Breaking in Your Shoe

When trying on brand new shoes straight out of the box, certain styles should fit straight away, while others need a break-in period. Certain shoe styles and materials do not stretch with wear and tear, while others loosen up and need time and wear to feel comfortable.

The following types of shoes should fit immediately out of the box: clogs, sandals, running shoes, and walking shoes (link to best-fit walking shoes). These shoes are made out of mesh, canvas, and synthetic uppers and do not stretch with wear.

Types of shoes that will stretch or become roomier with wear include work boots, hiking boots, dress shoes, basketball shoes, and cleated shoes. These shoes, made of leather or knit uppers, will stretch with use and form to your natural foot shape.

There are three methods of break-in that allow shoes to become roomier and more comfortable:

Option 1

Wear new shoes around the house for a few hours in the evenings or over the weekend. Continue wearing for two weeks before beginning activity in shoes.

Option 2

Wear new shoes 25% of the time you'd typically wear that shoe. Each week increase the amount of time wearing the shoe until you have transitioned to 100% of the time.

Option 3

Buy a shoe tree/stretcher that will increase tension inside of your shoe, allowing it to become roomier without needing to wear the shoe.