So, you’ve visited the website, found some Blundstone boots, picked the right size, placed the order, and waited for your new boots to arrive. They finally do, and you’re excited. You unwrap everything, open the shoe box and smell the lovely new leather smell. The boots look awesome too.
Then, you try them on, and that’s where your excitement ends. They’re too tight. How do you break them in?
Break in Blundstones by walking in them, heating or freezing them. Fill them with damp newspaper or towels. Rub them with alcohol, wax, or mink oil. Bend them. Stretch them with mechanical equipment. If they are difficult to walk in, use heel cups, gel pads, or plasters to protect your feet.
I’ve been wearing Blundstones for years and have broken in a few pairs. In this guide I’ll be including my top 9 tips for breaking them in, quickly, and at home.
But if you’re in a hurry I highly suggest getting a shoe stretcher set to get the job done properly. If you don’t have one, ask friends or family if you can borrow one – most people own one. Shoe stretchers are a good staple to keep in your shoe closet, to help you break in a lifetime of shoes and boots. I recommend this one on Amazon if you want to get your own (this is the one I have for personal use, as pictured below).
If you want free methods, here’s a table of contents of what I’ll be covering in this article:
I’m currently breaking in a new pair of the original 500 Chelsea Boots, here’s how they look on me:
As wonderful as it is, leather takes much time to get comfy. The rubbing and chaffing are downright painful, but you’ll have to put up with the short-term discomfort for the long-term pleasure of wearing your Blundstone boots. There are ways to get your shoes comfy quicker.
I’ll be covering everything I’m doing to break in my own pair of Blundstones.
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Breaking In Blundstones Is Worth It
There’s an interesting story that goes with Blundstones. During the 2nd World War, Blundstones were commissioned to produce half a million boots for the Australian Army. Walking for miles in leather boots can be taxing. Still, the Australian soldiers were so comfortable in their boots that their American counterparts begged to swap boots with the Ozzie regiments. They succeeded.
What’s great about this snippet of information is that Blundstones can be broken in through wearing and walking, so much so these boots carried the soldiers through a war. This proves that the boots are worth the effort to break them in.
Be Sure About Breaking Them In
It’s one thing buying a new pair of leather shoes but another thing breaking them in. No leather shoes spare you this chore. Still, there are solutions aplenty to make your boots comfy and wearable. The challenge is, of course, how to make them soft and supple.
Blundstones are difficult to break in at first because most styles are slip-in ankle boots, and you’ll need to slide your whole foot through the shoe. The tops of your shoes, which cover the bridge section of your foot, will be quite tight but soften up. Each shoe has tabs that make getting your foot in your boot easier, but it will still be a struggle.
If your boots won’t budge when you’re trying them on, stop right there and return them. There are three ways to determine whether your Blundstones will stretch enough to make them wearable or lie about in your closet serving no purpose.
- Your foot is wider than the base of the shoe
- You have to step down and squash the back of the foot to get your foot in
- The back of your heel extends beyond the heel of your shoe
Blundstone has a generous returns policy. If your shoes don’t fit, you can return them, and they’ll refund you. There is, however, a caveat; your shoes must be in perfect condition and not scuffed or marked. The returns policy is specific about clean soles and suggests you try your new shoe on a carpet to protect the sole.
Return them immediately if you are convinced your boots won’t stretch sufficiently. You need your order number to process the return and must do this within 30 days from the date of purchase. It is a simple process facilitated through the Blundstone website.
Suppose you are 100% sure that your Blundstones will work; here are 9 excellent ways to stretch them so that you can walk about in your boots with a swag in your step.
1. Wear Them
The most effective way to stretch your boots is to wear them. There is no substitute for this option. Blundstone leather is superb and durable, so it’s thicker and more rigid. Put on your thickest socks pull your boots onto your feet and over your ankles, and get moving. Double up on socks if you can. Your boots won’t stretch in a day, so you must keep at it for at least two weeks.
20 minutes a day is what it takes to break in your Blundstones. You don’t need to continuously walk around in your boots for 20 minutes; even if you flex and wiggle your feet, you’ll stretch them, but it takes longer. If you don’t want to wear them out, wear them around the house during this time.
An effective solution is to do squats, lunges, or ankle rises in your Blundstones. Your feet bend when you lunge, and the leather bends with them.
Walking around in your shoes will give you a good feel for where they are pinching and rubbing. Give these spots extra attention by using a hair dryer to keep them warm while walking and wearing them. This will speed up the process for the pain hotspots.
You may also like: Blundstone Sizing Guide (Inc. Size Charts)
2. Cup Them
If a DIY solution is not your thing and you are dead set on wearing your boots ASAP, use podiatrist-recommended shoe accessories to make your boots wearable. Heel cups, gel cushions, and even toe cushions make your shoes more comfortable. Use these accessories to spend extended time in your boots without the rubbing and blister torture.
Here’s a good set of heel cups that I own personally:
You can take a look at their current price on Amazon here. They’re fairly inexpensive and very effective, which is why I recommend them.
As you can see in the above image they are designed to totally cover your heels, protecting them from the harsh leather. No more blisters.
If you can’t wear your shoes at home before stepping out, heel cups are a life saver.
3. Wear Plasters/Band-Aids
Your shoes are bound to pinch and rub your feet when you first wear them. Use plasters (or band-aids) to help with this. Cover your ankles and the tops of your toes or feet (if you experience rubbing there). The band-aids will create a barrier between your skin and the harsh leather, reducing the friction and preventing blisters.
A blister stick is good, too; run it across the top of your foot to protect your skin from abrasions. Blundstones are more challenging because the boot covers your entire foot, and the top rests directly on your foot.
You may also like: Are Blundstones Waterproof? (My Experience & Style Breakdown)
4. Heat Them
Hairdryers always feature near the top of the list as leather softening tools. Heat is great for softening leather and making it more malleable. It’s best to take your time and heat your boots slowly so they warm up thoroughly. Take care not to burn yourself on any metal parts that have heated up. Don’t blow the hairdryer too close to your boots; it may damage the leather.
Now that your boots have warmed up wear them with thick stocks. The softened leather is pliable and molds to your foot. Repeat this daily until your boots don’t rub or pinch anywhere.
Conditioning the leather is an effective way to speed the heat treatment up. Use a leather conditioner, mink oil, or beeswax to smother your boots. Massage the shoe treatment into your shoe using your thumbs, index, and middle fingers until it is completely absorbed. Heat your Blundstones after this; they’ll be more supple and respond to heat quicker.
You could leave the conditioner on your boots to soak in, but the rubbing softens the leather making it pliant.
Sunshine stretches leather, too, so wearing your boots while you put your legs up and chill on your patio is another great way to get a good stretch.
5. Freeze Them
The unlikeliest way to stretch your Blundstones is to freeze them, but it works a charm. Fill two sealable freezer bags with water and put them in your shoes. Refrain from filling the bags, as they may burst. When the bags are in, put each shoe into a separate bag and place them in the freezer ‘overnight. As the water freezes, it stretches your shoes.
Defrost them the next day. If your boots need more stretch, repeat the process. Tougher leather often requires a 2nd or 3rd stretch to get some inner boot space going.
6. Fill Them
Stuffing your shoes with ever-so-slightly damp newspaper or towels is another great stretching solution. Be sure to completely stuff every inch of your boots so that the leather gets maximum stretch. Leave the stuffing in for as long as possible. If you wear them at home, use this technique in between sessions to help mold the leather even more.
Raw potatoes are one of the strangest but most effective ways to stretch your shoes. Potatoes produce a certain amount of water, just enough to stretch your boots without ruining them.
Peel a few potatoes, pat them dry, and stuff them into your shoes, making sure they touch the sides of your shoe all around. Leave them in overnight, and you’ll be surprised at how much stretch and flex your shoes have in the morning.
Alternatively you can stuff your boots with multiple pairs of socks whilst they are in storage. This will gradually stretch them out, without your feet having to do all the work.
7. Bend Them
Bending your new shoes might sound irresponsible, but getting the leather supple and soft is a great trick. Bending your shoes has a similar effect to wearing them, so it’s worth it. Condition our boots before you bend them; this adds some flexibility to the leather.
Place your fingers under the front of your boot and push it upwards to work the center of your shoe. Next, place your fingers on the heel section of the boot and push downwards to soften the back. Lastly, twist your Blundstone holding the shoe’s back and front. The first twist in one direction and then twist the other way.
8. Rub Them
Only some people are comfortable with rubbing alcohol on their new shoes, but a good rubdown is effective. There are three ways to do this, but remember that alcohol dries quickly, so you must take action immediately. Mix equal parts of alcohol and water and use this to stretch out your shoes.
- Apply the alcohol solution to a cotton ball or soft cloth. Don’t drench the cotton or cloth. Rub the alcohol solution inside your shoe and wear them immediately. Alcohol softens up all stiff places.
- Use the same alcohol solution, rub it into your shoes, stuff them with newspaper, and leave the alcohol to do its magic overnight.
- Another way to use an alcohol solution is to soak socks, wring them out to remove the excess moisture, put them on, and wear your shoes to soften the friction.
9. Go Pro
If you have difficulty breaking in your Blundstone boots, using a professional shoe stretcher or shoe horn is great to expand the leather. Shoe stretchers and shoe horns are sold at most shoe stores and are readily available online; you should be able to get one easily.
Shoe stretchers are easy to use. Wedge the stretcher into your shoe, and turn the handle until you are happy with the amount of stretch. Leave the device overnight and give it another full turn in the morning.
If all else fails, find a cobbler to stretch your shoes. A cobber could be difficult to find, but any good shoe shop should have the name of at least one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Make My Boot Longer?
Blundstones do not stretch lengthways, so be extra particular when measuring your foot’s length. Too short shoes will never be comfortable, and you will get blisters and bunions.
Will My Blundstones Shrink If They Get Wet?
They won’t, provided you get them dry as quickly as possible. Keep them stuffed with newspaper or soft cloths while drying them, and condition your shoes as soon as they have dried.
Blundstones take a while to break in, but here are 7 effective ways to stretch your Blundstones. Wear them, heat them, freeze them, fill them, bend them, rub them, or use mechanical shoe stretching tools. Blundstone has a returns policy; they will refund you if you return your shoes in unused condition within 30 days.
For more Blundstones content, check out:
Lorna is a footwear geek and the founder of Wearably Weird. She created a YouTube channel in 2021 for fellow footwear fanatics, dedicated to detail-rich footwear reviews and info. She has a fashion media qualification (awarded in 2011).