How do you break in new dress shoes?

How do you break in new dress shoes featured

Understanding the discomfort of new dress shoes

Breaking in new dress shoes can be a challenge for many. New leather shoes might look stunning on the shelves and in store display windows, but they hardly feel as good on your feet the first time you try them on. The stiff leather material, combined with the hard insole, can make walking or standing for long periods a painful experience. However, there are ways to ease the discomfort and break in your new dress shoes faster.

Wear them around the house

Beyond the store, the easiest way to break in new dress shoes is to wear them around the house. This approach allows for a slow release of your shoes’ natural oils, which helps to soften the leather and conform the shoes to the shape of your feet. As you wear them around the house, take note of the areas that feel tight or cause discomfort so you can work on stretching those specific areas in later stages.

Use a shoe stretcher

If you have purchased leather dress shoes that are too tight, invest in a shoe stretcher. A shoe-stretching device can help stretch specific areas of your new dress shoes, reducing discomfort and speeding up the break-in process. Use the device for several minutes per shoe, focusing on areas that are causing you the most pain to stretch them a little bit at a time.

Apply heat to the leather

Another way to speed up the stretching process is to use heat on the leather. Leather is naturally malleable when warmed, so consider using a hairdryer on low heat settings to warm specific parts of your shoe, such as the toe box or heal. Once warmed, wear your new dress shoes for a few minutes to help mold the leather to the shape of your feet before removing them to cool and repeat the process.

Take your dress shoes to a professional

When all else fails, consider taking your dress shoes to a cobbler or professional shoe-breaker. Cobblers are experts in breaking in uncomfortable shoes, and they have the right tools to stretch out specific areas to ensure optimal fitting. Though a little expensive, using a professional shoe-breaker ensures that you can wear your new shoes comfortably without worrying about any long-term discomforts or potential damages.

Jump to section