Everyone's got their own method of breaking in hiking boots. It can be as simple as wearing them around the house, or as complicated as soaking them in some weird mixture. Either way, it comes down to this: you've GOT to break them in, unless you want to be in major pain when you go on that big hike.
So, how do you do it?
It depends on the materials...
- Leather with gore-text or mesh: As long as they properly fit, I don't bother breaking them in too much. Mostly, I walk around in them to make sure they properly fit, and then I'm good to go without worry of blisters. Sometimes, I do steps (2&3) below.
- Predominately leather boots: These are the bad boys that usually kill my feet if I don't take the time to get them (and me) ready for hiking).
1. I treat them with a softening wax to both soften & waterproof them. 2. Then, I put on the socks I'd wear with them hiking and wear them around the house for a minimum of two weeks. During this time, I pay attention to if there are any areas where they don't fit very well, and then I try to troubleshoot that using different insoles or lacing patterns. 3. Once that's complete, I start using them for walks, gradually increasing to short hikes. I also do some basic exercises like squats and lunges to help break them in for the inclines I'll be on!
So, how do you break in your boots? Share your technique!!!