How-To: Break In Running Shoes Quickly (Easy Guide)

How to break in running shoes quickly

Let me guess, you got new shoes and they don’t ideally fit you and you’re wondering if buying them was the right choice? It can take some time for you to break into running shoes. Here are the five things you can do to break into running shoes quickly:

  1. Take Your Shoes Out For A Walk
  2. Use Thicker Socks
  3. Heat Your Shoes
  4. Run On A Treadmill
  5. Wear Them For A Short Run
  6. Freeze Your New Shoes

You can break in running shoes quickly by using them maximally in activities that actually help them open up.

Do you want more insight into the subject? Read on to discover all about breaking into your new running shoes in the best way possible!

How Do You Break in New Running Shoes Fast?

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Your feet deserve the absolute best care and having the right shoes is an important factor to uphold that. If you’ve bought new shoes and you’re wondering how to break into them, then this guide can help you!

Breaking in new running shoes just depends on your daily usage of the shoes and the activities that you use these shoes for. 

#1 Take Your Shoes Out For a Walk

Let’s say that you’ve bought these new shoes and they are a little tight for you and you decided to just directly take a run in them. Doesn’t sound like a wise choice, does it? It is essential that you first try these shoes out by taking them out for a walk or a light jog. 

This allows you to get accustomed to the new shoes but more importantly, the shoes start to open up without causing you any discomfort. 

While it’s understandable that you would want to use your running shoes for full-blown running as soon as you buy them, it is much better to allow them to open up by first walking in them.

This is because the shoes need to adjust to the shape of your feet and if they’re not allowed sufficient time to do that, then they might cause foot injuries such as blisters, hot feet, calluses, etc.

#2 Use Thicker Socks

When you use thick socks for your shoes, they stretch the shoe frame and provide your feet with the extra required support. 

These thick socks have padded areas in the heel and toes that are most commonly injured during the process of breaking in. 

If you don’t have thick socks, then you can wear two pairs of socks and allow your feet to feel extra comfy while at the same time breaking in your new dazzling shoes!

#3 Heat Your Shoes

At this point, you’ll probably believe anything is possible and yeah, you won’t be entirely wrong.

Heating your shoes works to increase their flexibility and allows them to break in by stretching the shoe fabric and frame. Follow these steps to heat your shoes:

  1. Wear your shoes and walk around them for around 15-20 minutes
  2. While wearing them, throw in the puffs of warm air with the help of a hair dryer. Continue this process till around 5 minutes
  3. Now, feel the difference and see if the technique actually worked!

#4 Run on a Treadmill

Don’t feel like going on a run? Yeah, sounds too hectic. You can break in your running shoes by running on a treadmill and this would essentially have the same effect as you going for a run. 

Running on a treadmill would allow for a continuous movement of your feet and this would allow the material of the shoes to stretch and open up. 

#5 Wear Them For a Short Run

Do you want to just directly take your shoes on a run? Go for it, but make sure that your run length is small because your shoes haven’t adjusted yet to the shape of your feet and directly using them for long runs can cause you bothersome injuries. 

Start by taking your shoes on small trial runs and then when you feel that they have loosened up for your feet, you can use them in whatever way you like. 

#6 Freeze Your New Shoes

Wait a minute! Freeze them? Seriously? That doesn’t sound right. Yes, it doesn’t but you’ll be astonished to know that this technique often works and it is one efficient method to break in your new running shoes. Here are the steps you can follow:

  1. Put two water-filled freezer bags in each shoe and put these shoes in a bigger bag
  2. Put the bigger bag in the freezer and allow it to remain there for three hours
  3. Now take them out, remove the bags, and feel the difference yourself!

» You can also read my post: Best Racquetball Shoes « (Buyers Guide)

Are New Running Shoes Supposed to Hurt?

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No, they’re not supposed to hurt. Ideally, the new running shoes should fit you perfectly and shouldn’t hurt even a little or require any breaking-in. However, that is usually not the case, and opening up your new shoes might take a little bit of pain and a little bit of time.

But that pain should go away with frequent usage of these running shoes and allow you more comfort while using them.

If the pain doesn’t subside with regular use, you should immediately return your shoes or get them exchanged. 

» Read my blog post: Your Guide to Zumba Shoes!

Problems That Arise If You Don’t Break in Your New Running Shoes

There can be some gnarly consequences if you don’t break in your running shoes.

You could get potential foot injuries if you are not careful about your shoes and do not allow them the proper time to break in before you start using them full-time. 

One example could be just directly taking your new running shoes for a long run without trying to walk in them or starting with shorter runs.

Let’s discuss some of these injuries that can occur if you don’t allow your shoes to break in:


Blisters are just fluid-filled swellings that are a result of skin damage due to excessive friction or heat and this situation is very much possible to be created in your new running shoes.

Hot Feet

If there is friction between your feet and the inside of the shoe, then that can cause hot feet which could lead to other injuries.


You know when you feel like your shoes are too tight from the front and there isn’t enough room for the toes to move?

Yeah, if you allow that condition to remain for a long time, then this could develop swellings on particular spots on your toes.


Calluses appear as rough patches in your heel or near your toes and this also occurs due to excessive rubbing of your feet with the inside of the shoe. 

How Many Miles Does It Take to Break In Shoes?

It only takes 5 to 10 miles to break in new running shoes. Longer distances increase the flexibility of the shoe material and allow sufficient stretchability. Some shoes with stiffer upper and soles require a few more miles before they feel right.

5 to 10 miles isn’t really a lot, but one useful tip would be to use this as a motivation to achieve your daily targets.

Some of your shoes might be ready out of the box and need zero miles to break in.

» This could also be something for you: Wear Shoes Wakeboarding? » Get The Facts Right Here!

How Long Does It Take For Running Shoes to Break In?

It takes the shoes around 2-3 weeks to break in. This time period usually depends on how much adjusting to your feet the shoes require. If the shoes do not break in during this time period and you feel any blisters or calluses, it is better to return the shoes or get them exchanged for a better fit for your feet.

Factors Deciding the Time to Break In Running Shoes

While 2-3 weeks is the general timeline required for shoes to break in, there are some factors that this time entirely depends upon. 

These factors play a major role in deciding the time it would take to break in running shoes. Without further ado, let’s get right to them!

#1 Frequency of Usage

The frequency of usage of the shoes and the time required to break in the shoes are inversely related. The more frequently you wear these shoes, the less time it would take for them to break in.

The shoes basically need time to adjust to your feet and by using them more frequently, you’re allowing them to adapt faster and adjust their shape accordingly.

So, if you want your shoes to break in fast, then start using them more frequently. Walk that extra mile, literally and figuratively!

#2 The Shoe Type

The shoe type is basically the structure of the shoe and that, along with the shape of your feet plays a role in deciding the time it would take to break in the shoes. 

If the structure of the shoe is more adapted or adjusted towards your feet’ shape, then it would take less time to break them in since less adjusting would be required.

However, if the case is the opposite, then it would take considerably more time to break in the shoe. While buying the shoe, be careful and make the right choice for yourself!

#3 How You Break Them In

This obviously is the potent factor in deciding the time it would take to break into new shoes.

Whether you choose to break them in by starting on a treadmill, doing small runs, or just going on short old-fashioned walks, play a role in deciding how long it would take for your shoes to break in.

All of the options are good enough, but you need to decide which one is the best and most comfortable for you. 

» Read my blog post: Caring For Your Zumba Shoes: 5 Easy Tips!

Is It Possible For Running Shoes to Not Break-In?

No, it is not possible for running shoes to not break in if they are of the right size. However, if a substantial amount of time has passed and they have not yet broken in, that just simply represents a defective product. 

Your best shot would be to return these shoes and carefully choose the next ones.

Why My Running Shoes Are Not Breaking In?

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If you have tried to break in your shoes using all the above-mentioned methods and bided the time required for them to break in, and you have no significant results then it is highly likely that the product itself wasn’t right in the first place.

Let’s discuss two main reasons for your shoes to not break-in.

#1 Wrong Size

There is a common mistake that people usually make and that is that whenever they are buying running shoes, they opt for the exact shoe size that they use with their casual wear.

This could be a problem because your feet need room to stretch when you’re running and if the shoes are exactly your size or smaller than your size then you might get blisters and unwanted discomfort. 

If your shoes haven’t broken in yet, then it is entirely possible that you didn’t opt for the correct size and now you’re stuck with these.

As a caution, whenever buying running shoes, you should always choose half a size or a size bigger than your usual size. This allows for perfect stretch and flexibility in your runs and provides you with added comfort.

#2 Manufacturing Issue

If your shoes haven’t broken in yet even though you bought the correct size then you should consider that there probably was a manufacturing issue.

Due to the bulk production of shoes, it is highly possible that one or two defective pieces got added to the mix and you bought exactly those. 

The best option for you would be to return them and buy the new ones, but this time be extra sure that everything is fine with the shoe you’re buying and such problems would not arise in the future.

How Can I Stretch My New Running Shoes? — The Solution

You can stretch your new running shoes by just increasing their use in your daily life. Even if you’re running a small errand to go outside, wear those running shoes. You can also increase your daily usage of running shoes by increasing your physical activity such as by playing sports.

In the end, the goal is to use them enough so that they can adapt to your feet and become flexible according to them. 

Do Running Shoes Break Down If Not Worn?

Running shoes break down if not worn because they also have a limited shelf life like every other product. Your running shoes would eventually deteriorate if allowed to stay unused for a long period of time such as 6 to 12 months.

Running shoes can be used to run 400-500 miles and after the passage of such time, the shoes would need to be replaced. 

» You can also read my post: Best Hard Court Tennis Shoes

The Bottom Line

It can be challenging to break into your running shoes quickly but if you do it right, you can achieve great results in no time. If the running shoes haven’t been broken in, and directly used for extensive runs then it can lead to various foot injuries.

Your running shoes should break-in around 2-3 weeks and if that is not the case, then there might be other manufacturing or size issues with the running shoes. In these situations, it is the best option to have these shoes replaced.

Your feet deserve the best shoes and you should leave no stone unturned in order to get that. Find the best shoes for yourself and allow them time to break in, and make your feet feel comfortable and relaxed!

Hi, I'm Simon, and I am passionate about "other sports".

There are many other (and much more fun!) sports than football, soccer and hockey.

If you are looking for inspiration beyond the most popular sports in the world, then you have come to the right place.


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