No one likes breaking in leather shoes. As any fashion lover knows, it can take weeks for shoes to become wearable. It seems so wrong that such beautiful things can inflict such pain—but it's a necessary evil. January has got to be one of the most popular months of the year for breaking-in, with many lucky people being gifted leather goods over Christmas—however, it's these individuals that will also be seen hobbling at rush hour, cursing their new brogues. If this sounds all too familiar, listen up, because I've got a simple hair-dryer trick that'll make blister plasters a thing of the past…
1. Put on a pair of thick socks and then slip on your leather shoes. Don't worry if it feels tight, as this will help stretch the leather.
2. Grab a hair dryer, turn it to a high temperature, and run it over the sections of the shoe that rub the most or are the tightest. Often this'll be the back of the shoe or across the bridge of the foot.
3. Wiggle your foot and toes while the leather is still warm, and allow the shoe to shape to your foot.
4. Be careful to do this little by little, as sometimes the heat works very quickly. After around 20 seconds, try walking around (wearing your normal socks) to test the fit; then repeat as needed.
So there you go! You won't look at new shoes the same way again. If you fancy trying out some other techniques, scroll down to see our favourite shoe-stretching alternatives…
Other Ways to Break-In Your Shoes
Try a Shoe Stretcher
These are pretty cheap and can be bought everywhere. They work by expanding the length and breadth of a shoe to help shoes fit better.
Ice It Up
If heat doesn't work for you, try the ice method. First, fill up a zip-top bag with water (squeezing out all air), place the bag in the problem area, and then put the shoes in the freezer until the water has frozen. As the water turns to ice, it'll expand, stretching the leather along with it.
Use a Spoon
Perfect for those shoes that rub at the heel. Get a spoon and use the back of it to work whatever part of the shoe is rubbing the worst. This will help mimic the action of a foot and help to soften the leather.
Scroll down to shop the leather shoes we'd be more than happy to break in.