Here’s some tricks of the trade that actually work when you need to break in your new shoes.
1. LITTLE AND OFTEN
It’s a good idea to buy shoes well in advance of the event they’re for. That way you can break them in gradually. Try slipping them on when you’re at home in the evenings or pop them on for your lunch time stroll.
2. SANDPAPER YOUR SOLES
New shoes can be very slippy – especially heels – and trying to keep yourself from going flying on their debut outing can mean your feet are doing a lot more work than they need to. To avoid getting blisters from ever-scrunched toes, buff some sandpaper on the sole of your shoes to give them a bit more grip.
3. CRANK UP THE HEAT
Using heat on new shoes is a great way to soften and stretch the material. Put on some thick socks, slip on your shoes and gently add heat with a hairdryer. Make sure the heat is evenly distributed by moving the shoe around to avoid melting the material and then walk around in the shoes. The heat will loosen the fabric, while the socks will stretch it out.
4. ICE, ICE BABY
If heat doesn’t work, try the other end of the temperature scale. Fill freezer bags with water (remove all air from them before sealing) and stuff them into your shoes. Stick them in the freezer and leave them for approx. 4-8 hours. Water expands as it freezes, stretching your shoes at the same time.
5. SOAK IT UP
If your new shoes are leather, spray some rubbing alcohol on the inside of your shoes, put them on and walk around in them for at least 20 minutes. The alcohol will soften the leather and help the shoes mould to the size and shape of your feet.
6. TAPE YOUR TOES
If all else fails, tape your third and fourth toe together. Sounds weird, but it works. There’s a nerve split between the two toes which hurts when pressure is put on it. By taping the two together you’re perfectly aligning your muscles to avoid pressure on that nerve.