Tips for Breaking in Shoes this Summer

Woman in pink dress and red shoes holding back of heel

How to Break in Shoes: Blisters, Fit Fixes & More

A new pair of statement sandals or wedges feels great and looks amazing the moment you slip them on but give it a few hours and you might start looking for that return receipt. Aching arches and blistered heels are no fun in a new pair of shoes. At Foot Petals®, we’re all about making pretty painless so you can wear any shoe you want.

Don’t sacrifice your summer vacay over a pair of shoes that won’t fit. Keep reading to find out how to break in new shoes and use Foot Petals shoe cushions as your go-to product for fitting into a new pair.

Three women trying on shoes while sitting on a bench

Is it Normal for New Shoes to Hurt?

When breaking in new shoes, some rubbing, tightness, and discomfort is normal. You should not be in so much pain that it hurts to walk, and your shoes start to affect your foot health. The reason why breaking in new shoes is so painful is usually because you have the wrong size. Thankfully, you can heal and prevent blisters with Foot Petals plus fix issues with fit and solve most common shoe problems.

5 Easy Tips for Breaking in Shoes

Your feet need time to bust in that new pair of running shoes, strappy sandals, or chunky heels. Not to mention, the summer heat can cause your feet to sweat and sometimes swell, making anything but a pair of flip flops hard to wear. Different shoe types can affect your feet in different ways and certain materials like leather, suede, or canvas can determine how well your shoes stretch.

From checking your size to preventing blisters from new shoes, get your feet and your shoe collection ready for summer with these five effortless tips on how to break in heels, sandals, flats, and more.

Shoe that doesn’t fit versus a shoe that does with Foot Petals Back of Heel Cushions

Tip #1: Check Your Size

You’re shopping for shoes online and the pair you love is a half-size too small. Should you buy it and try to stretch them out, or swipe left for a different pair? The right size shoe makes breaking in shoes much easier. Try your best to pick the right size and width, especially if your shoe size might have changed. Otherwise, here's how you can make shoes fit better:

  • Too Big: Shoes that are too big cause your feet to slide too much, which can cause blisters or cuts on your heel. Ball of foot cushions stop your feet from sliding in sandals, heels, and more while back of heel cushions help break in shoes that rub your heels.
  • Too Small: Shoes that are too small put excess pressure on your feet. Stretch them out slowly with more tips below and use spot cushions for leftover trouble spots.
  • Too Narrow: Some manufacturers make their shoe sizes fit differently. Narrow heels or ballet flats can cause a laundry list of foot problems and pain, so consider going up a size instead.
  • Too Wide: Shoes that are too wide are like shoes that are too big. Fill in the space with a heel liner or try adding a ¾ insert for a boost of comfort that improves your fit.

Woman placing beige back of heel cushion in brown shoe

Remember that some shoe styles simply won’t complement your foot shape or arch. If you have flat feet, get more support in heels with arch support cushions. As for women with higher arches, give yourself more stability with air gel heel cup cushions. Better support will cause less foot fatigue and make new shoes fit better.

Tip #2: Plan Ahead & Ease Into It

If you buy shoes for a special occasion such as vacation shoes or shoes for a summer wedding, spend time breaking them in beforehand. A couple weeks prior to the event, wear your heels or sandals for an hour or two each day. You’ll get used to how they feel while also seeing if the straps are too tight, which you can fix with strap cushions.

Woman putting stap cushions inside strappy brown sandal

While planning ahead, prep your feet, too. Moisturizing your feet daily will help strengthen your skin, preventing issues like cracked, dry heels while also making your pedicure last longer. To further stave off cracked skin on your heels, add gel under heel cushions to your slides, slip ons, or sandals.

Tip #3: Wear Socks

Have you ever thought about wearing socks with heels? While the fashion statement is making waves in today’s spring fashion, you can also wear socks with shoes to break them in better. Yes, even socks with sandals. Wear a thick pair of socks with your new summer shoes to stretch them out until they’re broken in.

Socks prevent blisters because they help reduce friction. However, if you want to wear your open-toed mules or espadrille wedges out and about sooner, add a discreet heel cushion under foot and a back of heel liner above your toes to prevent blisters on top of your toes.

Person putting gel heel cup cushion into white alligator skin flats

Tip #4: Use Foot Petals for Blisters

Blisters on the back of your heel from new shoes? Unlike your stowed away winter boots, new summer shoes have all kinds of trouble spots and all that friction inside your shoes causes blisters. Luckily, Foot Petals has everything you need for blister relief and prevention including:

  • Blister Healers: These hydrocolloid patches for blisters provide instant relief from pain and pressure. They’re clear, discreet, waterproof, and they come in three assorted sizes to cover common problem
  • Blister Prevention Anti-Friction Balm: Our blister prevention balm forms an invisible barrier that reduces rubbing and irritation in your shoes. You can also use it to stop chafing or safeguard against scratchy fabrics. It’s portable and leaves no mess.

Woman applying blister prevention balm on back of heel in black heels

Tip #5: Have a Back Up Plan

When you have a busy schedule, break in new shoes by wearing to the office, grocery store, or out to lunch with a friend. Just be sure to have a backup pair of comfortable sneakers or slides that already fit well. Foot Petals shoe cushion kits and sets are also useful when on the go.

How Long Does It Take to Break in Shoes?

Depending on the material, fit, and how often you wear them, breaking in new shoes can take anywhere from three days to three weeks. You can also try using a shoe stretcher to add more length and width to the shoe while also maintaining their shape in storage.

You can break in new shoes in three days by wearing them in the evenings for 30 minutes on the first day and an hour on the second day. Wear your shoes inside and outside on hard and soft surfaces. On the third day, wear your shoes for at least two hours and continue adding time until they fit comfortably.

How to Break in New Shoes Fast

These two hot and cold methods help your break in heels, sneakers, and other shoe types faster:

  • Use a Blow Dryer: Blow drying your leather heels or suede pumps on low heat softens the material so you can better mold them to your feet. Try them on immediately after they start to become flexible.
  • Freeze Them: Fill a couple sealable freezer bags with water and place them inside your canvas or mesh shoes. Then freeze them in your freezer for four hours. The frozen water will expand, giving the shoes a light stretch.

Use Foot Petals to Break in New Shoes Comfortably

Breaking in shoes is easy with Foot Petals shoe cushions and blister relief products. This summer, dress confidently and free your feet from pain and discomfort when you add back of heel cushions, blister healers, and more to your new sandals, wedges, heels, flats, and more.