Tips on Breaking in New Stilettos

6 01 2012

You may have to break these in before wearing them out on the town.

I think it’s pretty evident by now that I might be considered a shoe addict. And while I appropriately purge my closet at least every 2 years by donating and throwing away a significant amount of shoes I no longer wear, I find myself buying more to replace the ones I just gave away. For example, in 2011 alone (off the top of my head), I either purchased or received at least 13 pairs of shoes – the last of which you see in the above picture. Santa got them for me 🙂

I mean, c’mon – I have a shoe closet.

(although, I would like to point out that as much as I love my shoes, I have friends who both have more pairs and bought/received more pairs in 2011… so it’s not just me AND I’m not the worst culprit.)

Anyway it would stand to reason that I know how to “break in” a pair of stilettos. For those who don’t know what I mean – let me explain. There are a few things that you must know when it comes to buying stilettos, especially ones of the pump (in closed toe) variety. Of those, two are probably most important: a) if possible, buy at least a 1/2 size bigger than your shoe size, depending on the way the toe is cut and b) try to give yourself at least a week to “break” them in before wearing them to an event or occasion. If not a week, at least a very focused day.

Now what do I mean by “break in” a pair of shoes? Simply put, breaking in a pair of heels is the act of stretching out the shoe to make it more comfortable to wear. Or if we were attempting to add the phrase into a dictionary, it would read:

Breaking in (a pair of heels): v. (kinda) 1) the act of increasing the comfort level of a pair of shoes. 2) the way to make a pair of heels easier to wear throughout the day or night. 3) the act of increasing the potential uses of said shoes from just bedside posts to actual walking agents.

Because this process is so essential to shoe-wearing (and if you don’t think so, take a look at the girls in the club whose feet you can tell hurt – they didn’t follow these tips), I’m going to give you guys a few quick tips to make sure you get it right.

1. Walk it Out

The best and most efficient way to break in your heels is to put them on and walk. Walk in them while you’re vacuuming. Walk in them while you’re dusting. Have them on while you’re dancing to songs in your living room. Whatever you choose to do – just do it. The more you walk, the more you’ll not only get a feel for the shoe, the shoe will get a feel for your foot and begin to take on the contours and curves of you. You want this. There’s nothing worse than seeing a woman in a beautiful shoe that’s ill-fit.

2. Make Stretch Armstrong Proud

Okay, let’s not go crazy. If your foot doesn’t fit in the shoe before stretching it out, that means your foot is too big. That’s not what we’re talking about here. But unfortunately, even if the shoe fits perfectly, after some time – you will find that parts of the shoe will begin to constrict you. Your best bet to alleviate this problem is to put on a thin pair of socks and repeat #1. You don’t need to do this for a long period of time, but the socks will stretch the shoes out enough that they shouldn’t constrict you later on and yet, they won’t make them look like you have on your mom’s shoes. Note – if you have extra skinny feet, you may not need this tip.

3. Practice Makes Perfect

As much as you don’t want to hear this, the best way to break in a pair of shoes is to just keep wearing them. I bought a pair of nude shoes for my birthday last year and since I was absolutely in love with them, I found myself wearing them more often than most of my heels. The result? I can wear them for any length of time now. In fact, I recently had two occasions where I wore them (drunkenly) out all night, for at least 8 hours… and had no problems. My feet weren’t sore at the end of the night and I wasn’t cursing my crazed shoe addiction the next morning. So if you’ve worn a pair once and they hurt you, don’t be discouraged… sometimes it just takes time.

Hope these tips helped! Did I miss any essential ones?

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9 07 2012
The Power of the Pump: On How a Well Paired Pump can Dress Up Any Outfit you Own « Choices, Voices, and Sole

[…] conveys that you are one confident woman. (If your stride does not convey that, read the tips here and practice, practice, practice around your home first.) And finally, your legs look amazing in […]

21 10 2014
Shoe Tip: What to Wear when in a Bridal Party | Choices, Voices, and Sole

[…] take my advice – choose comfort (and don’t forget to still break them in before the wedding). That doesn’t mean your shoes can’t be cute. The bridesmaid who chose […]

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