There is no greater bummer than a blister. That's true no matter what kind of shoes you're wearing, but it's particularly tragic when you buy a new pair of boots. Boots, of course, are the workhorses of your footwear rotation—and anything sturdy enough to get you through the winter isn't exactly going to be easy on your feet. Which leads to the big question: how to break in new boots? Conveniently, we've done plenty of research on the matter. Here are five expert tips on how to slowly but surely get super comfortable in your new kicks, minus any injuries.
1. Take it slow
You're going to want to wear your new boots day in and day out. But just like in dating, you should hold back a little bit in the very beginning. Wear the new boots in the morning, when the weather is cooler and your feet are rested. By around noon, your feet start to swell and sweat, causing friction—and ultimately blisters. So keep an already broken-in pair of shoes at your desk to wear in the afternoon.
2. Crush it
Mash the heels of your new boots by stepping on them or crushing them with your hands. As weird as it sounds, this will not ruin your shoes. It will soften their stiffest part and break them in faster.
3. Walk the (cushioned) line
Invest in some thicker-cushioned socks. You want the kind with extra heel padding, but not the kind that are loose, wooly, or itchy. We like socks that are designed for hiking—a famously blister-sensitive sport.
4. DIY the pain away
If you’re a naturally sweaty person or you’re wearing your favorite boots during the raging hot days of summer, sprinkle a little bit of cornstarch into your boots and socks to absorb sweat and minimise friction. If you feel a blister coming on, another DIY remedy is to rub a little bit of petroleum jelly on the danger zone in order to keep your unforgiving boots from grinding away at it even more.
5. Stick one on
Before you even take out your credit card, stock up on blister pads. They go on like magical preventative Band-Aids and keep your feet drama-free.