How to Break in Hiking Boots

How to Break in Hiking Boots
Whether you're taking a short day hike or will be backpacking for several days, your hiking boots are one of your major gear items. Nothing is worse than having to walk for miles in a pair of ill-fitting shoes. Before you take one step on your hiking journey, it's imperative to break in your hiking boots. This will cut down on blisters and other painful injuries that can turn your hike into a nightmare. Your feet will thank you in the long run, and your journey will be much more enjoyable.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Properly fitted boots Shoe conditioner Shoe stretch spray
  • Properly fitted boots
  • Shoe conditioner
  • Shoe stretch spray
Step 1
Purchase a pair of hiking boots that fit you correctly. Take into account that you will more than likely be wearing a pair of socks while you have the boots on. It's best to try on the boots with socks on so you'll get the fit you're looking for. Otherwise, the boots may be too snug once you put socks on your feet, making the boots uncomfortable.
Step 2
Consider the type of material the boots are made out of and where the seams are located in the boots. Sometimes man-made materials are harder to break in and soften up than natural materials such as leather. If the seams hit your feet in the wrong place and you can feel pressure while trying on the boots, they probably aren't the right boots for your feet and will take longer to break in.
Step 3
Wear your boots around the house to do your everyday work in. This will help them conform to your feet. You'll also be able to tell of any problem areas that might arise in the boots, and you'll be better prepared to protect your feet with bandages or socks when you do wear them for the hike.
Step 4
Wear your hiking boots to do work or activities outside before the hike. This will allow your boots to come in contact with all the substances, like dirt and water, that they will encounter on the hike. This will help in softening up the outside material and quicken the process of breaking your hiking boots in.
Step 5
Purchase a conditioner or shoe stretch spray that is designed specifically for the material your hiking boots are made out of. Spray your shoes with the conditioner/stretching spray and put them on your feet. As your shoes dry, the material will soften up and make them more comfortable to wear. You should be able to find shoe stretch spray or conditioner at your local department store that sells shoes or at a shoe store.

Article Written By Joyce Starr

Joyce Starr is a professional writer from Florida and owns a landscaping company and garden center. She has published articles about camping in Florida, lawn care and gardening and writes for a local gardening newsletter. She shares her love and knowledge of the outdoors and nature through her writing.

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