How to Break in Work Boots

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  • By Ariat Life
How to Break in Work Boots

Breaking in work boots shouldn’t be painful. Find out how to break in work boots correctly to keep your feet comfortable at work in a new pair.



A brand-new pair of work boots should feel good, but don’t immediately wear them all day on the job. Before fully enjoying your new boots, you’ll need to break them in.


Breaking in work boots is a normal part of the wear cycle. Leather work boots are built tough. They’re constructed with stiff, durable materials that require several days of wear to settle into a comfortable shape and fit. If you jump right into long days in your new boots, your feet may suffer from blisters, rubs or pinching. To avoid that, here are our most efficient tips and general advice for how to break in work boots fast so you can feel good in your new boots asap.



Choosing New Work Boots


Breaking in work boots starts with choosing boots that fit. Whether upgrading your work boots or replacing a trusty boot with something new, it takes time to adjust to how new boots feel. Choosing a quality pair that fits properly will give you increased comfort and longevity.


The most comfortable work boots should fit your needs and your feet. For most work boots, your foot should feel snug through the width, but not tight or cramped in the toe box. Work boots like Ariat’s men's Turbo Waterproof Work Boot or women's Macey Work Boot feature enhancements like a padded collar around the ankle that can improve fit while minimizing friction.




Top Tips for Breaking in Work Boots



1. Wear in Short Stints


Doing household chores that require bending and kneeling are a great way to flex and break in the sole of your new work boots. Patience is key: You will regret it if you try to skip breaking them in and immediately wear them to work. If you stretch the process over a few days, breaking in work boots can be pain-free.


Once you’ve found a replacement pair, don’t get rid of your old boots yet! If wearing work boots on the job right away is a top priority, bring both your new and old pair and switch between the two.



2. Stretch with Thick Socks


If you’re not a fan of the restricting feel of new leather, learn a simple solution for how to stretch work boots. You can wear an extra pair of thick socks (or two) with your boots to passively expand the fit while you’re off the clock. Make sure the socks come over the calf or at least a couple of inches above the top of your boot. If you’re breaking in a lace-up style like Ariat’s WorkHog 8”, tightly secure the laces to encourage the leather to stretch while you walk around or relax. With any new boot, if you experience pain or ongoing irritation after a week or two of wear, you may need to reevaluate the fit or your chosen insole.



3. Condition and Oil to Soften


Expedite the break-in process by strategically applying a conditioner or oil. Conditioning troublesome areas of your boots that are pinching or stiff helps to soften the leatherhow to clean work boots will also increase their lifespan, so you won’t have to break in another pair for a while.


Some people use water to quickly break in boots, but this is generally not the best way to break in new work boots. Be cautious of “quick fixes” like the water method, shoe stretchers, and other accelerators, like applying rubbing alcohol, which claim to break in boots overnight. No matter how you slice it, breaking in work boots takes time. While some hacks might work, they risk damaging or deteriorating the integrity of your new boots. Be patient; in less than a week, your boots will feel like they were made just for you.


Avoid the pain and healing of a bad boot break-in. While it seems counterintuitive, you can enjoy your boots sooner if you take the time to break them in correctly. If you’re still shopping for affordable, high-quality men’s work boots or versatile-and-tough women’s work boots, you can browse Ariat’s collection of performance footwear online or find an Ariat retailer near to you.





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