Breaking In Your Walking Boots
Breaking in a newly acquired pair of walking boots takes time, so you must allow for a breaking-in period before using them in anger. The start point of course is making sure you have taken time to choose the correct size and style of boots suitable for your intended use.
Heading out onto the hill in an un-broken-in pair of boots will probably lead to a great deal of pain and heart break for your feet, they won't forgive you!
All boots will give slightly as they break-in but this is no substitute for having the correct fitting boots, and heavy duty, Full Grain Leather boots will take longer to break-in than a pair of Fabric or Fabric and Leather mix boots. There are some near exceptions to this and I emphasise the near – the Keen Targhee 2 Mid Walking Boots and the Brasher Supalite GTX Walking Boots.
Do not attempt to cheat the breaking-in process by soaking your boots first; this mal-practice will only detract from your long-term comfort and performance of your boots. Start the breaking-in period by wearing your boots around the house for short periods of time, including the stairs (Bungalow owners need not apply) and ensure that you are wearing a suitable pair of walking socks - Bridgedale offer a great range of these. When fitting your new boots, ensure that you fold the tongue flat and lace up the boots tight; these initial creases and folds will stay with the boots for their lifetime.
Extend the breaking-in periods by wearing your boots for short walks to the shops or indeed the pub! But ensure that you are happy with the comfort level of your boots before going too far. As and when you feel the boots are ready for the hill, try a few walks without adding any weight to your back, again, gradually build up the distances and weight that you carry as the added weight will affect the comfort level of your boots.
Remember – there is no short cut, it takes time and patience to break-in a pair of boots; but the long-term benefits are incalculable – Happy Feet!