No matter how good the running shoe you purchase is, you will inevitably have to break them in at some point.
What this means is that you will have to wear these shoes to the point where they are no longer uncomfortable to continue wearing.
This can be a painful process, as during this time your feet can blister and be sore from constantly wearing these shoes.
In order to break them in you will need to walk in these shoes and even go for short runs too. Some people recommend wearing thick socks and freezing shoes to help with this.
In this article, we decided to create a guide in this article detailing exactly how you can break in new running shoes, how to make it easy, and how long it should take you to break in your new shoes.
Why Do Running Shoes Need to Be Broken In?
Shoes are pieces of clothing and equipment that are meant to be sturdy, durable, and comfortable.
This is easily done for the first two of these criteria, but by making the shoe sturdy and durable, the shoe unintentionally becomes uncomfortable.
This is because all the materials in the shoe have yet to be worn down, which will allow the material to soften and take on the shape of the feet that have worn them down.
If this does not happen, it can lead to the following problems for the wearer’s foot:
- Blisters – These are fluid-filled pockets that appear under the skin, where the material has been rubbing uncomfortably against them.
- Hot Feet – The friction between the uncomfortable material and the foot can wear constantly, causing the feet to swell and have a burning sensation.
- Corns – Hard, painful little bumps that appear in a particular area of the foot that is subject to frequent rubbing.
- Calluses – Rough, hard areas of skin, where the skin has become resistant to a harsher surface.
These problems can be very painful or irritating to you and your feet. If you don’t break in new shoes properly, you can also cause gait and walking problems, making walking difficult on certain sides of your feet.
Therefore, it is ideal to break into new shoes as soon as possible.
Too tight running shoes can lead to some conditions, like bunions. Loose-fitting running shoes can lead to blisters.
How you lace your running shoes is important, as you can adjust the fit of your running shoe by altering the lacing technique.
Tips on How to Break in New Running Shoes
You can do several things to break in new running shoes before you start running regularly in them. Many of the ideas basically ask you to take a patient approach to avoid disaster:
Before you run in your shoes, you should definitely go for a walk in them.
A walk is not going to put too much pressure on your foot or the shoe, and it will allow you to determine several things.
The first is how well they fit, for example, does the toe box have enough space?
The second is how durable they actually are. If your shoes start to have crease marks or problems when going for a simple walk, then you are going to have major problems with them later on.
The third is how well your feet are adapting to the shoes. If your feet are still having a hard time in the shoes after a few walks, that is another cause for concern, and you may need to get different shoes.
2. Go for a Very Brief Run in the Shoes
Not a long one and certainly not a difficult one, just a quick little run that can serve as a trial for the shoes themselves.
It will give you an idea of their weight, their bounce, and how they feel to run in. It will also identify any immediate problems your shoes may have.
3. Thicker Socks
When you start wearing the shoes long term, make sure to wear some thick socks with those shoes.
This will protect the majority of your feet from the worst of the afflictions your new shoes can put upon them.
This is not a bulletproof strategy, but it will keep your feet relatively safe for a suitable period.
4. Freeze the Shoes
This is a strange one, but hear us out – there is a method to the madness. Partially fill two bags with water and remove the air from the bags.
Place one inside each shoe, before putting each shoe in a larger bag that is also sealed (but without water inside). Then place the shoes in the freezer for three hours.
The water will begin to freeze and push gently on the shoe, which will cause the shoe to flex and pull. This will soften the shoe and make it less harsh on your own feet.
When you take the frozen water bags out of the shoes, you will instantly notice the difference between what they were like before and now.
How Long Does It Take to Break in New Running Shoes?
Normally, it will take at least a couple of weeks to break into your new shoes, but it will depend upon a number of factors as well. How long and often you wear them is one.
If you are wearing them every day for a couple of hours, then it won’t take long at all, but if you wear them once a fortnight, expect it to take months to break them in.
Another factor is the type of shoe.
Typically, running shoes don’t take long to break in because they are made of soft material. But sometimes, it can take a while because they use a unique bit of fabric or a rigid, durable sole in their design.
The Bottom Line
Breaking into running shoes can be challenging as it takes time, patience, and maybe a little bit of pain.
If the running shoes don’t fit properly, it can cause long-term foot problems, which nobody wants to have.
So get well-fitting running shoes that are not too tight to avoid typical problems like blisters, and enjoy jogging without discomfort.