How To Break in Riding Boots - 5 Different Ways

How To Break in Riding Boots

Unlike breaking in your normal running and leather shoes, equestrian boots tend to be stiffer and more structured, making it harder for them to mold to your feet. That's why breaking in a new pair of riding boots can be a tedious and even painful process.

But don't worry, we've got you covered! In this guide, we will walk you through 5 different ways how to break in your riding boots so that you can ride in comfort and style.

Read related article: What Are Riding Boots - Equestrian Footwear Guide

1. Walk Around in Your Riding Boots

One way to break in your new riding boots is to simply wear them around the house. By doing this, you allow the boots to gradually adjust to the shape of your feet, particularly around the knee and calf areas.

This method is especially beneficial because it mimics the natural movement of riding without the added pressure. Walking around the house in your boots will stretch the material, ensuring a comfortable fit over time.

To do this, you can follow these steps:

  1. Wear your riding boots with a pair of thick socks.
  2. Walk around your house for at least 20 minutes each day.
  3. Gradually increase the time you wear them, adding an extra 5-10 minutes every few days.
  4. Repeat this process until your boots feel comfortable enough to ride in.

2. Use Boot Stretchers

Boot stretchers are invaluable tools designed specifically to aid in the process of breaking in tall boots, including equestrian riding boots. When you're trying to break in new riding boots, the use of boot stretchers can significantly reduce the amount of time and discomfort typically involved in making those boots comfortable for riding.

These devices work by gently expanding the material of the boot, particularly around the foot, ankle, and calf areas, where riding boots tend to be the tightest. For those wondering how long breaking in tall boots takes, incorporating boot stretchers into your routine can shorten this timeframe considerably.

To use boot stretchers effectively:

  1. Insert the boot stretcher into your riding boot, ensuring it's adjusted to fit snugly.
  2. Leave the stretcher in your boot for 24-48 hours, allowing the material to stretch gradually.
  3. For an extra stretch, use a stretching spray in conjunction with the boot stretcher.
  4. Repeat the process if necessary, until your boots reach the desired level of comfort.

By following these steps, riders can significantly ease the break-in process, making their new riding boots ready for comfortable wear much sooner.

3. Do Heel Drops and Heel Lifts

Another way of breaking in your brand-new tall boots is by performing heel drops and heel lifts. This method specifically targets making the boots more flexible at the ankle part and the back of your knee.

  • To get started, wear the boots and stand on the edge of a step.
  • Carefully drop your heels over the edge, then lift them.

This repeated motion works the boots at critical bending points, making tall riding boots more elastic and comfortable over time.

It’s an effective strategy to prevent the stiffness that can lead to a blister, ensuring a smoother transition to a perfect boot stretch and fit.

Just a tip, make sure to start off slowly with this method and gradually increase the number of reps as your boots begin to loosen up. This way, you can minimize the risk of any potential injury and maximize the effectiveness of this technique.

4. Use Boot Trees

Boot trees are another great accessory for breaking in new boots, especially those made of leather. When you're not wearing your new boots, inserting boot trees can help maintain their shape, prevent creases, and encourage a gentle stretch of the material. This method is particularly beneficial for leather riding boots, which are known for their durability and stiffness when brand new.

When you're ready to ride in your boots but still find them a bit too snug, try using a boot stretch spray in conjunction with your boot trees for added flexibility.

Simply spray the inside of the boot, insert the boot tree, and leave it overnight. The combination of the spray and the boot tree can expedite the breaking-in process, making your boots more comfortable in less time.

Additionally, for boots with zippers, using boot trees can help ease the tension on the zipper track, ensuring a smoother zip and reducing the risk of zipper malfunction due to strain from tight leather.

This is crucial for riders who need their tack to be in top condition and cannot afford any distractions or discomfort caused by ill-fitting boots.

By integrating boot trees into your routine for breaking in new boots, you can ensure a closer, more comfortable fit that allows you to focus on your ride and not on your footwear discomfort.

Read related article: How to Clean Riding Boots - A Step-By-Step Guide

5. Use Thick Socks or Boot Liners

Lastly, breaking in your boots doesn't have to be a daunting task. Begin breaking in the boots as soon as you bring them home to gradually mold them to the unique contours of your feet.

A practical and highly effective technique involves the use of thick socks or specially designed boot liners along with an elastic bandage.

  • Start by wearing your boots with a pair of thick socks or liners to protect your skin and add a layer of cushioning.
  • Then, wrap an elastic bandage around your feet, particularly focusing on the ankle area where boots tend to be the tightest.

This method of wrapping provides gentle pressure that aids in stretching the material, making the boots more comfortable and flexible without causing damage.

It's a simple yet innovative way to accelerate the breaking-in process and enjoy a comfortable ride sooner.

How to Care for Your Riding Boots

shoe shine kit

Get your Stone and Clark Shoe Shine Kit here!

Once you've successfully broken in your new riding boots, it's essential to maintain them properly to ensure longevity and comfort. Here are some tips on how to care for your riding boots:

  • Wipe down your boots with a damp cloth after each use to remove dirt and sweat.
  • Use leather cleaner or conditioner regularly to keep the material supple and prevent cracking.
  • Store your boots in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
  • Consider using boot trees or stuffing your boots with newspaper to help them maintain their shape while not in use.
  • Have your boots professionally cleaned and polished at least once a year to keep them looking their best.
  • Use leather spray or waterproofing products to protect your boots from rain and moisture.
  • Invest in high-quality shoe shine kit to keep your boots looking polished and professional.

Closing Thoughts

Don't just settle for ill-fitting, uncomfortable riding boots. By incorporating these techniques and tips into your routine, you can break in your new tall boots effectively and efficiently.

Remember to take your time and listen to your body; if something feels too tight or painful, take a break and try again later. With patience and proper care, you'll have a comfortable pair of boots that will support you on all your riding adventures.

12PC Leather Shoe Shine & Care Kit for Men & Women

3.5 oz Mink Oil Leather Care Kit with Applicator

Subscribe Us
Subscribe to our newsletter and receive a selection of cool articles every weeks