Conquering Stiff Shoes

Men and women may sometimes seem like they are from different planets. But they definitely can agree on one thing – breaking in stiff shoes is hard to do.

Wearing five-inch stiletto heels can be murder on a woman’s feet. Sporting dress shoes for men is no walk in the park either. The good news there are ways to break in stiff shoes before they break you. There’s a few simple techniques you can use to make any pair of stiff shoes adapt to your feet without making it a painful ordeal.

Ease into it. Just as a marathon runner trains before a big race, you can do the same. Don’t expect to wear those new shoes right out of the box. Jumping in with both feet could open the door to some extreme pain. A few weeks prior to your big event, wear that new pair of shoes around the house for at least 30-minutes per day. Little by little, the shoes will begin to conform to the shape of your feet and become more comfortable.

Short on time? If you don’t have two weeks to break in new shoes, consider investing in a thick pair of socks. Wearing thick socks can help you stretch out leather or other material as you squeeze your feet into the shoes. Use caution in stretching out your shoes. You don’t want them to become permanently misshapen.

What shoes need breaking in?

When it comes to comfort, the shoe’s material determines if it needs to be broken in or not. Most brands of dress shoes and women’s shoes with a significant heel typically require time to be broken. When the shoe’s material isn’t malleable or doesn’t automatically conform to the shape of your foot, it’s a good sign some breaking in time is necessary. Softer material makes it easier for you to hit the ground running.

Products: Since leather is a material that forms to your foot, try spraying a light mist of water on a leather shoe. Don’t drench the shoe, but a light mist will help the shoe to conform quicker. Walk in the shoes until they dry for better chances of molding them to your feet.

Our natural tendency is to treat a blister after it has already developed. This can be resolved in part by wearing new shoes around the house. Combat pain or fix trouble spots with food padding or strips and apply to any areas where you know you’ll feel pain later.

Use Common Sense

Preparation can only remove so much pain if the shoe is the wrong size for you. If the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t wear it. You can usually sense if a shoe is going to cause unbearable pain. The only thing worse than walking out of the shoe store empty handed, is watching a new pair of shoes collect dust in your closet because you can’t bear the pain of wearing them. Be smart. Don’t purchase shoes you know you can’t wear.

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