How to make new chukkas comfortable

How to Make New Chukka Boots Comfortable

Posted by Neil on

This post will be constantly updated as we find more tricks on how to break in new chukka shoes. If you know some tips, we and our readers will be very grateful if you share them on the comment section.

Congratulations on your new chukka boots.

Whatever type of chukka you bought, chances are it’s not a perfect fit yet. The sole is inflexible, the leather or canvas upper is tight in some areas. That’s normal even if you sized your chukka right.

Like any typical shoes, it takes a few days or even weeks to break in a new pair of chukkas.

If you want to keep those painful blisters away, here are some things you can do to mold your new shoes perfectly for your feet.

1. Bend it.

After months -- or years -- in storage inside a dry shoebox, the various parts (sole, upper, etc.) become stiff.

The first step is to ‘loosen’ them a bit. Flex and twist the shoe along its length. This softens the sole a little, making it a little easier to break into.

Another cause of pain in a new shoe is the heel counter -- the back of the shoe that supports the heel. This hard part is usually causes chafing. Flex this part, too. Push it down towards the sole about 20 times.

2. Wear it.

This may seem obvious but I have friends who ditched newly-bought shoes because it felt a little tight when, in fact, it was their size.

Brand differences, the shape of your feet, the materials used to make the chukkas - these are just three of the many reasons why shoe size does not equal your feet size.

Wear it at home, for 5 days, with your pair of thickest socks. When it starts to feel uncomfortably painful, just take it off.

I'll wear it for about an hour on the first day; a couple of hours on the second and third (preferably while watching TV or doing something stationary). Finally, on the fourth and fifth, I'll take on a walk around the block or on a trip to the groceries.

By the second week, it should start to loosen. Some parts of it may still feel stiff but it will start to feel comfortable. Wear it during the day -- at work, school or during a weekend stroll. But in cases where the shoe is made of tough leather, I'd recommend bring an extra pair of older shoes. You wouldn't want blisters.

3. Heat it.

This is a technique I found online that’s best for chukkas made of leather. By heating the leather with a hairdryer, it stretches to mold into your feet.

Wear your thickest socks and put on your new chukka boots. Feel and note where the tight spots are. Then run the dryer on those spots for 20 to 30 seconds. Do this for about three times.

This should slightly ease those tight spots. Just be careful not to overdo it. You wouldn't want the leather to completely dry out. For best results, apply a leather conditioner after.