Do’s and Don’ts of Breaking in Boots

Do’s and Don’ts of Breaking in Boots

Is it really necessary to break in new work boots? The answer to that question is very simple; if you care about comfort, yes. When you break in a new pair of boots, the boots gradually conform to the shape of your feet. Most work boots will not fit your feet perfectly right out of the box. In this article, we will cover the Do’s and Don’ts of breaking in new work boots so that you can have the most comfortable boots possible.

Do – Make Sure the Boots Really Fit

Before you even begin breaking your new work boots in, make sure that the boots fit well. Don’t settle for a pair of work boots that didn’t fit right when you first tried them on. The boots should fit snug, but not too tight. If the boots are slipping off as you walk, the boots are too big.

Don’t – Overlook Pinches, Hot Spots, or Uncomfortable Areas

Work boots often run in different sizes depending on who designed them and what company manufactured it. Pay close attention to pinches, hot spots, and other uncomfortable areas when trying on your new work boots. If the issue is caused by the boot’s design, it will not fit any better once it’s broken in. If you’ve purchased your work boots from you can easily send us an email at or call us at (800) 972-7627 and request an RMA number. Once we receive your returned boots we can ship you the correct sized pair.

Do – Walk Around in Your Home

Breaking in new work boots takes time and patience. Some individuals think that rushing the process by involving heat or water, but that will actually damage your boots. You can, however, speed the break-in process along by wearing your boots and walking around your home. You can start by wearing your work boots only 10 minutes a day, gradually increasing the time you spend wearing them. Going through a full work day wearing non-broken-in work boots can be uncomfortable and sometimes even painful.

Don’t – Use Water to Break In Boots

There’s a crazy rumor going around that submerging your work boots in water or filling the boots up with water will help you break them in. Leather can only handle a limited amount of moisture before it warps and changes shape. You could cause some serious damage to your brand new work boots if you try to use water to break them in.

Do – Apply Leather Conditioner

Leather conditioner can keep your boots looking great for longer. It can help you prevent over-drying and cracking, which would otherwise destroy the work boots. Not all boot material need leather conditioner. Check your boot’s care instructions before applying any products to your boots. When leather is conditioned it bends and moves easier. This will help the boot conform to the shape of your feet faster. Do not oversaturate the boots with conditioner.

Don’t – Apply Direct Heat to Break In Boots

There’s yet another rumor going around that baking boots or heating them up with a hairdryer speeds up the break-in process. Applying direct heat to leather will dry it out, cause it to crack, and will ruin your brand new pair of boots.

Do – Take Your Boots to Work

Once you’ve broken in your boots a bit, it’s time to wear them to work. Be sure to pay close attention to how comfortable (or uncomfortable) you are at this point. If your boots still don’t feel right you may want to continue breaking them in at home for a few more days. The more you wear your boots the more they will mold to your feet.

Don’t – Kick Off Your Boots

After a long day of work you may want to get home and kick off your work boots at the heel. Unfortunately, doing this every day can cause permanent damage to your boots. You’re better off taking your boots off by hand, which is easily done by loosening the laces.

Overall, purchase a comfortable pair of boots that give you the level of protection you need for your work environment. Be sure to break your boots in before wearing them for a full work-day. Always remember that the aforementioned “methods” of speeding up the break-in process will actually damage the boots, so you’re better off being patient and breaking them in the right way.


We at Coastal Boot understand how important safety is, which is why we offer a wide selection of work boots (including safety toe boots) that are both stylish and comfortable. We have brands such as Georgia Boot, Timberland, Caterpillar, Chippewa Boots, Dan Post Boots, Danner, Dr. Martens, Harley-Davidson, Iron Age, Keen, Thorogood, and many more. Give us a call today at 1 (800) 972-7627 to place an order over the phone or go to our website, and place your order online.  

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