking action that can cause blisters and friction.  

3. Blow Dry

There are other ways to begin manipulating the materials of your shoes to facilitate the break-in process, like heat. This is an especially effective trick to use with leather shoes that react wonderfully to heat and cold. If you feel that the toe or the heel of your shoe is too tight, break out the blow dryer.  

While wearing your shoes —and those chunk socks— we will use the heat of the blow dryer to warm the leather fabrics of the shoe. Keep the blow dryer a good distance from your shoe so you do not over heat the leather and burn your foot and check the surface of the boot every so often to ensure it is not getting uncomfortably hot. It only needs to be warmed.   

After the shoes have been warmed, it’s time to cut the rug. Put on “Get Down to Night” by K.C. and the Sunshine Band and let the rhythm do the rest. When the song is over, remove your chunky socks and see how your shoes feel, there should be a marked difference. 

4. The Bean Bag 

After you have finished the heat method, you can try the Bean Bag method. Beans like black beans, pinto beans, and even lentils and garbanzo beans, expand considerably when they are moistened. Fill a waterproof bag with one of these legumes from your pantry and fill the bag halfway with water as well. Stuff this bag deep into your shoe. If your shoe is not filled, add another bag — make doubly sure there are no leaks and no potential for leaking.  

Strap your shoes snuggly around the bean bags and leave your shoes overnight somewhere they will not be disturbed, the warmer the better. As the beans expand, they will stretch the materials of your shoe. This is a very powerful way to stretch your shoes, so use caution and do not stuff your shoe too much. By morning your shoe should be in proper size.  

5. The Water Bucket 

Another trick that can work especially well for those strappy leather sandals with a more delicate design, is the water bucket method. Grab a towel and fill a bucket of water. With your sandals, moccasins, or huaraches snuggly on your feet, dip your feet, shoes, and all, into the bucket of water.

After the materials have been well-saturated, remove your foot and towel dry. Now walk around in the warm sun on clean pavement for as long as you can, ideally until the sandals have dried.   

Note: make sure that dunking your shoes into a bucket of water will not permanently damage their looks or color. 

Now you know what you can do to effectively break in your new shoes as quickly and painlessly as possible. Through a combination of techniques seen here, your shoes could be completely broken in within a couple of days and your feet preserved from unnecessary discomforts.