Tips On How to Break in Leather Boots and Eliminate Discomfort

It’s easy to feel the frustration that comes with a new pair of leather boots that just don’t fit right. They’re too tight, they pinch here and there, and you can’t help but wonder how anyone ever had the patience to break them in.

The struggle is real as some pairs seem more difficult than others so we’ve come up with five ways to make breaking those new shoes in a bit easier on your feet!

When it comes to buying shoes for babies or children, parents are often overwhelmed by all the options available online or at local stores.

Whether you are looking for baby booties or toddler sneakers, this article will help guide you through the process of finding the best shoe option based on age.

Dampen the boots with a wet cloth and rub in a circular motion

To break in leather boots, take a damp cloth and rub it across the shoe’s surface. You can then use your fingers to gently work or “massage” the leather. Finally, take off the wet cloth and let everything dry for about an hour before putting them on.

This rubbing technique breaks up some of the stiffness of new leather products, but is not guaranteed to eliminate discomfort surrounding new shoes or boots- make sure you don’t already have foot problems like plantar fasciitis before embarking on this process!

When finishing up with these boot care tips, be sure that you allow your feet enough time to adjust before wearing them at intense physical activities!

To break in a new pair of leather boots you can dampen them with a wet cloth and rub them in a circular motion. This will soften the leather and provide for a more comfortable fit.

Put on the boots and walk around for 5-10 minutes

Familiarity is the key to breaking in leather boots. Luckily, it’s a process that can be done at home. Just wear the boots around for 5-10 minutes and your calfskin will form to your foot, eliminating any uncomfortable pressure!

The only thing you need to do to break in leather boots? Put them on and walk around inside or outside for 5-10 minutes. Take off the shoes afterwards and wait 2 hours before getting up so they can stretch out a little more completely.

You may need to repeat this process two or three times over time before having perfected what I like to call “the art of instant comfort.”

It might seem obvious, but the first step to breaking in leather boots is to put them on over your socks and walk around for 5-10 minutes. This will give you some time for them to stretch out before it’s time to wear them outside.

Remember, leather shoes are designed with different parts of the shoe intentionally overstretching over time – the top of the foot stretching downwards as you take a step up, for example.

The more these sections can stretch out initially, the better they will feel afterwards!
If your leather boots are really tight or causing pain on any part of your feet then you may want to talk about sizing up before breaking them in fully.

Apply leather conditioner to the inside of your shoes

Apply leather conditioner to the interior, or inside, of your shoes. This will soften it up and also take away the rough. If you want to be pro about it, use a water-based conditioner like Lexol for this first; wax-based polish should never be used on shoe linings.

If? You mean if?! Shoes make your feet look professional and like you know what you’re doing (for work) not like some homeless person who’s still kicking around years after that one really good Christmas morning when they scored three whole bicycle tires; got them all lined up by size with scraps of ribbon coming out from their red bow tied tight in bows at the top!

Condition the inside of your boots with a leather conditioner before you wear them in order to create soft, comfortable boots.

The soft applicator pads creates dark circles when pressed into the leather near seams and joints that will disappear when you wipe off any excess conditioner or polish. Apply conditioner to well-ventilated surfaces; avoid inhaling fumes if possible.

The best time to apply is between flexible areas like fingers where rubbing occurs most often. Allow shoes enough time to dry (10-12 hours usually) before wearing outside. Spread water evenly over surface using sponge, cloth or paper towels (don’t brush material).

Wear socks when wearing them for long periods of time, as they absorb moisture from your feet, which can cause discomfort

You should wear socks while wearing your boots. The tops of leather boots can rub and cause discomfort because the skin moves with the weight and motion of legs while walking.

Socks help to reduce irritation and sweating. Tightening laces after tying is also suggested because this will elongate the muscles in your feet, which lets them stretch out more easily when you step down on heel or toe, which reduces any discomfort from fatigue over an extended period of time.

The other thing to keep in mind is that you need to break leather shoes in before they become comfortable (for some people it takes months!). This means going for a long walk around town, running errands, just being on your feet throughout the day.

To break in leather boots, wear them with socks the first few times to help your feet “stretch” out the materials. That can make them more comfortable; but if they’re still uncomfortable, you should shop for another pair that will better match your foot shape and size.

It’s important that you wear socks when wearing leather boots for long periods of time so they don’t shrink too much when they get wet. And try to avoid high heels to limit strain on the boot shaft by distributing weight more evenly across both sides of it.

It’s also possible that your shoes need a little extra wiggling in time after each initial distance covered by taking walk breaks every 15 minutes or so to ease pressure points in succession.

Use shoe trees that are made out of real wood or cedar because it will help keep their shape after you take them off

Moisturize the leather before wearing it. You can use mink oil or saddle soap, but your best bet is to go with an all natural alternative like conditioner, olive oil, grated beeswax, or shoe polish for a better shine.

Conditioner works well because it will strip away oils from your skin that are bad for the leather’s bound “leather pores” instead of filling them up with more oils.

Beeswax has nourishing properties and can both repair old shoes and make new ones waterproof. It locks in moisture by displacing water molecules with hydrocarbons from wax without clogging “leather pores”, giving you a shiny protective coating that smells great too!

Tips On How to Break in Leather Boots and Eliminate Discomfort
Tips On How to Break in Leather Boots and Eliminate Discomfort

Apply mink oil to preserve the color and make them more supple

Nubuck and leather boots need little maintenance and do not usually require the application of a protectant. However, if your Nubuck/leather boots start to feel dry or brittle then it’s time to treat them with a moisturizer or protector that has been specifically designed for Nubuck/leather leathers such as Lexol Conditioner.
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Place the boots on a towel in front of an open furnace or radiator. Leave them overnight. The wetness will help break down the leather and make it easier to shape.

Afterwards, wipe the boots with neatsfoot oil (available at LTS Cookware) to protect against water and dirt, then apply mink oil (available at MakeupAddiction), which is weightless unlike traditional polishes that can clog pores in your skin if you use them too often.

Neatsfoot oil is made from 100% pure English sheepskin fat removed when finishing off an animal skin for purse or bag manufacture. Neatsfoot oil doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals like other types of polish; it only has natural antibacterial agents.

Use shoe trees when storing your shoes so they maintain their shape

Place your shoes on shoe trees while storing them to maintain their shape and size. When it’s time to wear the boots again, insert a few drops of water into the toe area or spray with dampening agent then lace up quickly using thin socks.

Walk around in the boots for ten minutes then remove them before they become fully dry. Allow leather to dry naturally by air-drying until next wear is required!

Shoe trees will also help soften most stiff leathers or slow down further drying processes during off times. Insert these even if you don’t intend to store your shoes over night so that they are at their maximum comfort when worn!

Keep them clean by brushing off dirt and wiping down with a damp cloth before wearing again

Keep them clean by brushing off dirt and wiping down with a damp cloth before wetting the area where it is rubbing

Casual Leather Boots are often made of calf-skin. Defects caused by scars or injuries to the hide during processing such as cuts, briskets (areas that were not correctly shaved), or burns can cause these raw areas to break into cracks that lead all the way through the leather.

Any time flesh comes in contact with water, it expands; this process takes up to an hour when wet. For two hours after applying water and soap and letting them dry once more people should avoid walking or sitting in excessive heat like they would on a hot summer day for example this will lead to warping.

Wear your new boots with thick wool socks to help stretch out the boot shaft

Do not wear the new boots outside for this step because it could be dangerous, and it will disturb the breaking-in process. You should also keep an eye out for chafing or any other uncomfortable spots–you should feel some stretchiness but still be comfortable at all points of contact with your foot.

Your feet relax over time so wear them every day to break them in, but don’t wear them longer than necessary or leave them on when you sleep — both can end up causing constrictions that make wearing new boots even more difficult!

Wear your new boots with thick wool socks to help stretch out the boot shaft, and wear thicker socks inside them for warmth. This will prevent you from feeling a tight or pinching sensation when wearing them throughout the day.


If you’ve ever had trouble breaking in new leather boots or shoes, this post is for you. We have compiled a list of tips to help make the process easier and eliminate discomfort so that your first few days wearing them are as comfortable as possible. Now go ahead and give those beautiful leather boots some love!


How do you break in uncomfortable boots?

To break in a new pair of boots, try semi-wet sponges and putting the boots on with a loose shoelace. It can also help to use a moisturizer, such as Vaseline or foot cream, around the inner sole of the boot. Break them in gradually over time for best results.

If you want advice about how to break old pairs of boots in, let us know and we’ll be happy to help. We’re getting lots of users asking similar questions like “I have these really great pair of shoes but they are very narrow and I don’t want them to rip at the side what should I do?” Outside opinion is always valuable!

How do you break in leather boots quickly?

  1. Throw your boots in the freezer overnight
  2. Depending on how much time you have, use a hair dryer to heat them up and stretch them out
  3. Put baby powder or cornstarch (or both) inside the boot and wear it around for an hour or so
  4. Wear socks with your boots to create a snug fit that will help break in the leather faster
  5. If you can’t break in your boots this way, try wearing them as often as possible until they soften up
  6. Use a shoe stretcher if none of these methods work – but be careful not to overdo it!

How do you soften and break in leather boots?

  1. Clean the boots thoroughly with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris
  2. Apply leather conditioner using a sponge or soft cloth
  3. Allow the conditioner to soak into the boot for at least 15 minutes
  4. Using an old towel, buff off excess conditioner and allow it to dry overnight before wearing them outside in wet conditions
  5. Use shoe trees when not wearing your boots so they retain their shape and don’t flatten out over time

How do you make leather shoes less painful?

  1. Wear shoes that are the right size for your feet
  2. Use shoe inserts to keep your feet from sliding around in the shoe
  3. Invest in a good pair of leather conditioner, like Leather Honey, and use it regularly
  4. Take care of them – don’t wear them when they’re wet or dirty
  5. Try to avoid wearing new shoes on hot days because this will make your feet sweat more than normal
  6. Buy shoes that have plenty of room at the front so you can wiggle toes without feeling constricted

How do you break in leather boots without wearing them?

  1. Soak them in a bucket of water, and then scrub the inside with soap
  2. Put on some socks over your boots to break in the leather from the inside
  3. Let them air dry for a few hours before wearing
  4. Use a blow dryer at low heat to soften up the leather
  5. Apply mink oil or conditioner to keep them soft and maintain their color
  6. Wear socks when you wear your boots until they’re broken in – this will prevent blisters and rubbing against your feet

How can I make my boots more comfortable?

  1. Add a cushion to the boot’s insole
  2. Wear thicker socks with your boots
  3. Put some kind of gel or padding on the top of your foot where it meets the tongue of the boot
  4. Break in your boots gradually, by wearing them for just an hour at first and then increasing that time over time until you’re wearing them all day long
  5. If you have wide feet, try getting a pair that are wider than usual – they’ll be more comfortable because there will be less pressure on your toes
  6. Try using insoles made specifically for high arches to help relieve pain caused by tight footwear

How do you break in boots overnight?

First things first—do not wear the boots! You want your feet to become as wet as possible, so you will need to soak them in a basin or bucket. In this case, you’ll have to do it manually by placing your feet in cold water.

In order for the process to be complete, let your wet and soapy feet sit for at least 10 minutes before taking them out of the bath and drying thoroughly.

It’s also recommended that if you’re wearing a bandage or sock on any parts of foot with peeling skin (or sticking plasters), remove these first because they can prevent moisture from reaching all areas equally.

How do you break in leather boots with water?

  • Make sure you have leather boots that are only leather on the outside. The inside must be made of cloth or something else if you want them to last.
  • Put them in the dryer for 30 minutes with a damp towel
  • Then put some dish soap on the boots, rub it in, and wash off all the soap with water
  • Next fill up a sink or bucket with cold water and soak your shoes for 2 full hours
    The results are usually very good given these steps, but be careful because they might require more break in after this process. Good amounts of patience will go into breaking them in anyways since these are typically one of those types of boots that can take weeks to break

Should new leather boots feel tight?

New leather boots should feel snug and comfortable, but not tight. They need to be on the shoe-store shelf for some time to loosen up and fit more comfortably on your foot.
If they feel too tight at first, size them down! It’s much better to spend some time breaking in a pair of new shoes than it is to buy a larger (and typically more expensive) size that you ultimately won’t wear or keep wearing because they’re uncomfortable.

It might take as long as 2 weeks before new leather boots will stop feeling too tight around the whole circumference of your boot top-to-bottom and both sides of your calf equally– consider this an incentive for you not only to wear them more often but also stretch.

How do you soften leather quickly?

  1. Add a cushion to the boot’s insole
  2. Wear thicker socks with your boots
  3. Put some kind of gel or padding on the top of your foot where it meets the tongue of the boot
  4. Break in your boots gradually, by wearing them for just an hour at first and then increasing that time over time until you’re wearing them all day long
  5. If you have wide feet, try getting a pair that are wider than usual – they’ll be more comfortable because there will be less pressure on your toes
  6. Try using insoles made specifically for high arches to help relieve pain caused by tight footwear

Does Vaseline soften leather?

Yes, in general Vaseline will soften up leather. It is important to put in on in multiple coats because the solvent breaks down the fabric and it needs time to rebuild itself.

Vaseline or other petroleum-based creams (carrier oils), when used with acrylics, allow for workable paint that can be smoothed out with a dry paintbrush! Acrylic paints are not only more predictable than oil paints, they also don’t require solvents like turpentine or mineral spirits. So if you’re looking to invest less time at your painting station than our pro tip would be key – especially for hot days when non-acetone nail polish remover could potentially dissolve your canvas or paper art surface!

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