Shoe Care & Comfort

How to Break in New Shoes without Getting Blisters

Buying a new pair of shoes can be a real treat. Whether it’s a brand new pair of athletic shoes for running or a stylish pair for a night on the town, new footwear can make anyone happy. But, brand new shoes don’t always fit perfectly right away, so you need to find out how to break in new shoes without getting blisters.

Depending on the material of the shoes, it may be possible to break them in. This includes trying different techniques so the shoes fit better. Even if you get the right size, shoes can sometimes be too snug.

Shoes that feel too tight aren’t just an inconvenience. They can actually lead to a lot of pain and discomfort. They can also cause problems like blisters or bunions. Additionally, breaking in new shoes can also cause blisters because you’re trying to stretch them out with your feet alone.

Wearing shoes that are too small can also lead to things like toenail fungus since there is less air flow going throughout the shoe. When you get a new pair of shoes, you want to be able to enjoy them. You shouldn’t have to worry about painful, bleeding blisters. Thankfully, there are many ways to break in your shoes without pain.

How to Break in Shoes without Hurting Your Feet

If you’ve always wanted to know how to prevent blisters from new shoes, look no further. It’s common for the back of your ankle to hurt from constant rubbing from new shoes. But, once you know the secrets, you don’t have to experience that discomfort anymore.

If you’re tired of pain from rubbing heals against your shoes, try one of the methods listed here. It doesn’t matter if you have running shoes or dress shoes. We’ll cover techniques that can help to stretch out both, so you can experience a comfortable fit.

Breaking in Running Shoes

It can be dangerous and painful to start working out or running in a new pair of athletic shoes without breaking them in first. If you go for a run in new shoes, your chances of getting foot blisters are pretty high. New shoes just don’t have the perfect fit right out of the box. They need time to conform to your foot. If you don’t take the time to do that, you could be out of the game for a while, experiencing pain from blisters.

Athletic shoes can be challenging to break in without wearing them a lot. This is because they are usually made of synthetic materials that don’t stretch easily. Things meant to stretch out shoes may not help because the chemicals don’t react the same way to the materials.

But, you don’t have to run a marathon for your new shoes to reach a proper fit.

There are a few things you can do to break in canvas shoes:

  1. Layer up your socks. Wear at least two pairs of socks on each foot (if not more) and slip on your new shoes. Then, walk around as much as possible. Yes – it’s important to remember to walk, not to run, when you’re using this method. The layers of socks will help to slowly stretch out the materials and give your feet a little more wiggle room. When you go back down to one pair of socks, you’ll notice a difference.
  2. Speed up the process with a hair dryer. Using a dryer on low heat, gently run them over your shoes before stepping into them. You can use the layered sock method, or just walk around in them after this if they aren’t too tight. The heat from the dryer will make the material softer and easier to stretch. This can make the shoes more comfortable right away.
  3. Give your shoes a massage. You can do this right before you put them on for a long run. Focus on the pressure points that might affect your feet more, such as the heel and sides of the shoe. Bend the shoes back and forth to give them stretch and flexibility.

If you follow these steps to break in your athletic shoes, you’ll be running comfortably in no time. Some people will argue that a proper running shoe should fit and not cause pain from day one. Unfortunately, that isn’t always an option for people depending on their foot shape, size, or arch height.

You can find the perfect shoe, and it may still need to be broken in. Instead of risking blisters against your heel, use these methods to find comfort. Eventually, your shoes will fit like a glove.

How to Break in Dress Shoes

Dress shoes and casual shoes are different from athletic shoes. They are often made of materials that can be easily stretched. Usually, they are easier to break in than athletic shoes, and you don’t have to wear them as much to do it.

If you’ve found the right pair of shoes to wear to work or for a night on the town, you shouldn’t have to suffer when you wear them. You can also develop foot problems from dancing in overly tight shoes. Just because footwear looks attractive doesn’t mean that it must be uncomfortable.

Let’s go over a few easy ways to quickly break them in. Most of these methods work practically overnight. Repeated applications are rarely needed, either. Once you stretch out your shoes, they shouldn’t go back to their smaller state.

Shoe Stretching Liquid

There are popular products that can help to stretch out dress shoes. Shoe stretching sprays are one of the most common solutions. One of the best shoe stretching sprays on the market is Kiwi SELECT Universal Shoe Stretch.

A shoe stretching liquid like Kiwi SELECT is meant to be sprayed directly onto your shoes. It works on materials like:

  • Leather
  • Suede
  • Nu-buck
  • Reptile skin

It’s also safe for all types of shoe colors. You don’t need to buy different sprays for different shoe colors. One type of spray will work on a variety of different shoes. Shoe stretching liquids like this are also easy to use. You simply shake up the can, spray all over your shoes (paying extra attention to trouble spots), and then slide your feet inside.

The stretching liquid will allow your shoes to conform to your feet quickly. You don’t even need to walk around or bend your feet around for the spray to work. You can sit down, and the spray will naturally stretch out your shoes to develop a better fit around your foot.

This stretching spray and others like it are designed to work right away. But, if your shoes are made of a thicker material, it may take more than one application.

Shoe Stretching Device

Many times, stretching liquids are used along with shoe stretching devices. These devices, like the FootFitter Premium 2-Way Stretcher, can be left in your shoes when you’re not wearing them. You leave them in your shoes after adjusting them to your specific needs. Some can stretch your shoes from front to back, some stretch out the sides. The FootFitter 2-Way model does both at the same time.

Many of these stretchers also included bunion plugs. You can put in the bunion plugs wherever you have trouble spots. They will help to add a little extra room in those spots, so the inside of the shoe won’t rub against your feet or toes there anymore.

Shoe stretching devices work great on their own. But, they can work even faster when you use a stretching liquid before putting them in. You can use them as often as needed, but you’ll likely notice a difference even after leaving them in your shoes for just one night.

How to stop your feet from developing blisters

Do Shoe Stretching Devices Work for Every Type of Shoe?

Certain materials will not stretch as easily as others. You can use a shoe stretching liquid to help you determine which materials will work with a device. Materials like leather and suede are ideal for stretching quickly. Since many dress shoes are made of these materials, it’s likely you’ll get a lot of use out of a shoe stretcher.

Shoe stretching devices are practical. You can use them more than once, they store away easily, and you can even travel with them. Plus, they work on more than just new shoes. Sometimes, shoes we’ve had for years need to be stretched out. Maybe they never fit well, to begin with. Or, maybe your feet have changed in size/shape over the years. Even older shoes can be stretched effectively with these devices.

Other Shoe Stretching Methods for Avoiding Blisters

There are many DIY solutions for stretching out your shoes and breaking them in safely. You may not be able to change the size of your shoes completely. But, these methods can give you just enough wiggle room to feel more comfortable and reduce your risk of blisters and painful rubbing. Plus, you may already have the items needed on hand in your home.

  • Fill your shoes with ice: Fill two small sealable plastic bags with water, and stick them into your shoes. You may want to double up on the bags to protect against leaking. Then, stick your shoes into your freezer. As the water freezes, it will expand. This slow process will help to stretch out your shoes naturally. Leave them in the freezer overnight. In the morning, take them out and let the ice melt, then remove the bags and your shoes should fit more comfortably.
  • Stuff your shoes: You can stuff your shoes with crumpled newspaper overnight, pushing the paper down toward the toes to get a good stretch. This works well when you use a shoe stretching spray along with it. But, the spray isn’t always necessary.
  • Rubbing alcohol: You can spray a small amount of rubbing alcohol on the insides of shoes that are too small and wear thick socks to stretch them out. Be sure to do a spot test before trying this method. Some materials may not respond well to the alcohol, and it may discolor the shoes. Most materials will be fine, though. You can use this method several times until your shoes fit perfectly.

Preventing blisters due to new footwear

Preventing Blisters That Are Caused by New Shoes

New shoes can be uncomfortable, even if they are the right size. Along with the stretching methods listed above, there are a few things you can do to reduce the discomfort you might feel when wearing them. Some helpful tips include:

  • Stretching your feet and ankles – Hold your foot and bend it up and down at the ankle several times each day, after removing your shoes.
  • Clip your toenails correctly – If your nails are too long and your shoes are too tight, it could wreak havoc on your toes.
  • Get a foot massage – You can massage your own feet or have them professionally done. A foot soak using Epsom salts can also be effective in relaxing your feet. You can also invest in an electric foot spa or massager machine.

Will New Shoes Always Cause Blisters?

The best way to avoid blisters caused by new shoes is to make sure you’re buying the right size. If necessary, go to a shoe store and get measured by a professional. You may have been purchasing the wrong size shoe all this time without even knowing it.

If you’re sure you’re wearing the right size, but your shoes still cause blisters, you can break them in quickly. It doesn’t take a lot of time or pain to break in a pair of shoes, whether they are athletic shoes or dress shoes.

By using some of the methods listed in this guide, you should be able to avoid pain and blisters from new shoes. It doesn’t matter what the materials are. Different stretching methods work on different types of shoes. Whether you try a DIY solution or buy a product, you don’t have to live with irritating blisters or bunions from shoes that are too tight.