The process of breaking in new shoes can range from being mildly unpleasant to excruciatingly painful. People from all walks of life come to dread the experience -- Great Britain's Queen Elizabeth II dislikes the task so much that she actually employs someone to break in new shoes for her. Sadly, not all of us can have an employee dedicated to the sole task of breaking in our footwear -- but by following the steps below you can alleviate the new-shoe black and blues all on your own.
Apply shoe-stretching solution or leather moisturizer to the interior of the shoes, wherever the shoes rub against your feet. Follow the product manufacturer’s instructions for application. Then put the shoes on while damp and wear them until they are dry. The moisture will soften the shoes, allowing them to mold to your feet more readily than dry shoes will. Repeat the process if necessary.
Dampen a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and rub it inside the shoes. Put the shoes on while damp and wear them until they are dry. Again, let the moisture do the work and soften your shoes up.
Put on the shoes and step into a bucket or basin of water, if you can safely saturate the material. Step out of the bucket, keep the shoes on and wear them until they are dry. Walking as much as you can while you are wearing them will further soften and shape the material.
Dampen the shoes in any of the aforementioned ways and step into the shoes while wearing a pair of thick socks. The added bulk of the socks will help to stretch the shoes more effectively and will also protect your feet from getting blisters. Wear the socks while in the shoes until the shoes are broken in.