How To Break In Work Boots

In many workplaces, it is essential that you wear the correct safety gear. Be this eye protection, gloves, or footwear, each piece of equipment is vital in keeping you safe.

The main workplaces where safety gear is required include industrial environments, warehouses, and building sites.

While sufficient headgear is always important, it’s what you wear on your feet that can save you from serious, life-changing injuries.

Work boots may help protect the 26 intricate bones of your feet but they are not always the most comfortable footwear around.

That is why you will usually need to break in your steel-toe cap boots to get to a comfortable level and stop the pain. Of course, before all of this, you will need to ensure you have the right size to fit your feet. 

Daily wear of steel toe cap boots means you will experience some sort of pain. Common causes of pain include rubbing, blisters, and ingrown toenails.

Many of us disregard the health of our feet as, well, they’re the furthest body apart away from what we think about. But, it’s not until you start to experience issues in the area that you realize how uncomfortable foot pain can be. 

To help limit or stop the pain entirely, you need to break in your work boot. So, to help you do so, I have a range of tips and techniques in this article to help stop your feet from hurting.

Read on so you can finally step out for work in comfort. 

Breaking In Your Work Boots

There are multiple techniques for breaking in your work boots. Breaking in your boots simply means helping them conform to your foot’s shape and, ultimately, making them more comfortable to wear for hours on end.

While some popular methods include heating the boots to mold them to your foot’s shape, this can damage the quality of the boot. Luckily, there are a few ways to break in your work boots without causing any damage to them.

Here are a few:

Wear Them Around Your Home And Neighborhood 

I have worn some uncomfortable work boots in my time. But, like many shoes, they become more comfortable the more you wear them. The great thing about work boots is that they are built to last.

Once you break them in, they can and should last years. But, you must make them comfortable first.

One common method of breaking in new work boots is to wear them around your home. Start off by wearing them for short periods such as ten to twenty minutes. Over a few days, slowly increase this time period until you can wear them for a few hours.

I recommend wearing the shoes for quite a while before wearing them for work. Going from 10 minutes in the boots to 8 hours or more can be excruciating so spend time beforehand.

Also, wear thick socks. This will stretch the leather or fabric of the safety boots and improve their fit to your feet. And, thankfully, this will not damage or warp the material.

The extra heat your feet give off will increase the stretching process meaning it takes less time to break in the new boots. After a few days, your new work boots should fit comfortably and be relatively molded to your unique foot shape. 

Soften The Leather With Conditioner 

Conditioner can work well at softening and loosening the leather of work boots to fit your feet perfectly. Just don’t use your partner’s expensive conditioner or you’ll get a boot up the backside!

If your boots are made from leather, the conditioner will soften the material in a short period of time. Rub this into the material daily when you first purchase the boots.

Once the boots start to fit nicely, just use conditioner on them once a week to maintain their looseness and comfort. 

Use Boot Stretchers 

It’s actually possible to work in your new safety boots without wearing them. You can buy boot stretchers that are available on Amazon and shoe repair stores. When used, these stretchers apply some pressure to the boots and, you guessed it, stretch the material out.

This means your feet will not be as constricted and tight within the boots. If a particular part of your foot is in pain from the boots, there are specific boot stretchers available such as types that limit the boot rubbing your heel. 

If you have a spare week when your boots are not needed, these stretchers can be left in to do their work.

However, while these stretchers can help stretch the material, you may still find your feet are a little uncomfortable afterward. This is because the boots do not conform to your foot’s shape as well. 

Adjust The Boot’s Laces 

This may seem obvious but it can work. I have tried breaking in boots for weeks before only to find that a simple adjustment of the laces opens up the constriction of the foot inside. 

If your work boots feel pretty tight around the widest part of your foot, loosen and adjust the laces. You can even miss out on some of the eyelets in this area so there is no pressure on the foot.

This results in more room for your foot to move and breathe inside and an overall comfier fit. Just make sure the laces are done up tightly enough so you don’t trip over them or slip. 

Take Your New Work Boots To A Professional 

If all else fails or you haven’t got the time to break in your boots for days on end, you can take them to a cobbler.

Here, the cobbler will have specialized tools to stretch your boots and expand the troublesome areas. They can even add certain pieces of padding within the insole or arch to provide additional comfort. 

You can find a cobbler or shoe fitting professional in your local area by googling “local cobbler.” Just bear in mind that this could take a few days as well and cost you more money.