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The Ultimate how to break in your shoes post (karma: 4)  en>fr fr>en
By Spiorad Comments: 2056, member since Sat Jul 22, 2006
On Fri Jun 27, 2008 09:00 PM
Edited by Spiorad (163536) on 2008-06-27 21:06:40 of course I missed something haha
Made sticky by oz_helen (35388) on 2008-06-28 21:40:30

So I know there have been a lot of these topics going around and I thought it might be helpful to have these tips from everyone in one place so that they are easy to find. So I went looking around the board to see what I could come up with.

If someone notices that I missed something (which is VERY likely that I will) please let me know or feel free to post it yourself. :)

Also, I wasn't really sure where I should post this because I wasn't sure if it would just be for soft shoes or hardshoes so... yeah... haha

!!!!IMPORTANT NOTE!!!!!

Please remember to be careful in trying any of these methods if you have not used them before. I have not tried all of these myself, I went looking through the boards to see what I could come up with. As such I don’t put a guarantee on any of them (even my own) what works for one person might not work for another, so please be careful.

1)Classic ways of breaking in:
a. My best advice...wear 'em around the house; anytime you can, for as long as you can! This way, the shoes will mold to YOUR foot, stretch to YOUR foot, and will break in to YOUR foot!!
~celticfeet

b. Firstly, loosen them up a bit by manipulating them with your hands. Bend and twist any and every which way, but keep them moving. When they're warmed up, put them on and keep them on. Walk around the house in them, point and flex your feet, walk on half-point (very important, this last one)…. The ONLY way to make shoes more comfortable on YOUR feet, is to WEAR them in (not 'break' them in) on YOUR feet.
--weezy

c. *You can bend them with your hands both ways (fun to do in front of the t.v.) over and over again.
*Bend them, put a rubber band around them and keep them under a couch.
*Or wear them, try to get up on your toes like a toestand and squat down, sitting on your heels, which will squeeze them.
~GhillieGirl117

d. For soft shoes I just wear them to dance in. The first class they will hurt a little bit, but after that they should be fine.
For hard shoes, I bend them and stick them under the sofa. Take them out a couple days later and they should be about ready! Do the rest by just wearing them around the house and dancing in them.


2)Breaking in using some type of chemical, solution, liquid etc.:

a. I've used neat's foot oil; it worked for me pretty well. They still took me a while to break in, but they helped soften the leather and reduce the possibility of blisters!
--reel_jigger

b. We use Hotglove on our shoes. It is a baseball glove conditioner and we got it at Sports Authority.
~CelticCurls

c. I've heard mink oil is great, but don't use a lot or it will over-stretch the leather!! Also, even just putting baby oil on your shoes I've heard works great! I've never tried either of these, so don't quote me, but that's just what everyone says works!!
~celticfeet

d. Just buy some Hot Glove from your local sporting goods store. Its used for baseball gloves, but it did wonders for my shoes. I could go en pointe the same day I treated them with Hot Glove. Just follow the directions on the back of the can.
~Shamrocker80591

e. Okay this might sound crazy, but it really works!
So first boil a big pot of water,let it then cool a little so it is still hot but not boiling, and then just lightly dip the bottoms of the hardshoes in the water with out getting any of it in the shoe. After that bend them in half a couple times and then wrap a rubber band around them and let them sit for a day or two. The water stretches the leather so the arch will bend easier. Hope this helps! ~ wrocdancer

f. i heard hot glove helps or somthing like fabric softener.
~Fastfeet9

3)The lets bring in some mechanical help! Method.

a. My friend swears by using a blow dryer to heat up the leather but I haven't tried that yet.
--emi1y

b. I use a blow dryer to warm up the leather, and I use my hands by rubbing the leather, getting it as warm and manageable as possible. Then I put them on and wear them around the house for a while. Then when I take them off I work on them with my hands and if I have to I’ll use the blow dryer to get them more manageable again I do. Then I’ll bend them where I want them to broken in. ~Spioard

c. If my shoes are still stiff I take a belt and after bending my shoe the way I want it to go I loop the belt around it and tighten it and leave it like that for a while. Then work on it with my hands and keep repeating until I am satisfied. ~Spioard

d. Sometimes if my shoes are ridiculously tight I put them on high surveillance and use a shoe stretcher JUST FOR A LITTLE BIT after warming the leather either with a blow dryer or just rubbing it. ~One of the girls from my dance school told me this one but she stressed that it should NEVER be left for long periods of time and if you are going to use it make sure you check on it often or else real damage can be done.

e. Bending the shoe and then using a rubber band (strong) to keep them in place.


4)The- I hadn’t even thought of that! Method of breaking in:

a. I take my dd's to a cobbler. I show him her old pair so that he can see how and where they are stretched. I come back three days later, and the shoes are wearable. However, dd still spends about another month breaking them in. ~Anothermomtoo

b. I heard that damp newspaper left in your shoes in an airing cupboard overnight is meant to help?!
HollyRealta



Ok well this is what I came up with, I hope someone finds it helpful!

~Spiorad

80 Replies to The Ultimate how to break in your shoes post

re: The Ultimate how to break in your shoes post en>fr fr>en
By RealDealTrebler Comments: 254, member since Thu Mar 22, 2007
On Fri Jun 27, 2008 09:49 PM
Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

This is so helpful!!!

TIP: Soak shoes in water overnight, then wear them around the house, pointing, walking on half point, going on point, everthing. When they are dry, take them off. :)

Sticky!!
re: The Ultimate how to break in your shoes post (karma: 1)  en>fr fr>en
By ksfeismum Comments: 519, member since Fri Mar 09, 2007
On Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:01 PM
Just a word of warning about the Hot Glove.....I have used it for 5 years, and it can be very good for stretching out the shoes, especially when you put them in the oven AS DIRECTED on the can....do not leave them in too long as I did last week. I forgot about them when I put them into the oven (as I was trying to multi-task) and I left them in for two minutes longer than I was supposed to, and when I took them out, they were smoking and they had SHRUNK!!!! I couldn't believe I did that, and my dd and I just sat there looking at them in utter disbelief. After the smoke died down and we had aired-out the house, we filled up the bath tub and we tried to stretch them out again. They did stretch out a bit, but they are now totally misshapen. It is lucky that dd has a spare-pair of hard shoes, and so we will be buying another pair at NANs. Don't let this happen to you!
re: The Ultimate how to break in your shoes post en>fr fr>en
By Spiorad Comments: 2056, member since Sat Jul 22, 2006
On Sat Jun 28, 2008 11:23 AM
Out of curiosity what exactly is Hot Glove?
re: The Ultimate how to break in your shoes post en>fr fr>en
By ksfeismum Comments: 519, member since Fri Mar 09, 2007
On Sat Jun 28, 2008 12:06 PM
It is a spray foam that you put on the leather part of the shoe (or baseball glove) and it softens the leather so that it is easier to break-in. To make things go quicker, you can put the shoes/glove into the oven for a few minutes and then take it/them out and work them in. Just don't leave them in the oven any longer than it says to on the can (like I did).
re: The Ultimate how to break in your shoes post en>fr fr>en
By FeisForFoodmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 2908, member since Mon Jul 17, 2006
On Sat Jun 28, 2008 04:39 PM
Instead of HotGlove, I recommend other types of glove conditioner that don't involve ovens. Too much can go wrong with HotGlove.

When we went to go buy some, the people at the store said they don't carry it because they don't want people putting their baseball gloves in the oven. Instead, they gave us other stuff that's a lot like shaving cream (which I've heard works pretty well, too!). I just rubbed it all over my shoes except for certain parts that I didn't want to soften too much and danced around in them on an old sheet. I bent them a bit with my hands and then rubbed the extra off.
re: The Ultimate how to break in your shoes post en>fr fr>en
By TheStoryTellermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 2234, member since Mon May 19, 2008
On Sat Jun 28, 2008 05:06 PM
This is an excellent thread! You get Karma
Please make this a sticky!
re: The Ultimate how to break in your shoes post en>fr fr>en
By jaydee4 Comments: 131, member since Mon Oct 15, 2007
On Sat Jun 28, 2008 06:41 PM
In my youth I was a tap dancer and have found the method we used to stretch our shoes works for my DD's Jig shoes. Put some socks on then pop your feet into some warm water to soak the socks. Now put your shoes on and walk, dance or just what tv ( a little of all would be great)The warm wet socks will help soften and mould you shoes to you feet. Good Luck.
re: The Ultimate how to break in your shoes post en>fr fr>en
By Spiorad Comments: 2056, member since Sat Jul 22, 2006
On Sun Jun 29, 2008 02:17 PM
Great so now my shoes decided to fall apart and now I have to break them in in less then two weeks. Looks like I'll be giving some of these things a try!
re: The Ultimate how to break in your shoes post en>fr fr>en
By Celticdreams Comments: 967, member since Tue Jul 03, 2007
On Thu Jul 03, 2008 09:37 AM
I just bought a new pair of hardshoes at my last feis. I am using the traditional method of breaking them in. Just wearing them around the house for as long as I can, and dancing in them a few times. Nothing fancy. I don't want to damage them either, and I don't trust myself with any other method. Good Luck to everyone else with your breaking in methods. :) I wish you all much success.
re: The Ultimate how to break in your shoes post en>fr fr>en
By wildirishdancer Comments: 237, member since Wed Oct 25, 2006
On Thu Jul 03, 2008 03:38 PM
oh please be carefull with the soaking method. I did that to a pair of fays and all the paint came off of the heels and tips! then they left black marks all over the house. my mum was NOT pleased at ALL.
:O
re: The Ultimate how to break in your shoes post en>fr fr>en
By Mysteriamoon Comments: 28, member since Sun Aug 10, 2008
On Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:35 PM
I folded my hard shoes in half and stuck them under my matress for a week. They were perfect after that.
re: The Ultimate how to break in your shoes post en>fr fr>en
By cheershopdnce123 Comments: 21, member since Sun Aug 03, 2008
On Sun Sep 14, 2008 02:49 PM
thank you so much I will remember this.
re: The Ultimate how to break in your shoes post en>fr fr>en
By irishgirl26member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 423, member since Sun Sep 07, 2008
On Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:05 AM
thanks for the help. Now I know what not to do when I get my hardshoes!!
Add Shave Gel en>fr fr>en
By cask14 Comments: 87, member since Mon Oct 13, 2008
On Tue Nov 11, 2008 07:35 PM
DD and I like the bend and rubber band method. We do add Edge shave Gel to the bottom side of the hard shoe just between the heel and the hard part of the bottom toe section before we rubber band. Be sure to tuck the toe into the heel. Then we let dry over night and wipe clean in the morning.
re: The Ultimate how to break in your shoes post en>fr fr>en
By mo925206 Comments: 20, member since Mon Dec 08, 2008
On Mon Dec 08, 2008 08:57 AM
Yes hot water does help mold the shoe to your foot. I have been told to wear them in the shower! Sounds crazy but, it works!
re: The Ultimate how to break in your shoes post en>fr fr>en
By dance884 Comments: 43, member since Mon Dec 15, 2008
On Fri Jan 23, 2009 01:54 AM
it works for me to put some oil on sole and leave on radiator for day or 2.
re: The Ultimate how to break in your shoes post en>fr fr>en
By XxDaNcEaHoLiCxX Comments: 146, member since Wed Sep 05, 2007
On Fri Jan 23, 2009 04:11 AM
I just wanted to add that the black paint might come off when you use the hot water method. This has happend with my Fays shoes. So, if you want to avoid that, I would recommend to use tape on the tips and heels.
Personally, I only hold the shoe OVER boiling water because I'm afraid that the glue might come off when I put them in the water.
re: The Ultimate how to break in your shoes post en>fr fr>en
By greendress07 Comments: 26, member since Sun Mar 18, 2007
On Sun Feb 01, 2009 09:16 AM
This is a great post and very helpful so many shoes and so many shoes feet breaking them in

Will use some of these tips for sure
re: The Ultimate how to break in your shoes post en>fr fr>en
By Rince_Dochas_Gramember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 224, member since Tue Mar 17, 2009
On Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:18 AM
Waht about tips for re-breaking in used shoes? Cuz, if they were "molded" to another girls feet, you might have to do something special to them for YOUR feet?
re: The Ultimate how to break in your shoes post en>fr fr>en
By reeldancerstep Comments: 116, member since Thu Jun 18, 2009
On Thu Jun 18, 2009 08:54 AM
My DD got a ridculously small pair of soft shoes and after I stretched them on my feet we put a pair of warm wet socks on her feet and that seemed to help, but ended up with a full size bigger and a wide fit just a month later.
re: The Ultimate how to break in your shoes post en>fr fr>en
By freckle Comments: 12, member since Mon Jul 06, 2009
On Mon Jul 06, 2009 09:53 AM
Thanks for useful tips. Might save blisters next time we buy heavy shoes.
re: The Ultimate how to break in your shoes post en>fr fr>en
By TMF Comments: 23, member since Thu Jul 30, 2009
On Fri Jul 31, 2009 07:28 PM
Do you break in soft shoes the same way you break in hard shoes?
re: The Ultimate how to break in your shoes post en>fr fr>en
By Spiorad Comments: 2056, member since Sat Jul 22, 2006
On Sat Aug 01, 2009 03:27 PM
^ This post can be applied to both hard and soft shoes depending on what you need to do. You just need to figure out what is the best way for you. Either way you need to get the leather warm and more pliable in order for them to stretch out.
re: The Ultimate how to break in your shoes post en>fr fr>en
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 8869, member since Sat Jul 19, 2003
On Sun Aug 09, 2009 08:36 PM
It's been about 6 years since I've broken any in, but with my last pair of hardshoes (Rutherfords), I put some vaseline on the outside of the soles and zapped it with a blowdryer. It worked great!
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