Breaking in Leather Boots
I recently found my dream pair of boots on sale. They’re Red Wing, which is a USA heritage brand. They were founded in 1905 in Red Wing, Minnesota. They’re made here, and there are made by hand. They do come with a hefty price tag. As I said, mine were on sale…for $100 less than their $380 regular price. With boots at that price, I want them to last, and I want them to feel wonderful.
So, I bought them in my usual size (9.5) and they are tight. But, leather will relax over time, so I wasn’t worried just yet. This is how I broke them in and made them absolutely perfect.
Red Wing says that it takes about 80 hours of wear before the boots are broken in all the way, which is a long time if they’re painful. The first thing is to just wear them for a bit. I (bravely, or stupidly) wore my boots to work the day after I got them. The trick is to wear them though. I was wearing mine in the mornings a couple of days a week, and then switching out if they hurt too much. Wearing them in the morning is ideal because your feet swell as the day goes on, so they are at their smaller.
Start polishing and buffing as you can. The physical manipulation of the leather will help with the relaxing process. You can also add leather oils, like mink oil to make the process go faster. Even after your boots are perfect, it’s a good habit to get in to make sure that the boots are still kept in good condition.
Cover up tight areas on your foot to prevent blisters. Use bandaids, thick socks, or pieces of moleskin to cover up areas where the boots rub. This will help protect your feet while the boots are being broken in.
I’ve been wearing these for a few weeks now, and they’re finally getting to be what I had hoped. They are beautiful, and I love them so much. I love them even more now that they fit!