12 Proven Ways to Break in New Work Boots Fast

Leather boots can serve you a lifetime. It’s like building a new house and living in it for the rest of the life! But every new thing starting from house to medicines to places take some time to adjust in your life.

Your leather boots are no exception! They too take some days for your feet to get adjusted with them. In other words to make your feet comfortable in them, you need to breaking in work boots fast.

How to Break in New Work Boots

Breaking-in work boots will allow the boot to take the shape and size of your feet so that they feel comfortable inside it.

Well, let’s start with the comparison of different ways to break-in boots.

Methods Difficulty levelTime consumptionEffectiveness Can be used for
Wear them at homeEasy1 weekEffective Leaher, nubuck, suede, fabric
Use warm waterModerate1 hourEffective Leather 
Use boot stretchersHard 4 to 5 hoursVery effectiveLeather, nubuck, suede, fabric
Use ice bagsModerate1 nightEffective Leather 
Use leather conditionerModerate1 hourVery effectiveLeather 
Use mink oilModerate½ hourVery effectiveLeather, nubuck
Use heatEasy 15 minutesEffective Leather, nubuck, suede, fabric
Inserting shoehornModerate1 dayVery effective Leather, nubuck, suede, fabric
Wear with thick pairs of socksEasy 1 weekEffective Leather, nubuck, suede, fabric
Use rubbing alcoholModerate20 minutesEffective Leather 
Use boot stretching sprayEasy 5 minutesVery effectiveLeather, nubuck
Inserting wet towel/newspaperEasy 1 dayVery effectiveLeather 

12 Hacks to Break in New Work Boots

1. Wear them at Home for the First Few Days

The easiest way to break-in new work boots

Do not head out to the workplace straight away after buying your new boots. Give them some time at home, wearing them for at least a week.

boots wearing in house

Whenever you are at home, wear the boots with thick socks or multiple layers of socks. This will expand the area inside the boots according the size of your feet. Actually this helps in stretching the fibers in the areas where the boot was tight for your feet.

 Wear the boots for few hours every day and try bending and stretching your toes, arch and heels inside the boots.

2. Use Warm Water to Soak in Your New Boots

The cheapest way to break-in new work boots

Take a bucket of warm water and soak in your new boots in it for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending upon the quality of your leather boots. This will loosen the leather fibers.

Use Warm Water to Soak in Your New Boots

Now wear them with socks. The loosened leather fibers will adjust according to the shape of your feet as they start to dry up. 

Wear them till they are almost dry and then take a dryer and dry the boots while still your feet is in. 

Remember not to over-soak the boots as it might damage the boots entirely.

3. Use Boot Stretchers to Stretch your Boots

The fastest way to breaking in leather work boots

Boot stretcher is a mechanical tool that is used to stretch your boots to the desired shape and size with the application of force. We recommend using the FootFitter boot width stretcher for stretching work boots.

Just insert the boot stretcher inside your boots and then pull the stick as much as you can. Take out the stretcher and wear the boots to see if your purpose is solved. 

If not…

Repeat the process once again or as many times you need until your boots fit you right.

4. Use Ice Bags to Make Some Room Inside your Boots

The craziest way to break-in new work boots

Let’s have a look at the process:

Freeze water bags inside to stretch boots➢ Take an ice bag when the ice inside it is in the molten state.

➢ Put it inside your boots right in the place where the boots need to be bigger.

➢ Now take the boots along with the ice bag and place it inside the freezer.

➢ As the water inside the ice bag starts to freeze, it gradually expands your boot’s surface area.

➢ Take out the boots and wear them. 

➢ Now, take a dryer and start drying the boots.

➢ The boots should fit you right.

5. Use Leather Conditioner to Soften the Fibers

The best way to break-in new work boots

You might think that what work a leather conditioner can have in breaking in your new boots, but the idea is just to soften the leather fibers. We recommend using Leather Honey Leather Conditioner, it not only softens leather but also increases your boot life.

Once the leather fiber, that is the upper of your boots are soft, they can mold according the comfort of your feet.

Use Leather Conditioner to Soften the Fibers of bootThe process to follow is:

➢ Take your brand new pair of boots.

➢ Apply the leather conditioner generously on the upper of the boots.

➢ Leave-in for some hours.

➢ Wear them when the fibers are soft.

➢ The boot will take the shape of your feet.

➢ Now take a wet cloth and rub off the excess conditioner.

➢ Dry the boots using a dryer.

6. Use Mink Oil

The safest way to break-in new work boots

Mink oil is known for its softening properties. It works on your boots pretty much like the conditioner.

The process is also almost same with just some differences:

➢ Take your boots and apply mink oil (Recommended Fiebings Mink Oil) on the upper portion with soft cotton. 

➢ Leave-in the mink oil on your boots overnight.

➢ The mink oil will soften the leather fibers.

➢ Next morning wipe off the excess oil from the uppers of your boots using a tissue paper.

➢ Wear the boots for few hours to let the fibers mold into the shape of your feet.

7. Use Heat in the Form of a Dryer

The quickest way to break-in new work boots

Heating also loosens up the leather fibers which in turn then takes the form of your feet.

Using-Hair-Dryer on boots

The steps for the process are:

➢ Take a hair dryer and start heating your boot from all sides.

➢ The heat will loosen the fibers.

➢ Now wear the boots and walk around as usual.

➢ The soft fibers will mold into the form of your feet.

8. Try Inserting a Shoehorn


A shoehorn is a wooden piece that can be inserted inside your boots. Take the shoehorn and insert it inside the boots and as the shoehorn expands, it gradually stretches the leather. We recommend using the 24″ Inch Extra Long Handled Shoehorn.

9. Wear your new boots with Thicker pairs of Socks

Mens Heavy Thick Wool Socks - Soft Warm Comfort Winter Crew Socks (Pack of 3/5),Multicolor,One Size 7-12

Wearing thick pairs of socks inside your boots will expand the surface area inside the boots. This way your new boots won’t hurt you too. Your feet will feel comfortable as well as the boot will break in too.

10. Use Rubbing Alcohol


While alcohol is used to clean the leather, it also acts as an agent to soften the leather fibers. Spray rubbing alcohol on the parts that need to be broken-in. leave it for few hours. Wear the boots and clean the alcohol using a wet cloth. Dry the boots nicely using a dryer.

11. Using a boot stretching spray

The most effective way to break-in new work boots

For this we recommend using the Kiwi SELECT Universal Shoe Stretch spray available on amazon for all kinds of boot (leather, suede, nubuck, or reptile skins).

Once the spray gets delivered open it and spray it on your brand new pair of boots and then wear them immediately until the spray dries on the boot. Repeat the process until you feel that your boots are broken-in as per your expectations.

12. Try inserting wet towel or newspaper

This trick works best when used along with a boot conditioner or a boot stretching spray; let’s see how:

1.) Apply a good boot conditioner on the boots or spray a boot stretching spray.

2.) Now take a wet towel or wet newspapers and insert them inside the boots, trying to just push as hard the towel so that it takes up more space making your boots bulge.

3.) The wet towel will allow the boot fibers on the inside as well to soak the conditioner or the spray and thus loosen the inside boot fabric as well.

4.) This will aid in the breaking-in process too fast.

5.) Keep the towel inside the boots until it dries up completely.

6.) Then take out the towel and dry the boots using a hair dryer.

DO’S & DON’TS of breaking in new work boots

1. Wear them at home before wearing to work 1. Wear them off as soon as you return from work
2. Wear them with thick pairs of socks 2. Dip them in water
3. Condition them well 3. Put your boots to direct heat
4. Oil them regularly 4. Ignore the hot spots and the pinches
5. Try new boots for a snug fit at the time of buying 5. Select the boots that fit tight without socks at the time of purchase

Reasons why it’s important to break in new work boots before wearing them for work?

It is important to break in new work boots before wearing them to work because it will make the boots more comfortable for you to walk all day at work!

But besides this, there are also several other important reasons behind breaking in new boots, let’s learn about them below:

1.) It will make the boots flexible and allow you to bend your feet according to your working needs and positions. The boots that are not broken in will be stiff and you won’t be able to bend your feet or move your toes inside the boots.

2.) Broken in boots will feel soft from inside and your feet will feel comfortable all day long.

3.) It will not cause blisters on the feet.

4.) It will prevent foot pain which actually develops from wearing hard boot all day long.

5.) Your feet will be able to breathe more inside the boots as it will get more room to stretch and flex.

Effects of what happens when you do not break-in new work boots?

If you do not break-in your new boots and head fast to work wearing them, it might result in the following:

1.) It will be hard to wear and make you feel uncomfortable all day long at work.

2.) It will cause foot pain because hard boots will not allow you to move your feet according to your reflex inside the boots.

3.) The boots that are not broken-in will cause blisters, bunions and calluses.

4.) The boots will not give a perfect fit howsoever snug fitting it is because it has not taken the exact shape of your feet yet.

5.) It might lead to knee and back pain as well.

Before we say Good Bye:

So, before taking adieu from you here are some PRO TIPS:

→ Never over soak the boots in water for long hours. It will damage the boots entirely.

→ Try wearing your new boots longer than usual. Wear them at home as well as go out to the park or shopping in them.

→ Don’t have to tendency to avoid them as they are new and hurting your feet. If you don’t start now, they won’t fit you any day.

→ Try to keep them in airy and lighted area.

Repeat as many processes mentioned above alternating one with the other till the boots fit you right!

Your new boots should be comfortable for you with the tricks mentioned by us.

Do try them and let us know in the comment section below your experiences with your new work boots.

Till then take care and…

Keep walking!

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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