I don’t know how many times I’ve heard or read things like “the shoes hurt like hell for a week, but now they are really comfortable.” Classic quality shoes, which are more or less entirely made in leather, shouldn’t be used fully directly, both the shoes and especially the feet will feel much better if they are broken in carefully.


Everyone knows that a pair of new quality shoes are relatively hard. Everyone knows that they soften after they have been broken in. It simply has to do with the shoes being made of leather, which for some cases has a certain stiffness after the tanning, and for some other cases often become more or less damp and therefore solidified during the makings as they are pulled over the last. The material needs to be softened to become a pair of comfortable shoes. There is a big difference to a pair of sneakers or running shoes in fabric, rubber and synthetic materials. They may also need to shape slightly after the feet, but the materials are usually soft from the start.

Even though everyone knows that you need to break in leather shoes, there are many who use the shoes all day long from the start. It’s no wonder that you’ll end up with pain in the feets. To me, this is very strange, especially as many of whom I am in the beginning regret that they are hurting at the beginning.
However, avoiding excessive pain is quite simple, it’s only about using the shorter periods at the beginning and stepping up the use. And this really applies to all quality shoes, even shoes with a really good fit, even bespoke, need to go in and soften before they get really good, and here’s always an advantage to start cautiously.

When you've just gotten a pair of amazing new shoes you want to use them properly at once. To restrain yourself a bit and start carefully can be worth it.

When you’ve just gotten a pair of amazing new shoes you want to use them properly at once. To restrain yourself a bit and start carefully can be worth it. This pair above from Yohei Fukuda and the ones in the top picture from Hiro Yanagimachi are my two latest pairs, who I’ve just started to wear full days after a couple of weeks time where they’ve seen more careful use.

For my part, I have the quite sensitive feet, which makes me extra careful with new shoes. But to give a guideline, I will go through how I usually do when I have a pair of new shoes. The first use is always at home for one or a two hours. The shoes are worn carefully, and gives them a chance to soften up a bit, while you at the same time know that you can end the wear period whenever you want. Also the second wear usually happen indoors under roughly the same circumstances, maybe a bit longer though. On the third occasion, I’ll take them out, but never for a whole day at work or similar, just for a couple of hours, for example if you head in to town to run some errand or similar.or the like. I usually also try to get another opportunity like this before it’s time to wear them for a whole day. So four times, maybe 10-15 hours in total, I use the shoes a bit more carefully before they go for a full day. It’s a relatively calm start and give the shoes a chance to soften and shape after the feet. It is also good to use Compeed or regular plasters if it gets sore somewhere when you break in the shoes, to avoid the worst pain. In my eyes it will always be wiser to wait a while to wear the shoes full days to spare your feet.