How to Stretch Hiking Boots

How to Stretch Hiking BootsBreaking in or stretching a new pair of hiking boots is a slow process, if done correctly. Though there are quick fixes on the market, precautions need to be taken when using them. Though these may work quicker, the best way to break in hiking boots is the old-fashioned way of wearing the boots until they form to your feet. Don't purchase your hiking boots the day before you plan on using them. Your feet will hate you for it.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Tips on Stretching Hiking Boots

Things You’ll Need:
  • Proper-fitting hiking boots
  • Socks
  • Leather cream
  • Shoe-stretch spray
Step 1
Purchase a proper-fitting pair of hiking boots that don't hurt your feet the moment you try them on. Check for areas on your foot where they rub or you feel pressure. These areas are likely not to change no matter how broken in the boots are.
Step 2
Buy the hiking boots at least a month before you plan on using them on the trail. This will allow plenty of time to break them in to the point you will be able to hike comfortably in them.
Step 3
Wear a thick pair of socks and put your new hiking boots on. Lace them up as tight as you would if hiking and wear them around inside of your house so you don't damage them.
Step 4
Return them to the store immediately if after several hours of inside wearing you feel pressure points or they feel stiff and too uncomfortable. Trade them in for another pair of boots that fit better.
Step 5
Continue wearing your new hiking boots inside for several days or a week while doing your everyday chores. This will help to slowly break them in.
Step 6
Venture outdoors and experience different terrains around your neighborhood, once they feel comfortable enough indoors. This will help break the shoe in even more, especially if dealing with a leather shoe.
Step 7
Walk for longer distances to see how the boots feel and continue to break them in for your planned hike. The more you wear them, the quicker they will break in.
Step 8
Rub the shoe with leather cream to soften the material, if you are in need of a quicker fix. Wear the shoes immediately, put a wooden shoe stretcher inside of them or stuff them with newspaper, to help them stretch.
Step 9
Spray the hiking boot with a shoe-stretch spray designed specifically for the material your boot is made of. As soon as the areas of the boot that need stretching are fully sprayed, place the boot on your foot and wear it until the spray dries. The shoe should feel stretched and form to your foot.

Tips & Warnings

Soaking your boots in water and then wearing them to break them in, may result in blisters and sore feet.
Check the material your hiking boot is made out of before applying any chemical stretch treatment to them.

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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