Hiking Boots – Breaking in Hiking Boots


Different boots require different amounts of break in time, heavier boots and leather require weeks to soften, while lighter models, which can also work great as general Camping Shoes, may be perfect right out of the box, becoming the Best Camping Shoes you ever owned.


NOTE: Most of the Best Hiking Boots on the market stretches out after break in, however the break in process will not turn a poor fit, into a good fit. Always make sure you buy the right size boot that is comfortable and snug. Camping shoes and boots will be one of the most important things you own and if they don’t fit you will feel loads of pain and blisters. Even the Best Hiking Shoes ever made will cause you years of pain if you don’t start off right.



The basic break-in procedure

  • Begin by wearing the socks you would be wearing when on the trail, while walking around the house for short periods of time. Make sure the boots are worn correctly; the gusset material is folded flat, tongues lined up and the laces tightened up. The creases that are formed when you wear your boots for the break in will most likely stay there for the remainder of the lifespan of your boots.
  • Your new boots will surely be a little stiff at first. But if you start noticing significant pinching, pain or rubbing from the start, this is the sign that you need to replace them with a bigger size or an alternative style.
  • After you have walked in your new boots for multiple short periods indoors, you can then take them out a bit and wear them for longer walks, like to your local store. You should increase the amount of times you wear your boots gradually in order for them to feel good at each stage of wear before increasing the distance you walk in them.

NOTE: Make sure your new boots fit you comfortable indoors, before attempting to wear them outside.

  • As soon as you experience any pain or discomfort you should take the boots off. A small problem can become a big one so you need to be quite vigilant during the break in process. If your boots feels good, try adding weight on your back if you will be hiking at more challenging trails.
  • If your boots feel good, except for maybe one pinch or hot spot, you can buy a stretching agent which you apply to the boot to stretch it out a bit. Alternatively you can take it into a shoe repair shop where they will be able to stretch the boots to the perfect size.


No such thing as a “quick fix”

To do a good job of breaking in your new boots, you have to put in the time and effort, as there is no easy way when it comes to breaking them in. Even the best camping shoes will need to be broken in before you go any where.

Never follow the old-wives-tale of soaking your boots and then walking long distances with them, this will only damage your boots and it will end up being murder on your feet. Always follow the instructions the manufacturer set forth carefully when waterproofing your boots.


If you have gone on your first successful hike or you are planning a hiking trip then you should definitely read this post to find out how to take care of your boots after each hike.


Walking comfortably, with the best hiking boots or shoes you can afford, is only the beginning. Next you need to make sure you also look good. To make sure that you look your best when going fishing, hunting, hiking etc you should read this article.