How to Break in Tennis Shoes (Using Heat and Ice)

Not many people realize that wearing comfortable and soft tennis shoes can actually be the make or break of a serious match. When your shoes first arrive in the mail, you will see that the pair is usually very hard and stiff, which can make it almost impossible to be worn on for a long period of time. 

This is why you need to break into your shoes first. The reason for the stiffness is usually the material of construction that the pair is constructed with, and this can range anywhere from leather, vinyl to even canvas material. 

Whatever the case is, it is crucial that you break into your tennis shoes before your next big match. But how

Not many people know how to break in tennis shoes, and that is absolutely fine as today we are going to help you get over this issue by following a few simply steps. So without further ado, let us get started right away!

Step 1: Wear Shoes

Honestly, nothing can top breaking in your shoes by simply wearing them around the house first. Of course, this can feel a tad bit uncomfortable at first, but it is actually one of the best ways to break in and widen your stiff tennis shoes

For this, all you will be required to do is put the shoes on, tighten the laces and walk around with the pair on for as long as you can. Note that your feet might hurt a tad bit, but the final results will definitely be worth the pain and effort put in from your side. 

Step 2: Use the Extreme Temperature Method 

Another easy and effective method to breaking into tennis shoes is to use put the pair through extreme temperature changes that will help stretch and soften the material of construction. 

Using Heat

The first temperature method that you can use is to exert a lot of heat on the shoes. For this, you will want to put a couple of socks on your feet at first. Make sure that the socks are all very thick and wooly, in order to generate the highest amount of feet inside the shoes. 

1. Wear Socks 

After arming your feet with at least 2 to 3 wooly socks, wear the shoes. If needed, force your feet all the way into the upper of the shoes so that no empty spaces are left behind. 

2. Use a Blow Dryer

Next, you will want to take a blow dryer and put it on the highest heat level. The heat should be directed towards the upper, therefore your toes. When blow drying, make sure to move the equipment around the entire pair, while also focusing on the upper region the most. 

3. Wiggle Your Toes 

If possible, you should also try to wiggle your toes around when blow drying. This might feel a bit hard at first, but you can slowly gain more mobility and flexibility around the toes by continuing. 

Using Ice

The other method is to use the opposite temperature method to heat, and that is of course ice. 

We don’t mean you should directly dump ice cubes into your shoes, but instead, you will want to freeze cold water and then turn it into ice. How? 

1. Using Ziploc Bags

Firstly, take two Ziploc bags and fill them up halfway with cold water. Do not fill them completely as that might allow spills and leaks if you happen to squeeze the bags. 

After filling the bags with the necessary amount of water, take both of the shoes and stash the bags inside them. You will want to be gentle here and only force in as much as possible without necessarily tearing the entire bags up. 

2. Pop Them In the Freezer

Next, place both of the shoes on a tray and place in the freezer. We know, this might seem pretty weird at first but it really is an effective way to break in tennis shoes! 

If you want, you can also tie the laces of the shoes tightly in place, therefore forcing the water bags to maintain their shape and form. For freezing, you will want to let the bags and the shoes sit inside the freezer for around 4 to 5 hours. 

This timeframe is flexible, and you can even increase the time limit to overnight. It all depends on how hard and stiff the shoes were to begin with. 

3. Thaw the Ice

After the allocated time is up, take your shoes out and place them under the sun for a while. It is recommended that you place the shoes directly under the sun during midday, as it will help thaw the ice and also warm the shoes up for wearing. 

Once the ice bags are melted enough, take them out and wear the shoes (only if they are warm enough). It is highly likely that you will find the shoes to be wide and soft enough to easily put your feet in. 

4. Repeat and Do-Over 

However, if that is not the case, you can still repeat the entire process for another entire day, and thaw the ice out on the following day as well. 

Once the shoes have gone through either of the extreme temperature methods for at least once or twice, you can simply wear the shoes on and walk around the house to test the softness. 

It is highly recommended that you wear the shoes out for jogging as well, as that will help you become accustomed to the shape and form of the shoes while also easing into breaking in. 

Final Words

By now, we are sure you have a clear idea about how to break in tennis shoes properly. Having said that, we hope the next time you get a new pair of shoes again, you will think about our summed up article as well and do as we stated above!

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