How to Break in Leather Shoes [in 6 easy steps]

Breaking in a pair of shoes is one of those inevitable processes we all have to go through whenever we invest in a new pair. Leather is one of those amazing materials that brings luxury, style and durability to any pair of shoes, but it can be tricky to soften and limber up while brand new. And, as beautiful and stylish as a box-fresh pair of leather shoes can be, they can also present a few issues with rubbing for a short while until they’re ‘broken in’. 

This is a natural, normal occurrence with practically any pair of leather shoes and, once overcome, the experience becomes absolutely worth it for the style, enjoyment and comfort you are rewarded with. But how do you get there?

How to Break in Leather Shoes … Quickly

The real rub (if you’ll pardon the pun), is when you need to break in leather shoes in a hurry. This is often the case when we invest in a new pair of shoes ahead of a big event such as a Christmas party or wedding. This often leaves you with very little time to go through the gradual breaking-in process, so we need to be speedy.

Here’s a fast-track way to soften leather shoes and get to that heavenly comfort stage that little bit quicker:

What you’ll need:

  • Your new leather shoes
  • A pair of thick socks (the thicker the better!)
  • Hairdryer

What to do:

Step 1: Put on one of your thick, cosy socks

Step 2: Meanwhile, use your hairdryer to heat up one of your leather shoes (inside and out) for 1 minute. Be careful not to hold the hairdryer too close or use too high a heat as you don’t want to damage your shoes.

Step 3: Put your heated shoe straight onto your foot with your thick sock

Step 4: Repeat with the other foot and the other shoe

Step 5: Do a few walking laps around your house until both shoes have cooled. This will help the temporarily-softened leather shoes mould to the shape of your feet, and then stay in this shape once cooled.

Step 6: Repeat steps 1 to 5 a few more times for optimum results

This super quick and easy way of breaking in leather shoes will help soften that gorgeous new leather and (with a bit of luck) will prevent any pesky rubbing as you wear them more and more. But don’t go away just yet, we have one or two extra tips for you.

Breaking in New Shoes: What NOT to do

You may have heard of one or two other common methods for breaking in leather shoes, such as putting them in the microwave (really!) and putting them in the washing machine. Both have been proven effective at softening shoes, however this is often at the cost of their longevity. These methods can be detrimental to the structure and appearance of the shoes themselves, which can shorten their lifespan. We don’t want that, so we would advise you to steer well clear of these methods if you want to protect your beautiful new shoes in the long run.

Now you’ve got all the do’s and don’ts for breaking in leather shoes, give it a try and see how you get on!