How to Break in Combat Boots


Combat boots have long been worn by members of the military and those who want to add an edgy accessory to their overall look. These durable shoes will last for years through harsh conditions, and they can be well worth the investment. Since they are designed to be tough and thick, combat boots can also be uncomfortable during the first several wears. That can be eliminated with a few tried and true tricks.

Things You'll Need

  • Combat boots
  • Thick socks

Put on your new combat boots as soon as possible after purchasing. Wear them around the house to make sure you have the right fit. If you find the boots do not fit, take them back to the store where you bought them for an exchange. Generally, retailers will allow this as long as there are no scuff marks on the shoes.

Try loosening and bending the leather parts of the boots as much as possible--especially in the heel and toe of each shoe--before wearing them out for the first time. Though most combat boots won’t yield much, this can help stretch them out; that allows you to break in the shoes more quickly.

Protect your heels with Band-Aids. Put on one pair of thick socks or two pairs of thin to medium socks during the breaking-in process. Make sure to wear your boots for a short time each day, increasing the duration every time. Consider purchasing a leather conditioner to apply to the areas of the boots that are least comfortable to wear.

Continue wearing the boots for increasingly long time periods until they fit you comfortably. The more you wear these shoes, the more they will adjust to your feet. This is a highly trusted method of breaking in combat boots.

Tips & Warnings

  • If breaking in new combat boots becomes an ongoing struggle, consider taking them to a shoe repair shop, where professionals can use widening and stretching tools to increase their comfort level at an affordable price. Some people recommend soaking combat boots in water and walking in them until they have dried. In doing so, the shoes will mold more precisely to your feet.
  • Do not attempt to stretch out steel-toed combat boots without the help of a shoe repair professional, as they can only be worn down with special tools.

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