How to Break in Tennis Shoes

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Do you feel like removing your new pair of shoes every time you wear them for more than 30 minutes? Well, you are not alone. Many people prefer to wear their old worn-out shoes over their new flashy ones simply because of how snug they initially feel. 

Unfortunately, this is also the case for new tennis shoes, which can sometimes be uncomfortable to wear, especially if you have wide feet. So what can you do when your new tennis shoes feel too tight around your toes? Here are a few shoe break-in tips so you won’t have to withstand the discomfort of wearing new shoes any longer. 

How to Break Into Your New Shoes

1. Wear Them Often

Wearing new shoes might be uncomfortable, but it remains one of the best ways to make them fit you more easily. Putting on your new shoes for more than 20 minutes a day will allow you to test their comfort, flexibility, and stability. In addition, your body will adapt to how the shoes feel, and within no time, they’ll be your new favorites. 

2. Use Ice Bags

Ice bags are highly recommended if you want your shoes to break in as soon as possible. Many of you are probably wondering how ice bags play a role in making tennis shoes more comfortable. Ice bags are great because as the water in the bags expands and turns to ice, your once tight-fitting shoes expand, making them more comfortable to wear.

So, here is how to use ice bags to break in your tennis shoes: 

  • Pick two ice bags and fill them up with hot water
  • Seal the bags completely to ensure there are no leakages
  • Put the ice bags inside your shoes and place them in the freezer
  • Leave the shoes with ice bags inside the freezer and wait for approximately four hours
  • Remove the shoes from the freezer and wear them

You’ll immediately start noticing changes in the way your shoes fit. 

3. Hair Dry Your Shoes

You will need to wear thick socks when hair drying your shoes. Start by using a hairdryer to heat your shoes. Once warm, put on thick socks and stuff your feet inside your tennis shoes. Repeat the first step by blowing warm air into your shoes and then stretch them by walking. By the time your shoes start to get cold again, they will have slightly expanded, making them more comfortable to wear. Since this process only takes a few minutes to complete, you can wear your broken-in tennis shoes on the same day. 

4. Stretch Your Shoes

Although more advanced than the previously mentioned break-in methods, shoe stretchers are not a new invention. As the name suggests, a shoe stretcher is basically a product that works by stretching your shoes until they have reached a point where you can wear them comfortably. You can purchase a stretching spray when buying a shoe stretcher to soften your shoe’s material for easy stretching of your newly acquired tennis shoes. 

5. Visit a Shoe Repair Shop

If all the other break-in methods fail to meet your expectations, or you just prefer the services of a professional, you can visit the nearest shoe repair shop for assistance. 

Professional cobblers have a lot of experience, and with a wide array of tools to aid them, they make very few errors. Customers can have their tight-fitting shoes customized to the size and shape of their feet and collect them when ready, which is mostly a matter of two to four days. 

girl resting on a plastic chair bench on an outdoor tennis court

Why Breaking In Your Shoes Is Important

People have feet of varying shapes and sizes, meaning that new shoes will take time to adjust to your feet. Unfortunately, some may end up with foot-related problems because of wearing tight-fitting shoes. So, here are two reasons why we recommend stretching your new tennis shoes as soon as you purchase them.

  • Prevents Causes of Ingrown Toenails

Wearing tight-fitting shoes for long hours can put immense pressure on your feet. If by bad luck your big toenail gets cut, the pressure from the shoes can cause inflammation and a lot of pain, making it difficult for you to walk. By stretching your new tennis shoes, your feet can rest inside the shoe more comfortably, reducing the chances of developing an ingrown toenail. 

  • Protects Feet From Blisters and Sores

If you have worn tight-fitting shoes for long hours before, you might have firsthand experience of foot sores and blisters after taking your shoes off. In most cases, blisters heal; thus, people rarely go to the hospital for treatment. 

Unfortunately, things are quite different for people living with uncontrolled diabetes. Since uncontrolled blood sugar levels weaken the immune systems, the sores and blisters from wearing tight-fitting shoes for long hours could result in a “diabetic foot” among diabetic patients. 


Putting on new tennis shoes can be uncomfortable, especially for athletes who need to train while on their feet. Fortunately, there are various methods you can try at home that will force your new tennis shoes to break in with little effort. Follow the tips provided to break in your shoes without spending a fortune.

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