If you’re headed out on a big trip and got some new kicks to bring along, it’s crucial you take a few days beforehand to break in your new shoes. Because there’s nothing worse than discomfort and pain in your feet during a long day of walking, adventuring, or sight-seeing.
Given enough time, breaking in new shoes for travel is simple and you’ll be extra glad you did it come travel time. Whether you’re breaking in sandals or flip-flops, leather sneakers or loafers, there’s a few different tricks to get your shoes in strolling shape.
Keep reading to learn the best ways to break in shoes quickly, some common mistakes to avoid when breaking in shoes for a trip, remedies for preventing blisters, and more.
GET THE RIGHT SIZE
Not all shoes are built the same, so be sure to look for any sizing specifications when buying shoes. When shopping with OluKai, be sure to scroll down and check out what other customers have to say about any sizing, fit, or style nuances. We also offer a True Fit tool on each product to find out what your perfect size is based on other footwear you own.
STRETCH IT OUT
Some shoes, especially ones made of leather or other firmer materials, can be stiff when first purchased. If it’s difficult to get the shoes on at first, don’t worry. Put on a couple pairs of socks (yes multiple on each foot!) and wear the shoes around your house periodically. This will help naturally stretch the material. Do this for a couple hours a day for a couple weeks leading up to the trip.
If you’re really struggling to get the shoes on but don’t have time to break them in or size up, try filling a ziploc bag full of water, carefully place it inside the shoes, and put them in the freezer. As the water freezes, it will expand and stretch the shoes without you having to wear them.
Breaking in your shoes first is the key to avoiding blisters, so be sure to follow the above steps to minimize the chances of rubbing and blisters. If your shoes are still tight come time for the trip (and even if you think they’re broken in) be sure to bring along some sort of vaseline or Aquaphor. Apply a generous amount to the areas that are prone to rubbing or blisters and your shoes will slide against your skin without irritation.
BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY
It’s always good to carry around a small first aid kit including bandages. If you’ve done all the above and your feet are still forming blisters, placing a bandage on the irritated area is the surest way to avoid further inflammation.