Buying hiking shoes is a big investment, and you want to make sure they’re going to be comfortable on your next hike. It’s hard to know how long it will take for a new pair of hiking shoes to break in, and if they’ll be uncomfortable on your next hike.
We’ve got the answer for you How Long Does It Take to Break in Hiking Shoes? Breaking in hiking shoes can take some time, but it is worth it to have comfortable shoes that fit well. The best way to break in your shoes is to wear them around the house for a few hours each day. After a week or two, your shoes should be broken in and ready for hiking.
It is important to pick the right size hiking shoe because a shoe that is too small can cause blisters, and a shoe that is too large can cause foot fatigue. The best way to pick the right size is to go to a store and try on different sizes. Once you have found the right size, you can buy your shoes online.
Our guide breaks down how long it takes for different types of hiking shoes to break in, so you can buy them with confidence. You’ll also find tips on how to speed up the process and make them more comfortable from the start.
How Long Does It Take to Break in Hiking Shoes
With a little effort, you may get your new hiking boots broken in in just a few days. However, it is possible that your new trekking boots will develop blisters and even damage their life span. Breaking in a new pair of hiking boots properly and without causing blisters usually takes 1-4 weeks.
The time it takes to break in a pair of brand-new hiking boots is determined by how well the new boots fit your feet, what materials they’re composed of, and whether your feet are broken in. That’s correct. If you’ve hiked a lot in your life, then you have likely broken in your feet and they will accept new hiking boots much easier than if this is your first time lacing up a pair of hiking boots.
You’ll also need to break in your feet! If you hike on a regular basis, the skin around the locations where you typically get blisters, such as on the outside of your pinkies, will become thicker. Someone who has already broken in their boots will notice a significant difference in comfort and will seldom experience any blisters.
If you have the time, we recommend breaking them in carefully, but if your long-distance hike is fast approaching, you won’t have a choice; you’ll need to break them in quickly and risk getting a few blisters.
How to Break in Hiking Boots – Two Steps
Depending on how much time you have before your next excursion, you may quickly or properly break in your boots. We’ll go through both methods.
1. How to Break in Hiking Boots Correctly (1 – 4 Weeks)
Taking things easy and slow is a must when breaking in your hiking boots correctly. Wear your new hiking boots for about 1-2 weeks around the house, on short walks to the store, or while walking your dog so that the insoles and fabric cushioning surrounding the boot mold to your feet. Instead of wearing regular socks, make sure you wear the same wool or synthetic socks you intend to hike in.
After a few short walks, your feet and the shoes should be comfortable enough to venture on a short day hike (no longer than 3-4 miles). Do this a few times before attempting an overnight hike or anything more significant.
After trying on your boots for a few days, it’s time to hit the trail. Start with a few shorter hikes (3–8 kilometers / 2–5 miles) and work your way up. Make sure you’re hiking in the right environment – wear a heavy pack that you’d normally wear on multi-day treks, dress in hiking clothes, and use the same type of sock you’ll be wearing on your long hikes.
The second step is to carefully inspect any hot spots on your feet during this time. When you notice bruising, stop and inspect the area. Perhaps you’re wearing too thick socks or lacing your boots too tightly around the heels or toes. Perhaps you’re wearing ill-fitting boots. If it isn’t because of laces or socks, apply some moleskin or Competed to the area and continue on.
2. How to Break in Hiking Boots Quickly (1-3 Days)
If you have the opportunity, you should properly break in your hiking boots; this will result in a better fit and increased boot life. However, if not, there is also a quick approach to get your hiking boots ready for your next excursion.
Get your hiking boots damp and go trekking until they’re dry, which is a tried-and-true method for breaking in hiking boots fast. When hiking boots get wet, their shape changes more readily, and they’ll break in much faster. The best way to use this technique is to soak your new trekking shoes in warm water for around 20 minutes, then go on a short hike of approximately 2 miles.
Make sure you don’t overdo it – only do this for 1-3 days as trekking with wet shoes can cause blisters. If you begin to experience hot spots, stop and let your shoes dry out completely.
You could also try breaking in your shoes with a product like Boot Bananas. This is a 100% natural product made from organic materials that helps absorb moisture and prevents odors.
There are a few drawbacks to this method. First and foremost, your boots may be damaged if they get fully drenched. Although good quality trekking boots shouldn’t be harmed when wet, the water-proofing is frequently reduced, and occasionally the site where the boot is connected to the outsole is destroyed. Another disadvantage of this technique is that you’ll have to go on multiple hikes to break your shoes in, which may not be ideal if you’re short on time.
Breaking in your hiking boots doesn’t have to be a difficult or painful process – with the right method and a little bit of time, you can ensure that your shoes fit well and are comfortable for even the longest hikes.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you break in hiking shoes quickly?
It’s the last night of the month and you’ve made a plan to go hiking with a friend of yours on Sunday morning. You’ve been saving for a while to afford the hike, but there’s one more thing you need. You want hiking shoes, but you don’t have time to go to the local store and wait in line to try on a pair. Luckily, your friend happens to have a spare pair of hiking shoes that he never wears. After trying on the shoes and seeing how they feel, you realize they’re perfect for the upcoming hike.
How many miles should you walk to break in hiking boots?
The only way you’re going to find out whether or not you have a sore foot is to actually go out and hike. And it won’t hurt your foot, so you won’t have any reason to worry. If you hike for 10 to 15 miles a day, you’re going to want to get into good hiking shoes to start with. And once you do, you’ll be able to tell for yourself whether or not you have a sore foot.
Do hiking shoes loosen up over time?
If you’re hiking, you may end up having to break in your hiking boots before they stretch out of shape. This is more a case of them becoming snug and fitting better after they become worn. Leather is a natural material that response to outside (and inside) conditions.
Do you have to break in hiking boots?
Boots that are very new will fit like a glove right out of the box, while heavy boots will need a lot of break-in time. If you’re a light hiker, you’ll be fine as soon as you put them on; if you’re a rugged type, you’ll need weeks before you’ll see the benefits of the additional weight. No matter which brand of boots you own, the break-in period isn’t going to transform a poorly fitting pair of shoes into a good fit.
It is important to break in hiking shoes before hitting the trails. Depending on how often you hike, it may take a few weeks or a few months for your shoes to reach their full potential. By wearing them around town and gradually increasing the distance and difficulty of your hikes, you can make sure that your new shoes are ready for anything. What tips do you have for How Long Does It Take to Break in Hiking Shoes?
There isn’t, and we all want there to be one. Breaking in a pair of new hiking boots isn’t fast, despite the fact that we’d all like it to be so. Unless you’re opposed to getting a few blisters and reducing the life of your new walking boots by dry-walking wet hiking boots. If you have time before your big hike, slowly breaking them in by wearing them on different types of terrain is the best method.
If you don’t have time and just want to get on with it, try wet-walking them. This will break them in much faster but doesn’t come without some risks. Your boots could get damaged if they’re soaked through and you’re more likely to get blisters. But if you’re careful, this could be the best way to break into your new shoes quickly. Happy Trails!