How To Break In New Work Boots

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How to break in new work boots?

There are few things in this world that give us that little burst of joy quite like a new pair of shoes. The fit, the style, the comfort, it all makes us feel like we are literally walking on a cloud.

So why isn’t this the case when it comes to work boots? It seems no matter what make or style you choose, there is that initial period of discomfort when your new work boots and your feet get to know each other.

While there is no way to eliminate the breaking-in process, there are proven ways to speed it along considerably. The following are tips to help you break in your new pair of work boots in a way that will not damage them.


Make sure you have the right fit. Earlier this month, we posted a blog article outlining steps to find the right shoe size. Too often, we don’t take into account that our feet are constantly changing shape and size over the course of our lives. When buying new work boots, be sure to have your feet measured in the store. Also, wear the same thickness of sock you will be wearing at your work place. Be aware of any pinches or tight spots you feel as you walk around the store. These are most likely going to become pain points in the first few days of regular wear. 


Soften the material. This is especially important if you just purchased a pair of leather covered work boots. There are a variety of liquids, creams, and oils that can soften the material although the most popular is mink oil. You can apply mink oil to the entire surface of the boot or just the areas that are giving your problems. Apply the oil at night, leave it on the boot overnight, then wipe off with a damp cloth in the morning. If you repeat this process for 3-4 days, you will notice a huge difference in the fit and comfort of the work boot. The oil will moisturize the leather, which, in turn makes it softer and more pliable.


Gradually wear the boot before full use. The old adage “dig your well before you’re thirsty” is especially apt when it comes to replacing work boots. You should avoid buying them the day before you need them if at all possible. You want to allow yourself the time to not only soften the material but also to gradually wear them around the house. Just wearing them for two or three hours at a time will allow the boot to slowly conform to the contours of your foot. 


Avoid the “recommended” quick fixes. There is no shortage of myths on how to instantly break in a pair of new work boots. These may be successful in the short term but they run a high risk of damaging the material in the longer term. Among these quick fixes to avoid are: 

  • Soaking them in water

  • Applying direct heat

  • Filling them with water and freezing them has a tremendous selection of work boots that provide both great comfort and protection. By following these few easy steps, you can reduce the breaking-in period for your new pair of work boots from a month to less than a week.


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