Travelling often involves a ton of exploring by foot and the last thing you should be worrying about is having discomfort from wearing new shoes you’ve purchased before your trip. You may be tempted to reserve them in the box to keep them in tip-top condition for your vacation, but that’s really not the best idea.
Aside from shoe bites and blisters, the list of potential health problems that can crop up from wearing ill-fitting footwear is endless – think ankle, hip, knee and lower back pain, tendonitis, leg cramps, skin irritations and more. You wouldn’t want that to get in the way of your vacay, would you?
First of all, you need proper shoes. The shoes should accommodate your feet instead of the other way around, so don’t buy tight shoes thinking they will expand after a while. Your feet are naturally more swollen in the evenings and that is the best time to buy shoes to make sure they fit you perfectly.
What’s the best way to break into a new pair? Wear them and gradually increase the amount of time you have them on every day for about five days. By doing so, you are allowing the shoes to expand slowly to minimise any friction or pressure that would have otherwise hurt you and cause pain.
With that said, not all shoes are created equal and the softer the shoes are, the easier it will be for the feet to adapt to them. Open toe shoes like sandals do not rub against the toes or the heel, so they generally do not require breaking into. If the soles on the sneakers are stiff, simply bend the shoes repeatedly to make them more flexible.
Avoid shoes with stiff soles and rigid heels as they will be the toughest to break into. If you must, get products like shoe stretching sprays or shoe trees to help stretch them. Alternatively, stuff them with socks for a few days or wear the shoes at home for about 30 minutes with bulky socks on after warming them up with a hairdryer.