How To Break In Running Shoes

If you are an experienced runner, then you may go through new pairs of running shoes quite frequently.

How To Break In Running Shoes

New technologies and extra cushioning will allow you to just run this much faster for a few extra miles.

Running puts particular pressure and higher impact force on your feet, and the right shoes are essential to avoid injuries.

That’s why running shoes need to fit your feet perfectly. After you bought your new shoes, you need to break them in to ensure they adapt to your feet.

We find out how to break in your running shoes, and what’s the best breaking-in period. 

Why Do You Need To Break In Running Shoes?

Breaking in your new pair of running shoes is a very important step that you need to take before hitting the road or trail for an extended period of time.

The first few times you run in your new shoes, it will be uncomfortable and may even hurt.

This is normal, as your muscles and ligaments are still adjusting to the change in different types of shoe and shoe model.

However, if you continue to wear these shoes without breaking them properly, they could become painful and cause blisters on your feet.

Even if you put thicker socks on, you will notice that you have sore feet with a pair of shoes that is not broken in.

When you feel like you can comfortably run in your new shoes without pain, then you’ve reached the point where your shoes should be considered broken in.

If you experience any discomfort while wearing your new shoes, here are some tips on how to break in your running shoes properly.

How To Break In Running Shoes

How To Break In Running Shoes

There is a large range of different types of shoes. From modern running shoes to motion control shoes and casual shoes, not just experienced runners know that comfortable shoes do not typically happen overnight.

Even a pair of good-quality running shoes takes some time to break in.  

Walk Before You Run

Before you start running in your new shoes, make sure you walk around the block at least once. This will help loosen up your muscles and get rid of any tightness in your legs.

Alternatively, you can also try walking around the house instead of going outside. Just put them on whenever you have an hour at home, or maybe when you are doing your household chores.

Breaking them in without the impact forces of running will mean that the shoes adapt to your ankle shape.

This avoids any excess chafing and sore spots around your toes or feet.

Go For Shorter Runs

After around a week of wearing your new running shoes, you will notice that your new shoes won’t feel as stiff as before anymore.

You and your new favorite shoes are ready to go out for a short run. You mustn’t overdo it on your first run.

Start slow and gradually increase the distance a little bit every day until you reach your normal running distance.

Try Out Different Running Surfaces

Concrete is one of the hardest surfaces to run on. If you want to seriously test your new shoes, you can always run on concrete.

It will give you a chance to see what your new shoes can handle. 

Running on grass or dirt provides a softer surface than concrete, and it cushions the impact a little more. However, this does not mean you shouldn’t try out other surfaces too.

Use The Right Socks

How To Break In Running Shoes

Just because you’re using thick socks doesn’t necessarily mean that you should use them all the time.

Thicker socks will provide extra cushioning and support to your ankles, but they might also restrict blood flow to your feet.

Make sure to rotate between thinner socks and thicker ones depending on the weather conditions.

Make sure that the socks you use for running are not made of cotton. Cotton socks can easily get wet. This will result in chafing.

Some people also prefer to use proper running socks that are designed to cushion your steps.

They are also great to protect you from the cold weather in winter, and they prevent excess sweating in summer.

Take Your Time

A golden rule of breaking in your running shoes is to take your time.  If you rush through the process, you may end up with blisters, which could be painful and uncomfortable.

Instead, wear your new shoes for several days and slowly build up your mileage.

Your new shoes will thank you by being much more comfortable and providing better protection against injuries.

Rotate Between Pairs Of Shoes

How To Break In Running Shoes

If you loved your old running shoes, you are probably not going to part with them so quickly.

It’s a good idea to keep your old running shoes, and alternate between old and new shoes.

This won’t put too much strain on the new shoes, giving you plenty of time to break them in slowly, and you can still do a longer run with your previous pair.

Heat Or Freeze Your New Shoes

This may sound like a silly idea but we found it works! 

Heating and freezing your new shoes allows the fabric to expand and this gives your feet more freedom to move without chafing.

You can freeze your shoes by placing them in a freezer bag, and then putting them inside the freezer for three hours. 

Then take them out and wait for a few minutes to get them back to room temperature. You can then try the shoes.

If you want to heat your shoes, you need to wear your new shoes for 20 minutes first. This is important, so your shoes can adapt to your feet.

Then warm the shoes with a hairdryer for a maximum of five minutes. You should do this while wearing them to get the best fit. 

How Long Does It Take To Break In Your New Running Shoes?

The break-in period for new shoes depends on your shoe usage. As a rule of thumb, running shoes with a good fit won’t take long to break in.

You can wear them around the house for a few days, and then take them for shorter runs.

However, ill-fitting shoes may take much longer because they are not well adapted to your feet.

If your shoes do not feel comfortable after a couple of weeks, it’s a good idea to check if you can return them.

Final Thoughts

There are so many easy ways to break in your new running shoes, and it doesn’t take long with the right pair of shoes.

Megan Rinzel
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