Breaking in New Boots

3:24 p.m. on June 8, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
76 forum posts

Hey i hope that this topic hasnt been discussed too much, I did a quick search and didnt see what I was looking for so here it goes.

I recently bought a new pair of boots, specifically Salomon 3d Fastpacker Mid Gtx (

They felt really good with their insoles in them and I had little problems but I bought a pair of smartfeet to put in them so the cushier insole was taken out (I still have it in my room) but it makes the bottom of the boots feel a bit tougher on my feet although much more structured and supportive. I assume in the long run these will help out my feet a lot and I was fitted by a smartfit employee so I assume that the fit is correct on these.

I am looking for the best ways to break these synthetic boots and insoles in for comfort down the line, I have no problem if the best solution is just wearing them lots and lots just let me know, if there are tricks I should know that would be great 2.

These are really the first pair of boots I have needed to really break in as someone that is relativly new to the backpacking on his own without the family.


11:13 p.m. on June 8, 2010 (EDT)
110 reviewer rep
762 forum posts

I've read about 15 or 16 reviews of your boots, from both here on Trailspace, and various retail sites. None of the writers have mentioned any break in period. Perhaps your issue is not the boots, but the insoles. 3D Fastpackers are a lightweight boot, not meant to be stiff or particularly supportive. My last (current) pair of Salomon boots, the Elios mid XCRs, required no break in period as I stated in my review of them back in May of '09.

1:18 a.m. on June 9, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
76 forum posts

I think that does make a lot of sense, the boots felt really great with the original insoles in them but I decided to put the superfeet in for the added support and benefits the better insole should have provided. Ill give them some time and see if they feel better otherwise I will just switch in the factory insoles and I dont think there will be much break in on those.

I guess my question would have been better said about whether its common for superfeet to be a bit stiff for wearers at first (my everyday shoes are pretty flat with little support)

I will look into the issue on the superfeet, and thank you very much for the insight f_klock.

7:56 a.m. on June 9, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
17 forum posts

I think f_klock is bang on, I've got those same boots and they never had a break in period. They felt great on my feet from the moment I tried them on in the store.

12:40 p.m. on June 9, 2010 (EDT)
4,419 reviewer rep
6,010 forum posts

Synthetic boots do not break in - they are as they are going to be. Leather absorbs various oils, perspiration from your feet, water from the environment and so on, then stretches and gets more flexible (within limits). Synthetic materials for boots have some elasticity, but do not really break in in the same sense. On the other hand, your feet will reshape themselves as you wear the boots and put miles on them to some extent. A good bootfitter can do some reshaping with special tools, but that's about it.

Assuming the boots fit well (your comments indicate they do), then proper socks can make a difference. Over the long run, the vast majority of hikers find that a 2-layer system works well - an inner wicking sock (usually fairly thin, made of a synthetic like CoolMax or other wicking synthetic) plus a wool (preferably merino wool in currently available socks) heavier sock that has distributed cushioning. Merino wool with a small amount of Lycra or similar elastic synthetic fiber to help hold the shape tends to last longer. Hiking socks come in various weights and cushioning patterns, generally with more cushioning on the sole, heel, and over the toes.

Basically, your boots, socks, footbeds form a system, with the fit of the boot being the foundation on which everything else is built. It all has to work together. Then you just have to put some miles in to get the leg and foot muscles in shape to go along with the good boots

1:07 p.m. on June 9, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
76 forum posts

Thanks Bill and dasilva, as I read more and more I definatly agree the boots dont need the breaking in, I think what I have had problems with is the breaking in of my feet to the more supportive insoles (superfeet). I read through some advice on superfeet and they say it takes up to 10 days for your feet to really be comfortable while wearing a superfeet insole because of the change it puts on your foot.

This is my complaint about the system I believe and I will also try out some different sock combinations on the boots themselves to see if that makes the harder insoles slightly more comfortable at least while I break my feet in.

All the advice has helped me out in determing what exactly my problem is.

THank you all

June 20, 2018
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

More Topics
This forum: Older: Tent pole storage Newer: Eureka Alpine Mreadows instruction?
All forums: Older: WANTED Newer: Rocketfish Hard Drive enclosure Kit