How to Make Leather Shoes Soft: Breaking In That Shoe

Wearing new leather shoes can be an exciting experience, especially if you wear your dream, Dr. Martens, that you have been saving up for a long time. This article is about how to break in your new leather shoes and make them soft and comfortable to use wherever you go. Breaking in your shoes does not require any complicated skills or expensive tools and products to use. You only need household materials such as damp newspaper, your hairdryer, and some leather conditioners that you can buy from leather care stores or leather repair specialists near you.

Step One: Wear Them and Walk With Them

This is one of the cheapest ways to break in your shoes and make them soft. When you wear leather, you will notice a gradual softening as time goes on. It is important to wear leather shoes regularly to make them more pliable.

While new leather shoes are comfortable, they may become so after a few hours of walking around in them that they are no longer comfortable. Putting on your shoes for only half of the day and then swapping them out for a pair of more comfortable shoes can help to reduce the likelihood of this happening.

If you notice that your shoes are becoming uncomfortable while wearing them, remove them from your feet as soon as possible, even if you haven’t worn them for the entire half-day.

Wear the shoes for only half a day the following day, and then toss them in the trash after that. After that, you should wear them for another half day each day for the next two days. Keep wearing the new shoes every other day for the rest of the week, in half-day increments, until the weekend.

Whenever they begin to feel softer, try wearing them for an entire day without taking them off or changing them. Following that, you are free to wear them as frequently as you want.

The soles of our feet are dripping with sweat. This is especially true if the shoes are brand new and are still too tight around your feet. It is especially important to avoid wearing the shoes two days in a row when they are brand new because they will not have enough time to dry out properly.

Please be patient with me. It may take some time for a new pair of shoes to become comfortable. For leather to be worn comfortably and effectively, it frequently requires a lengthy breaking-in period.

Leathers are more permeable in texture, such as calfskin, and will likely soften more quickly. Still, if your shoes have a lot of stitches and needlework, they will take longer to break in than leathers that are thicker in texture. Wearing a pair (or two) of socks while walking around can significantly speed up the softening process and make it more comfortable.

If you do not have a lot of things to do at home, this is one easy way you can use order to break in your new shoes and make the leather soft.

Step Two: Use Alcohol and Saddle Soap to Soften

Suppose you do not have time to walk around the house and back with your new leather shoes, but you need to break them in because you have a gig in a few days. In that case, you can try using this tip using alcohol and leather conditioners. You have to remember that you can only use rubbing alcohol and not other types. You will know the reason why in a little while.

First, you need to prepare the following materials:

  • Saddle soap (you can buy these in leather shops)
  • Cotton balls
  • 70% isopropyl alcohol
  • Leather conditioners (you can also buy these in leather shops)

After purchasing a pair of leather shoes, immediately scuff them all over with saddle soap, inside and out, to make them look new again. There should be no residue left behind. Check to see that the cloth you’re using is made entirely of cotton before using it. A soft-bristled shoe brush can also be used to great effect. It will aid in incorporating the saddle soap into the leather when it comes to cleaning the saddle.

A specific part of the shoe may be too hard in one area, while another part of the shoe may pinch your foot in one or more areas in another area. For specific leather shoes, soak a cotton ball in a 70% isopropyl alcohol solution and wring it out after a few minutes to soften the leather.

Apply the cotton swab to the areas of your shoes that need to be softer to achieve the desired result. Once your leather shoes are completely dry, stuff them with newspaper and leave them at room temperature for two days to allow the leather to dry completely.

Using a leather conditioner and sealing your leather shoes with a sealant will help keep your leather shoes soft for a longer period. Water will be prevented from entering the leather through its pores in this manner, resulting in a more gradual hardening process over time. Repeat the process as many times as needed.

Following the treatment described in Steps 1 through 3, a final tip for keeping leather shoes soft is to wipe down the inside and outside of your leather shoes after each use. As a result of the heat, sweat, and salt that seeps into your leather, the leather and stitching will begin to break down, and the softness of your leather will be diminished. That is when you can feel comfortable walking down wearing your shoes because the leather is now softer.

As mentioned earlier, you cannot use other types of alcohol aside from isopropyl alcohol, such as ethyl alcohol. It is because leather is highly flammable, and ethyl alcohol has a high flammability level. When using the alcohol method, do it far away from the sun or any heat sources for your safety. Wear gloves if your hands are too sensitive to protect your skin from burning or any other accidents.

Step Three: Try Using Alcohol and Vaseline

If you do not have any saddle soap and leather conditioner available, a much better alternative is Vaseline and isopropyl alcohol. Vaseline also provides the much-needed moisture that leather conditioners usually offer to leather shoes. This is also much cheaper since you can readily buy a tub of Vaseline at your local CVS.

For starters, get yourself a bottle of rubbing alcohol. The chemical rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol is readily available in large quantities at drug stores and supermarkets. Try as you might, if you try to soften your leather shoes with regular alcoholic beverages, you will only end up making them smell like alcoholic beverages.

Fill a small dish with a small amount of alcoholic beverage. According to the type of shoe you are wearing, you will need a specific lubricant. To compensate for the fact that a high-heeled shoe or boot will require more support than a shoe that only goes up to your ankle, you should purchase more of them.

Pour the alcohol onto a cotton ball, and use the cotton ball to rub it all over your leather shoe, paying special attention to any exposed leather. If there are laces on the shoe, they should be removed so that the alcohol can be applied to any exposed leather on the tongue and the inside of the shoe, if there are any. It will take approximately thirty minutes for the paint to dry.

To protect the shoe, Vaseline should be applied. Vaseline should be applied to any areas where the alcohol has been applied to prevent further damage. It is best to work the Vaseline into the shoe with a small brush or an old toothbrush to achieve the best results possible. 

After you have finished applying the Vaseline to the shoe, you should leave only a thin layer of it on the shoe. Allow the shoes to take a well-deserved rest for the night. Once you’ve given the shoes a few minutes to soften and soften up, wipe them down with a dry cloth to remove any remaining Vaseline from the bottoms.

If your shoes are not as soft as you would like them to be after a single coat, repeat the process until your shoes are as soft as you would like them to be. The level of softness that you desire might require several coats of paint, so keep that in mind when applying the paint.

Step Four: Use Your Trusty Hairdryer

You can also use your trusty hairdryer to break in your shoes and soften the leather on them without damaging them. For this hack, you only need to prepare your hairdryer.

That’s right, you read that correctly: you are correct. Plan on using the hairdryer for a couple of sessions while you’re walking around the house in your new leather shoes to keep your leather shoes soft and broken in. With a 20-second blast of heat, target any areas that pinch or feel tight, and repeat as necessary to stretch the leather without damaging it.

It only takes a few minutes for the combination of large socks and additional warmth to produce noticeable results. As long as the leather on your shoes or boots feels cool to the touch, you should keep them on your feet. This increases the likelihood that they will remain stretched and fitted to the shape of your feet.

This is also a great technique that you can use if you are pressed for time but want to feel more comfortable wearing your brand-new shoes. You can do this in the bathroom if they have any hairdryers available or at home in your bathroom while you are preparing to go out.

Step Five: Try Using Ice or Soap to Break Shoes In

Yes, that is absolutely correct. You can use bar soap as a substitute to saddle soap mentioned earlier and some ice to break the heels on the leather shoe. You can also use your bar soap and some ice in breaking into your shoes that hurt when you walk. You need to have some ice cubes and some bar soap for this hack.

It has been discovered that soap can be used to soften your new leather shoes, particularly the backs of new shoes, in addition to bathing and washing them. Simply rubbing a small amount of soap into the inside of the back of your shoes will usually suffice to remove odors and stains.

Gently rub it into the material while flexing a small amount. Aside from preventing blisters from forming on your skin due to friction between your heels and the shoes, doing so will also aid in softening the back of your shoes, allowing you to enjoy the greatest possible comfort and ease of use while wearing your footwear.

As for the ice, this method will teach you how to soften the back of stiff shoes, which will be useful in the future. It is true that when water molecules are frozen, they expand, and this is a small piece of scientific knowledge that you can put to good use.

Fill two small sealable bags with water until they are approximately half full. That is all there is to it when using this method. As you insert each new pair of shoes into the water bag, check to see that the bulk of the water bag is located close to the inside of the back of your shoes.

Shoes or sneakers should be placed in a freezer bag for at least seven hours, preferably longer, to prevent odors from accumulating. Water bags expand as they freeze, which causes the backs of your shoes to expand, making them softer and more comfortable to wear due to the freezing.

Taking the new shoes out of the freezer and putting them on after allowing them to warm up is a good practice. It is only after they have warmed up that you will be able to determine whether the expansion of the shoes has resulted in a back that is as soft as you desire. It is necessary to repeat the procedure several times until the backs of your shoes are as soft as you desire.

The following is a word of caution: the water bags in your shoes mustn’t leak while you are wearing them. Extreme cold will not harm your shoes, especially if they are made of leather. Still, excessive moisture will cause them to deteriorate.

Step Six: Use Shoe Stretch Sprays as a Shortcut

Lastly, this trick is both quick and easy to do. It softens the leather of your shoes, stretching it properly so that you can be comfortable walking in your new pairs without any hassles at all.

In most cases, these shoe stretch sprays are used on leather shoes, and they are an excellent choice for those who want to soften the leather material of their shoes. All you have to do is spray them on the insides of your shoes and go about your business as usual with them.

To soften the shoes and make them more comfortable for you to wear, walk around in them, flex your legs as you go, and walk in a circular motion. These shoe sprays are inexpensive and can be obtained from various retail outlets and shoe repair facilities. They have the potential to reduce the size of your shoes by nearly half when used properly.

You can buy this in shoe stores or other leather care goods stores. Some are cheap and affordable, while some are expensive. Based on your shoes, you can ask for help if you still do not know which brand of shoe stretch sprays you need.

Breaking In Your Leather Shoes to Break Free

Making your shoes soft is important so that you can walk on them as freely and comfortably as you can be. There are so many methods you can use, from buying leather conditioners and applying them onto the surface of the leather to simply wearing the shoes with layers of socks and walking all around the house for several minutes. After doing any of these methods, you can freely walk with your leather shoes as it is much more comfortable to wear now, and lesser bumps will happen.

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