Contributors to this thread:
Best way to break in new boots???
What are some of the tricks you guys use to break in new boots?
I just bought a new pair of North Face Rundle Peak boots and am leaving next Tuesday to be a packer for my hunting partner on his B.C Stones sheep hunt. I have spent the last month trying on every boot in Southern Alberta and finally found a pair that I liked. I would have bought them sooner but I just could not find a pair of unisulated and non-gortex boots. I hate gortex lined boots becasue they just make my feet sweat. I also wanted a light pair of boots, I already have a pair of Merrells that I use for later in the season.
Any tips would be great.
Unfortunately you can't have someone else do it so I wear mine once or twice a week when scouting for about four weeks. Keep em sprayed down with no-scent spray and then I'll bag em and put an earth wafer or green walnut in the bag.
Hike with a weighted pack for 3 miles 2-3 times before you leave, and you'll be good.
If it was me, I would just wear them for most of the next week while mowing the lawn, going for walks with the wife and kids, working around the house, wearing them at work, and would try to get a few fairly long hikes in. With only a week to go to break them in, I would probably even wear them to church.
One trick for leather boots is to get them wet by walking through a stream or trough, and them hike or walk around in them until they are completely dry. I have never tried it, but I have been told that it works good for a quick break-in.
I've got a pair of Lowas ordered that should be here tomorrow. Starting next week, I'll wear them once or twice a week while hiking on Mt Diablo with a backpack. That will give me about 2 1/2 weeks before I leave on my sheephunt to break them in.
There are as many theories on how to break in a pair of boots as there are boots.
Many high quality boot manufactures claim that their boots come pre-broken in, but I find this very hard to believe.
One theory for high quality leather boots is to get them soaked with water, then walk them dry.
I am not sure about that, but I have walked in water with my current Meindl's many times and then wore them till they were dry and then some. They fit me better than any other boots I've ever tried.
When I get a new pair of boots I wear them a lot before I go hunting with them. I walk the dog and get the mail in them! lol
I think the best way is to just get some miles in them and you'll be fine-
Wear them every chance you get. I don't intentionally get them wet, but I do give them a real good rubdown or two right out of the box with a high quality leather treatment like Obenauf's. That will help soften things up and let it stretch in the right places. Another good one is the pitch one that Schnee's has. Obenauf is probably better for the leather but IMO the pitch one is a little more waterproof. Give em another coat before you go.
A good worked in treatment on the leather kicks butt on goretex anyway.
I usually wear my around the house for a few days. If no pain is evident, they are on my feet during a summer training trip with the dogs. If the boots satisfy then they are good to go. If I was short on time, I would wear them around the house, at work etc. to see if any hot spots develop. If you don't have time to hit the hills, hit a treadmill.
On a side note, I would like to read about your experience as a packer for your friend. Seems to be a good way to experience a hunt if you do not draw (or want the full expense of a hunt). I'm surprised we do not see more of such outings. Regardless, it is a pretty cool deal for you and your buddy. Best of luck.
The water trick does work, but you have to wear them until they are dry. This sometimes takes changing your socks a couple of times a day until they are completly dry. I've only done this twice with White's boots, and it worked. Both times I had to leave them on when I went to sleep(it sucked)but White's are all thick leather so they held on to more water.
Get properly fitting boots and you should be fine.
What owl said on the treadmill. Multi-tasking! LOL
You have a good point Scott. Boots today fit much better out-of-the-box than in years past. Some boot manufacturers even state that their boots don't need to be broken in (although I don't believe it).
Getting a proper fit makes it so much easier to avoid problems, but everyone's feet are different and everyone will have a different experience with the fit of their boots. Even the best fitting boots will most likely still need some breaking in.
Consider yourself lucky if you can take a pair of boots ritght out of the box and wear them on a weeklong hunt without getting some blisters or hot spots.
I always break my boots in by gong antelope hunting....nothing works better.
Agree, the most important component by far is fit. 2 years ago I had a pair of custom Russell Moccasins on order. They were way behind and it had been nearly 3 months. I was stressing and had a week long deer hunt around the corner that was kind of a tough spot and stalk.
Boots came in at 10 am the day I left and I had to catch the 12:45 boat. I wore them over and all week, never a bit of trouble. They fit like a glove from day one. They're by far my favorite boots and they're at Russell's right now being resoled.
One of my friends runs a custom hunting boot company. I followed his directions and traced my feet, then mailed him my measurements and tracings.
To my surprise, he mailed me a pair of the HanWag Mountain Light boots they fitted for me, and those boots fit when I first put them on better than any tennis shoe I have worn for a long time.
I did break them in, but I wore them on my Mountain Goat hunt in steep shale and up/down hunting conditions and my feet never got a hotspot.
I actually try not to wear them too much as I'm hoping to save them for my next Sheep, Moose or Special CO Draw Elk hunt as they are that comfortable.
Lathrop & Sons is his company, and I have many friends who have tried them and actually buy several pairs from him. You really do get what you pay for when it comes to boots.
Some boots dont have much of a break in whereaas others do. My Lowa Tibets had no break in whats so ever. Very confortable. My Asolo Granites had a very long break in period. It seem to take for ever.
To break boots in you just have to hike. SLowly work up to hiking longer and harder.
Ermine that's interesting because my Asolo 520's had essentially no break in time, but the Granites are a true mountaineering boot, and they are suppose to be VERY stiff as I am sure you know. The 520's have been great. Even though I have been training in them all summer, I could have taken them out on day one without any problem.
Check out Elk Reaper's post on Outdoor lives live hunt. It was posted the 23rd.