Five-step guide: Breaking in new boots

With this new, wintery weather, everyone is looking to warmer clothes to carry them through this last month of term.

And right now is also a great time to invest in some pieces for the colder days. The perfect investment is a new pair of boots. Boots keep your feet warm, stand up through tough conditions and go with almost everything.

Too often I find a really great pair of boots, take them home full of excitement and outfit ideas, then don’t wear them for weeks because I’m afraid of blisters. Sound familiar? I just bought a new pair of boots and I know they’ll be the comfiest pair in my closet – but first, I have to break them in.

In an effort to sidestep my usual three-week wait before blisters approach, I’ve put together a five-step guide to breaking in new to simply what can seem a tedious process.

Step one: Around the house
Decide what socks to wear with them. Keep in mind that thicker socks will create more tension, but also provide more support. I suggest wearing whichever socks you plan to wear with the boots on a regular day. Once you’ve picked your socks, slip on your boots and carry on with your day as usual. Keep them on for as long as you can so that the leather will start to stretch to fit your feet, but take them off as soon as you start to feel uncomfortable. Once you’re able to last a few hours, you’re ready to move on to step two!

Step two: Class and study sessions
If you’re going to be sitting down for most of the time you’re out, it doesn’t matter much what shoes you’ve got on. Wearing your new boots to class or the library is an ideal time to get them out on the sidewalk without committing to hours of walking.

The boots will still relax to accommodate the shape of your foot while you’re sitting down, and will start to crease in all the right places while you walk. When walking to and from class is a breeze, you’re ready for step three.

Step three: The grocery store
The grocery store is a quick trip that’s low-commitment in terms of comfort wear. You know you’ll only be there a few minutes, so it’s the perfect chance to put a little more mileage on your boots – in small increments that is. Wear them a few times on your escapades to Metro and Food Basics and soon enough you’ll feel them starting to break in. When this is the case, move on to step four!

Step four: Standing at work
If your job or volunteer position requires you to stand for long periods of time, take full advantage of the opportunity to break in your new favourite boots. While you’re standing, your feet will apply pressure to the boots and really work them in. As long as you don’t have to do too much walking, this is a great chance to introduce your boots to realistic situations. Plus, if your shifts last only a few hours long you’ll have a good idea from the start how long you’ll be in your new boots. When they feel just like any other pair of shoes, move on to step five!

Step five: Day of errands
The final step is a whole day out running errands. Whether you’re downtown picking up gifts for the holidays or running all over campus to hunt down your TAs during office hours, test your boots with a whole day moving around on your feet. Hopefully by this point your boots are well worn in and ready to carry you through the rest of the winter season – enjoy!

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