A pair of cowboy boots are one of those things that sound great in theory, but once you try the boots on for size, you may quickly realize that they’re not all they’re cracked out to be — at least, not in terms of comfort. The thing is, leather boots for women and men were designed to help wearers sustain maximum comfort levels during long workdays, but to get them to the point where they could effectively do that, they had to be broken in. While you could limp around and deal with blisters for weeks on end until the tough leather breaks down, there is an easier and less painful way to break in well-made boots. Below are the top three ways for doing so.
1. Heat Them Up
Per the general principles of science, heat expands. By using a readily available heat source in your home, such as a hairdryer or steamer, heat up your leather boots. Keep the source about eight inches away from your boots to prevent any inadvertent damage. However, make sure the leather gets enough heat that it becomes warm and toasty. Once it does, turn off the heat source and put the boots on your feet. Walk around in them for one to two hours, allowing the leather to reform to the shape and size of your foot. For best results, focus most of the heat on the boot’s problem areas, such as the heels or sides of them.
2. Freeze Bags of Water Inside the Boots
Science also says that when you freeze water, it expands, making the icing method just as effective for stretching leather as the heating technique. If you order womens or mens boots online and they aren’t as comfortable as you imagined they would be, fill a gallon-sized sealable bag about half to three-quarters full of water. Let the air out, seal and place it in your boot. Make sure to get the bag as far into the toes of the boots as possible, and place something in the shaft to ensure the bag doesn’t shift. Place the boot in the freezer for up to eight hours, remove and let thaw. While effective, you may have to repeat this process several times for you to notice any real difference.
3. Submerge the Boots in Water
Though drastic and not for the faint of heart, this method is one of the most popular and effective for loosening up the leather of tough cowboy boots, as water naturally loosens fibers and gives leather uncharacteristic flexibility. To perform this method, fill a bathtub or large bucket with lukewarm water until most of the boot is submerged. Make sure to not allow water to flow into the shaft. Hold the boots down with your hands in them until the insoles become slightly wet. Take the boots out of the water and wear them until dry.
This method is best performed in warm weather. Because it’s an all-day event, you may want to start in the morning. Once the boots are dry and fitting like a glove, condition them with an appropriate product to prevent cracking.
Regardless of where you find men’s or women’s cowboy boots cheap online, you will need to break them in. However, if you’re in the market for a boot that is just about perfect as is, shop with a reputable boot retailer.