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How to Break in Shoes

Opening up the shoe box and revealing an adorable pair of new shoes is simultaneously exciting and terrifying. Getting through the hump of bad blisters or aches and pains isn't a fun way to start a relationship with your new pair of shoes. Skip the pain and head straight to the fashionable gain of rocking your trendy footwear out and about. These five tips will allow you to leave behind the awkward phase in between shoe box and shoe heaven.  

Housebreak them

Wear them all over the house. Doing the dishes, dusting the china cabinet, making dinner or doing any other household task that doesn't dirty your footwear can help you loosen them. If they're still giving you aches and pains after a week or so of wearing them around your home, return them. You haven't worn these shoes outside yet which, in most cases, still makes them eligible for return.


Scuff up the soles

Mock the effect that walking on the sidewalk has on the soles of your shoes. Take a piece of sandpaper and scruff up the bottom of the sole so that it gives you more traction on the dance floor or slippery tile floor alike.


Stick a spud in it

Potatoes don't just make a delicious accompaniment to burgers; they also make great shoe stretchers. Peel two potatoes and place one in each shoe. Don’t use any old tater tots; these potatoes need to be big enough to stretch out your shoes. Put spuds in both shoes overnight and remove them in the morning. The shoe should be broken in.


Move around in socks

Slip on a pair of thick socks and step into your new shoes. Use a blow dryer on the high setting for a few minutes. Spend some extra time on parts of the shoe that are particularly tight and wiggle your toes. Once they're stretched out enough, keep your shoes and socks on for a few more minutes so the shoes don't shrink back to their original size.


Stretch it out

Another way to stretch out your new kicks is to use a wooden shoe stretcher. This device works best on suede, leather or other natural materials that will easily stretch. Saturate your shoes with a spray bottle (some stretchers will ask that you use a specific spray), slip your shoe stretchers in and then slowly turn the knob. Leave the stretchers in your shoe overnight and then try on your pair in the morning.