How to Break in Work Boots – 101 Guide

How to Break in Work BootsWork boots can make your job much easier and more comfortable to deal with. When you are using new work boots, it may take a while for your feet to get used to the feel of the brand-new pair.

While it is important to take the time to ensure that the boots will follow the shape of your feet for the most comfortable fit, there are several tried and tested methods that you can follow to properly break in your work boots, so you can get to the level of comfort you are looking for without spending too much time and effort in the process. Achieving the perfect fit of your work boots will provide you with not only continuous comfort but can also help in increasing your job efficiency while keeping your feet safe while you are in your workplace.

Ways to Break in Work Boots

Wear the boots while inside your home

One of the easiest ways to start breaking in your work boots is to use them while you are going around in your house. You can spend just a few minutes wearing the boots in your home for the first few days of doing this breaking in method, and eventually increase the time the boots are worn over the next couple of days. Wearing the boots at home can be done for at least a week, which will give you the time needed for the leather material of the boots to stretch to achieve a more comfortable fit around your feet. While using the boots around the house, it is a good idea wear thick socks that can help expand the interior of the boots so they will conform better to the unique shape and size of your feet. It would also be helpful if you bend and stretch your feet inside the boots, aside from walking around while wearing them for hours at a time. At the end of the breaking in period, your work boots will fit a lot more comfortably with no stiff spots that can cause painful friction.

Use a boot stretcherHow to Break in Work Boots

There is a way to break in your work boots without actually wearing them, and this is with the help of a boot stretcher. This tool is inserted into the boot, where it will use force to stretch the boots until you get to the desired shape and size that will provide you with the highest level of comfort. Boot stretchers can work to break in your work boots without too much effort on your part since they can be left inside the boots for a week or so – and you will not even need to be there while the boots go through the stretching process. These boot stretchers come in different varieties that can help the boots become more comfortable by making the interior roomier so there will be no pinching on the toe part, and the back area will not rub painfully against your heels. However, it should be noted that while the boots stretcher works to make the interior more spacious, it does not work to make the boot conform to the shape of your foot – which can only be achieved if you wear the boots to break them in.

Use leather conditioner

This type of conditioner is designed to be used specifically for softening the material of leather products. The conditioner is applied to the entire upper leather portion of the work boots and left to soak into the material for several hours, with some people leaving the conditioner on the surface of the leather overnight. After several hours of being conditioned, the leather will become much softer and this will be the perfect time to wear the work boots. Using the work boots while the fibers are still pliable will make it easier for the leather material to conform to the shape of your foot so you can get to the most perfectly snug fit that will not cause any discomfort while you are in your workplace and elsewhere with your work boots.

A warm water soakHow to Break in Work Boots

Warm water can also be used to make the leather material of the work boots much softer. This method of breaking in work boots is one of the easiest and most inexpensive since it involves less effort without the need to buy costly products. The work boots will need to be soaked in a bucket filled with warm water for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the type and quality of leather used. Work boots made with finished leather may need more time to soak in the warm water to achieve the leather softening you are going for. After the designated time, pull out the boots from the bucket of water and remove the excess water. Put on thick socks before wearing the boots, which will now have softer fibers that will more easily follow the unique shape and curves of your feet so you can achieve an accurate and truly comfortable fit. Wear them until they are dry so the imprint of your foot’s shape will remain on the boots.

Freeze the boots

This method uses freezing water to help stretch the boots during the breaking in process. It is important that this is done on boots that are fully waterproof to prevent damage. Fill up an ice bag or any plastic bag with water, making sure that excess air is removed before the bag is sealed. Place the bag in the areas of the boot that you want to stretch, such as on the toe box when this portion causes painful pinching on your toes. Put the boots in the freezer, making sure beforehand that the water-filled bag stays in the desired position. When the water inside the plastic bag freezes, it will expand, and in the process, will work to stretch the leather material. You can then take the boots out of the freezer and wear them to check if you have achieved the comfortable fit you are aiming for.

Heat them up with a hairdryer

Much like the method using warm water, using a hairdryer uses increased temperature to make the leather fibersHow to Break in Work Boots softer so you can get to a more comfortable fit for your boots. You can use the hairdryer to heat up all the sides of the boots while you are wearing them so they will mold to the shape of your feet. On the other hand, you can also use the hairdryer on the boots so their fibers will become more pliable, and then wear them after the heating process so the leather material conforms to your feet’s shape so you can get to the most precise and most comfortably snug fit that will not cause discomfort even with hours of use while you are in your workplace.

Wear thick socks

Another way to easily break in work boots is to wear thick socks with them. If a thick pair of socks does not do the trick, you can use more than one pair of socks for this method. The purpose of the socks would be to stretch out the leather material of the boots so the interior will become roomier, providing more space for your toes to move around comfortably without being pinched by a stiff and tight material.


Q: Is it a good idea to use my leather boots for work right out of the box?

A: This may not be the best idea since the leather work boots will need a breaking in period first. This is to ensure that the boots will provide you with the most comfortable fit, allowing you to move freely in the workplace without feeling pain.

Q: Why do leather wHow to Break in Work Bootsork boots need a break-in period or process?

A: The breaking in period makes the leather of the work boots softer so that it becomes more comfortable to wear. The various methods used to break in work boots have the goal of making the leather fibers more pliable so the boots can conform to the shape of your feet for a completely comfortable fit even with extended use.

Q: How much time should be spent in breaking in the work boots?

A: This will depend on the leather material and the quality of the work boots. In general, you may need at least a week of breaking in the boots (also, depending on the method used) before they can get to the most comfortable fit that conforms to your feet’s shape and size.

Q: Can I use different methods for breaking in my work boots?

A: Yes, you can combine the various methods mentioned above to break in the work boots until you achieve the fit that feels most comfortable so you can prevent pain from setting in on your feet especially while you are working.


You work boots are designed to provide the safety and comfort that your feet will need while you are in your workplace. A breaking in period is necessary to allow the leather to conform to your feet so you can enjoy the highest level of comfort that can help you achieve improved efficiency while you do your job.