For all adventure lovers, hiking is the most exhilarating outdoor activity. It can be done in all seasons but is more fun in winter. It is also essential to know how to break in hiking boots to make them comfortable to wear.
For each kind of hiking, you need to be fully ready with all your gadgets. To make it happen, the foremost thing you should do is to buy soft boots.
Here you are going to get a complete guide on which hiking boots you should prefer and what characteristics they should possess. We will talk about how to break in hiking boots that are newly bought from your favorite brands to help you set off for your adventurous expedition.
A complete and appropriate break in usually takes around one month. But if you don’t have enough time, I am going to illustrate how you can break in your boots within 3 days and with minimum effort.
Moreover, here you are getting an explanation of the obstacles you are going to face while breaking in your boots and what you can do to avoid them.
What do you need to know about how to break in hiking boots?
Though hiking is the favorite sport for all adventure lovers, there are some elements that all hikers hate equally. Among these, the most common are battling with rain during hiking, crossing the mud, pitching up tents in muddy spots, struggling with mosquitoes, and breaking in a new pair of hiking boots.
Sometimes, we are running short of time to break in boots or we simply forgot it. But it doesn’t undermine the importance of breaking in.
The time span for breaking in hiking boots
Is the long hiking period round the corner? Have you forgotten the important task of breaking in your boots? Or didn’t know how to break in hiking boots?
Here are the ways you can adapt to fulfill this duty quickly though with some effort.
The quick actions may often reduce the lifespan of your hiking boots. They might result in blisters forming on your feet as well. If you want to know how to break in hiking boots properly and without the blisters, it usually requires 1-4 weeks.
This time span depends upon how well the hiking boots adapted to your feet. Other factors include the material of which these boots are made, or how well your feet are broken in. Yes, you don’t only need to know how to break in hiking boots, but you also need to break in your feet.
Your skin gets tough by too much hiking and by blister formation. Even when your blisters have healed, the hardness of the skin around the pinkish areas remains the same. You might have to use ointments and tincture benzoin for it.
So, the comfort of your boots depends on the breaking in of your feet too. If your feet are already breaking in, you will have much of a joyous experience. There will rarely be any formation of blisters.
If you are having time, you should break your hiking boots properly. But in a shortage of time, you really don’t have a choice to avoid blisters and soreness.
Find the best-suited hiking boots
Though knowing how to break in hiking boots is essential for everyone, choosing the best-suited boots holds the same importance. Some of the best hiking boots rarely need any effort of breaking in. They are already in the right shape according to your feet. Hence, you hardly experience any blisters from day one.
However, it is quite tiresome to find these entirely perfect boots. Among all the hiking boots of all the brands that best suit you, the integral component is what makes you more comfortable to travel a long journey.
Numerous brands offer good quality hiking boots. However, the difference lies in the fact that how to break in hiking boots. When you are in a market, keep a note of soft soles and choose the style that best suits your feet. Prefer hiking boots that are best to tackle long trails with no hurt on your feet.
Because when you are on an adventurous journey to set yourself free from every kind of distress, a little pain in your feet can affect your whole expedition badly. Select the boots that have a wide toe box and are loose enough from the ankles meanwhile your feet stay in them.
Moreover, prefer boots that are lightweight to reduce the burden on your feet. Among available boots, synthetic boots are easy when it comes to how to break in hiking boots in much less time.
On the other hand, leather boots take more time in breaking in but once they fit the shape of your feet and hold it, they are better than synthetic ones.
How to break in hiking boots correctly (1-4weeks)
Here, I am going to give an illustrative view on how to break in hiking boots in both ways. Firstly, the correct way that takes almost 4 weeks and secondly in 1-3 days that aren’t usually recommended.
Wear them casually first
Though everyone wants to wear brand new boots on a journey. But, If you buy a pair today and set off for your journey tomorrow, your feet are going to hurt badly.
New hiking boots have a stiff sole with the generic insole and rigid upper stuff because of which the hiking boots won’t flex and shift around as you move your feet. This unfitness and looseness between your feet and hiking boots cause friction that leads to soreness and blisters.
Many synthetic and lightweight boots feel soft at first, but don’t fool yourself and don’t save them to wear first-time on travel. They still have hot spots that can cause hurt. So it’s necessary to know how to break in hiking boots.
The easiest way is by wearing them in the house while doing normal house chores. Wear them while watching TV, while sitting at the dinner table, while washing dishes or while mowing your garden.
This forces your boots to move as your feet do and the resulting heat will soften the hard fabric and upper rigid stuff will begin to crease behind your toes and set fits around your ankle.
An extra advantage of wearing them casually is that if the size isn’t fitting right on your feet, you can return the boots as they are still new and you haven’t worn them outside.
Go for micro-adventures
Though synthetic boots are easy to break in for a voyage, leather boots are preferable for the long run and a tougher period of the hike. But when it comes to knowing how to break in leather boots, it’s quite wearisome. So, here is how you can do it.
After wearing the leather boots at home for some time, start wearing them outside for a morning walk or for a short run of one to two miles of hiking along lakes and small mountains. Wear them while accomplishing small errands of nearby markets.
This helps you test different lacing styles and ankle hooks. During this period, heat and friction can result in blisters and soreness on your feet.
How to prevent blisters
- Buy those hiking boots that best suit your feet
- Go for boots that have breathable sole and if any debris is attached to them, clean it immediately
- Strengthen the bottom of your feet by walking barefoot around the house, in the backyard, or the front yard
- Use creams and lotions for your tough or elastic skin and especially at the callouses to deter them to develop blisters
- Take adequate breaks during troublesome hikes and let your feet have some rest.
Another way other than mice adventures to soften the hard leather faster is by grabbing it in both hands and flexing it hard. This softens the sole too which is both hard and inflexible. This is important because an inflexible sole can hurt and cause your heel to lift.
Care of hotspots
Even all the soft and most comfortable boots have some hotspots which can cause hurt after some time. If during trekking, you feel some bruising or pain, stop immediately and check out the hurting area of your feet.
It might be because of tightly bound laces around ankles or around the toe box or it might be because of tight heels. One of the common reasons is wearing thick socks that tighten your feet. If socks and laces are not the cause of bruising, then you should use surgical dressing.
Knowing how to break in hiking boots is important as it saves you from so much pain. Some specific points at your feet can get sores from a long run such as your heel, top of your big toes, and outside of your big toes.
How to take Care of hotspots?
- Use dry shampoo before wearing hiking boots to prevent moisture from setting in.
- Cut off your toenail to avoid ingrown nails and sharp edges.
- Use surgical tapes or sports tape on areas that get sores to reduce rubbing between skin and boots and to prevent blister formation
- Rest your feet during long hiking trails
- Dip your feet in lukewarm water after removing boots to lessen swelling.
Go for macro adventures
After about 1-3 weeks and 3-4 hikes, one gets fully comfortable with the hiking boots and can use them with full potential. Now you are all set to have a long hike with your pals.
Though you don’t get the satisfaction of wearing brand new boots on hiking still your feet are going to thank you for all this care and wait. And you are going to enjoy yourself a lot on your adventurous journey.
How to break in hiking boots quickly (1-3 days)
As I mentioned earlier I usually don’t recommend adopting this technique as it wears your boots down and lessens their life span. But still, if you are running short of time and a long trip is waiting ahead for you, here is a complete guide of how to break in hiking boots rapidly
- The most authentic and old way to break in boots is by soaking them wet and going hiking until they are dry. When the boots are wet, it is easy to mould their shape according to the creases of your feet and they will break in according to your feet much easier.
- For this technique to work out, soak your hiking boots in warm water for around 15 minutes and then go for a short trail hike until they get dried. Repeat this technique 2 to 3 times to fully break in your hiking boots
There are so many bad aspects associated with this technique of soaking your hiking boots in water.
- Your boots may get damaged because of absorbing water or remain drenched in a lot of water. This technique might deteriorate their outer covering and boots start looking way too old than their actual face.
- Though good quality hiking boots shouldn’t get damaged too quickly by water it may affect their water retention capacity and reduce the waterproofing.
- This technique may result in ruining the outsole of hiking boots. It may also damage the spot where boots get attached to the outer sole
- Another bad aspect of this technique is that it causes blisters on your feet frequently. To prevent blister formation, it is recommended to apply waterproof moleskin on the areas where you’ll likely get blisters. Furthermore, to reduce blister formation, you can also wear thick wool socks.
How to treat your hiking boots when aren’t in use?
When you are planning to leave for hiking, it’s not only about buying and knowing how to break in hiking boots. The other most important thing is to know what to do about hiking boots when you are back home and boots are no longer in use.
If you take good care of your boots, not only their usage life will increase but also their comfort will improve with a duration of time. You have made a huge investment in your boots to protect your feet during hiking.
So, when you are not wearing them for hiking, clean them regularly and place them in an upright position to prevent their sole from wearing out. Don’t kick them off and lock them in your closet as it will deteriorate the life of hiking boots.
Share with us how you break in your hiking boots!