How To Break In Hiking Boots?

How To Break In Hiking Boots

How to break in hiking boots? The key to breaking in new hiking boots is to gradually increase the time and distance that they’re worn each day. This should be done over a period of weeks, with at least a day of rest from wearing the boots every other day. Even if your feet start feeling sore, don’t stop-it’s a sign that your body is becoming more accustomed to the boots and it should only get easier as you go on.

As someone who has hiked before, I knew that it would take some time to break in my new boots. I began by wearing them for 30 minutes per day for two days. After that, I gradually increased the time that I wore them up to 60 minutes per day over the span of 2 weeks.

The next week, I wore them for 90 minutes per day with a day of rest each week. I increased the time that I wore them to 2 hours per day over the span of a month. This was as far as I went before taking on my first big hike, but it turned out to be too much too soon.

I thought that since I had already broken in my boots and they didn’t hurt my feet at all, there wouldn’t be any issues hiking the lower portion of a local mountain. I was wrong and it turned out to be one of the most difficult things that I had ever done at the time. The hike started out well enough, but about halfway up my feet were sore and not in a good way.

I soon realized that even though I had broken them in, I hadn’t done it gradually enough. My hike ended up being a miserable experience and after it was over my feet ached for days afterward. In any event, the point is that you should take your time with breaking in hiking boots and don’t try to push yourself too far before you’re ready.

The next time I decided to break in a new pair of hiking boots, I started out with 30 minute sessions for each day and increased it incrementally until I reached 2 hours per day over the course of 4 weeks. After that point, I went on a few short hikes and decided to increase it even more before doing something as ambitious as my previous hike.

When you’ve reached the point where you feel like your new boots are comfortable and ready for a more ambitious hike, it’s usually best to test them on something short and easy first. It may not seem necessary, but there’s no way of knowing how your foot will react with anything except trying it out.

In any event, wearing my new boots every day for about 5 hours over the course of a few weeks helped me break them in enough to go on an 8 mile hike. It was still challenging and I had some soreness at the end, but there were no issues with the boots themselves.

How To Break In Hiking Boots

How To Break In Hiking Boots?

Hiking boots are expensive and you want to make sure they’re comfortable before your first big hike.Breaking in new hiking boots can be a pain, but it doesn’t have to be. There’s no need to spend hours walking around the house with them on or running up and down the stairs. All you need is some ice water!

Fill a bucket with cold water, submerge your feet for 10 minutes, then dry off and put on your new boots. Repeat this process three times over two days and you’ll be ready for anything!

A common misconception amongst those new to backpacking and hiking is that their boots need to be “broken in.” Boots don’t really need breaking-in and if they do tighten up as you walk, it means that the laces or zippers are too tight! Adjust them accordingly and you should find your new boots fit like a glove after some time.

But boots do need to be cleaned and this is a good time to add or remove any insoles, footbeds, orthotics etc. Cleaning boots involves removing dirt from the exterior of the boot followed by cleaning out all of the crevices that may harbor bacteria and odor causing particles. The best tool for this purpose is a tooth brush. Ultra fine toothbrushes have been shown to be a better alternative than traditional ones because they’re softer and will not damage the boot’s construction.

After brushing, the boots must be rinsed out thoroughly with fresh water and then allowed to dry naturally in a sunny location that is protected from the wind. Do not attempt to speed up the drying process with a hair dryer or heat lamp. These items will overheat and damage the upper materials of your boots, potentially reducing their lifespan and effectiveness by up to 40 percent. After washing and drying is complete, apply a small amount of leather conditioner to lubricate them and allow proper water resistance.

Finally, protect your boots from the elements and wear them in good health!

Here are some tips for you on how to break in hiking boots:

  1. The first thing you should do is order a size up. If your boots are a bit too small, you can always stuff them with a few pairs of socks to cushion the feet. Breaking in new boots isn’t going to be easy, but it will be worth it when you’re out on the trail and feel nothing but comfort!
  2. Tossing your boots into the freezer overnight can also be a great way to do some quick breaking in! Just make sure they’re completely airtight so that you don’t end up with wet shoes.
  3. Add some thick insoles to provide extra cushion for your feet. This is something your local hardware store will carry for next to nothing! Get them in bulk so you’ll always have a pair at the ready.
  4. Putting on your brand new hiking boots and heading down to your basement is an easy way to get some miles on them without having to go out into the world. There are no rocks, roots, or waterlogged ditches taunting you down there!
  5. If you don’t want to spend a ton of money on boots that might not be comfortable, just go for those $20 varieties from your local big box store. Once they’re broken in, they’ll cost you next to nothing and be just as good as the expensive brands!
  6. If all else fails, just scamper up and down as many hills as you can find. This will help to soften the soles of your boots and get rid of any uncomfortable pressure points. It’s a great way to break in new hiking boots!
  7. Be patient – breaking in hiking boots is going to take time, but it doesn’t have to be done right away. You can always put off your first hike until next week, or even next month!
  8. It might be a good idea to walk around the house for a few weeks before taking your boots out on a trail. You can always put a pair of thick socks on if the padding isn’t quite there yet.
  9. There’s no need to spend all day breaking in new hiking boots! 10 minutes of discomfort is better than hours and hours of pain.
  10. The right socks can also make all the difference when it comes to hike comfort. Avoid cotton at all costs, but thick wool socks are perfect for any occasion!
  11. You could always just keep wearing your old shoes for another year or so while you save up for a good pair of pumps.
  12. Regardless of what you do, don’t resort to cutting off the circulation in your feet with tight lacing. If this doesn’t help them break in, you’re just going to have excruciating blisters on your next big hike!
  13. Just get some waders and start walking around in that dirty creek by your house. It doesn’t matter if you get soaked from head to toe – breaking in new hiking boots doesn’t have to be a formal occasion!
  14. Maybe try walking around the house with thick socks until your feet are all sweaty and stinky, then leave the boots outside for an hour or so. You’ll never want to go near your boots again, but it will be worth it!
  15. If you’ve got some extra cash on the side, why not spend a little of it on an electric sander? Just put your brand new hiking boots up against it for an hour or so and they’ll feel like they were custom made just for you.
  16. All that’s left to do is take the boots out on a short hike to really break in those soles and get your feet adjusted. It’s going to be painful, but it will all pay off when you’re walking through the forest in comfort!
  17. Just run up and down that mountain until your boots are nice and worn in, then you can go and take on the whole trail system.
  18. If all else fails, you can always just go rock climbing or skateboarding until your boots give way and start to rip apart. That’s about as close as you’re going to get to hiking without actually hiking!
How To Break In Hiking Boots

How do you break in hiking boots fast?

Best answer is to air dry your boots and break them in over a long period of time. The more you can handle about it the better – this may require a year or more – but don’t neglect it all at once. Get some good boots, break them in gradually. Keep it up for a few years and you’ll have some nice boots that are your best friends!

How to break in hiking boots with salt?

Wet the inside of your hiking boots. Place enough salt so that it can be rubbed easily onto the wet surface of the boot. Place some tissue on the bottom of your foot and apply a little pressure. Repeat this step rapidly while changing feet every so often.


Hiking boots are made to provide comfort and protection for the hiker. Breaking them in is key! The best way to break in hiking boots is by wearing them at home with thick socks, walking around the house or even just sitting down while you rub your feet up against a towel. You can also use an electric sander if you have one on hand, but it’s not necessary – all that matters is breaking those soles so they’re soft enough for whatever terrain you’ll encounter on your hike. These methods should help make sure your next trek through the forest will be as comfortable as possible!

References : How to Break in Your Hiking Boots

John Oakley

Hi, I am John Oakley- The Guy behind this site. I am an avid hiker and long distance walker. I love to experiment with new gear for hiking and walking and this site is a result of my passion for reviewing and checking the best walking shoes and hiking gear.

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