Hiking gives us enormous joy. But sometimes it can be painful too if there are blisters on our feet. So it is essential to choose the footwear carefully. Know the details of how to break in hiking boots and how long to break in hiking boots. Sometimes even great-fitting boots need to get in sync with our feet. If we take enough time to break in a new pair of hiking boots, we’ll enjoy many comfortable miles on the trail. Indeed we will enjoy it a lot.

Do Hiking Boots Need To Be Broken In?

One of the most faced questions by most of the hikers is, Do my hiking boots even need to be broken in? The answer is yes. The hiking boots need to be broken in. If we buy more traditional, old-school leather boots or boots made from stiffer, less breathable fabric, they need to be broken in. There is also a lot of hiking footwear that we can break in over a couple of short walks. Hiking shoes made of mesh or more breathable fabric and have less restriction in the heel cup. Which resembles a sneaker more than a boot, will need less time and effort to break-in. But one problem is that they don’t last as long on the trails.

Let’s talk about Easy Ways To Break In New Hiking Boots

Suppose suddenly you’ve got plans for a big hike. That can be a multi-day backpacking trip or maybe a long day hike to a high point. But the thing is, your suitable foot boots are either worn out or non-existent. Here is the list of what not to do:

  • Buy brand-new hiking boots right before our outing.
  • Ensuring we have no time to wear them before we start going up a mountain.

Which almost guarantees trip-ruining foot problems like blisters on our feet. Here’s a list of what we should do instead:

break in our boots. More importantly, before the hike, we should wear the new shoes as much as possible on diverse terrain. That doesn’t have to be mountain trails if we don’t have easy access. We can break in hiking boots in the city, too.

Intelligent Design And Boot Evolution

Most quality boot makers employ intelligent ergonomic design, which means the chassis cradles your foot and prevents movement. They also use sophisticated materials to make outsoles robust, innersoles comfortable, and midsoles impact-absorbing when compared to some degree or another. Boots typically are made from a hard-wearing fabric. Such as suede, leather, or a manmade material encased in the waterproof and breathable lining. Examples include Gore-tex or eVent. Increased quality out of the box also improves comfort while at the same time making them high-performance boots.

But if you are in the habit of strapping on a brand new pair of boots the first day, then you will experience an immediate trail of tears. Different people have different foot shapes and shoe measurements. Brands make shoes with eccentric details like tight-toe boxes or laces. We might think that size is universal, but this isn’t the case. Just because the last boot we bought was a perfect fit or our friend has been raving about their new pair of shoes doesn’t mean it’ll feel so comfortable on us.

How to Break in Hiking Boots at home?

To help our hiking boots last, it’s important to understand how to break them in. We should follow these far more sensible and sanitary tips and tricks. Thankfully, nowadays, the materials, technology, design, and construction of modern boots had evolved enormously from the days when everyone was goofing around in cardboard-stiff, full-leather boots with little padding and nonexistent thermal protection. Once we have the shoes at home, we should strap them on and go for a hike around the house. If we feel any initial discomfort, we should take some time to ensure they’re placed correctly, that our feet are precisely in place, with the tongue adjusted as it should be. Place your toes on the front of the step and walk up and down the stairs. This will save you from getting a blister.

How To Break In Hiking Boots Outdoors?

If you feel some stiffness after a day walking around, take the opportunity to walk on some hard surfaces such as pavement or concrete. You Keep increasing your distance gradually. Before embarking on a long hike, test the type of socks you plan to wear by wearing a few different pairs and adding insoles if needed. The break-in process definitely won’t turn a poor fit into a good one. You can consult with a footwear specialist at an REI store to get the right fit initially. 

Are Weights Good For Break In Hiking Boots?

Another question that generally comes to the hiker’s mind is if weights are good for breaking in hiking boots! For this, do load up a backpack and repeat the steps above. Because the more rough stuff we can roam across during this process, the better.

Does Break In Hiking Boots Hurt?

If your feet are telling you that something is wrong and the pain does not go away, you need to start walking. You should pay attention to how your boots fit if they’re comfortable but will not stretch- it’s better to stop wearing them before you have a problem with chafing on a trail.

And one thing must remember, we shouldn’t take a leak in them because it won’t help, and no one will exchange peed-in boots.

Can’t I Just Wear Them Around The House? 

Wearing boots around the house is better than nothing because adding weight and elevation will make a big difference when we’re out on the trails. Above all, the friction caused by different terrain will change the volume inside your footwear. Boots that are too stiff won’t provide enough elasticity when you hike for a long distance and need more time to break in before they’re ready for backpacking trips. We can easily walk in our shoes or boots comfortably without the extra weight. But as soon as we add weight, it will create a different dynamic. So does the elevation. We’ve got to wear them going up and downstairs, in a stadium, over a bridge, or on a trail with elevation. The range of motion is very different when we’re walking flat versus uphill. 

How Much Time Do I Need To Break In My Hiking Boots?

If my hiking boots need a break-in, how much time exactly do I need to break in my boots?

The answer is well- it takes longer to break in boots that are made with leather. It can take as long as four weeks for some types of boots, but light hikers usually feel perfect right out of the box.

Trying to hike in different conditions will also help. We should try to build up to two-thirds of our daily mileage of what we’re hoping to do on the trail. So if we’re planning to hike 10 to 15 miles a day on the trail, we must try walking eight miles in our new shoes and seeing how it feels. If we opt for the end of lightweight shoes, we can just wear them around town for a few days before our hike. If our plans involve walking long distances, we must make sure we leave the boots on our feet inside the house for extended periods.

 Even when we’re sitting on the sofa watching TV, time will tell if ankle cut and height of cuff make this boot uncomfortable or adapt to our lower leg’s shape. One thing is to remember that mountaineering boots, as opposed to general hiking boots, should never bend but walking footwear should constantly flex comfortably. The point is always to listen to your feet and take action as soon as possible if they hurt. 

Go Slow And Steady:

Even the tortoise had it right when he break in his hiking boots.We should take enough time. For these, we should follow the following steps.

  •  Must wear our boots inside the house. 
  • Wear the socks and insoles we’ll be wearing on the trail and tie our boots snugly, but make sure it is not too tight.
  • Make sure our tongues and gussets are straight. One thing is that our new boots will be a little stiff at first, which is fine.
  • For maximum effectiveness, walk around the block and town before you make any major purchases.
  • To avoid damaging our joints when running, we should put on a backpack and hit the trails. Off pavement is where serious joint pain can occur. Be sure to gradually increase both weight and mileage throughout this phase.
  • If we follow the manufacturer’s instructions, our new shoes will hold up longer.

Listen to Your Feet:

You need to be vigilant about pain points because minor problems can become big ones at any time. If your boots are uncomfortable or make an uncomfortable spot, try some things. If one has a significant fit issue, then they might need a different pair of boots. It is essential to listen to your feet. If possible, consult with your local REI footwear specialist. The staff at the shoe store might be able to help you by telling you if their boot-stretching device would fix your problem or whether you instead need to make a more significant change. They also can suggest which boots will be good for you and which brand you should avoid.

I’m in Break in My Hiking Boots, And My Feet Are Killing Me. What Gives?

Pay proper attention to hot spots because you’re not just developing a better feel for your boots. You’re also breaking in your feet, which need protection from friction and rubbing during their initial break-in period. If you do not have unlimited time, wear a thin sock to feel the rubbing sooner. You must get used to it and build up those calluses. If you get a blister while you are hiking, then you’ll surely be in miserable conditions.

Laces are a big thing too. The way people lace their boots can impact the boot’s fit and also causes problems for walking. So play according to how tight or lose you prefer them. Generally, people like them tight for ankle protection, but then they find that’s causing hot spots and blisters. Always try out different socks. Some people will wear liners, or they also wear socks with toe compartments.

You could also play around with Vaseline or Body Glide to prevent chafing, rubbing, and friction. If we are hiking in a rainy season and if there is a lot of rain, and our feet inevitably get wet, then it is better to use Gold Bond powder in the socks. Playing around with those additional actions can prove helpful for us.

Is anything Else I Need To Do To Break In My Boots?

It feels good to walk in your shoes while they’re wet. We can go for a walk in the rain or use our sink at home and then tromp around. Some materials restrict or expand, and they also rub differently. In a shoe with more athletic fabric and material they will typically increase flexibility and increase its volume. The stiffer, more traditional leather boots might initially expand when wet, but they become tightened or constricted they dry after they dry. This exercise will help us better prepare for the various conditions we’ll see on the trail. 

Wear Your Hiking Boots Before You Buy Them

If possible, try on the boots before buying, so you have a chance to get an idea of the fit. By doing it, you might instantly discover that they’re too narrow for your feet or the cut of the cuff is causing discomfort. These are the kinds of problems that cannot be solved with any amount of wear, so consider another model or brand.

I Didn’t Walk In My Boots Before My Big Hike. Am I Screwed?

Another question that may come to mind is, if I didn’t walk in my boots before buying, is it a thing to worry about? The answer is no. Most people work and have families and don’t have time to break in their footwear before a trip. So even if you haven’t had the opportunity, be extra cautious of hot spots or discomforts before they become an issue and also pack different types of socks. One more thing tries using Body Glide or powder on your feet. By packing Moleskin, and stop the blister before it starts.

 Read The Instructions Of Your Hiking Boot:

If you read the instruction booklet that accompanies new boots, you’ll cut out many of the problems before they happen. Instructions can include recommendations for break-in, along with other tips on polishing your new footwear to get optimal performance. It also helps us to learn how to waterproof hiking boots or how to lace hiking boots.

There is a proverb: Slow and steady wins the race. This proverb goes so well with the breaking in our boots. The more time we spend on this, the better off we will be. So let’s avoid shortcuts like soaking boots and walking long distances while wearing them. That would be hard on our boots and would prove harmful for our feet. While we are on a long hike, it is essential to protect our feet from blisters. However, blisters are not a big thing. But sometimes, a small thing can be proven fatal. So to avoid blisters, we should break in our hiking. One more thing, we should choose our boots wisely. We should take the shoes that fit us accurately and wear them when buying to see how comfortable they are. Last but not least’ happy hiking and enjoy nature fully.

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