Beaking in/putting folds in new tall boots - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-18-2009, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Beaking in/putting folds in new tall boots

I just got a new pair of zip-up leather field boots yesterday and I love them lol but I need some tips for breaking them in! When I bought them I assumed that the process of breaking them in would be less than fun...and I was so right lol. So who has some good tips for me lol? So far I have heard that soaking them in hot water is the best way, but that sounds a little drastic and I would be so afraid that it would ruin the leather or something. I have also heard that wrapping a warm, damp cloth around the ankles/calves and walking in them helps supple the leather. Has anyone on here tried these methods or used any other ones that work?
Another thing, what about putting folds in them? Half of me thinks I should just let the folds form by themselves since I don't have a clue what I'm doing and I don't want to put folds where they shouldn't be or whatever.
What do you guys think?
Thanks in advance for any help!
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-18-2009, 05:19 PM
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That really is the best way and you shouldn't harm the boots at all. I did it last year on a pair of custom made boots and I can now enjoy them! I had taken them to the shoemaker's twice and still couldn't wear them for more then 1/2 an hour until I did the warm bath process.

I filled a bath tub with warm water and filled my boots with it. Then I let them sit in the water (still filled) for ~10 minutes. I dumped the water out, put them on and kept them on until they dried. It is an odd feeling for a while!

When they were throughly dry, I took them off and left them alone for a day. When I was sure they would be comfortable, I oiled them inside and out. They've been perfect.

Hope that helps.

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post #3 of 11 Old 01-18-2009, 11:14 PM
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I wouldn't wet them... just walking xc on the morning when dew is on the grass messes with them enough.
Just where them as much as you can around the house (yea, your feet will hurt...but ya gotta do what ya gotta do) before you go ride with them.

I've also seen stuff you can spray inside your boots to help with the breaking in process (it keeps your skin from chafing). But I can't remember what catalog iy was in. Perhaps a quick google search will turn up something :]
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-18-2009, 11:35 PM
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Yeah, when I break in my new boots I just wear them around the house alot; it helps them 'stretch' a little bit. ;) Wear them as much as possible!

Ride more, worry less.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-19-2009, 12:38 AM
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I recently got a new pair, I just gave them lots of leather conditioner and wore them as usuall and they broke in fairly quick, also depends on the quality of the leather as to how quickly htey will break in
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-19-2009, 06:41 AM
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You'll just have to decide which method works for you but I can tell you from a lifetime of wearing boots, from custom Vogels to Olathes, the "bath method" works in one day without hurting your feet and does not ruin your boots. If walking across a field with dew on it harms your boots then you really need to condition them.

Here is an excerpt from a Marine who had to break in his hiking boots:

Doc_Jude said... I fully endorse the water method. My last pair of G.I. full leathers I filled with very hot water, let the leather get thoroughly soaked, dumped them out, got the residual water out with paper towels, and then put them on very tight & wore them all day until they were dry. Afterward, rubbed them well with saddlesoap.
Three weeks later I wore them on a 14-mile forced march with Spenco insoles. Not even a hint of a blister, let alone a hot spot.
I always follow the two-sock method when I'm in the field, dress socks inside of boot socks. It's never failed me. Boot socks & dress socks with quality (somewhere around $10) are a essential combination. & I've dealt with my share of bad feet as a Navy Corpsman with 1stMarDiv. The guys with foot problems simply didn't follow my advice.

BTW, the folds will take care of themselves. They will naturally find the best place to be as you wear them.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.

Last edited by iridehorses; 01-19-2009 at 06:45 AM.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-19-2009, 10:06 AM
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What really helped mine was to stand with my foot on a ledge as high as I could get it up and put my heel down, like when you are mounting up without a block! i did that a couple of times and then rode in them once with my dressage saddle(my knees didn't need to bend as much) and then jumped with them. (that was extremly painful, but they didn't hurt a bit after!) Just wear them wear them wear them!

Jumping a horse = Getting wings!
Why live on the edge when you can jump off?- Greenwood Horse Trials Tee-Shirt
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-19-2009, 04:23 PM
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I just wear them no pain no game . wear wear wear i would never soak my boots and wear them around wet ew !!!
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-19-2009, 06:01 PM
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Everything I have heard you are not supposed to put the water in the boots. This might differ between Western and English but everyone I have spoken to that does the water method, fills up a tub full of warm water and stands in the boots in the water for about 15 minutes. Then they ride or walk around in them until they are completely dry. Like you, I can't bring myself to do it. My luck it would ruin the leather and that would be money down the drain. I have Ariat Challenge Field boots and they have been breaking in nicely. I just wear them when I hack around and hang out at the barn. I haven't been wearing them for lessons yet.
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-19-2009, 06:08 PM
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I always break in new boots by wearing them and just walking around with them. =D

I've never tried the hot water method, but I'm always afraid of getting my boots wet. XD

No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill
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