How To Break In Leather Walking Boots

5 fast hacks for breaking in your boots, beating the blisters and reducing the ankle rub

Feature type Video

Read time 1 min

Published Mar 30, 2023

Base editorial team
BASE editorial team BASE writers and editors who live and breathe adventure every day. We love adventure storytelling as much as we love adventure itself.

You can’t beat a sturdy pair of leather hiking boots, it’s one of those ‘if you know, you know‘ things, right? But brand new boots can be stiff, inflexible and downright uncomfortable if you haven’t broken them in properly before hitting the trail.

So, how do you break in walking boots quickly? Check out the latest video fresh out of BASE Studios below, where adventure presenter and hiker extraordinaire Ian Townshend takes us through his five top tips. Here’s a breakdown of how to break in leather walking boots the BASE way:

1. Wear them at home

That’s right, simply stomp around your house as much as possible (BASE does not recommend wearing your boots to bed).

2. Flex the sole

Get that stiff sole loosened up by adding weight, or try a more extreme method…

3. Test out different terrain

That’s carpet, grass, gravel, the lot!

4. Give them a bath

A warm submersion can really help to supple up your new boots and mould them to your feet. Bubble bath not advised.

5. Freeze them

It might sound a bit rogue, but freezing your footwear can help to soften and stretch them.

Looking for the best hiking boots on the market?

BASE reviews the latest and greatest boots

ReviewWill Appleyard • February 21, 2023

Review: Keen NXIS Evo Hiking Boot

The fast and light version of Keen’s bestselling hiking boot

ReviewJethro Kiernan • January 11, 2023

Review: Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Boot

A comfy, light and versatile boot for wet weather hiking followed by a trip to the pub

ReviewMatthew Pink • November 05, 2022

Review: Scarpa Rush TRK GTX boot

Strong, supple and grippy – these three-season boots hold their own on UK hills

Don’t miss a single adventure

Sign up to our free newsletter and get a weekly BASE hit to your inbox

  • facebook
  • twitter
  • linkedin
  • whatsapp
  • reddit
  • email

Other posts by this author

VideoBASE editorial team • May 26, 2023

Top Five Bikepacking Essentials Every Rider Needs To Know About

Don't leave home without these must-have bits of bikepacking kit

VideoBASE editorial team • May 18, 2023

Scotland’s Five Best Sea Cliff Climbing Locations

Five of the most epic spots for beginner, intermediate and hardcore sea cliff climbers, according to Robbie Phillips

VideoBASE editorial team • May 15, 2023

Will Bosi: From Competition Climbing To Scotland’s Hardest Sport Route

'Free At Last' charts the professional climber's move away from the limelight to discover new heights outdoors

You might also like

StoryHannah Mitchell • Jan 13, 2023

Trail Connections: The First UK Fjällräven Classic

A three-day hike of the Lairig Ghru, the dividing valley of the Cairngorms

StoryMark Bullock • Dec 22, 2022

In Favour of Ticklists

A subjective argument for hill and mountain route guides and indexes

StoryJan Bakker • Dec 15, 2022

Connecting The Dots of The Pamir Trail

An exploratory trek along the southern Pamir mountains to create a long distance hiking trail across Tajikistan