5 Tips to Break in Your Boots

Once a month we get an email asking “Coach, how do I break in my boots for the upcoming GoRuck event?”.

Stand in the door young trooper and get ready to check out “5 Tips to Break in Your Boots”.

Tip #1

Wear your boots around the house or out to the supermarket.

Next day run the water hose on them and wear them in the yard to do garden work or mow the grass.

Walk around the block.

Check out the video below on wearing double socks and using well broke in boots.


Check out Bates 922 Tropical Seals Durashocks Boot @ Amazon.com

Tip #2

Continue this process of wearing inside, to the store and yardwork until the boots feel great and no problems. Next day take them out on a short trail hike. You get the picture. Start out really slow and work your way up. Don’t show up with brand new fresh boots for a long event like GoRuck or Kokoro as your feet will get turned into raw hamburger meat.

Sock Tip:

Use a thick outer sock (smartwool or poly/wool blend) with a thinner inner sock (called a liner) made of poly material.

For outer socks we like the Darn Tough Merino Wool Sock. Double socks decrease friction and dramatically improve performance.

Use BodyGlide anti-chafe on your toes and pad (ball of foot) and heel to reduce or prevent blisters.

Tip #3

Slowly add a little weight and go out on the trail. Use your double socks and bodyglide on your toes and feet. Slowly increase your mileage over the next few weeks and make observations on any problem spots in your boots.

Tip #4

If you have made it through the initial break in process but you have a small “hot” spot – you may be able to take your boots to a local shoe repair store and have them stretched slightly.

 Tip #5

You may want to try an insert to support your arch and provide more stability and comfort. Inserts like the Superfeet Insoles are an easy addition and if you don’t like them just take them out. Add essential oils to the outside of your boot to condition the leather and keep them from drying and cracking after they have been in the water. If you are in the seawater in training like Kokoro or BUD/S – make sure you wash and scrub your boots before drying them out. If you don’t they will get salt crystals on them and the leather will dry out quickly. Any steel parts (eyelets) will oxidize or rust).

Questions from athletes in our gym and readers online.

Question: What do you recommend for a good Navy SEAL shoe?

For a good shoe check out the Vasque Men’s Juxt Multisport Shoe. This shoe was used by SEAL Team Six in the Bin-Laden raid.

You can get a pair of Juxt for $70 or so.

Question: Are the Wellco Tactical boots easy to break in? Yes; not as hard as any other boots – just follow the tips above.

Question: Are there other anti-chafe products out there that are better than body glide for your feet and crotch?

Bodyglide Anti-Chafe Balm is about the best product you can use but there are a few others out there like 2Toms Blister Shield.

We also like Trail Toes: Anti-Friction Foot and Body Cream See the bottle above..

Question: Would you recommend the Bates Ultra-Lites tactical boot for the GoRuck event? Yes; it is a good work horse boot. The Bates tactical boots are lighter and will definitely do the job.

Question: “Coach, I just bought a new pair of Bates 922 – how do I break them in? Check out the tips and videos that we posted up above and you will have those boots broken in with no time.

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