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The Fastest Way to Break in Hiking Boots

New hiking boots can run havoc on your feet… 

Here’s my tips for how to break in hiking boots so you can minimize those sore spots and spend more time on trail!

Breaking in New Boots Vlog

The Comfort Test

Many people buy shoes off the internet these days. 

That may be fine for fashion shoes, but when it comes to hiking boots, you will definitely want to try them on. 

Talk to the shop clerk and have him or her to suggest some for you based on your foot type and the type of hiking you plan on doing. 

Then try each pair on and walk around in them making a conscious effort to notice how it feels. 

Are they too narrow?

Too wide?

Too tight around the ankles or toes?

Adjust the Lacing

Once you’ve bought your new hiking boots, wear them as much as you can. 

You may not want to wear them on a dinner date, but certainly, while running errands, cleaning the house, and doing other common tasks where fashion isn’t a concern.

Doing this will give you the time to determine if there are any hotspots or tight areas that need to be addressed.

Once you find them (if there are any), you can adjust the lacing to suit. 

Lacing can be done in a variety of ways. Some will relieve pressure on your toe, while others will help loose ends fit properly.

Here’s a good video tutorial on some different methods for lacing hiking boots.

Ease Them In

Once everything is in place, you are ready to go on your first hike. But you don’t want to go all out straight away. 

You need to ease them (and yourself) in.

For example, if you plan to go on long hikes with a lot of equipment, try starting with a day hike or a half-day hike. 

Then, gradually increase the weight in your pack and the distance you cover until you are comfortable enough to go on a multi-day hike.


So there you have it. 

My top tips for breaking in hiking boots. 

You’ll notice there are no ‘tricks’ such as soaking them in water. It’s because that stuff doesn’t work, and is probably more likely to ruin your boots. 

The method explained here may take a little time, but it is tried and true. 

And these same concepts may be used for a variety of items, including a new hiking pack or running shoes. 

Safe training!

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