New Shoes Blues: Breaking In New Shoes
August 26, 2021
Penelope Trent

There is something so exciting in a new pair of shoes. Opening them up, wearing them for the first time – it’s unmatched. Unfortunately, sometimes, instead of breaking in your new shoes, they end up breaking you. Recently, I bought a pair of new shoes, and after wearing them a couple of times, yesterday, I wore them for a whole day. After about an hour of walking in these shoes, I started feeling a sharp pain in my feet. When I finally returned home at the end of the day, I saw cuts and blisters on my feet, and they are still sore today. It isn’t something new. As anyone who has ever spent a full day in a fresh pair of sandals could tell you: Stiff new leather and strappy silhouettes foreign to the winter months will introduce entirely new points of friction to your gait that can cause painful blisters. But, what tricks can we do to avoid it?


Getty Images/ EyeEmm/ Ampai Jangbumrung


Although very common, this isn’t an issue of new shoes alone. Sandales who have been waiting in the closet all winter could also cause this to our feet. And, even though many tend to think so, this isn’t a problem that is restricted to cheap shoes. Even expensive quality shoes could suffer pain and cuts in the initial uses. So, what can you do? Practice. Before spending a full day with your new shoes, you should wear them around the house for a limited amount of time (about an hour a time). Using the shoes in advance helps make them softer and a better fit for your feet.


Band-Aids. It’s cheap, available, and approachable. Their disadvantage is that they are quite ugly and damage a bit the experience of new shoes. Plus, they tend to fall off very quickly, leaving the foot exposed to further injuries. There are other solutions such as a dollop of Vaseline in a pinch, Foot Petals, etc. Another key factor is knowing your foot and selecting the best fit for it. If you know your feet are wide, don’t buy shoes that sit tight. Buy the size that fits you, not even one size down. That little discomfort you feel will morph into full-on pain and blisters after just a small amount of wear. A shoe that isn’t comfortable at the store will not be comfortable even over time.



If, like me, it is already too late, and the shoe has already injured your leg, here’s what you can do. First, let the shoe in question sit aside for a few days while you let your feet heal. In the following days, try to use different shoes that don’t touch the injured area. Another helpful advice after a day of limping in your new pair of shoes is to treat your feet to a hot, soapy bath and rub a lot of moisturizer over them. Take care of your feet!


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