Wearing a new pair of shoes can be quite a pain – literally. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips to make your new shoes as comfortable as old faithfuls in no time.

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1. Be Patient

How long it takes to break into a pair of shoes depends on the shoe itself - shoes with greater coverage have a greater amount of break in; thicker materials like cowhide as well as detailing like stitching can make your shoe a tough one as well.

 

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2. Break into them in the day

If your bridal heels are good for both your big day and after,  take them out for a spin. Your feet swell over the course of the day, it'll probably be more comfortable wearing your new pair of shoes to a morning meeting than to a date night.

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3. Never wear them out for a full day

Wear them in short spurts instead to break into them without suffering. If you've got a jam-packed entire day that involves lots of moving about, avoid wearing your new pair of shoes - you'll probably end up with blisters and a very bad mood by midday.

 

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4. Break into them in less than 3 minutes!

Put on a pair of think socks and shove your feet into those shoes, then run a hairdryer over the tight sections like the toebox or the heel. Keep the shoes on while they cool, perhaps even wiggle your feet a little, so it'll stretch the shoe out. Remove the socks, and you're good to go!

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5. Get help from the pros

Bring them to the cobbler to get your shoes machine-stretched. The cobbler will spray the shoe with a stretching solution, then stretch it with a machine while it dries to expand the shoe.

 

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6. Stretch them out overnight

Fill plastic bags with water and put them into your shoes before leaving in the freezer overnight. The water will harden into ice and expand your shoes.

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7. Go for healthier heels

Podiatrist Matthew Herd suggests wearing healthier heels that take pressure off your forefoot. He recommends the podiatrist-approved Tiffany Nude Patent ($289, pictured) from The Shoeco. These have a lower, chunkier heel and arch support that can help reduce stress on the balls of your feet.

 

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8. Listen to your body

If the shoe still doesn't fit or feel uncomfortable, you may be doing more than good by forcing yourself to wear it. Matthew says that wearing the wrong pair of shoes, particularly high heels, can have long-term consequences such as bunions, uneven loads on your knees, altered body posture and even cause your spine to fall out of allignment.

 

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Text: Pinky Chng / The Finder / June 2017

A version of this aticle appeared on CLEO Singapore.

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