Leather shoes and boots are timeless, adding sophistication to any look. However, the only misery associated with leather shoes is blisters and sore feet. However once broken in, they will be your standout favourite in your shoe collection.
Read on for some top tips on how to break in your leather shoes, for a comfortable and long-lasting fit.
How to Break in Your Leather Shoes and Boots
New leather is tough, but with time it adjusts to the shape of your feet. It is vital that you purchase good-quality leather shoes or boots that have an excellent fit, otherwise they will never be comfortable.
Here are some tips for breaking in your leather footwear:
1. Don’t wear your new leather shoes when you are going to walk a long way. Short trips will allow your feet to adjust to them slowly and spare your feet from extreme pain.
2. A thick pair of socks will help in protecting your feet.
3. Check for spots on your feet that you think your new shoes will rub and cover that area with a bandaid. Ankles, small toe, the sides from where your toes begin are some areas where shoes tend to rub most often.
4. Don’t chuck out your new boots if they hurt you on the first wear. Instead, pad your feet and continue wearing them in for small trips, and slowly they will become comfortable.
5. When buying leather shoes, invest a little more and buy good quality leather as well as looking for reputable brands.
6. There are several tips online that tell you to wet your new leather shoes, heat them in the oven or put them in the freezer. Ignore all these tips because your boots or shoes are made from leather, a natural material. You could end up damaging your beautiful pair of shoes.
How Long Does it Take to Break in Your Leather Shoes or Boots?
For some, breaking in their shoes may just take a couple of wears. For others, it may take three to four weeks. For instance, side zip boots that tend to wrap tightly around your ankle tend to break in early, while Loafers and Dowler boots will take more time to break in.
A good pair of leather boots or shoes are always the best and most comfortable shoes in your wardrobe, once you have broken them in.
How to Maintain Leather Shoes and Boots
You can easily extend the life of your favourite pair of leather footwear for years with some basic maintenance. Here are some tips on how to take care of them at home.
1. Clean and Polish Them Regularly
Use a nylon bristle brush and a leather cleaning product to remove the dirt. Let the shoes dry and then use a clean cotton rag to apply a leather conditioner to restore its moisture. After the conditioner is absorbed, use a neutral shoe cream. Use your fingers to spread it evenly over the leather shoes or boots and then wait for a few minutes before using a shine brush to polish. If you want extra shine, then wax paste is what you should use instead of a regular shoe cream. Wax just requires fifteen seconds and then you can use a shine brush to polish.
2. Replace Your Sole when Required
If your sole wears down, the edges of the heel have rounded or you feel the heel to have an uncomfortable tilt, replace it. If you continue to wear shoes with worn-out heels, then it will destroy the structs of your leather shoes.
3. Add a Protective Layer
Use a waterproofing spray on your leather shoes every three to six months. This will protect them from water stains. If your leather shoes or boots are unprotected and get water stains, then use a spray to mist the entire shoes, it may help to even out the colour.
4. Dry them Properly
If your leather shoes or boots get wet, place then under a fan or in the natural air to dry instead of a heating vent because the sudden heat from vent will cause the leather to dry. You may have to apply more conditioner in this case.
5. Store Them Well
When you are not wearing your shoes, then use shoe trees for storing them for a short period. This will prevent the natural creases and fold from settling in permanently. If you want to store them for a longer period of time, then use wooden shoe horns and stretchers. Ensure that you buy shoe trees that are the right size or get ones that are adjustable so you can get them to fit precisely in your leather shoes or boots.
Follow these tips to break in your beautiful new pair of leather shoes and enjoy wearing them for years to come.