After selling every kind of outdoors sports gear imaginable, we know how important the right piece of gear is. Not only are you trusting your gear to support you and keep you safe while you’re exploring the outdoors, but you’re investing your hard-earned money into it too, so it’s best that you not only find the right gear but make it last too.
To help you do just that with your hiking boots, the ASO Mammoth team has put together a simple list of Do’s and Don’ts for breaking in your boots. Properly broken in boots are the difference between a comfortable hike and not being able to hike at all because of blisters, so check out our guide below to start your hiking boot journey off on the right foot!
Do: Take It Slow
We get it, new boots are exciting and you want to see what they can do on the trail and not just in the store. However, taking your new hiking boots out for a long hike without properly breaking them in over time and with increasingly strenuous walks will only result in less time hiking.
The first step to breaking in hiking boots is to wear them around your home and around the block to form the sole of the boot to your foot. Make sure to wear the socks you’ll be wearing on the trail so you have a good feel and fit for the boot and then wear them for everything from vacuuming to walking to a coffee shop.
Don’t: Look For Shortcuts
If you’re looking to break your boots in as quickly as possible, then you’re missing the point of investing time and money into your boots. While there are plenty of methods online that may or may not help your boot form to your foot, there is nothing more reliable than slowly breaking your boot in the old-fashioned way. If you try to skip this stage and try homemade methods or take your boots out for a long hike right out of the box, you’ll come back with blisters instead of broken in boots.
Do: Pay Attention To Your Feet
Breaking in your boots isn’t as easy as just walking. You must pay attention to where pressure points and other issues arise as you’re walking otherwise you’ll be dealing with them for the lifetime of the boot.
The main thing to pay attention to is where and how blisters show up. If you can feel extra pressure on your toes while hiking and a blister appears, then you may want to lace your boots differently and take away the toe pressure. If blisters appear on the bottom of your foot without you noticing acute pain during your hike, then the skin there may need to thicken before you can go on long distance hikes. Pay attention to what your feet are telling you while you’re breaking in your boots and you’ll keep yourself from regretting your purchase.
Don’t: Expect Your Boots To Keep Their Shape Without Proper Care
If you’ve gone through the hard work of finding, buying, and breaking in the right pair of hiking boots, don’t quit before the finish line by forgetting about them when you’re not hiking. Hiking boots are tough by nature, but if you shove them into tight spaces or stack other things on top of them then you’re asking for them to lose their shape. Other than storing them upright with plenty of room, you can care for your hiking boots by keeping them dry and clean until your next hike.