Woman hiking across stream with text overlay How to Quickly Break in Hiking Boots
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How to Easily Break in Hiking Boots

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How to Break in Hiking Boots

You’ve done your research and picked out the perfect pair of women’s hiking boots or the best hiking boots for men. While they feel comfortable on your feet right out of the box, don’t forget, you need to break in hiking boots.

After all, breaking in hiking boots is one of the best ways to prevent blisters when hiking. But what’s the easiest way to break in hiking boots? This guide will go over how to break in your hiking boots so you can enjoyable a comfortable and pain-free hike.

1. Wear Your Boots Around the House

The first thing to do when you’re breaking in hiking boots is wear them around the house. Fortunately, since they’re brand new, you don’t have to worry about hygiene issues associated with wearing boots around the house!

When you’re wearing your boots, make sure you’re also wearing the socks and any insoles you plan on wearing when you’re hiking.

Related: The Best Hiking Socks for Every Type of Hiker

Your boots will feel a little tight and stiff at first, but that’s completely normal. Just make sure the tongues are straight and your boots are tied snugly but not too tight.

2. Take a Walk Around the Block

After wearing your boots around the house for a few weeks, they should start to feel more comfortable. At this point, you can start taking your boots on longer walks.

I like to walk a mile or two outside every day. When I’m breaking in hiking boots, I’ll often wear them on these walks. You can also wear your boots to the grocery store or when you’re running errands.

It doesn’t matter where you wear your boots. The important part is that you’re simply spending a little extra time in them and putting a few extra miles on them.

Related: Important Tips for Hiking in the Heat

3. Go for a Day Hike

Once your boots feel good at this stage, it’s time to up the distance. Getting off the pavement and on dirt is when you’ll really start to break in your hiking boots.

Related: The Best Trekking Poles for a Day Hike

Start with a short day hike that’s only a few miles long. Then gradually start to increase your mileage.

Don’t forget to bring your hiking backpack during this stage of breaking in. The amount of weight you’re carrying can dramatically change how your boots feel when you’re hiking.

Related: What to Pack for a Day Hike

4. Watch Out for Pain Points

As you’re breaking in your hiking boots, you want to pay close attention to any spots that cause you pain.

If you notice some spots are starting to rub, start by adjusting your lacing. You can also try out different pairs of socks to see if one type works better with your boots.

A final option to consider are these blister bandages. These are my absolute favorite way to prevent blisters when I’m hiking.

I simply put these bandages on spots where I know I tend to get blisters. Then I don’t have to worry about them at all! I also highly recommend carrying some of these bandages with you when you’re breaking in your boots so you can quickly take care of pain points.

Related: Essential Survival Items Every Hiker Should Carry

5. Avoid Quick Fixes

Some sites will recommend shortcuts to break in hiking boots, such as soaking them in hot water or heating them with a hair dryer. These so-called shortcuts can actually ruin your boots and cause you even more pain when you go for a hike.

Like our old friend the tortoise knows, slow and steady is the way to go.

You should expect the process of breaking in hiking boots to take around 2 to 4 weeks.

Once you complete these 5 simple steps, you’re ready to take your hiking boots on every type of journey.

Related: Beginner Hiking Mistakes to Avoid

The Easiest Way to Break in Hiking Boots

Breaking in your hiking boots is a crucial step you don’t want to skip. Thanks to these simple tips, you now know how to properly break in hiking boots so you won’t experience any pain on your hikes.

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