How To Break in New Shoes

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So you’ve found that hot new pair of Loubies, but there’s a slight problem….the shoes are a bit too small. So we put together some simple tips to help you break in your new shoes.

How to Break in New Shoes

  • 1. Wear them around the house for at least 2 days, with a pair of thick white cotton athletic socks, using either sandpaper or a sidewalk to slightly scuff the bottom.
  • 2. If the shoes are leather, waterproof the outside of the shoes, then soak the entire pair underwater for about 2 minutes. Wearing a pair of thick white socks, walk around your house until dry. The shoe will mold to your foot. Caution: Don’t try this with an expensive pair, or light-colored shoes.
  • 3. Purchase a pair of Dr. Scholl’s for Her Heel Liners, available at your local drugstore, and place them on the inside heel of the shoe. The liners help not only to break in the shoe, but also to keep your heels from slipping and rubbing.
  • 4. If the shoe is particularly tight or stiff, grab it by the heel and gently knead it back and forth to loosen the sole, being very careful not to break the sole.
  • 5. If all else fails, purchase a shoe stretcher, a device similar to a shoe tree that helps stretch tight shoes. This device can be purchased from your local shoe repair shop or shoe store.
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    • I must try these tips! I bought a new pair since everything is on sale but the shoes are killing me! I hope one of the tips here work for me, too!

      • Catherine Brock

        Hi there,
        Come back and let us know how it goes!

    • If you were going to buy a golf club, you wouldn’t walk into a store and buy the first one you see, would you? Of course not; especially if you want to improve your golf game! You’ll want to hold the club, take some practice swings, hit some balls if the store has a practice spot, and look at the price, of course. If you are considering buying running shoes, you need to go through a similar process and take the time to find the perfect shoe.

    • Melissa

      If you have problems with your shoes slipping and sliding, try foot petals. They have a web site and some of their products are sold at Target. They are GREAT. They make little pads that keep your heels from slipping and pads that keep your soles from sliding. They even have inserts that keep toes from scrunching. They also have full inserts. And what makes them even better? They are all designed to work in any shoe, even open toe high heels! AND they come in designer colors that match just about every shoe color.

    • Laura

      I have a pair of sling backs that I got at Bakers.  I love them, but I find that I have to scrunch my toes just to keep them on…any suggestions?

    • Tylisa

      I find that the shoe pads that stick to the bottom are great for slippery shoes 🙂

      These are great tips for someone whose feet like to miraculously grow and shrink between size 10 and 11…lol. My homegirl in Ottawa – who is a stylist – says to wear the shoe for at least half an hour a day until the shoes feel completely comfortable. For me, depending on the shoe, if its leather it may take a week, if its a different material, maybe less. But she says have fun with it, as you get more comfortable, try on different outfits with the shoe and have your own mini runway show – you know you do it when no ones watching…lol

      So by the time you hit the club with your shoes, you will already know how to master dancing and walking and strutting your stuff with thoes sexy heels – like Beyonce!!

    • Amanda

      I have used regular rubbing alcohol to stretch out my leather shoes that were a little too snug.  All I did was pour some alcohol on the outside of the shoe on parts that were bothering me.  Then I wore the shoe to mold them to my feet.  It actually works.  I tried it on a black pair of ballet flats.

    • When I was working in a shoe store last year, we found the shoe stretcher options to be the safest with most shoes, but the other ideas seem interesting too.  Another problem women run into when they buy new shoes, especially those with leather soles, they are slippery beyond reason.  Some suggest taking a piece of sandpaper to the bottoms, or going out on the cement and rubbing the soles on that.  I personally find the idea horrifying.  Instead, I’ve been using these little rubber pad things that I found a local drugstore to stick on the bottom of the sole.  I found they work better when it’s icy outside too, and much better for your shoe.