Breaking in new shoes can sound like a tedious chore, but if you don’t do it, you will most likely regret it. It is a thrilling feeling when you buy a new pair of shoes and imagine yourself strutting around in them. You imagine all the records you’ll break with these new running shoes.
Taking those babies home is exciting, and you look forward to wearing your shoes for the first time. However, if you haven’t broken them in when you try them out for a run or a jog, you could end up in pain.
Although you may be excited to try out your new running buddies, you really should follow a few steps before doing so. Let’s take a look at the things you need to keep in mind before taking your new running shoes out for activities.
Walk Before You Run
It is highly recommended that you first walk around in your new shoes — do not immediately put them on and start running or jogging. Take a few days to get used to them. Your feet are very adaptable, but they do need time. Walk around in them at home for a few days. This will help loosen the soles and shoes themselves.
This time is when you should note if the shoes are truly made for running and your feet. If they do not fit as comfortably as you’d like, you’ll have problems running in them. Hopefully, you will be allowed to return the shoes and try out different ones even before getting into a painful situation. You may think your feet are hardy, but they need care too.
Take it Easy at First
Once you’ve walked in the shoes for a few days and find them to be comfortable, you should take things one step at a time. Gradually start running in the new shoes. Sure, you’ll be tempted to see what the shoes can do, but save yourself the hurt and disappointment and wait. Work your new shoes into your running routine over time.
Whatever you do, do not go for the longest or toughest runs in your new shoes at first. If you run 5 times a week, put on your shoes for only 1 or 2 days. Do this for the first few weeks. After that, use the shoes more often. You will notice the difference in feel between your old and new running shoes.
By now, you should know if your shoes are the right fit. Breaking in applies to shoes that fit you but are new. This method will not make a pair of shoes that do not fit your feet suddenly fit. Instead, you will end up with painful feet and shoes that may not be in good enough condition to return.
Remember that your feet are not separate entities — they are connected to the rest of your body. If you experience back pain after training in your shoes, it might be the new guys that are to blame.
Your feet may even feel fine, but that wouldn’t mean there aren’t any negative side effects from the shoes. Compare how you feel to how you end up feeling after running in your old shoes.
In the end, there isn’t too much about breaking in new shoes; it just takes time and patience, and some getting used to. Just remember that skipping this step can cause problems; you could develop blisters as well as other mild injuries that can prevent you from training well.
If you wear shoes that aren’t the right fit for too long, it could result in long-term injuries like changes to your gait. You could also develop aches and pains in your hips and legs, which could be thanks to the new stance you have in your new shoes. This can be prevented by breaking in the shoes properly.
Quick Tip: You can use talcum powder (also known as baby powder) to prevent friction and moisture when you wear your new shoes. Cover your feet in the powder; it’s also excellent at preventing odors.
The Wrong Fit?
If you think your shoes might be the wrong fit, here are some ideas of what could be the issue:
Blisters could be caused by shoes that are too small. Your feet swell up when you run (this is natural), so you have to make sure the shoes you choose aren’t too tight. When choosing running shoes, go for a size or half a size bigger than your regular shoe size. This may feel odd, but your feet will thank you in the end.
Running shoes are made differently depending on the brand. Some may be wider at the toes, while others are more narrow. Some are even better for flat feet. Be sure to check for this before buying your new shoes.
How Long Will it Take to Break in Your New Running Shoes?
In general, you should expect to spend about 2 to 3 weeks on breaking in your new running shoes. After this period, they should be much more comfortable to wear. Some models could take a little longer, though. The time could also be different, depending on how often the shoes are worn. But don’t be tempted to rush it. All good things take time.
Why Should You Break in Your New Running Shoes?
If blisters do not seem like that big a deal to you, and therefore a bearable part of wearing new shoes, think again. Blisters can become infected and so painful and sensitive that you can’t wear shoes, which would mean you can’t train. You want to prevent that.
There is also the possibility of bleeding and chafing, which can also affect your training program. Layers of the skin can be peeled away if shoes are rubbing your feet the wrong way. You’ll end up with sensitive and sore spots, which is counterproductive.
Although breaking in new shoes is the least exciting part of owning them, it is necessary and should not be skipped. It may take a while (few weeks), but you will be happy you did it when you’re comfortably running with your new shoes.