Easy Ways to Break in New Hiking Boots

You’ve got plans for a big hike—a multi-day backpacking trip or a long day hike to a high point—but your suitable footwear is either worn out or nonexistent. Here’s what not to do: buy brand-new hiking boots right before your outing, ensuring you have no time to wear them before you start trekking up a mountain. That almost guarantees trip-ruining foot problems like blisters.

Here’s what you should do instead: break in your boots—and more importantly, your feet—before the hike, by wearing the new shoes as much as you can on diverse terrain. That doesn’t have to be mountain trails if you don’t have easy access; you can break in hiking boots in the city, too.

Old-school leather boots or boots made from stiffer, less breathable fabric definitely need time to break in. But there’s also a lot of hiking footwear that you can break in over a couple of short walks. Hiking shoes that are made of mesh or more breathable fabric and have less restriction, similar to sneakers, take less time.

Pay attention to hot spots when first wearing your new boots. You’re not just breaking in your boots, you’re also breaking in your feet. They’re developing calluses and protection against friction and rubbing. If you have limited time, wear a thin sock so you can feel the rubbing sooner. Get used to it, and build up those calluses.

More tips here…


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