Everyone on a jobsite appears to swear by his/her own technique when it comes to breaking in new work boots. You will hear just about everything from wearing boots in the shower to baking them in the oven. Are all these techniques for breaking-in work boots crazy?
Simply put, yes.
Leather might be durable, but it definitely has its limits. Are you looking to have boots that fit snugly at work? Do you want to ensure that leather doesn’t warp before you lace up the boots? Check out the following dos and don’ts when it comes to breaking in new work boots.
Do: Fit Testing
Prior to breaking in a new pair of work boots, ensure that they really do fit. Avoid settling on a pair that does not fit snug in the first place. Always buy work boots that come with a reasonable warranty. Why risk it? Take a look at Reebok Work Shoes.
Don’t Ignore Hot Spots and Pinches
All boot models run differently in size, depending on the manufacturer and design. Pay close attention to hot spots, pinches, and other uncomfortable areas when you wear a new pair of boots.
It is very likely that the pains won’t necessarily disappear easily. When you break in leather work boots, you are essentially stretching the boot around the foot. A sharp pain, which is the result of the boot’s design won’t likely disappear, which is why it is always advisable to get a work boot whose warranty is great.
Do: Walk Around at Home
Are you looking to quickly break in work boots? It takes both patience and time to break in a new work boot. If you rush the process with DIY techniques that involve extreme heat and weather, you are risking damaging them permanently.
A better idea would be to lace up the work boots at home. Sit, walk, and do everything else that you might normally do at home while wearing the new work boots. Start with just 10 minutes a day and increase the amount of time spent wearing them gradually. Wearing a pair of work boots that haven’t been broken-in for an entire shift can be an incredibly uncomfortable experience. If you spend a bit of time breaking in your work boots, you won’t have regrets in the long run.
Don’t: Submerge Your Boots in Water
If you have ever sought advice about breaking in boots you have probably heard this tip or its variation. You will hear some say that the boot should be fully submerged in water. You will find others telling you to fill up the boot only to the eyelets. You will even hear others say that you need to saturate your new work boots with water before walking around in the soggy boots for an entire day.
Unimpressed by the sound of feet sloshing around in boots that are waterlogged? Neither do the boots. Leather is capable of only handling a certain amount of moisture. Once it reaches that breaking point, leather will warp thus losing its original shape. It will be a gamble at best. You might end up breaking in the work boots quickly or making them unwearable.
Do: Apply Conditioner
The best way to address dry, cracking skin is by applying moisture. Since leather is animal skin, the very same rule is applicable here. If you wish to quickly break in work boots, consider applying some leather conditioner. Conditioners come in liquids, oils, and creams and will hydrate the boots’ leather surfaces.
Moistened leather bends and moves more easily. That’s how the myth that you should “waterlog leather boots to quickly break them in” got started. A conditioner will moisten the leather gently rather than oversaturating it thus allowing it conform to the foot’s shape more easily.
Don’t: Apply Heat Directly to the Leather
Applying heat is another common myth. You will find some suggest that you bake new boots in the oven while others recommend blasting the leather using a hairdryer. No matter which approach you use, heat application to any leather surface isn’t a good idea.
Why? Heat dries out the skin. If you apply heat directly to leather, you are risking drying out the leather It is actually possible to crack the surface of the leather and run a new pair of boots completely.
Do: Take Your Boots to Work
After spending some time in your boots at home, you can now take them to work. Pay close attention to how they feel at this point. If they still don’t feel snug and secure after the initial break-in period at home, you should consider taking advantage of the warranty.
If you feel like the boots have started conforming to your feet, take them for a full work shift. The leather will through use continue molding to the feet and growing increasingly comfortable. Boots that have good, padded insoles will also improve the comfort factor.
Don’t Kick Off Your Leather Boots Once You Get Home
It can be tempting to kick off your work boots at the heel when you get home after a long day of work. However, this action may damage the heel if repeated every day.
Alternatively, you may opt for work boots with a kick-plate in the rear, which is just like an Achilles tendon composite toe cap.