Boot Break-in

This isn’t fun, but do it right and it will be well worth it.

There are quite a few tricks and products for breaking in boots. The tricks and products that claim they can break-in boots fast are stretching something besides leather. When you buy a pair of Danner leather boots or shoes there really is no fast way to fully break them in. There are some very good products on the market for your Danner Boots. There are also some not so good products. How do you decide what products to use? Well, your safe with any of the Danner products and most Kiwi products are good to go, just stay away from the gimmicks and “if it sounds too good to be true” it is. There are also some contraptions like plastic or wood boot or shoe stretchers. While stretchers are good for keeping wet boots from shrinking too much, they are not what you use to break-in boots.

So let’s get down to it, to properly break-in your new Danner boots you need:

A. Your Danner insole and Airthotic if you chose to use them. The cushioned insole is a must and I highly recommend the Danner Airthotics, wearing them has helped my knees, back and feet. As a matter of fact I have a set of Airthotics in all of my shoes.

B. You need a good thick pair of winter socks or 2 or 3 pair of your white cotton socks; do not use your good socks. If you have more old socks great you can use them, I’ll explain later.

C. Next you need a stiff plastic bristle brush and Kiwi saddle soap or shaving cream.

1. Put your boots in the bath tub take the laces out and run warm water, not hot, just warm. Use the soap and the brush to thoroughly scrub every square inch of the leather you are trying to get all of the clear wax like protective coating off the leather. This is so you can open the pores of the leather and get it wet.

2. Get the boots thoroughly wet, put on the socks, lace your boots left over right and put on the boots. The thick socks are going to help you stretch the leather because you are going to tie the boots on tight and you are going to walk around the house tightening the laces every so often until the boots are dry. This is where those extra old socks come in, to help speed up the drying process, swap out wet socks for dry socks every hour or so. Now this is going to take all day so be prepared to have your boots on the entire day. What this does, is as the leather dries it shrinks and forms to your foot. Be sure the boots are completely dry before you quit and take the boots off.

Sometimes you need to do this 2 or three times but it is the very best way to form the boot to your foot.

3. Once you are satisfied that you are done with this process you need to put on some leather conditioner, I like Kiwi mink oil because it softens the leather and waterproofs it at the same time.

Now you are ready to start wearing your boots for short periods of time to make sure they are fully broken-in to your feet. Don’t push this process your feet are not as tough as the boots and you will regret pushing it. Blisters are no fun, trust an old Marine Sgt. you don’t want to find out how badly boots can tear your feet up. Once they are fully broken-in you will find that your Danner Boots are more comfortable than any other shoe you own.

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  1. Would this method work with the Danner Mountain Lights (the model with Gor-Tex)?
    Thank you.

  2. Does this work on the mountain light 2 with goretex???