Hiking is a healthy and fun sport, but one thing isn’t a lot of fun—breaking in a new pair of hiking boots. This can be extremely painful if you end up with blisters, and that can mean it will take even longer if you wait for the blisters to heal before trying again.
Today we will discuss how long does it take to break in hiking boots and how to avoid getting those painful blisters. Let’s get started.
Expect a 1-4 Week Breaking-In Period
If you want to put a lot of effort into it, you can break in your new hiking boots in a few short days. But this isn’t the ideal way to do it, and you will likely end up with more than a few blisters for your efforts.
Generally, it should take one to four weeks to break in new hiking boots. Of course, some factors will play into how long it actually takes, including:
- How well the boots fit
- The materials the boots are made from
- Whether you have thick skin, or in other words, your feet are already broken-in
Ideally, you will take the time needed to break in your new boots. But, if you are in a hurry, you can expect a few blisters.
Choose the Right Boots
If you choose the proper hiking boots, you will not need to break them in. Of course, this may require spending more money on higher-quality boots, but they will be worth the price in the long run if you don’t have to break them in.
Finding the right hiking boots can be difficult, and more difficult if you shop online because you can’t try them on before purchasing. In this case, you must rely on reviews from other customers.
It is far better to buy hiking boots in person at a store specializing in sporting goods and offering excellent customer service. A good employee will help you find the right boots and will have patience while you try on several pairs to find the right boots for you.
Ideally, you will try the boots on and walk around the store to see if they feel comfortable. Things to check for include:
- The toe box is wide enough
- The boots are loose enough around the ankles without being too loose
- Your feet don’t slide around inside the boots
Don’t settle for a pair of hiking boots that are merely “good enough.” Trust us, you won’t be happy with them in the near future.
Breaking In Hiking Boots in 1-4 Weeks
Nothing great happens overnight, including breaking in new hiking boots. It can take one to four weeks to get them broken in the way you like them.
Start by wearing your boots around the house or take short walks around your neighborhood for a week or two. This will allow the insole and cushioning to mold to the shape of your feet. While doing this, wear hiking socks, as they will be what you wear when hiking.
After a few days, start taking short hikes on local trails. Start by hiking up to five miles (eight kilometers). The trail should have similar conditions to the trails you usually hike. Moreover, carry a backpack filled with everything you would take on a typical hike and carry it on your test hikes. Wear the proper hiking socks and look for somewhat rugged trails.
Once you increase the length of your hikes, pay attention to painful areas on your feet. If you feel any bruising or pain, stop and check it out. It may be as simple as loosening the laces or wearing thinner socks. After about half a dozen hikes, your boots and feet should be broken in.
How to Avoid Blisters While Breaking in New Hiking Boots
Here are a few things you can do to avoid blisters while breaking in new hiking boots, or at the very least, minimize how many you get.
- If you feel pain, check it out and take steps to correct the problem causing the pain
- Wear thicker socks that have moisture-wicking
- When you take breaks, take off the boots and let your feet breathe while you check for blisters
- Change wet socks immediately
A good pair of hiking boots will take you far, literally. However, to truly enjoy your hikes without blisters and other foot pain, ensure you get the right hiking boots and take the time to break them in.