How To Break In New Shoes - COMUNITYmade


How To Break In New Shoes

How To Break In New Shoes

by Sean Scott April 21, 2022

Most shoe lovers know how important it is to wear comfortable shoes that fit just right. Regardless of how attractive a pair of shoes is, you wouldn’t want to end up with blisters or massage your feet for hours on end simply because they don’t fit right.

With the age of social media and online shoe deals that are way too good to pass up, we more often than not buy shoes without trying them on. Buying a new pair of shoes online can be a risk. The shoes may not fit exactly how you want them to. 

Fortunately, you can use a few tips to break in shoes so that you are not in pain every time you wear them. Breaking in new shoes doesn’t have to be painful.  

This article will discuss a few tricks you can use to break in new shoes without killing your feet. If you try these tricks and the shoes are still painful to wear, you may have to accept that the shoes are just plain painful. Here are ways you can break in your new shoesNot all ideas are for everyone so choose the one that best suits your particular situation.

Wear them around the house

Wearing new shoes around the house is a trial run of sorts. By doing so, you can effectively help break in new shoes. Wearing the shoes in the house is particularly helpful if you intend to wear them to an event.

It would be best to wear a pair of socks before wearing the shoes. Thick socks work best. Do your usual household chores in them and walk around as much as possible over short periods. Wearing them for short periods plays a significant role in preventing blisters which make the break-in period longer.

If they feel too slippery, you can use sandpaper to scuff the soles.

Place them in the freezer

Cooling new shoes can make them more comfortable for you to wear. To cool new shoes, fill two freezer bags with water, seal them tightly, then place the shoes in the freezer. Once the water freezes completely, remove the shoes from the freezer and let the water thaw. 

When the water thaws, remove the freezer bags from the shoes and try them on. You’ll notice that they are much easier to wear.

Keep leather shoes warm

If the shoes you are trying to break in are leather shoes, it will help if you keep them warm. Warm temperatures help soften the leather. Note that if you place leather shoes in a cold place, the leather will shrink.

If you intend to wear new leather shoes, keep them warm for them so they can take the shape of your feet. You’ll have an easier time breaking in.

Use sock balls

This is an old trick, but it works. All you have to do is roll several socks into balls and stuff as many as you can into your new pair of shoes. Be sure to stuff more balls into the areas that feel tighter than others.

Let the sock balls stay in the shoes overnight, and then try on the shoes. If they still feel a little tight, stuff them with the sock balls once more and leave them in for longer. Eventually, the shoes will stretch, and you’ll have an easier time wearing them.

Sock balls can’t damage the material of your shoes, so you don’t have to worry about leaving them in the shoes for long.

Use newspaper to stretch them

This method is ideal for expensive, delicate shoes. All you need to do is get newspapers, wet them a little, then stuff them into your new shoes. The amount of newspaper you use significantly depends on the shoe size. Be sure to fill the shoes with wet newspaper, but don’t stuff them too much as the shoe shape may get distorted.

Stuffing shoes with newspapers works best in leather shoes. Let the newspapers dry, then remove them from the shoes and try them on. If the shoes are still not a good fit, repeat the process.

Heat the shoes

Heating your shoes can help soften the shoe material making them easier to stretch out. To heat then, wear a thick pair of socks then wear your shoes. At this point, you’ll use a hairdryer to heat the shoes. Set it to high heat and aim it directly at your shoes, ensuring that every part of the shoes heats up evenly. Walk around the house with them on for a few minutes, then remove them. The heat will make the shoes stretch out.

Use rubbing alcohol spray

Mix rubbing alcohol with water in equal measures, pour the mixture into a spray bottle, shake it up, and spray it into your new shoes. This method is ideal for all kinds of shoes except leather shoes.

Wear the shoes immediately after spraying them (before the spray dries up) and leave them on while in the house for half an hour.

Remove them and try them on again. They may fit better. If not, repeat the process until they do.

Wear the right kind of socks

Thick socks can help you break in your new pair of shoes. The extra size will help expand the shoes, making them comfortable when the socks are off. Better yet, you can try wearing two pairs of thin synthetic socks with the shoes. Synthetic socks are known to reduce rubbing. Cotton socks may not be ideal because they tend to absorb moisture and cause more friction, leading to blisters.

Opt for machine stretching

If you are skeptical about breaking in your shoes at home, you can always opt for machine stretching. Several shoe guys in the United States can stretch your new shoes at little to no cost. However, you should know that machine stretching generally makes your shoes larger than they were when you bought them. 

Additionally, machine stretching does not focus on the problem areas. Therefore, the shoes may be bigger, but your feet may not have the extra room they need in the problem areas, thus resulting in blisters. This method is ideal if you only want your feet to have extra room.


Sean Scott
Sean Scott


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Blog

Made in the USA: The Importance of Supporting American Shoemakers
Made in the USA: The Importance of Supporting American Shoemakers

by Sean Scott May 09, 2024

In an era of globalized markets, supporting American jobs is not just a choice; it's a statement of pride, resilience, and commitment to the future of our great nation. One of the best ways to do this is by actively choosing products stamped with the label "Made in the USA." When you buy American, you are not just making a purchase; you're making a difference.

Read More

From Trash to Treasure: Upcycling Materials in Shoe Design
From Trash to Treasure: Upcycling Materials in Shoe Design

by Shannon Scott May 01, 2024

Clothing brands are producing twice the amount of clothes today than they did in 2000. About 15% of raw materials used during production are wasted because of cutouts, and 60% of garments are discarded just a few years after production. On top of that, the energy-intensive production methods, high water and chemical use, and lengthy supply chains intensify the ecological impact of the fashion industry.

Read More

comunitymade interior shot with an artisan talking to two people
Eco-Conscious Footwear: How we Reduce our Carbon Shoeprint

by Shannon Scott April 23, 2024

When we support brands like COMUNITYmade, we are demanding transparency and accountability from the industry. As we embrace mindful consumption and durable shoes, we all can collectively rewrite the narrative of shoe manufacturing. We can leave the invisible footprint of a greener future, one stylish, earth-conscious step at a time.

Read More

Find Your Perfect Size

We want to help make sure that your new shoes have the best fit possible.  

We have created a separate fit for men and women to provide the ultimate foot hugging comfort.  Our sockliner and upper materials will naturally mold to your foot and stretch out after a short period of time, so do allow for this when trying our shoes on initially.


 In general, our shoes are running closer to an everyday shoe fit vs. an athletic shoe fit and can be worn with or without socks - but the socks have to be eye catching for best results.


Any variances from this chart will be noted on each individual product page.