How to Break in Hiking Boots

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Are you getting ready for your hiking trip but feeling like your new boots are going to give you blisters? Never fear! We’re here to help with a few tips on how to break in hiking boots the right way. Follow these simple instructions and you’ll be good to go on your next outdoor adventure!

How Long Does It Take to Break in Hiking Boots? 

Breaking in your boots is an essential part of owning them. If you are going on any type of extended hike, it’s best to wear them once they’ve been broken in so that your feet will be happy with how sturdy the shoes feel and not get sore from having too much space inside their confines all day long!

But how long does it take?

Well, it depends. Some boots might take as little as a few days, while others could take weeks. It really depends on the material and construction of your new hiking boots. However, it takes around one to four weeks to truly break in a pair of quality hiking boots.

Finding the Right Hiking Boots or Shoes  

Hiking boots are an important part of any outdoor adventure. They provide extra support for your ankles, a cushion for your feet, and protection from the elements. Having a good pair of well-fitted hiking boots is essential for staying comfortable on the trail.

The fit, style, material, and lace configuration of a hiking boot all contribute to the way it molds to your foot. You’ll want to look for shoes depending on what kind of activity you’re engaging in, whether it’s light hikes or intense backpacking trips.

With all of this in mind, focus on what you need from your hiking boots. Synthetic materials are easier to break into at first, but they will never fit your foot perfectly the way leather might.

If you only need your boots for easy, short walks, go for a synthetic boot that’s comfortable from the get-go. If you want to go on long backpacking adventures, however, choose a tough leather pair even though it’ll take longer to break them in.

When shopping for hiking boots, it’s important to try them on and get the right fit. Get a pair that is comfortable, supportive, and has a good grip. Don’t be afraid to walk around in them briefly in the store as this will help you find out if they’re the right size or not. You can also always ask for professional advice from the staff.

Leather boots take more time to break in

What if You Don’t Break in Hiking Boots? 

There’s no rule that says you have to break in hiking boots. However, if you don’t take the time to do so, then you may experience blisters and other problems down the line. The problem can be inconsequential or severe, depending on the type of terrain and how long you plan to be out in the wilderness.

All in all, it depends on what kind of hiking you do. If you’re taking short, casual walks or hikes in areas with flat terrain and no major obstacles, not breaking in your boots won’t cause too much of an issue. But if you’re venturing through rough terrain and climbing up steep hills, not having broken-in hiking boots can cause a variety of problems.

If you don’t break in your boots, then they will not be comfortable on long hikes. This can lead to blisters and other foot issues like joint pain or fatigue. Your feet will swell during a long day of hiking so if you don’t break in your boots, they could become too tight. This could put undue pressure on certain areas of your feet and cause blisters or other injuries. 

Ultimately, breaking in your hiking boots is essential for having a pleasant and enjoyable hiking experience, whether you’re doing it for leisure or intense hiking trips.

How to Break in Hiking Boots 

Once you have your perfect pair of hiking boots, it’s time to start breaking them in! Here are a few tips on how to break in hiking boots correctly: 

Get the right fit

As previously mentioned, it’s important to ensure you get the correct fit. The boots should be snug, but not too tight. You should be able to wiggle your toes, but the rest of your foot shouldn’t move too much.

Start slow

Start by wearing your new boots around the house and while running errands. This will help soften the material and mold it to your feet faster. 

By wearing your boots around the house, you can avoid situations where your feet are throbbing and in pain. You can wear them for as long as is comfortable and take them off when they start to hurt. Instead of just sitting around in them, try walking or climbing stairs to speed up the process.

Walk on different terrain

Walk on different terrains, such as pavement, grass, dirt, and rocks to help break in the boots. These short “hikes” will help you get used to how the boots feel and will help them form to your feet. Encountering friction that resembles a typical hike will allow your feet to get used to the movement and make them more comfortable on longer trips.

Over time, you should increase the distance of your walks. In the beginning, go around the block. The next day, try two or three blocks. Eventually, you can try longer hikes.

Put on the backpack

To stretch your boots, apply pressure and weight. Your feet need to sink in so they press against the lining if you want a comfortable fit. Adding weight will help break them in faster.

Wear two pairs of socks

 Try wearing two pairs of socks, or extremely thick socks, to help create extra padding around your feet. This will reduce potential blisters and keep your feet comfortable as you continue trying to break in your boots.

More synthetic type boots take less time to break in

How to Break in Hiking Boots Quickly

If you’re in a rush to break in your hiking boots, there are a few steps you can take to speed up the process.

  • Add an insert or cushioning pad between the sole and upper of your boot. This will help fill any gaps and make them more comfortable on longer hikes.
  • Put them into warm water for five minutes. This will soften the material so it can be molded to your feet faster.
  • Heat up the boots with a hair dryer. Heat helps make the boots more pliable and easier to break in. However, don’t keep them too close to the heat source or you could damage them. 
  • Wear thick hiking socks and use petroleum jelly to help reduce friction. The jelly will help form a barrier between your foot and the boot, thus reducing the chance of developing blisters.

Many of these options may seem extreme, and it’s because they are. Breaking in hiking boots takes time and patience to do properly. The best thing you can do is to start wearing them around the house and gradually increase the distance you are walking. If you’re in a hurry, increase the time you wear them. 

If you have no time to break in new hiking boots, go ahead and hike without breaking them in. Many long-distance hikers do this because they need to switch shoes after continued use making the old ones too worn down. Just keep in mind that this will most likely give you blisters. 

Keep These Things in Mind

While a shortcut is very desirable, taking the time to break in your hiking boots properly will give you a more comfortable and enjoyable experience. It’s important to remember that no two feet are the same and that it will take some trial and error to find what works best for you. Also, depending on the material of your boots, breaking them in can be a bit more difficult. 

Remember to listen to your feet if you’re feeling any pain. If you start to feel uncomfortable, take a break and give your feet a rest. Breaking in your hiking boots doesn’t have to be a painful process. With a bit of time and patience, you’ll be able to have comfortable boots that are ready for your next adventure. 

Additionally, it is highly recommended that you avoid some of the extreme shortcuts to break in your hiking boots quickly. While these may seem attractive, they can cause permanent damage and make your boots less comfortable to wear. 

Lastly, keep in mind that the more you wear your hiking boots, the sooner they will break in. With continuous use, they’re bound to fit better over time. 

Final Thoughts 

If you follow these steps, you’ll be well on your way to breaking in your hiking boots and having the best outdoor experience. Eventually, your boots will start to feel like a second skin, and you’ll be ready for whatever outdoor adventure awaits you! 

Don’t forget to enjoy the process and make sure you’re taking it slow, because that’s the best way to ensure your boots are broken in properly. So put on your boots, grab your backpack, and get ready to explore! Now go take a hike!

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