A brand new pair of shoes can refresh your entire wardrobe. They can be an anchor to build an entirely new outfit combination to wear or make tire outfits that look and feel fresh.
And there is nothing quite exciting than purchasing a glamorous pair of shoes and the anticipation of breaking them in— that’s until you discover that your new shoes are breaking you (your feet, your poise, your happiness) instead.
And when your new shoes hurt, you simply choose not to wear them. What should be an exciting pair to wear on the next party, trips or adventure, just gathers dust in the back of your wardrobe.
The good news is that blisters and agony are not a mandatory part of buying new shoes. With these tips, you can prevent that frustratingly painful rubbing on your heel for a comfortable fit you can wear until it lasts!
8 Tips on How to Break in Shoes That Rub Your Heel
1. Getting The Right Size
First and foremost, choosing the right shoe size can go a long way in preventing those agonizing blisters and pain.
Ill-fitting shoes are the number one cause of foot problems, some of which are related to shoes painfully rubbing your heels. Thus, you will need to make sure that your shoes are of the right size.
2. Protecting The Hot Spots
Breaking in new shoes will always be a bit harsh on your feet. However, some of the common blisters can be prevented if you just know where to look.
And while the heels are the most obvious spot, the tops and sides of your toes are also vulnerable. If you are not quite sure where the problem spots are, wear your new shoes and walk for an hour. You will definitely know where those hotspots are.
Blisters are caused by friction. In order to reduce friction, enough moisture is crucial with dry skin rubbing a lot more than hydrated skin. You can keep your skin moisturized with your regular lotion. Consider using petroleum jelly on the worst spots to significantly reduce friction there.
You can also try antiperspirant, especially during the summer months. Unlike your deo, antiperspirant actually reduces sweating and applying it directly to your feet can prevent sweating and making blisters a lot worse.
Meanwhile, paper surgical tapes are another unusual method of preventing blisters when breaking in your new shoes. However, according to a study by researchers from Stanford University, paper surgical tapes went a long way in preventing blisters, particularly for runners.
This tape is very thin and smooth, so even if you did get blisters, removing the tape won’t be a traumatic experience. The best part? It can be found at local drugstores for approximately 69 cents only.
3. Insoles For a Proper Fit
Insoles add that slight lift to your feet which decreases the area in contact with your heel. And while insoles can also provide a slightly tight fit, this can help reduce the movement between your skin and the shoe, which reduces the chances of forming blisters. Plus, they can also make your overall shoe experience more supportive and comfortable.
4. The Moleskin
Counteract scraping, rankles, blisters and cutting by sticking bits of moleskin inside your shoes. This is an adhesive cotton fabric that can be purchased in drugstores.
Unroll a part of the moleskin that is large enough to stick over the area on your shoes that you want to cover. Place it inside the heel of your shoes and tracing the area with a pencil or pen. Cut the shape with scissors.
Make sure that the inside of your shoes is free from dirt or dust. Peel the protective backing on the moleskin and stick it in place inside the shoes.
Moleskin can also be applied to your skin in order to prevent blisters. Using scissors, cut a piece of the moleskin that is large enough to wrap around your heel. Remove the protective backing and stick the moleskin to your skin. Just make sure your skin is dry and clean. To keep it in place, you can wear thin socks over the moleskin or cover a larger area so that it can stick better.
5. Wear Chunky Socks
If blisters persist, then you need to work out in stretching out the shoes instead of protecting your feet. Wear the chunkiest pair of socks with the shoes on when at home or secretly under your desk at the office.
You can even put the thick socks on a shoe shaper, sticking them inside your shoes for the night to give it a gentle stretch.
So, rather than walking around and getting blisters all over your heels, you can slowly stretch out the shoe material with the socks’ bulkiness.
6. Blow Dry
You do not have to wear new shoes long just to break them in and ending up with those blisters around your heel. You can just stretch out the fabric so that it is much comfortable to wear without the consequences of blisters.
This trick works best for leather shoes. Grab a hairdryer and the chunky pair of socks we previously mentioned. Wear the socks and your new shoes and blow dry over the area where you feel some tightness for at least 20 – 30 seconds. Make sure that the hairdryer is far enough from your feet so it does not burn your feet.
After that, take a quick walk around the room. This helps loosen the shoe material while it is still flexible and hot. When you think that the shoes have stretched enough, you can remove the chunky socks and test the shoes out.
7. The Ice Bag Technique
If your shoes are not made of leather or heat does not seem to work, then another way to stretch out tight-fitting shoes overnight is the ice bag trick.
Fill two plastic bags with water and placing them inside your shoes. Place the pair of shoes in your freezer for the night. The water should freeze and expanded, stretching out the toe.
This technique, however, will need a bit of patience and a bit of trial and error, since you do not want to overstretch your shoes but also need to fill them with enough water to make a stretch difference.
Take the shoes out in the morning and you should have nice-fitting shoes with that cooling effect for a hot summer day.
8. The Water Bucket
If your shoes do not seem to be molding to your feet and find yourself in agonizing pain, this trick might help.
Put on your new shoes and dunk your feet into a bucket of water. Dry your shoes a bit with a few taps of a towel to prevent discoloration, but leave them slightly damp. Walk around for 1 – 2 hours in your wet shoes. The dampness should soften the shoe material and allow your shoes to mold to your feet more.
Although these tips may be time-consuming and even unpleasant, however, breaking in your new shoes properly truly makes a difference in being comfortable and completely pain-free.
There is nothing, absolutely nothing, like strutting in your new kicks completely blister-free.