How To Break In New Running Kicks (OCD style)
By stephaniechivis on May 22, 2014
Why? Why am I a lovely bunch of cocktail nuts this morning?
No one really seems to know how long it takes before running shoes are broken in. That's why.
Hokas have proven to be my friend, so even if I can't find an expert opinion on how to break them in I figure I'll keep going back to the same pair of Kailua Tarmacs. Breaking the new pair in by wearing them around has felt really good on my sore feet so far and I'm hoping that continues.
However, I’ve been looking for a definitive breaking-in-new-running-shoes guide because I'm really bad about breaking them in. The main issue is I just want to run a lot of miles in them right away. It’s kind of like when I make oatmeal cream pies explode in the microwave—I can never wait for them to cool. I just suffer through the burning hot temp because I’m excited. Mmm Little Debbie's… What was I talking about? Right, breaking in new running shoes.
Got a crisis of your own? Here's a little advice from me to you. If you have a problem, solve it with shoes first (and oatmeal cream pies if you cannot access shoes first). However instead of getting blisters and sore feet from new shoes like I've done in the past, be determined to break those babies in the right way. As I mentioned I don't even know how to “properly” break them in. So, I figure maybe others like me might appreciate a little compilation of advice on the subject from the internet. After all, if Google can't find an answer, it's not a question.
So here goes:
When you get a new pair of running shoes feel their magic power to turn desserts into muscle, then make sure to do the following to break them in before you go scarfing down a chocolate decadence five layer fudge cake:
1. Walk around in them for a few days. If you can wear them to your job as a super heroine, go for it! The fastest way to break in new shoes is to wear them from the moment you wake up in the morning kicking butt to the time you get back into bed at night after making chocolate disappear. Hey, retaining water is a valid super power and so is scaring your man into the man cave for a week. You'll be genuinely excited that you get to wear reasonable shoes when you go out to get in fights and swing from rooftops while dodging bullets -- all things that should never been attempted with barefoot shoes. By placing your super powers on the insoles, you are breaking up the shoe insert, forming it to your foot shape, and allowing it to bend when you run. After walking and running some short runs in them, you can then feel more comfortable with some long runs.
2. Slowly incorporate them into your long run schedule though. For example, if you run several days a week, you could start out by wearing them during a few of those runs and gradually increase. By running more and more in them every week, you can compare how they feel to your most recent shoes, testing if they’re helping or hurting you. Plus, wearing your new running shoes everywhere might actually increase your chance of running.
3. Pay attention to how your body feels. I’m not just talking about your feet here. Your shoes can affect your entire body because ill-fitting ones can throw off your alignment and make you sore in other areas you may not associate with a shoe fit. Whether your shoes are too small, rub you the wrong way, or make you change your stride to cope with pain, you may need try a different pair. Everyone has different feet and may need different types of shoes. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to learn that the hard way like that time when you used to have toenails that weren't black or missing.
4. And finally Socks. White tube socks may be the best ever when wearing combat boots or doing some manly thing that requires dressing in camo patterns, hunting for bears or sitting in a deer stand getting drunk. Conversely, wearing them with your running shoes is beyond manly. It’s old-manly. I wanna see some leg hair, Baby. Also, a bit of plush under the sole of your feet protects them. The socks also have to be a bit thicker at the heels to protect your joints against the impact of the ground. The brand name of toe socks that provide all these things is Injinji, which apparently is French for "slightly-expensive retail price but worth it in anti-blister toe sock awesomeness". Injinji toe socks are also the best anti-blister remedy I’ve yet discovered. These socks are a work of art and engineering in the toe sock making business.
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