A person on a track tying a running shoe

How to Break in Running Shoes

Unboxing a fresh, brand-new pair of sneakers is one of life’s simple pleasures. Putting them on, however, can be a different story! Even the best running shoes have a break-in period before they conform to your feet and are ready for action.

Of course, going on a few runs is the obvious way to break in your new kicks, but it’s not always that easy. You could end up with all sorts of unpleasant side effects, like blisters, swelling, and numbness. Fortunately, we’re here to share our best life hacks that’ll have your running shoes feeling fantastic as quickly as possible. On your mark, get set, let’s go!

1. Take It Slow 

Breaking in running shoes is typically a faster and easier process than breaking in boots, but it comes with unique challenges. Unlike boots that are made for walkin’, running shoes are made for speed. Your first instinct might be to go for a run, but extreme athletic activities can take a toll on your feet if your footwear isn’t yet ready.

Instead, we recommend starting by strolling around the house for a little while and then going for a brisk walk or a jog. You’re less likely to hurt your feet and more likely to notice a problem before it gets worse. Bring your old running shoes along so you can switch as soon as you notice signs of blisters or foot pain.

2. Wear Thicker Socks

A person’s feet with socks and running shoes

Breaking in running shoes involves stretching the shoe’s materials. Wearing a slightly thicker pair of socks than usual can speed up that process. Just make sure to pack a spare pair in case your feet start to overheat. Another option is to simply wear two pairs of your go-to athletic socks. That way you can remove a pair if needed.

3. Apply Heat

The breaking-in process naturally softens the sneakers’ materials over time, molding them to your feet. Applying heat can help this process along. While some runners have been known to briefly microwave their running shoes, we recommend using a hair dryer so you have more control. 

When breaking in running shoes with heat, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Pay close attention, keeping the heat level low so you don’t cause any damage. Heat the insides of the shoes for 2-5 minutes, and then walk around in them for 20 minutes or so. Repeat as desired.

4. Try the Freezer Method

Another option is to fill a freezer-safe, sealable bag with water, remove all air, slide them inside the shoes, and place them in the freezer. As the water freezes and expands, the bags will stretch the shoes from within. It’s very important that you only use leak-proof bags—vacuum-sealed bags are ideal.

Shop Running Shoes at What’s Hot Clothing

Now that you know how to break in running shoes, why not put that knowledge to work with a brand-new pair? We stock a variety of men’s sneakers online, women’s tennis shoes, and kids’ tennis shoes with high-performance features, such as orthopedic arch support, shock-absorbing heel counters, premium materials, ergonomic designs, lightweight construction, and remarkable comfort.

Not only are we an authorized dealer of footwear brands you know and love, but we also offer end-of-season discounts so you can get top-of-the-line, 100% authentic running shoes for less! All of our shoes are brand new and never worn, packaged in the original box, and ready for you to break them in. Fortunately, you’re now an expert at breaking in running shoes! Find your new favorite sneakers at What’s Hot Clothing!

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