How to Break In Running Shoes? | Tips That Make a Difference


Do your new pair of running shoes sore your feet even if they are of your size? You badly want to run using them, but they feel extremely uncomfortable and tight.

Don’t worry. It is just the fact that your running shoes need to be broken in. There are several reasons why shoes can be a bit more uncomfortable in the first place. So, every pair of running shoes needs a break-in period.

You must be pondering over how to break in new running shoes. Let me tell you that there are several very easy and quick methods to do that. By going through this article you will know ways to break in running shoes, why it is necessary, what problems you may face if you do not break in shoes and how to find suitable shoes for your feet.

Studies say that the effective methods to break in running shoes are: 

  • Walk on the shoes inside your house 
  • Use Thick Socks
  • Hair Dryer Method
  • Shoe Stretch Sprays
  • Freezing Shoe Method 

Let’s elaborate them one by one!

Note: Remember that the goal of breaking in shoes isn’t to fix ill-fitting shoes, but to prevent difficulties with shoes that only need minor adjustments. 

Why Do You Need To Break In Running Shoes?

If you start running using your new shoes without breaking them in, you may have minor injuries, blisters and sore feet. The new shoes are really stiff. The materials take time to become soft and comfortable. If your toes are rubbing against the top of your shoe, you may suffer from toe pain. Wearing tight shoes may even lead to onychomycosis and bunions. To get rid of these problems, running shoes need to be broken in. 

How to Break In Running Shoes? | Tips That Make a Difference

How Long Does It Take to Break in Running Shoes?

The break-in period may vary from material to material, brand to brand, and person to person. Usually, it takes 2-4 weeks for running shoes to break in.

It’s different for everyone. Many factors can affect this, but most people find that breaking in new running shoes becomes easier with time.  The time it takes to break in running shoes is determined by the type of shoes, the materials used, how much they typically walk around in their new shoes before beginning training exercises, etc.

How to Break In Your New Running Shoes?

Walk On The Shoes Inside Your House:

 If you are thinking about how to break in your running shoes easily, then you should put the shoes on your foot inside your house and walk slowly for some time. Do these at least once a day for two weeks. When you are comfortable with your shoes, you can run on them. If you are getting blisters, then use the methods that can help you break in your shoes without wearing them.  

How to Break In Running Shoes? | Tips That Make a Difference

Use Thick Socks: 

Wearing thick socks to breaking in running shoes is a very popular method. Though new running shoes are stiff, thick socks prevent your foot from hurting. 

          Note: If you do not have thick socks, do not worry. You can wear two pairs of socks            instead of one pair of thick socks. 

Hair Dryer Method:

The name of the method informs you that in this method a shoe is broken in with the help of a hairdryer. Hot air will help the material of shoes expand according to the size of your feet. 

  • Put on your running shoes with a pair of thick socks.
  • Plug in a hairdryer and turn it on.
  • Blow hot air into your shoes for about a minute. 
  • Walk on them for at least five minutes. 

         Note: If you don’t have a hairdryer, you can keep your shoes under the scorching sun or use a room heater. 

Apply Shoe Stretch Spray:

There are many shoes stretch sprays available in the market. Such as FootFitter Shoe Stretch spray, Meltonion Shoe Stretch and Moneysworth & Best Shoe Stretch Liquid. Before buying a stretch spray you should consider whether it is suitable for the materials of your shoes or not.

  • Apply this spray inside your shoes and then put on them. 
  • Walk for at least less than thirty minutes. The stretch spray helps the material of the shoe loose and makes the shoe comfortable. 

        Note: If you don’t want to buy shoe stretch spray, you can simply use water and rubbing alcohol to stretch your shoes. Mix rubbing alcohol (50%) with water (50%). Apply this solution on your shoes where you feel tight. 

How to Break In Running Shoes? | Tips That Make a Difference

Freezing Shoes Method:

You can stretch your running shoes using this method. 

  • Take three Ziploc bags.
  • Fill one Ziploc bag with water and then cover the bag with another Ziploc bag. 
  • Put the water-filled bag inside that part of your shoes where you feel tight and get blisters. 
  • Now put your running shoes in another Ziploc bag and then keep it inside your refrigerator. 
  • After some time (3-4 hours) take the shoes out of the refrigerator.
  • Remove the water-filled bag that must have been turned into an ice-filled bag. 
  • You can wear the shoes when they have dried out completely. 

        Warning: Be careful so that the water does not directly get inside your shoes. That’s why in this method, using two Ziploc bags inside the shoes is recommended.

How to Break In Running Shoes without Hurting Your Feet?

  • Rotate your new running shoes with old ones: Even after buying new shoes, keep your old shoes. If you wear new shoes in the morning, wear old shoes in the evening or you may wear new shoes for one day and old ones for the other day. This tip will help you break in your running shoes without getting hurt. 
  • Peeled Potato Trick: Take a potato and peel it properly. Form the potato into a shape that fits your running shoes precisely. Then put it inside your shoes for the whole night. This trick will not only stretch your shoes but only will reduce odor.

How to Stretch Running Shoes?

Every new pair of running shoes should be stretched for more comfort and proper fit. 

How to Break In Running Shoes? | Tips That Make a Difference

Put On Running Shoes And Walk:

This is going to be the first suggestion to stretch running shoes. Wear your new pair of shoes and walk.

If you feel a bit tight then it is okay. You can still walk on them. Walk for 10-15 minutes inside your house. But don’t run or jump on them. If you feel comfortable, you can take a stroll down to the street. 

If you feel that your shoes are way too tight, then you don’t need to walk on them. Because too tight shoes will hurt your feet. All you need to do is to follow another method that can stretch your shoes. 

Buy A Shoe Stretcher:

How to Break In Running Shoes? | Tips That Make a Difference

This method will help you stretch your shoes without wearing them and getting hurt. You can also use a shoe tree instead of a shoe stretcher. 

  • Take a shoe stretch spray and spray inside your shoes properly. Especially where you feel tight. 
  • Keep the shoe stretcher inside your shoes overnight (6 to 8 hours).

You can try this method even if you do not have stretch spray. 

Shoe stretchers are designed to stretch your shoes. There are many popular shoe stretchers available in the market such as: 

  • Deluxe Shoe Stretcher
  • XYH Shoe Stretcher
  • Miserwe Shoe Stretcher 
  • The Houndsbay “Bulldog” heavy-duty stretcher
  • StyledRight Two-Way Shoe Stretcher
  • FootFitter Premium Professional Stretcher 

Reminder: The longer your shoes are left on the stretcher, the more they will stretch. So firstly try to keep the shoe stretchers for a short period of time (one night) and then wear them. If you feel that your shoes are still tight, then keep them for a longer period. 

Warm-Up Your Shoes:

If you have a blow dryer near you, you don’t need to be stressed about your compact shoes at all. Using this method you will get results within one week or sometimes maybe earlier. 

  • Wear thick pair of socks (athletic socks) and then put on your shoes.
  • Plugin the blow-dryer and switch it on. 
  • Set the temperature of your blow dryer to medium.
  • Let the hot air be blown all over your shoes. Try to aim it at the part of your foot that pinches. 
  • To avoid scorching the shoe, move the dryer to and fro. 
  • Keep the nozzle a few inches away from your shoes.

The hot air of the blow dryer will soften the material of your shoes. 

How to Break In Running Shoes? | Tips That Make a Difference

Handle The Shoes To A Cobbler:

A cobbler can use a stretching machine to stretch out a pair of running shoes that are a little to wear. The best aspect is that a cobbler doesn’t have to stretch the entire shoe. They can stretch the portion separately that is bothering you. 

Ziploc Bag Method:

This is one of the easiest ways to stretch your running shoes overnight. The name of this method says that you will need Ziploc bags for stretching your shoes. 

  • Take a thick Ziploc bag and fill the bag with water.
  • Carefully put the bag inside your shoes.
  • Cover your shoes with polythene and keep them inside the refrigerator. 
  • After five to six hours take your shoes out and cautiously remove the bag. 
  • Let the shoes be dried out.
  • Now, your properly fitted comfortable shoes are ready!

Do Running Shoes Stretch Out? How to Stretch Trail Running Shoes?

Trail running is a sport that combines running, hiking, and hill-climbing into one action. The shoes that are designed for trail running, are different from normal running shoes. Train running shoes have more supportive uppers, more rigid midsoles and thicker outsoles than normal running shoes. But you might be surprised to know that, the trail running shoes can be stretched following the same methods as the normal running shoes. 

Trail running shoes can be stretched by wearing thick socks, blowing hot air, following the freezing shoe method, using a shoe stretcher or shoe stretch spray. These shoes may take a bit longer time to stretch than normal running shoes. 

Facts You Need To Know Before Buying a Shoe Stretcher

Whenever you go to a shopping mall for buying a shoe stretcher, you must have faced one question and that is “One-way shoe stretcher or two-way shoe stretcher?” To know the answer of this question you will have to know what they are.

One-Way Shoe Stretcher: One-way shoe stretchers are used when you need to stretch your shoes in one direction (length or width). This stretcher expands the toe box, allowing the shoe to fit better. It helps to prevent calluses, bunions and corns from forming on your feet. This shoe stretcher is more affordable than a two-way stretcher. Most flat shoes, including flats, sneakers, and bucks, can be stretched with a one-way shoe stretcher.

Two-Way Stretcher: Stretchers that work in both the length and width directions are known as two-way stretchers. This is best for shoes that are too small. It relieves hammertoes, blisters, corns and other foot problems. 

Wooden Shoe Stretcher and Plastic Shoe Stretcher:

Wooden shoe stretchers are made of wood and plastic shoe stretchers are made of plastic. Wooden shoe stretchers are far better in quality and long-lasting than plastic shoe stretchers. Plastic shoe stretchers are cheap comparatively. 

How to Break In Running Shoes? | Tips That Make a Difference

Deluxe Shoe Tree works the best on sneakers. If you want to expand the width of your running shoes, then go for HOUNDSBAY Cedar Shoe Tree. The best shoe stretchers for bunions and corns are HOUNDSBAY “Bulldog” heavy-duty stretcher and FootFitter Premium Professional Stretcher.  

How to Find the Suitable Running Shoes That Fit in? (The Beginner’s Guide)

Firstly you should determine your foot type and the sort of shoe that best supports your arch and running style to find the finest running shoe for you. The appropriate shoe can help you avoid injury and improve your performance. 

There are three types of arches. If you are thinking about what an arch is, then let me tell you that arch is the space between the ball and the heel on the bottom of the foot. To know which kind of arch you belong to, do the “Water Test.”

“Water Test” to Determine Arch Type:

 Firstly, take a flat pan and fill that with water. Secondly, put your feet into the pan and get your soles wet. Thirdly, take a blank paper, step into it and observe which type matches with your footprint. 

Types of Foot Arches:

  1. Natural or Normal Arch: The print of the foot of normal arch is around half the width of your foot at the midpoint. This arch distributes weight and pressure equally over the foot.
  2. Low Arch: Your arches are low when you see a whole print.It causes inward rolling of the foot. 
  3. High Arch: When only a tiny line connects the heel and the ball of the foot is visible, then it is a high arch.

You can also determine your foot type by noticing the bottom part of your running shoe.

Normal Pronator: Your regular running shoe displays even wear. That means you have a normal arch. 

Over Pronator: The inner soles of your shoes are usually worn down and you have a low arch. 

Under Pronator or Supinator: If you have significant wear on the outer soles of your shoes, you are an under pronator with a high arch.

How to Break In Running Shoes? | Tips That Make a Difference

Different Types of Running Shoes for Different Types of Feet

Cushioning Shoes: Cushioning shoes are designed for people with high arches who are under pronator. Athletes often prefer these shoes to log big miles. 

Popular Models of Cushioning Shoes: 

  • Nike React Miler 2 
  • Brooks Ghost 14
  • Mizuno Wave Rider 25
  • New Balance FuelCell Prepel v3
  • Nike React Infinity Run
  • HOKA Bondi 7
  • On Cloudstratus 2

Motion Control Shoes: Overpronate runners are suitable users of this kind of shoes. Athletes with low arches feel most comfortable wearing these shoes. 

Popular Models of Motion Control Shoes:

  • Hoka One One Gaviota
  • Brooks Beast 20
  • Newton Aha
  • Asics Gel Foundation 10  
  • New Balance 1260
  • New Balance 1540 v3
  • Saucony Omni 19

Stability Shoes: These shoes are considered finest for normal pronators with normal arches. Runners with mild overpronation can also use these.

Popular Models of Stability Shoes:

  • Asics Magic Speed
  • Saucony Guide 14
  • Hoka One One Gaviota 3 
  • Brooks Glycerin GTS 19
  • New Balance Fresh Foam 860v11
  • ASICS Gel-Kayano 28
  • Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21

How Often You Should Replace Your Running Shoes?

Podiatrists say that it is not about the time, rather it is about the distance. According to them, your running shoes should be changed after running from 400 miles to 600 miles. The period may vary from person to person because how long a shoe will last depends on the runner’s body weight, style of running and the model of shoes. Anyway, it’s time to start looking for your next pair of shoes if you see any of the following signs:

  1. The textured patches that cover an outsole are known as treads. If you feel that they are not grippy anymore and are providing less traction. 
  2. Midsoles of running shoes are very supportive and cushy. Place your finger (thumb) into it. If your midsole feels rough, it is time to change your running shoes.
  3. The visible creases in worn-out toe boxes lead textiles to warp and overstretch. So the wearer does not feel comfortable. 
  4. The shock absorption has decreased. It means that you feel a sting of each stepin your feet, knees and hips. 
  5. If your shoes have excessive uneven wear, you should think of replacing the shoes. 

Home Remedies for Sore Feet

Treatment for Foot pain: 

  • Fill your bathtub with warm water. Then add one cup of Epsom salt to it and mix it. Put your feet into the tab and wait for twenty minutes. 

              This foot bath will help you to get rid of your foot pain. 

                   Note: If you do not have Epsom salt, you can replace it with baking soda. 

  • Apply ice to the affected areas of your foot. You will get relief from inflammation. 

Treatment for Blisters:

 You may have blisters for wearing shoes without break in them. Here is the treatment:

Wash the blister properly. Make a small puncture in the blister with a disinfected needle. After the blister is completely drained, apply an antibacterial ointment. Then using a bandage, cover the blister.

Dermatologists also recommend applying petroleum jelly on the blister. 

Treatment for Onychomycosis:

Onychomycosis, also called Toenail fungus, is a common fungal infection of toenails. When your feet are caged up within tight, heated shoes and stockings, the fungus develops.

 This fungal infection can easily be cured by applying these things to toe:

  • Ginger
  • Vicks VapoRub
  • Olive oil extract
  • Tea tree oil
  •  Vinegar
  • Oregano oil

Treatment for Corns:

Corns are thickened, hardened patches of skin that most commonly appear on the foot because of wearing ill-fitting shoes. Unless you have diabetes or sore corn, corns are not harmful. They are harder and smaller than callus. 

  • Take five glasses of water and heat it until it becomes lukewarm.
  • Pour the lukewarm water into a big container and soak your feet. 
  • You can add the apple cider vinegar. If you don’t have vinegar, then skip this step.
  • Take a pumice stone and fill the corn. The dead skin can be removed with gentle circular or sideways motions.
  • With a disinfected towel gently dry out your feet.
  • Apply moisturizer and then cover your corns with a pad. 


How Do I Stop My Feet From Blistering When I Run?

Before running apply thick layer of Vaseline or wear a padded tape. You also can wear thick socks. This will protect tour feet from getting blisters.

Why Experts Recommend Buying A Running Shoe Half A Size Bigger?

A tight shoe may occur multiple numbers foot problems including bunions, corns, blisters, numbness, etc. Blisters, numbness, and overall discomfort can occur if your shoe is too tight; to avoid this, many experts advocate purchasing a half-size larger running shoe. To prevent this, experts highly recommend buying shoes that are half a size bigger. According to Reddit, many people prefer a little loose shoe over the right size. This helps their toes to have space and not touching the end.


Breaking in running shoes can be a difficult task. Many runners wear their running shoes longer than they should to avoid the discomfort of breaking in new running shoes. But wearing worn-out shoes is not great for your feet either! The first step to avoiding this problem is buying running shoes that you will like the feel of right away. If you buy shoes that are comfortable when you first put them on, they will feel great during the break-in process.

I hope that you have liked our guide on how to break in running shoes where we have also discussed how long does it take to break in running shoes. If you have any queries, please let us know in the comments.

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