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Home > Gear Guides > How do I break in hiking boots?

How do I break in hiking boots?

Breaking in your hiking boots gradually is the best way to ensure that the boots form to your feet.

Follow these simple steps to break in your hiking boots the right way:

  • Start inside: Start by lacing up your boots completely and wearing them around the house for a few hours at a time over several days. Be sure that you are wearing the hiking socks you plan to use with the boots. Pay attention to fit and comfort, and remember that some stiffness is normal, but noticeable rubbing and pinching won’t get any better. Some minor fit problems can be solved using shoe stretchers, but this is your chance to return hiking boots and try a different style if they don’t feel right.
  • Move outside: If your hiking boots feel comfortable after a few days inside, take them out to do errands, walk the dog, or do yard work. Gradually wear your new hiking boots for longer periods of time, and continue to pay attention to areas that rub or cause discomfort.
  • Start slowly: Wear your new hiking boots on day hikes with little or no weight on your back before you wear them for an extended hiking trip carrying a large hiking pack.

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