How to Break In New Boots

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Compeed Hero

Fall is here and that means boot weather! I love tall boots, and have a few pairs. The one thing missing from my boot collection, however, was a pair of cowboy boots.

I used to have two pairs of insanely gorgeous and incredibly comfortable cowboy boots. Unfortunately, combining the inability to see your feet during your first pregnancy with a laundry basket left where you can trip will likely result in a broken pinkie toe. (Just what you want when your feet are already swollen at 28 weeks.)  That broken right pinkie toe left my right boots uncomfortable to wear.

With the arrival of baby #2 so was the discovery that my feet were just a wee bit larger! I soon discovered both feet were getting uncomfortable in my trusty 10-year-old boots.

Fast forward a few years, and you might find yourself kneeling on the floor folding laundry. You might get up to discover that one of your feet had fallen asleep. You might also discover (too late) that it is a really bad idea to walk on a foot that is completely asleep, because when it catches on the rug and your foot folds over…yup. I broke a bone in my left foot.

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Needless to say, when my foot finally healed, it was clear that my poor tootsies were NOT getting in those boots (or most of my narrow high heels, either).

My recent move to Texas and finding a western store just a few miles from my house strengthened my resolve to finally get new boots.   Only these boots turned out to be tougher to break in than I expected, and I gave myself blisters.

Ouch.

Thankfully, when I headed to Walgreens to look for bigger bandages to cover the blister, I saw Compeed® Blister Medium Cushions hanging on the wall with the other foot care products. (As it turns out, these are only available at Walgreens! What luck I found them!)

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I first encountered Compeed® Blister Medium Cushions when we lived in Wales and I had bought my first proper pair of wellies to go walking in – and gave myself horrendous blisters while out walking our new pup through the fields. They soon became a staple in my medicine cabinet and in my travel bag.

Compeed Blister Cushion

See, these aren’t your typical adhesive bandages – they will cover your blister completely and basically act as a second skin. They help protect your blister from water, dirt and bacteria so they can heal faster, thanks to their hydrocolloid technology. The best part is how well they stay on – regular adhesive bandages might roll off but these guys really stay in place. They’ve been around for over 30 years in Europe and have finally made their way to the US – which is perfect timing, because I used the one I’d brought home with me earlier this year. I was really happy to see that they have them in all the sizes I’m used to so I can get relief when new shoes or boots really start rubbing, from heel to toe!

Of course, while keeping a variety of sizes of Compeed® Blister Medium Cushions on hand is a smart idea if you’re like me and too impatient (or disorganized) to give yourself enough time to break in a pair of boots before you need to wear them – you really should break in boots properly.

Here are a few tips for breaking in a new pair of boots:

 

Buy the right size shoe to begin with.

This may sound obvious, but there’s more to it than you think. Did you know your feet swell throughout the day? They do! This means that shoe shopping first thing in the morning will likely mean snug shoes by the end of the day. I’ve been advised that the best time to buy shoes was mid-day to early afternoon – your feet are not too big, not too small.

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Start slow.

As tempting as it is to put on a new pair of boots and get busy, the best thing to do is to wear them around the house with thick socks to give them a gentle stretch. Remember that bit about your feet swelling? Wearing those boots with thick socks in the late afternoon/evening is a great idea. The first time you wear them out – keep it to a half day. Give your feet a day to recover before wearing again if the boots are still rubbing after all that wearing around the house.

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Apply a boot stretch spray or leather conditioner.

If you have boots that are rubbing in just a few places, spraying them with a boot stretch spray (on the inside) or rubbing leather conditioner (again, on the inside), right at the snug points, then wearing them with thick socks might be what you need to do.  You might have read about putting on those boots and dunking them in a tub of water until they are soaked, and then wearing them until they dry? Well, that might work with a sturdy pair of western work boots, but do you really want to try that with a specialty leather or simply expensive boots? (Not me.)

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Take them to a professional.

If you are really impatient, another option is to take them to a shoe repair shop and let the professional – the cobbler – stretch them for you.

Soon enough you’ll have those boots broken in and they’ll give you no trouble at all!

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But until then – you might want to keep a package of Compeed@ Blister Medium Cushions close at hand.  Do you have a great tip for breaking in a new pair of boots or shoes? I’d love to hear your ideas!

Comments

  1. These boots are so stylish, Jenn! Now that you live in Texas, you must add to your designer boot supply. Don’t tell you know who that I said that.

  2. Great tips! I never knew there were better times of the day to try on shoes. And thick socks to help break them in slowly!

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