Breaking in New Shoes

You’ve bought a new pair of shoes and by shoes, I mean wedges, sandals, heels, or even ballerina flats. Now comes the painful process of having to break them in. :/

Here are some tips I’ve learned on what we can do to make the process less painful or painless!

1. Visit the Cobbler

If you have bought a fancy pair of shoes that you don’t want to ruin but need to wear as soon as possible, visit the cobbler to have him/her stretch your shoes. For instance, I took in my patent pumps because they were just a tad too narrow at the ball of my feet. Now I won’t have to worry about getting white scuff marks! (If you do get some, however, this blogger has a way of removing the scuff marks!)

2. Buy Shoe Stretcher Spray

I didn’t want to take all my new shoes to the cobbler, particularly if I felt that I could stretch some myself. The cobbler introduced me to Storey’s Shoe Stretcher spray (there are many other brands of shoe stretchers) which softens the leather to allow the shoes to mold to your feet. All you have to do is spray the areas that need stretching (inside) then wear your shoes immediately. If you don’t think that your feet will be able to last for the entire day, try using a wooden shoe stretcher after you’ve sprayed the shoes. That way, your shoes should be ready to be worn the next day.

3. Buy an Anti-Blister Stick

This is the cheapest but best product for your feet and new shoes! There are many brands available but they seem to be the same to me (I’ve tried a few now). Rub the stick wherever you are more likely to get blisters (toes, heels) then put your shoes on. I’ve found that these anti-blister sticks are only temporary solutions. You may still find that you’ll get blisters, in which case, you might want to consider sticking in heel liners to your shoes.

4. Buy Good Blister Plasters

If you find that you’re still getting blisters after trying all of the above, I suggest you buy some good blister plasters (read post here). Do not tape your feet (I’ve resorted to tape before when I’d run out of plasters). First-aid bandages won’t help either. I recommend Elastoplast or Dr Scholl’s with Hydra Gel. You really need something that will protect and heel the blisters and stay on for a longer period of time. I’ve tried some that have come off after an hour and/or increase the size of the blister. The good plasters are more expensive but comfort is worth the money.

5. Wear Pantyhose

Depending on how tight your shoes are and on what the den of your tights is, this might only help temporarily. You will, at the very least, slide into your shoes more easily.

7. Buy a pair of Insoles

Perhaps it’s not blisters you’re worried about but the ball of your feet and your heels. For instance, I recently bought a pair of Replikate wedges from Marks & Spencer which were fairly comfortable but still too hard for my feet. I bought a pair of Dr Scholl’s For Her High Heel Insoles (one size: US 6-10) and stuck them on (heel to heel). Since then, I’ve had less pressure on the ball of my feet and my arches are supported. I’m certain you can use the high heel insoles for ballerina flats too although the Sole Expressions or Open Shoe might be better for that. Depending on the shoes you have, there are many brands and types of insoles or orthotics that you can get. (Read post here)

I hope these tips are helpful! Enjoy your new shoes! πŸ™‚


Too much of a hassle? So far, these shoes have been the most comfortable pairs of shoes I’ve worn that don’t need stretching, insoles, or anti-blister sticks:

  • Clarks Wendy Land sandals
  • Clarks suede pumps (e.g. Society Bristol or Society Ball)
  • Vince Camuto ballerina flats with padded insoles

Assuming you’ve bought the right size, that is! πŸ˜‰

15 thoughts on “Breaking in New Shoes

  1. It’s so said that cobblers are more and more difficult to come by these days. soon they’ll be like apothecaries!

    I’m going to check out your recommended shoe links. If you know and for ballet/dance supplies, I’m all ears!

    • I’m glad there are still quite a few cobblers around though they all charge higher/lower, based on the materials they use. A good one can be hard to find sometimes.

      Ballet and dance stores? There are plenty! In fact, I found a site with the loveliest leotard but shipping would cost $20-30 from USA to Canada. I nearly cried. 😦 What are you looking for exactly?

      • I need a new pair of slippers (split sole, leather) & some leotards…preferably made with some kind of “workout” fabric. Cotton just sticks to you. Eww!

        I looked on Amazon but their selection is embarrassing

      • Try this site for one:

        I’m looking for a new leotard as the one I have is good but I don’t like tank leotards. I bought a pair of Bloch split sole canvas ballet slippers from my local dance shop but then I learned about the Bloch professional split sole slippers that give you this lovely arch and I’m tempted to get an extra pair. πŸ˜›

      • I think the one I was looking at is Proflex, although Proflex and Pump look pretty nice too.

        I don’t even remember which one I use right now. It’s canvas, split sole. Kind of looks like Zenith. Still doesn’t give my pretty arches so maybe I sewed on ribbons wrong. :p

        I don’t know much about ballet slippers. I switched to canvas cos I can wash them. What would you recommend, SeΓ±ora Ballerina?

      • I was wondering the dif between pump & prolight II. PLII hybrid & the Canvass Pro you were looking at have a more rounded toe while Prolight II Regular has a tapered toe. (I’ve worn a few pairs in my day.) I just can’t get into canvass! Leather will always fit & feel better. (I’m a Pisces so I’m all about comfortable shoes.)

        Do you take classes or practice sola?

      • My first pair of slippers were leather but I switched recently. They feel a but like socks I suppose whereas leather formed to my feet.
        I’m thinking I’ll get Bloch’s leather Proflex or Principal’s split sole slippers.
        I take classes although the world is a stage and I dance better walking on the street than in class. :p My brain gets in the way in class but my body technically knows what to do.

      • Ooh…I don’t know Principals. How do they run compared to street sizes? Sancha looks like a really great shoe but since I order my shoes online I always wear Bloch cos I know what size I wear. I’m too lazy to haul my cookies into the center if LA to go to a store w/a selection! Well, not lazy…it’s a fear of 8 lanes if traffic. I swear, Amazon was invented for the denizens if LA County!

      • I think Principals is Canadian, by one of our former principal dancers. Saw the photo, haven’t tried it. Will check it out this summer.
        I go by my UK size which is 5.5 and same as my Bloch slippers. I thought its universal? :p

      • I think Capezio and Sancha run 1 size larger than US street shoe sizes…but whatever they say tends not to be true for me. Your observation is far more accurate. I do wear the same as my “Brit size” in Bloch but I went through roughly 4 pairs of shoes before I figured it out.

      • Oh I had no idea about those slippers. I’ve only ever worn Bloch (2 so far). My pointe shoes are Freed cos I saw them in London. I’ve found that my British shoe size has been the most consistent. I’m supposed to be a US 8-8.5 but recently, shoe sizes have changed and I’m now 7.5. Have you noticed this?

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