How to Break In Work Boots: Tips for the Comfiest Fit

Work boots should provide both safety and comfort. Read our tips on how to break in work boots so you don’t have to compromise neither one.

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In order to be as productive as possible at the workplace, to feel comfortable, and less stressed, you need to have the right shoes and you’ll be able to rule the world. It is of paramount importance to have comfy shoes with a perfect fit in order to remain focused at work. Especially when you work in environments with hazardous conditions, pay close attention to the choice of work boots and how they fit.

How Should Work Boots Fit?

When buying safety footwear, you need to check how they fit. Be it steel toe boots or composite toe shoes, they need to be a great fit for you. While work boots are often not associated with comfort, you should definitely not compromise this component. 

Your work boots should feel comfortable and allow you to move your toes freely from within. Your toes shouldn’t feel pressed or squeezed. If your toes feel tight in your shoes, go for a bigger size instead of going for wider ones. Also, when the work boots feel too tight, stop wearing them right away. This is because they can cause blisters, ingrown toenails, and other discomfort signs. 

Signs of Uncomfortable Work Boots

Some of the signs of wearing uncomfortable work boots are the pain they cause in your toes, feet, knees, or whole legs. That’s when you need to reconsider changing the work boots as in this case they could be too tight, too wide, or too small. 

You can also experience episodic pain; the pain hits in the next day after you’ve enjoyed your relaxing day off at home or had an inactive day. Another sign of uncomfortable work boots is when your skin has irritations or rashes. If you choose to still hang on to the same work boots they are going to form blisters and breakouts which will lead to stinging feelings and unbearable pain. After that, the only thing you will want to do is walk barefoot. 

How to Break in Work Boots

There are quite a few alternatives to breaking in new or already worn tight-fitting work boots. Here are some of the most effective tips:

Wear them at home and walk around

One of the best methods to break in work boots is to wear them at home and walk around in them. You need to try this at home for some days in a row up to 15 minutes before you wear them for a full shift at work. 

When you practice this, make sure you wear the same socks you wear at work. By doing so, you will stretch the material be that leather or fabric, which will help you with the fit without causing any damage to the boots. After following these instructions, when you get to wear your working boots at work on the first day, you won’t have any discomfort.

Use a boot stretcher 

Another way to consider breaking in work boots is to use a boot stretcher. A boot stretcher is a mechanical tool utilized to put your shoes in the size and shape you want. To do so, you need to use force to put the tool inside your boot and pull the stick. This is a quick and easy way to bring your work boots to the size you want by stretching them.

Put the shoes in the fridge 

Albeit many of us might think of this technique only as an old myth, but putting your shoes in the fridge will truly help with stretching. To do this in the right way, you can get ziplock bags filled with water, put them inside the boots, and then put them in the fridge. Once the water inside the ice bags freezes, the boots will start to stretch. Don’t forget to thaw them before you wear them at work, so your boots will fit you perfectly.

Apply leather conditioner

Another way to break in work boots is by applying leather conditioner. The leather conditioner is used to soften the leather fibers which will help with the comfort of your feet. When the fibers get soft, you can adjust your boots as you like. The leather conditioner also helps with the durability of your boots. So go ahead and try it if your feet don’t feel comfortable in your new work boots just yet. 

Stuff them with sock balls

To avoid blisters or foot pain, don’t wear your new work boots for extended periods of time before trying to stretch them. You can stuff them with sock balls before you wear them for a full day at work. You can insert them inside the boot by pushing as much as you can to make more room in the boot bulge. By doing this, the sock balls will extend the material fibers and the boots will loosen up.

Wear multiple socks

Not only will you stretch the inside fabric of the boots by wearing thick and multiple socks, but they will also help you avoid any pain the boots can cause. The multiple layers help you loosen the boots by walking around while protecting your skin from getting any blisters. 

Wear the boots to work 

When it comes to boots, nothing says wear and tear more than actually wearing them to work, and in this case, tearing implies breaking them in. However, only do this if you are sure that the boots won’t need a lot of breaking in and if you won’t be working longer hours. Wearing brand new shoes immediately without breaking them in can cause discomfort, but if they feel like they only need a little adjustment, you can do that by wearing them in your workplace.

Things to Avoid

There are some steps you need to steer clear of when trying to break in work boots, as they can either damage the shoes or they can cause you to feel even more discomfort when you wear them.

Don’t use direct heat 

If you don’t want to ruin the new pair of work boots, don’t use direct heat. Save some money and avoid this step. You won’t get your boots to loosen by doing so, you will only dry the leather out and damage the material. Applying direct heat to the boots will also cause the material to crack or it will form scratch lines.

Don’t soak them in water

You may have come across tips that advise you to soak your boots in water in order to stretch them. However, when it comes to leather material, soaking the shoes may damage them since they can only withstand a certain amount of moisture at a time to change in size. Once you soak them wet you risk ruining your brand new boots, so we do not advise doing this as there are plenty of other alternatives.

Don’t try all the steps at once

If you’ve tried a step and it didn’t work right away, give it some more time and do not mix all the techniques at once. If you stuff them with wet sock balls, put them in the freezer, or use a boot stretcher altogether, you’re far away from breaking in your work boots. You’re surely ruining them. So, it is better to read the instructions for each step carefully and see what works best for you. 

Comfortable and nicely fitting work boots can make all the difference when it comes to ensuring pleasant working conditions. Regardless of whether you’re breaking in a new pair of boots or an already worn pair that still feels tight, these tips will surely help you to adjust their fit according to your needs.


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