How to Break in Leather Boots

by Breann Kanobi

Leather boots benefit from a gradual break in process.

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Like most shoes, leather boots mold to your feet over time. To break in a pair of boots, gradually increase the amount of time you spend wearing them. Because water damages leather, boots suffer from attempts to mold them to your feet with hot water or by exposing them to water for a long period of time. Though there is no standard, it often takes two or three weeks to appropriately break in a pair of boots.

Items you will need

  • Insoles (optional)
  • Silicon-based conditioner
  • Socks
Step 1

Place orthotic or comfort insoles inside the leather boots, if desired. If the boots include a removable insole, remove it before inserting a new insole.

Step 2

Try on the leather boots. Walk around the room in the boots and slide your feet into different positions. Determine if the boots fit appropriately or if they are too small. If boots are too small, take the boots to a shoemaker and ask him to stretch the boots.

Step 3

Speed up the break in process of full-grain leather boots. Place a wet sock on each foot. Wait for the socks to become damp and step into the leather boots. Lace or zip the boots and walk around your home for 10 to 20 minutes. Remove the boots and socks and allow the boots to dry. Repeat the process of walking in damp socks once per day for two or three days.

Step 4

Treat your leather boots using a silicon-based conditioner. These conditioners, available at shoe stores, help soften and waterproof leather.

Step 5

Bend the sole of the boots. While wearing the boots, assume a "squat" position. Stay in this position for as long as possible and remove the boots. Grasp a boot in your hands and gently push the toe of the boot downwards then upwards. Repeat the process on the other boot.

Step 6

Don your leather boots and wear them outside for 20 to 30 minutes. If the boots are intended for hiking, walk up a hill or on a rocky path. If the boots are intended for everyday use, walk on concrete or tile.

Step 7

Repeat the process of walking outside in the boots every day for three or four days. If boots are intended for hiking, complete a short hike during one or two of the days.

Photo Credits

  • Photos.com/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images

About the Author

Breann Kanobi has worked as freelance writer since 2010. Kanobi regularly submits content online to Gamer DNA. Kanobi received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in film and television from New York University in 2010.