How to Break in a New Pair of Tennis Shoes? (Quick & Easy)

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Like standard shoes, tennis shoes need to be broken in for a better fit and more comfort and stability. Your body needs to adjust the differences between your old tennis shoes and your new ones.

Break in Your Fresh Tennis Shoes in These Easy Steps

1)    Put them on [20-60minutes]

First, try the shoes on the court in a 20 or 60 minutes tennis game. This is important to get a first glance at how they feel in terms of comfort, stability, and flexibility. In general, you won’t notice too much in the beginning unless the shoes are clearly tight in the forefoot zone.

2)    Thick socks [30-60minutes]

Wear thick socks or two pairs of socks at the same time, and take your tennis shoes for a 30 minutes walk. Alternatively, try to run back and forth in the backyard or play a tennis session. This method is very useful for athletic shoes.

3)    Ice bags [3-4hours]

If the shoes still feel tight or they keep hurting your feet, try the ice bags method. Fill in two ice bags with hot water and seal them conveniently to avoid leakage. Then put them inside without overstretching your shoes and put everything in the freezer for 3 to 4 hours. As water expands when it turns to ice, this will widen your shoes by fractions.

4)    Hair dryer [10-20minutes]

Grab a hairdryer and hit your shoes with hot air. When they become hot, put them on and go jogging or for a walk at home.

5)    Shoe stretchers [Time depends on shipping]

Buy a shoe stretcher. Flex the inside carefully to not damage the shape of the shoes. Eventually, you can use a stretching spray to soften the materials and make them easier to expand.

6)    Shoe repair shop [1-2days]

Ultimately, if the steps above didn’t work for you, go to a shoe repair shop and let them fix it for you. Professional cobblers have their own machines and methods to stretch any type of shoes. It takes 1 or 2 days to get them done.

Why Break in a New Shoe?

Not all people have the same feet. However, manufacturers use automated processes to make similar tennis shoes with standardized sizes used across the world.

The consequence is that some people with wider feet can find their size in between. If they chose the smaller size, it results in a tight fit that can be a little painful in the beginning.

In addition, your body is used to your old shoes that can be slightly different in shape from the new ones. This is why the break-in phase is important.

You know that your newly purchased pair of shoes needs some stretching when you notice a few signs. Here are some of them:

  • The shoe’s length is too short
  • A narrow toe box with your toes slightly bent
  • Shoe not wide enough
  • Hard time putting the shoes on
  • They hurt your feet overall

Consequences of Tight Tennis Shoes

Not having the right size can have serious consequences on your foot’s health. There are shoes that take a long time to break-in, or that remain tight after several weeks of playing. In that case, they might cause pain or injuries like:

  • Toe deformities: The toes start to adjust to their tight space after some time, which leads to issues like bunions, corns and hammertoes.
corn foot
corn foot
  • Ingrown toenail: It happens after you cut your big toe nail and wear tight tennis shoes. With constant activity, the pressure against the toe box causes an ingrown nail subject to inflammation and brutal pain in some cases. Sometimes, you can’t walk with this injury.
Ingrown toenail
  • Diabetic Foot: For people with diabetes, wearing tight shoes can cause foot blisters or sores. It can get as serious as foot amputation. Please check your feet daily if you are diabetic and never put on tight footwear.


Select Your Tennis Shoes Carefully

When you buy a fresh pair of tennis shoes, make sure it is the right size. You can verify that in two easy ways:

  1. Try them off if you the retailer allows it, and ask him if they need break in.
  2. Put your foot on a piece of paper and draw a line around your foot perimeter. Then measure the longest distance in inches to find your size. See this guide

For a new pair of tennis shoes try to look for these key elements:

  • Wide toe box with good padding inside
  • Comfortable cushioning inside the shoes to protect your feet in contact
  • Flexible and breathable upper. Tennis shoes are nowadays more bendy and agile providing sock-like uppers that wrap and adapt to your feet shape.

Avoid These Practices

1)    Using alcohol

Alcohol doesn’t help stretch the shoes. Instead, it can leave a stain on your shoe fabric.

2)    Machine drying

Throwing your new pair of tennis shoes in the dryer will make them shrink, break or lose their adhesives.

To Wrap it Up

We are always excited about our new pair of tennis shoes, and we want to break them in no time. This guide will guide you through some essential steps. You can do only a few of the steps and achieve good results with your new footwear.

We hope that this article was beneficial.

Read Also:

Best Tennis Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis [2022]

How to Choose Your Tennis Shoes?

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