The Hollis Leather Boot from Helm Boots - footwear for all occasions featuring the Mini-lug sole for traction and comfort

How To Break In New Boots

You have hunted, selected, and received your perfect pair of new HELM boots or shoes. Here is everything you need to do to break in your footwear without having to worry about sacrificing your comfort.

1. Take Your Break In Slow

These are going to be your day-to-day go-to, so don’t rush the process. Start with wearing them around the house, out to dinner, or running afternoon errands. After a few short hours, you should have a pretty good idea of any potential hotspots. Around midday, your feet begin to swell, so you may notice some changes in the fit around that time as well. 

The good news is that the break in process has already begun, and you are on your way to a perfect fitting pair of boots. Many people never experience any trouble spots with new boots or shoes. Others may notice pressure on the top of the foot, sides, or back of the heel depending on your foot shape. Leather is expected to stretch, but it first needs to get familiar with your feet.

If you feel the beginning signs of any blisters during the break-in period, always protect your feet and swap out your footwear for the rest of the day. A few short days to get over the initial break-in hump is better than an uncomfortable long day. Each time you remove your boots, give them a rest, and then put them back on again, you should notice significant changes in the comfort level and break-in.

The following styles have immediate, step-in comfort and require little to no break-in period.

2. Thicker Socks

You don't have to sacrifice fashion by throwing on hiking socks, but investing in some thicker socks with extra heel padding is always a good solution. Try to avoid loose or wooly socks that will cause your foot to slip. Giving your feet the extra protection in the beginning ensures you never have to skip a day of wearing your new boots.

Our socks come in three main types: striped, marled, and cabin. They range from thin to thick, in that same order.

3. Leather Treatment

Treating your leather shoe or boot with a product like Blackrock Leather 'N Rich will help soften and break in the leather much quicker. We also suggest oiling the leather inside your shoe or boot. You can think of it like oiling a baseball glove that will continue to soften over time. The inside of your HELMs are lined with leather, and so leather care products like Blackrock can be used on both the exterior and interior of your footwear.

If you experience any discomfort in your new HELM boots and need additional assistance, please email us at and we are happy to help with more personalized break-in advice. We, at HELM, have collectively broken in hundreds of pairs of boots and counting so we can help with any problem both big and small.

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