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How to Break In New Shoes


Beautiful shoes are a weakness for many. Although proper size and fit are the recommended guides for purchasing a pair of shoes, many individuals purchase their shoes based on how they look. This is often the source of many foot problems: bunions, corns, calluses, toe nail problems, hammertoes, tight heel cords, pump bumps, joint pains and stress fractures. However, if the urge to buy beautiful shoes is too difficult to resist, then properly breaking in new shoes will help to alleviate the pain and resulting problems associated with new footwear.

Breaking in Children’s Shoes

A common remedy for breaking in tough children’s shoes is to twist and bend the shoes in order to make them stretch. After that, a leather baseball can be rubbed against the shoe so as to further soften the new pair. However, this is not recommended by most children’s shoe manufacturers, and most even recommend that if the shoes do not fit the child comfortably inside the store, they should not be purchased at all, because ill-fitting shoes may restrict the growth of the child’s foot. Podiatrists recommend allowing infants to walk around the house barefoot to allow the feet to grow naturally and to aid the toes in developing a grasping ability.

Breaking in Adult’s Shoes

The Breaking in of adult’s shoes should be done gradually. Here is a simple way to break them in.

  1. Upon trying them on in the shoes store, start walking around with the shoes for a few minutes to let your feet get used to wearing them. As feet are seldom the same size, always buy the size that fits best on the larger foot.
  2. After purchasing your new shoes, attach moleskin pads on the areas that are prone to friction such as the area that hits the small toe.
  3. For the first week, wear your new shoes for one to two hours per day. Rotate shoes often during the day, and replace shoes that show any signs of wear.
  4. Over time, you will find that your new shoes will get softer and more flexible. When this is accomplished, you can start wearing them for more prolonged periods.

Tip: Lightly rubbing the bottom of new pumps with sandpaper will make them less likely to slip when walking.



MayoClinic. “ Health Library – Foot Problems in Women: High Heels and Your Health.” Riverside. 21 Apr. 2006. Web. 25 Aug. 2010.

Giggle Shoes Correct Fit.” Children’s Shoes – Kids Shoes – Australia Shoes Shop – Giggle Shoes. Web. 25 Aug. 2010.

“CPMA – Why A Podiatrist?.” California Podiatric Medical Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Aug. 2010.

Birkenstock UK. Web. 25 Aug. 2010.

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