How To Break In Running Shoes

Have you ever seen a marathoner pull shoes out of a box, tear off the tags, and take off? Probably not. Even experienced runners have to take time to break in new shoes to prevent irritation and injuries. Whether you’re a newbie or a pro, this guide can answer your burning questions about how to break in running shoes and why it matters.

Do You Need to Break in Your New Sneakers?

Some people argue that modern running shoes don’t require a break-in period. However, it’s probably in your best interest to take it slow instead of tying up those shiny new sneakers and running a few miles. Like any brand new pair of shoes, you can expect some stiffness in the materials as they mold to your feet. As the shoe rubs in certain places, like your heel or toes, you can develop blisters. If you develop blisters in the middle of a long run, they could burst and even bleed from excessive chafing. Remember, even the highest quality running shoes could take time to loosen up and adapt to your feet. It’s worth taking time to break in your running shoes so that you don’t miss valuable training time due to painful, sensitive spots on your feet!

How to Break in Running Shoes

The best way to break in running shoes is to take it slow. As tempting as it is to slide your feet in, lace them up, and hit the road, it’s not always the wisest option. Breaking in a pair of shoes is a process, but it’s worthwhile to avoid rubbing and painful blisters!

Start With Laps Around the House

Before you head outside, take a few laps around your house. Do laundry, vacuum, or dust with your new shoes on. Wearing your new running shoes around the house has several upsides.
  • You can notice any spots that rub and irritate your skin so that you can address them with bandages until they loosen.
  • It’s possible to experiment with different socks to find the right ones for your new shoes.
  • If you discover that they don’t work for some reason, you can probably still return them because they haven’t been outside!
Tip: It helps to wear them inside for a few days and increase the amount of time each day.

Walk It Out

When your new shoes pass the indoor tests, the next test is to take them for a walk. You could even try a light jog to see how they feel. Again, you may not want to jump into a seven or eight-mile run, but picking up the pace with a brisk walk or jog could give you a good idea about any issues. Remember, breaking in shoes helps you avoid blisters and other injuries that could sideline you for longer. You don’t want to run several miles from home and develop blisters that will only get worse on the way back.

Put Them to Work

Though it’s a good idea to rotate the shoes you wear each day, it’s important to wear your running shoes consistently and for varying distances. Don’t hesitate to put them through mud and water either; it helps you break them in better. After all, as a runner, you don’t need pristine shoes for running.

How Long Does It Take to Break In Running Shoes?

It depends. Everybody is different, so there’s no hard and fast rule to the question of how long does it take to break in running shoes. Some people feel ready in a few days, while others can take a few weeks or up to a month to get comfortable in new running shoes. Several factors can impact how fast you break in a pair of running shoes. If it’s the same style and size as a pair you already own, then your feet already know what to expect, so it may not take as long. However, if it’s a new model or version, you can expect it to take a few weeks. Only you can know when you’re in the clear and ready to take your shoes the extra mile. Remember, it’s best to take it slow to prevent blisters that could prevent you from running for longer.

Helpful Tips for Choosing Your Running Shoes

No matter how well you follow these steps, if you choose the wrong shoes, it may not matter. It’s important to pay close attention to how shoes fit your feet because the wrong shape or size could lead to injuries.

Shoe Shape

Have you ever debated another runner about which shoe company puts out a better product? It’s because none of the companies uses the same exact shape. Asics, Adidas, and Nike all put out similar running shoes, but if you look closely, they differ enough to impact how the shoe fits your foot. If you have wide feet but choose a narrow shoe, no amount of breaking in will make them as comfortable as a wider design. Likewise, a runner with narrow feet would struggle with too much sliding in a wide shoe.

Size Matters

Make sure that you choose the correct shoe size. It’s a good idea to have your feet measured and try different styles and brands to find your proper fit. You may want to go a half-size to one full size larger than your normal shoe size to accommodate swelling during a run.

Choose the Right Type of Shoe

If you have a tough time breaking in shoes no matter what you try, it may help to have your gait evaluated. Some runners overpronate and often benefit from more structured shoes instead of an average neutral shoe style. In those cases, breaking in running shoes isn’t the only problem potentially causing blistering or injury.

The Importance of Breaking in Running Shoes

Though it’s still up for debate in some circles, breaking in running shoes is important. It takes less time to break in your shoes than it does to recover from injuries related to not breaking them in! Now that you know how to break in running shoes the right way, nothing is stopping you from racking up the mileage on your morning run!
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