Breaking in work boots could be a trying process, and it is very important to proceed with care and the proper methods, so that you can wear them comfortably and safely at your workplace, and avoid the horrible blistering and foot pain which can make your work day miserable.

Different kinds of work boots require different break in methods. Here are some tips for getting different types of work boots ready and set for wearing.

breaking in work boots

Ways to break in work boots

  • Leather boots (how to soften leather boots)

To get your new leather boots to fit your feet properly and feel comfortable, you need to follow several important steps. It is highly likely that at first, you will feel uncomfortable when you put them on. There are some tips to how to soften leather boots quickly and efficiently.

First of all, you must make sure that you have bought the correct size, and that the work boots actually fit you. Thankfully, some of the better brands offer a comfort guarantee period, which will allow you to return and replace them with the appropriate size or model, if they still don’t feel comfortable after the initial break in period.

The different models can run in different sizes, so make sure you take notice of any specific pinches and uncomfortable zones when you start wearing your new pair.

If you feel a sharp pain every time you wear them, you may most likely need to replace them with a more appropriate size or model.

When you make sure you have bought the correct size start the break in process by first wearing them at home. Don’t make the mistake and wear them to work on the first day after the purchase, because this could turn into a disastrous and miserable day for you.

It takes patience and time, so start off by wearing them at home for just 10-15 minutes a day. Gradually increase the time you spend in them every day.

Never ever make the mistake of wetting or let alone filling them up with water, as some people may recommend. The excessive moisture could permanently change the shape of your boots and they will actually become unwearable.

Instead of water, try softening the leather with leather conditioner. It will moisten the leather enough to make it more flexible and it will keep it from drying up and cracking. Thus, even after you break them in, it is a good idea to regularly treat them with conditioner, in order to prolong their life.

  • Steel toe boots

Another tough cookie which many of you have probably faced is properly breaking in steel toe safety work boots. The steel toe makes them quite difficult to break in, so it is a good idea to plan ahead and spend a couple of weeks breaking them in before actually wearing them to work. Wearing brand new steel toe boots to work can cause you more pain and foot damage than dropping a hammer on your toes during work.

Again, start by wearing them at home or for walking short distances for an hour a day. Do this for about 2-3 weeks. You will start noticing how the steel toe boots are beginning to fit your feet properly and they will become more comfortable in time. It is a good idea to break them in by wearing thick socks, which will help stretch the fibers of the uppers faster.

To help the break in process, try bending the steel toe boot back and forth a few times before putting them on. This should help improve the flexibility.

If you feel that your new work boots are not cushioned enough, you can put an insole for a more comfortable and soft fit.

To prevent painful blistering, you can buy some moleskin and tuck it in the areas of the foot where you feel some extra rubbing and chaffing. This will reduce the risk of hurting and chaffing your heels and toes when wearing them.

In a few weeks, if the size is right, the boots should start feeling comfortable enough to be worn at work. Unfortunately, if this seems too much time and you need to jump in your new footwear right away, it is a good idea to purchase high-quality comfortable work boots right away.


Do and Don’ts (other helpful tips)

There are some important do and don’ts when breaking in new work boots, which can save you money and avoid a lot of pain.

Don’t: Fill the leather boots with water, because this can cause permanent loss of the shape of the boot and irreparable damage to them.

Don’t: Apply direct heat to your leather boots. Heat can dry out the leather and cause it to crack. Once the leather is cracked, it is permanently ruined!

Don’t: Kick off your work boots, because this can cause damage to the heel and ruin them quickly.

Do’s: when buying new work boots always try them on with the type of socks you will presumably be wearing when working with them on.

Do’s: make sure you buy work boots which come with a comfort guarantee and a general warrantee just in case.

Do’s: take all the time to break them in without feeling tempted to take shortcuts and wet them, heat them or others.

Once again, this takes some time and patience. Choosing quality over price will get you a good start, so getting a pair of great boots such as these is a great start