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How To Break In Running Shoes

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How To Break In Running Shoes

How to Break In Your Running Shoes || REI

Shoes are the most important piece of gear when it comes to running. Making sure you get the right shoes is step one. And, in theory, you shouldnt have to really break in your running shoes if theyre the right shoes for you. If you go to a good running shoe speciality store, theyll watch you walk, measure your foot, and get you in a pair of shoes that meets all of your needs, right from the get go. Theyll also make sure you get the right size shoes and avoid an ill-fitting pair based on your foot shape. I have multiple pairs of running shoes that are all a little bit different. Remember, there will be some shoes that arent great for you, even if they are great for me!

So, making sure you test your new shoes out properly is what I consider breaking them in! There are so many reasons you should test out your shoes before committing to a long run in them. You dont want to get out six miles from home, only to develop a hot spot or blister and have a long, uncomfortable road back. Plus, ill-fitting running shoes can cause you to change your gait which can lead to a whole host of injuries.

Okay, back to breaking in new shoes! After 20+ years of running, Ive learned a few tricks of the trade when it comes to testing your new running shoes and the break in process so you can feel confident taking them out on a long run.

Lets dive in!

Top Tips On How To Break In New Running Shoes

Weve now been through the importance of using a good quality shoe, how to pick a good pair, and why you should be bothered about breaking them in properly.

Now its time for some practical steps for the break-in period.

Lets go.

#1: Wear your running shoes around the house and while doing everyday activities such as cooking, cleaning, and washing up.

#2: Try running on a treadmill for 15 minutes to adjust to a slightly higher intensity.

#3: Once youve worn them around the house and got used to their fit, take your new shoes on a short run, without pushing yourself too hard or staying out in them for too long.

#4:Try alternating your new shoes with your old pair if theyre still in good nick. Use your new pair for shorter runs, while doing longer runs in your older pair.

#5: Wear proper running socks. Go for synthetic technical fabrics like polyester when its hot, or wool blends during winter. Try to avoid cotton, because when it gets wet and sweaty, it stays that way.

#6: For something a bit more unconventional, try heating your shoes. Wear them for at least 15 minutes, before blasting them with heat from a hairdryer for a few minutes while youre still wearing them. This can help the shoes become more malleable.

#7: Moisturise. One of the best ways to avoid blisters is to moisturize your feet regularly because the drier your skin is, the more friction there will be between your feet and your shoes.

To Stop Shoes Rubbing The Back Of Your Heel Add Some Heat

Heat makes things expand, and with the inside of shoes that rub your heel, this could be a good thing. You see, that shoe thats terrorising your heels and rubbing it, causing you to be uncomfortable, it is no match for heat.

All you have to do is apply some heat and the shoe will become less hard. It will also mold to the size of your feet, making it seem like a second skin. Do you like it? We do, too.

To use this method, wear a thick pair of socks or two, put on your shoes, and put on a dryer. Set the heat on medium, and blast away. Aim for the back of your shoes, but dont stay there too long. Do this for about two minutes, and then stop.

The material of the shoes should have expanded, so keep it on whilst it cools and molds to the shape of your feet. This way, your shoes would stop rubbing the back of your heel and become comfortable to wear.

Precaution: make sure the material of your shoes is genuine, especially in the case of leather, or the heat could melt away the plastic.

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Facts You Need To Know Before Buying A Shoe Stretcher

Whenever you go to a shopping mall for buying a shoe stretcher, you must have faced one question and that is One-way shoe stretcher or two-way shoe stretcher? To know the answer of this question you will have to know what they are.

One-Way Shoe Stretcher: One-way shoe stretchers are used when you need to stretch your shoes in one direction . This stretcher expands the toe box, allowing the shoe to fit better. It helps to prevent calluses, bunions and corns from forming on your feet. This shoe stretcher is more affordable than a two-way stretcher. Most flat shoes, including flats, sneakers, and bucks, can be stretched with a one-way shoe stretcher.

Two-Way Stretcher: Stretchers that work in both the length and width directions are known as two-way stretchers. This is best for shoes that are too small. It relieves hammertoes, blisters, corns and other foot problems.

Wooden Shoe Stretcher and Plastic Shoe Stretcher:

Wooden shoe stretchers are made of wood and plastic shoe stretchers are made of plastic. Wooden shoe stretchers are far better in quality and long-lasting than plastic shoe stretchers. Plastic shoe stretchers are cheap comparatively.

Deluxe Shoe Tree works the best on sneakers. If you want to expand the width of your running shoes, then go for HOUNDSBAY Cedar Shoe Tree. The best shoe stretchers for bunions and corns are HOUNDSBAY Bulldog heavy-duty stretcher and FootFitter Premium Professional Stretcher.

To Break In Shoes That Rub Your Heel You Can Also Apply Vaseline

How to Break In Running Shoes

The Vaseline would act as a lubricant and prevent friction from occurring between your heels and the inside of your shoe, especially those shoes that rub against the back of your heel and hurt you.

Just like the deodorant stick method, you can take your Vaseline along with you to work, so even if you feel the slightest bit of friction because the one you applied at home is finished, you can simply reapply and stop the shoes from rubbing the back of your heel.

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For Shoes That Rub Your Heels Bend And Twist Them

The materials of your shoes are tough and they rub your heels because they go through several treatments, which ends up making them rigid. This is especially true for real leather. So if you have genuine leather shoes that rub your heel, just pick up your shoes and twist.

The shoes may be hard but think of the time they have rubbed your heels and twist them. Especially the heel areas. Do this after you have just worn them, so theyll still be warm and the material would still be more flexible.

Twisting and bending them this way would help to break in easier, and in time the material would relax and stretch. Just dont twist too hard so the material wouldnt be damaged.

How To Break In Running Shoes Without Hurting Your Feet

  • Rotate your new running shoes with old ones: Even after buying new shoes, keep your old shoes. If you wear new shoes in the morning, wear old shoes in the evening or you may wear new shoes for one day and old ones for the other day. This tip will help you break in your running shoes without getting hurt.
  • Peeled Potato Trick: Take a potato and peel it properly. Form the potato into a shape that fits your running shoes precisely. Then put it inside your shoes for the whole night. This trick will not only stretch your shoes but only will reduce odor.

I hope you are enjoying our guide on how to break in running shoes. Lets move to the next query.

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How Long Does It Take To Break In New Running Shoes

Unfortunately, there is not a set time it takes for running shoes to break in. A lot of it has to do with if you replaced the shoe with the same model, or if you completely changed the brand, shape, and type of shoe .

Generally, if you move to a completely different model of shoe you should expect a longer break-in period. If you are replacing your shoe with the same model, you might only need a few hours of easy running to adjust again.

Don’t Ditch Your Old Shoes Just Yet

How to Break in New Athletic Shoes

If you have a broken-in pair of running shoes that still have some life, keep them around a little longer. Even once you break in your new shoes, you may want to keep your previous pair around as long as it’s not time to replace them .

Rotating between different pairs of running shoes can help distribute impact forces to lessen the strain on your body. A study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports found that runners who used multiple pairs of running shoes had a 39% lower risk of running-related injuries compared to runners who used only one pair.

Good socks count

Don’t let a bad sock ruin a good shoe. As you’re breaking in your running shoes, make sure you’re also wearing proper running socks opt for synthetic technical fabrics like polyester with cooling technology for hot summer runs or wool blends for wintertime. Avoid cotton, because once it gets wet and sweaty, it’ll stay that way. No one likes sloshy shoes, chafing, or blisters.

So, are these the right shoes?

Once your new shoes have gotten some use, pay attention to how they make you feel. Blisters, pain, or any type of discomfort are signs that you may not be running in the best shoe or the correct size. Running is a full-body workout, so pay attention to any unusual discomfort in the rest of your body, too.

Now that you know how to break in running shoes, you can rest assured that you’ve set yourself up for safer, snugger runs going forward.

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Rotate Shoes To Reduce Injuries

The process

  • There is an additional step that you can consider if you feel uncomfortable with the new pair of shoes, changing it.
  • You should wear more than one pair of shoes when running.


  • Following some searches, the number of multi-shoes wearers suffers a 39 percent lower risk of injury than the single shoe wearers. They attribute that rotating running shoe decreases the risk of injuries, which means running in different shoes distributes impact forces and lessens strain.

Tie Shoes Or Boots Up Tightly

When breaking in shoes, it can be super tempting to loosen the laces to allow your feet more room to move and breathe. However, tying them up tightly – just like you would with any other pair of shoes – will help to stretch the fabric and speed up the process. Think of them like an elastic band or a hair bobble the more they’re stretched, the looser they’ll become!

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How To Make Your Running Shoes Last Longer

We know those kicks arent cheap, but there are ways to get a little bit more out of them.

To maximize your mileage per pair, it helps to have more than one shoe in your quiver, Metzler says. Not only does this allow the foam a longer break to bounce back between runs, but you can also better match the shoe to the kind of run youre doing. For instance, choose a thicker, more cushioned model for long runs, and lighter styles for shorter, faster workouts.

Ornelas says trail shoes will last longer when used off-road, while road shoes are a better fit for the pavement. And if you have super shoes with carbon fiber plates, save those for races or occasional speed workouts.

If you cant bring yourself to mix it up or cant afford to buy more than one pair at a time, consider purchasing replacements slightly before your current shoes are toast, Metzler says. Rotate them for a bit, and youll slightly extend the life of both.

Finally, take care of each pair. Untie them when you take them off to preserve the integrity of the counter. Clean your shoes by wiping them off or throwing them in the washing machine on the gentle cycle with a towel , Metzler saysbut never put them in the dryer. If you wash them or get them wet outside, put newspaper or tissue paper inside to dry them. And store them inside, safe from temperature swings and precipitation.


Be Patient And Maximise Your Potential

Blisters? How to Break In New Running Shoes

You should now understand the importance of and how to break in new running shoes. Its by no means a difficult task, and it has serious benefits.

Follow the simple steps outlined in this article, and you should be able to avoid blisters, sores, calluses, or any other unwanted injuries.

Wear your new shoes around the house, keep hold of your old pair, but most importantly, make sure you pick the right pair of running shoes for you in the first place. Getting that decision right will make the whole process a lot easier.

If youre wondering when its time to change to a new pair of shoes, you might want to check out our article about the 4 signs that you need new running shoes.

Fred Garratt-Stanley

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Start With An Easy Run And Gradually Increase Mileage

Plan an easy one or maybe two miles depending on the severity of the transitioning to your shoe. If its vastly different from anything youve been running in before, take it really easy. Your feet will thank you.

Each time you take them out for a run, go a little bit further. Your body will definitely let you know if youre breaking them in too quickly.

Rotate Shoes To Reduce Injury

Another study, from November 2013 in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, found that rotating running shoes reduces the risk of injury. This may be especially helpful in the break-in stages of running shoes when the risk of injury is higher.

The researchers attributed the lessened risk of injury to the fact that running in different shoes distributes impact forces and lessens strain. Overall, multiple-shoe wearers had a 39 percent lower risk of injury than the single-shoe wearers.

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How Long Will My New Balance Trail Running Shoes Last

A. That depends on how well you treat them and how rough the trails you run on are. Generally speaking, New Balance trail running shoes should last for roughly 300-500 miles worth of running or for about 18 months. The best ways to tell if its time to replace your shoes are if they have worn down treads, if you can wring them or if you start developing aches and pains after running.

Wearing Around The House

How to Break Your Running Shoes In
  • 1Wear your new shoes around the house. Before you go out in them, try walking up stairs, standing around , sitting down, and even running.XResearch source
  • This is the most trusted method for easily and lightly breaking in your new shoes. If you have nice leather or dress shoes shoes that you would be frustrated to see scuffed, altered, or even discolored this method is the safest to try.
  • 2Wear your shoes little and often at first. When you try out new shoes before you’ve bought them, you rarely walk away with sore feet, right? That’s because you haven’t donned your shoes for long enough to cause any pain . So, when breaking shoes in at home, wear early, wear often, and don’t feel like you need to put your shoes on for hours at a time to notice a difference.XResearch source
  • In fact, start with wearing your shoes 10 minutes at a time in the beginning. Try this for a couple days. Gradually, wear your shoes for 10 minutes more, every couple of days, until you’re wearing the shoes for an hour at a time. By this time, the shoes should be tamed!
  • 3Bring your shoes to work. Wear some old shoes to work, but when you’re sitting at your desk, bust out your new ones and simply get in the habit of having them on your feet. This is a simple way to break in your new shoes while saving time.
  • 4Wear them with socks. This way, you can tell if you need socks when you wear them. This can also prevent blistering when getting used to new shoes.
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    Break Shoes Or Boots In Slowly

    Before strutting out for the main event, work your way up to any special occasion by wearing the shoes for short spells first. It’s the simplest and easiest way to help with the breaking in process.

    Whether it’s a casual pair of trainers or some gorgeously glam heels, wearing them around the house with will gradually soften the shoes up, until they comfortably conform to the shape of your feet. By doing this from your own abode, you can pop the footwear off if there’s any excessive aching or rubbing – something which isn’t quite as acceptable in public. Besides, you don’t want to get stuck out in the sticks.

    The material of your shoes will naturally stretch and loosen over time, allowing for a more comfortable fit. Before you know it, you’ll be able to show them off wherever you fancy!

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