If your shoes are always pinching, giving you blisters or leaving you with sore feet, you may be fed up with limping around. Yes, it typically takes a while to break in new shoes, but you don’t have to suffer through the process. Although some say that beauty is pain, you don’t always have to sacrifice comfort for fashion—you can achieve both with a few sly tricks to break in your shoes. Keep reading for a few of the best hacks for breaking in an uncomfortable pair of shoes, and enjoy both comfort and fashion at the same time:
The Hair Dryer Trick
If your shoes always seem just a tiny bit tight and you have to spend a few painful weeks breaking them in, put on two pairs of socks and wedge your feet into them. Then, using the high setting, heat them up with a hair dryer. This will encourage the material to stretch. It’s best to do this standing up. Once you’ve heated them, walk around a bit while they cool off. This will allow them to stretch out—making your feet feel less squished.
The Military Break-In Process
For those who like to wear leather boots but don’t like the weeks it takes to get them comfortable, try this trick. Fill the boots up with water in the morning until they are absolutely soaked. Put on two pairs of thick socks, lace up and walk around. After a few days of this, your boots will fit like a glove. Just be sure that the water won’t ruin the material of the shoe before trying this one, or you might end up with soggy, trashed boots.
Tying Open for More Room
If your shoes are too tight across the top and are rubbing at your skin, unlace them, run a lace through each side, then pull the shoelaces under the sole and tie them. Leave them this way for a few days. This will stretch the top of the shoe and cause it to relax. For those with high arches, this trick is a life-saver!
If you have high arches, toe problems or an uneven stride, the insoles your shoes come with may not be enough. Instead of buying a pair of insoles at the drugstore and calling it good, do some experimentation. Do you only need additional cushion in the sole or the ball of your foot? What about arch supports? Try different insert combinations to get a custom fit.
Dress Shoe Grips
Plenty of dress shoes have hard, slippery soles that don’t offer much in the way of shock absorbency. This can lead to painful feet, ankles, knees and hips. If dress shoes are required for work, take them to a shoe repair shop and have them gripped. The cobbler will add rubber to the bottoms. Not only does this prevent slip-and-fall accidents, it is quite kind to your feet. If you wear high heels frequently, consider purchasing some small rubber grips for the heel of the shoe to give you more traction. Not only will this keep the shoe from getting destroyed in the wear and tear of everyday, but it will make it easier to walk.
Trade Up in Quality
If your feet hurt all the time, wearing a ten-dollar pair of big box kickers is likely not right for you. If you’ve tried everything and still can’t get comfy, trade up. Try a higher-end brand and see if it alleviates the problem. There are brands specifically tailored for those with bad feet or those who stand all day at work, like the Alegria Shoe Shop, where you can find shoes and sandals specially designed for comfort. The right brand can mean the difference between agony and comfort, so don’t be afraid to make an investment.
Shoes that fit improperly can cause hammer toes, bunions, blisters and a host of other unpleasant foot problems. By trying out these tips, you can get comfortable shoes in any style. Sacrificing fashion for comfort is a thing of the past—break in your shoes properly, and you can achieve both comfort and style, while kissing the pain goodbye.