I dare you to find a pain more soul-destroying than a tight, rubbing shoe.
Okay, smart ass, there are worse pains. BUT, any that we voluntarily bring on ourselves?
Regardless of the pure agony with every step when wearing a badly-fitting shoe, we solemnly swear we will *never* stop wearing ridiculous kicks.
So what tricks of the trade actually work when it comes to breaking them in?
Here’s our pick of the very best:
1. LITTLE AND OFTEN
It’s a good idea to buy shoes well in advance of the event they’re specifically for. That way you can break them in gradually, slipping them on when you’re at home in the evenings for quick dashes to the loo or to the kitchen for a second pudding. You could even bring them to work and pop them on for your hour stroll at lunch time before slipping your hooves back into your comfy office flats.
2. SANDPAPER YOUR SOLES
…the soles of your shoes, that is. Not your skin. New kicks can be very slippy – especially high heels – and trying to keep yourself from going flying on their debut outing can mean your feet are doing a lot more work than they need to. To avoid getting blisters from ever-scrunched toes, buff some sandpaper on the sole of your shoes to equip them with a bit more grip.
3. CRANK UP THE HEAT
Using heat on new shoes is a great way to soften and stretch the material. Put on some thick socks, slip on your shoes and gently add heat via a hair dryer. Make sure the heat is evenly distributed by moving the shoe around to avoid melting the material and then walk around in the shoes. The heat will loosen the fabric, while the socks will stretch it out.
4. ICE, ICE BABY
If heat doesn’t work, try the other end of the temperature scale. Fill freezer bags with water (remove all air from them before sealing) and stuff them into your shoes. Stick them in the freezer and leave them for approx. 4-8 hours. Once they’ve frozen, bring your shoes our and sit them at room temperature to let the water defrost. Take the bags et voila. Stretched shoes.
5. SOAK IT UP
Spray rubbing alcohol on the inside of your shoes (make sure they’re leather), put them straight on and walk around in them for at least 20 minutes. The alcohol will soften the fabric and will ensure the shoe moulds to the size and shape of your feet.
6. TAPE YOUR TOES
If all else fails, tape your third and fourth toe together. Sounds weird, but it works. There’s a nerve split between the two toes which hurts when pressure is put on it. By taping the two together you’re perfectly aligning your muscles to avoid pressure on that nerve.
And, if all else fails, snap up a pair of flat sandals and throw out all your uncomfortable shoes…