In Part I of our discussion about breaking in shoes we talked styles, support and patience while finding correct footwear. However, in some cases, such as that of an old-fashioned Goodyear welt construction pair of shoes, a stitched-on leather sole pair, or a higher quality pair designed to help you gait more biomechanically correct like our #1 brand Xelero, you will need to give longer shoe time to seat or break-in to your feet and gait pattern. If this is necessary we recommend the following:

  1. Yes, use heat such as that from a hair dryer to warm the shoes before donning the shoes. But be careful with mesh/nylon materials as they may melt easily.
  2. In the case of leather shoes you may use a quality shoe cream that will soften the leather and help them to take the shape of your feet.
  3. You may wish to use a blister check product to help guard the sensitive areas of your feet against friction, avoiding blisters and irritated skin. Band-aids may be used as well but sometimes do not stay in place while walking.
  4. We highly recommend wearing them with the preferred socks in your home environment so not to soil them to be sure they will be comfortable. However, do not expect a new shoe to be comfortable all day the first day. If you get 3 hours of wear comfortably on the first try you will probably have a winner and can continue to add hours each day until they are comfortable all day long. This is the best method for breaking in a new pair of shoes.
  5. When you are ready to try to wear your new shoes all day remember to take an old pair with you just in case something does not work out well, you will have your old reliable pair to fall back on.
  6. Be patient! A new quality pair of shoes should take a bit of breaking-in before they are 100% comfortable. Remember to always check the return policy to be sure of your purchase. If it is a shoe you have worn in the past and know that it has worked for you, then it is probably safe to assume a new pair will be no different. However, defects and misalignments happen during the manufacturing process and do not always show up until after they have been worn for a bit. So, always follow the rules of the return policy just in case.

For more information about properly fitting your shoes please visit or call 888-392-5539 ext 1 to schedule your personalized and professional foot gait analysis and shoe fitting education, complete with our shoe fitting guide.