Your regular workload can be made easier to manage when you use the right type of footwear. Work boots that fit the requirements of your profession are designed to keep your feet protected from being injured in the workplace and to deliver all-day comfort so you can move freely without being bothered by pain. However, some work boots may need a bit of coaxing to make them more comfortable for long-term use. This is especially true for brand-new leather work boots that tend to be stiff at first and may cause discomfort in the process. There are various ways to soften the material of your work boots so you will be able to do your job for the entire day in a pain-free manner. With the softening of the work boots, you can enjoy a more personalized fit as the leather follows the shape of your feet.
Tips to Soften Work Boots
Apply mink oil or leather conditioner
Leather conditioner products or mink oil are used to soften the leather material of your work boots. This can be done with brand-new work boots that need to be softened so the footwear does not feel too stiff that it causes pinching and blisters on your feet. These conditioning products work by softening the leather so that it becomes more flexible, allowing the material to hug the contours of your feet so the work boots will become more comfortable to wear. Start by applying a liberal amount of mink oil or leather conditioner on the upper leather part of the boots. Leave the mixture on the surface overnight to let it seep through the leather. The next day, remove the excess oil or conditioner by wiping it off with a clean cloth. Wear the boots for a few hours to allow the softened leather to conform to your feet for a more personalized feel.
Use boot stretchers
Boot stretchers work by expanding the work boots from within so that the interior feels more spacious and more comfortable for you to use in the workplace and in other places. This device is inserted into the boot and adjusted to expand to the maximum level that you want the leather to stretch from the inside. As the leather expands, it also becomes softer especially when the stretcher is left to do its magic for several hours at a time. The expansion results in the leather becoming more pliable and able to mold to the shape of your feet even as the interior portion of the boots create more space so that the boots will not longer pinch and cause blisters to form on your feet even with hours of continuous use.
Wear them around the house
One of the ways to soften the leather of work boots is to wear them often – in this case, wear them while inside the house before you actually bring them to work. When you wear them like regular footwear around the house, the boots will be subjected to a wide range of motion aside from the usual walking and standing still on your feet. These movements can help break in the boots by softening the leather, making them more comfortable after every use. It would be a great idea to keep on using the work boots around your house for a few weeks until you achieve the level of softness that you prefer so you can use the footwear comfortably for long hours in your workplace.
Wear the boots with thick socks
When you are out buying a brand-new pair of work boots, you should use the socks that you are planning to use regularly with the boots when you are in the workplace so you can choose the pair that fits perfectly on your feet. However, for purposes softening the leather of your work boots, you should use the thickest pair of socks you own. The thick socks will work to expand the leather and create the friction that will warm up the leather, causing it to become softer and more comfortable to wear in the process. If one pair of thick socks does not seem enough to expand the leather, you can use two pairs to gradually mold and soften the leather so it can more easily follow the shape of your feet. Make sure that you walk around in your home with the thick socks in place, so the inside of the boot takes on a more relaxed feel, providing your toes with more wiggle room so they are not pinched painfully all day long.
Genuine leather boots can be softened with the careful application of heat. It is important to confirm that the boots are made with genuine leather because the heat will melt plastic components, especially with long-term exposure. You can soften the work boots this way by first wearing thick socks to expand the work boots and make them roomier inside. Point the hairdryer to the spots on the work boots that feel the stiffest, which will most likely be the parts that will also bring the most discomfort, such as the heel and toe areas. The hot air will quickly soften the leather, so you will have to make sure that you take note of the time that you use the hairdryer because too much heat exposure can cause the leather to become warped or cracked. The softened leather will be able to effortlessly adapt to the shape of your feet to deliver a more comfortable way of wearing your work boots.
Try a boot stretching spray
Boot stretching sprays work great with softening and breaking in brand-new work boots. The product needs to be sprayed directly to the interior of the boots, after which the boots should be worn immediately while the mixture dries out. As the boot stretching spray dries, the leather softens and more easily follows the shape of your feet for a customized sensation that brings hours of continuous comfort while you do various tasks in your workplace. A homemade version of commercial boot stretching sprays can be created by combining water and alcohol and following the same procedure to soften and expand the leather to make the boots more comfortable to wear.
Use wet towels or wet newspapers
To soften work boots, you can add wet newspapers or wet towels along with using your regular leather conditioner or boot stretching spray. After applying the conditioner or spray onto the leather work boots, you can stuff the interior of the footwear with either wet towels or wet newspapers. It is best to tightly pack the towels or newspapers inside so that the boots are bulging – which means that the space inside has considerably expanded. The wet material inside the boots will soften the boot fibers from the inside, at the same time encouraging the leather material outside to further soften as the bulging structure soaks up more of the conditioner. Allow the towel or newspapers to remain inside the boots until they are completely dry, after which the softened and expanded boots can be dried naturally or with the help of a hairdryer.
Place the boots in the freezer
This method involves placing sealed plastic bags of water inside the boots and placing the boots inside the freezer overnight. As the water inside the plastic bags turn to ice and expands, the space inside the boots will expand as well. This will result in the leather exterior stretching and softening to accommodate the expansion from within.
Q: Why do I need to soften my work boots?
A: Stiff leather work boots can literally be a pain to wear, causing uncomfortable pinching and blisters to form. By softening the leather, the boots become more comfortable to use especially when you need to be on your feet for hours in your workplace.
Q: Can softening the leather also improve the life of the work boots?
A: Yes, keeping the leather soft and well-conditioned can help prevent cracks and scuffs from developing on the surface of the leather. This will help in prolonging the superb appearance and functionality of the leather work boots, aside from improving the comfort level that they can offer for long-term use.
Q: When is the best time to soften my work boots?
A: As soon as possible. After you purchase your brand-new work boots, it is important to start on softening them so you will not need to go through a phase when you have to endure pain while wearing stiff leather boots to your workplace. However, it is not too late to give your older leather boots the softening and conditioning care that they deserve.
Q: How do boot stretches soften leather work boots?
A: Boot stretchers work to expand the boots from the inside. With the expansion comes the stretching and softening of the leather material from within the boots, making the footwear more comfortable as it follows the contours of the feet.
Work boots work to protect your feet from safety hazards in the jobsite, but the stiff leather can bring pain especially with long hours of use. Softening the leather will go a long way in making your workdays more enjoyable to go through with no discomfort to ruin your productivity and concentration.