How to Break in Hiking Boots || REI

How to Break in Hiking Boots || REI

hey my name is live the number one question that I tend to get asked in store is how do I break in my hiking boots and about how long is that going to take it’s a really good question the answer is that it varies it depends on if you’ve got some lighter hikers that are just you know probably gonna feel really good right out of the box so some more rugged mountaineering boots that are gonna take a little bit of time and anything in between so first off I just want to let you know what not to do don’t resort to any kind of quick fixes don’t worry about soaking them in water going on really Lian long hikes or walks right right out of the box avoid that focus on this next series of steps here so what we’re gonna do is talk about the three things that you should do the process of going about breaking in your boots first off take your brand new boots take them home throw in whatever insoles and socks that you might have purchased and wear those around the house just as you’re walking around doing your normal daily thing after that go check the mail go run some errands around town give your boots some time on pavement to actually see how they feel in a stiffer environment after that what you’re gonna go ahead and do is what you’ve been waiting to do and you’re gonna hit the trail so throughout each of these steps I want you guys to be vigilant and kind of keep in mind any kind of pinches or problems that you might happen to be incurring if you happen to notice any kind of pinching going on in the toe box or any kind of hot spots around the ankles go ahead and maybe check out our links for lacing techniques so you can relay these and try to alleviate some of those small problems before they become big ones now once you’re out on the trail make sure you’ve got your day pack your ten essentials soft insoles and of course your boots here start off nice and slow go for an easy hike keep it steady you just want to give your boots some time to know what it feels like amongst rocks roots and all of that rugged environment that they’ll encounter on the trail so once you’ve got that period down kind of keep in mind what you’re going to be doing in the long term what’s your goal for the boots that you bought if you’re gonna go ahead and do a couple day climb on top of a mountain you’re gonna be carrying fifty pounds on your back you want to make sure that you’re gradually leaning into that distance that kind been finding that weight that you’re gonna be carrying there don’t carry 50 pounds right off your back right away for 4,000 feet of game just take it easy slowly and gradually increase the weight that you’ve gotten your back and the distance that you’re going that’ll be the most generous on your boots as well as on your feet and yourself if it turns out that the lacing techniques that we recommend it aren’t going to be the fix for the boots maybe it’s time to head back into the local area oh you got the boots at consult a fitness Footwear specialist and make sure that maybe the the boot stretcher that we’ve got in store might be able to help kind of buff out some of those problems and alleviate them if not chances are we couldn’t need to just start from scratch and get you a new pair of boots there if you guys are interested in learning some more about hiking boots or perhaps trail runners and seeing how they compare to hiking boots we’ve got a video that can kind of give you the differences there and help you decide which might be best for you and if you go ahead and head down in the description we’ve got the links for the placing techniques and any other kind of based information you guys might need to have have a good one


17 thoughts on “How to Break in Hiking Boots || REI”

  • RedWhite&Blue 78 says:

    I've broke in so many pairs of work boots, and hiking boots… Put large patch bandages on your heels, 2 pairs of socks on… Wear them for a few days… Done.

  • White Mountains Hikes says:

    Hello Liv- Some good advice here. I learned my very painful lesson, doing a winter ascent of Mt. Moosilauke in a new pair of North Face boots. They are VERY stiff when you get them. Recently, I met up with an AT thru-hiker who was doing the entire thing in sandals! He ended up getting some trail runners for the Whites, though, after a few miles of granite rock scrambles!

  • conditioner helps soften leather making it more pliable. kneel down on your toes and see where the boots break at the toe box, might need to manually manipulate the break for the right amount of comfort. watch out for heel reinforcements, sometimes they ride on the ankle bone. might be able to fix that with a heel or insole but that will elevate your foot in the boot there by changing the proper wear and fit of the boot.

  • My experience is that shoes that do not fit in a 15 minute walk around the store should not be purchased. I have so rarely seen an exception that I no longer consider boots that do not fit right from the start. Peoples feet are so different that you just have to keep looking until you find ones that pass the 15 minutes test on both feet. (assuming you're wearing the same socks and insole you will use during hiking.) Shop for boots first and spend that 30 minutes in the store testing for hot spots. Since I have followed this rule I have not had one bad blister in over 25 years of extensive hiking. Don't settle because you like the look or features of a boot. No fit, no go. REI is the very best place to buy hiking boots because of the extensive selection, the helpful people and the walking surfaces they provide to test your boots. Be patient and make sure they fit!

  • Nature Bound Adventure says:

    Great tips! I really love the idea of wearing the boots around the house first, to start breaking them in. It's definitely no fun to be out on the trail with uncomfortable shoes and no easy way out.

  • Im so particular on my shoes and the oboz waterproof feel amazing but my feet are so warm in them anything I can do to help with the sweaty feet? I really want to wear these

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