Expert Tips to Help You Wear and Care for Your Boots this Season

Tis’ the season of chunky knits, oversized scarfs, sparkly tights and boots galore. But, with new boots can come blisters and sore feet. There’s a whole range of hacks out there to help you break in your boots, from steaming them over boiling water to standing in a bathtub of water – but do these hacks actually work? 

Excited to wear your brand-new boots but dreading the blisters? Here’s the common mistakes to avoid. 

Below, the experts at House of Fraser share the mistakes you’re making when wearing in new boots – and what to do instead. Plus, they share care advice on how to keep your new boots looking good for seasons to come. 

Mistake 1: You immediately wear your boots on a night out  

“When it comes to wearing new boots (from flat to heeled knee high boots), we recommend wearing them for short periods of time at first, to help the breaking-in process. 

“To do this, wear them around the house first, as this will help to soften the fabric of the shoe and allow it to comfortably take shape around your foot.” 

Mistake 2: You’re not using this trick to add a protective layer 

“Naturally, the back of boots is often stiffer and can therefore cause rubbing to occur. While you’re breaking your new boots in, avoid this by applying moisturiser to your feet before wearing your boot. This will help to add a protective layer without adding bulky layers that could lead to more friction in the shoe.” 

Mistake 3: You’re wearing normal socks 

“On the first few wears of a new shoe, it’s a good idea to wear a slightly thicker sock as this will both add a protective layer to your foot, while also helping to stretch the material of your shoes at the same time. 

“While suede boots will typically be easier to break in due to the softer fabric, leather boots can be slightly tricker. Try a leather stretcher to gently soften and stretch the fabric.” 

Mistake 4: You aren’t giving your feet a break in between wears 

“Even once your new boots have worn in, we recommend alternating your footwear with other items from your wardrobe to help give your feet a break.” 

Mistake 5: You’re not loosening the leather 

“To help wear in new leather boots, pop them on with a thick sock and use a hairdryer to warm your boots. This should help to loosen the leather a little and will help to give your feet more room to breathe. Just don’t hold the hairdryer too close to the boot for too long as this could damage them.” 

Treating yourself to a new pair of women’s boots this season? Here’s how to keep them in tip-top shape for many winters to come… 

Mistake 6: Not storing them properly 

“To prevent your boots from sagging and creasing over time, it’s important to store your boots properly. Whenever you’re not wearing your boots, insert a wooden shoe tree, or stuffed newspaper, to help hold the shape of your boots. Plus, this will help to soak up the moisture in your boot, helping to keep odours at bay. 

“For knee-high boots, hang them in your wardrobe using a trouser hanger to help them retain their shape and prevent creases.” 

Mistake 7: Using the wrong care for leather and suede  

Over time it’s natural for your boots to get some scuffs and marks on them. However, leather and suede boots need different TLC to keep them looking new for longer: 

“For any marks or stains on suede boots, use a suede cleaning brush and dip the soft-bristled side into soapy water.  

“Apply soft strokes to the suede before using a microfiber cloth to dab the suede, soaking up any excess water. Scrunch up some newspaper or use a shoe tree to help retain its shape while wet. Once fully dry, remove the insert and use the soft side of the suede brush to help restore the material to its natural texture. 

“To keep black leather boots looking brand new, consider investing in saddle soap as it removes the layers of wax without damaging the leather. Also, use the URAD leather cream to maintain the beauty and quality of the leather. A horsehair brush will effectively remove dust and light surface debris.” 

Mistake 8: You aren’t winter-proofing them  

“Before wearing your leather boots outside, it’s a good idea to use a wax to buff into the leather to help protect your boots from potential watermarks or damage from the rain, sun and snow.  

“To make your suede boots rain-repellent, use a protective spray that keeps moisture and dirt from penetrating the fabric.” 

Anabel Cooper

Anabel is a graduate of King’s College London and upon graduating, she set out on a journey to inspire and empower women through her words. Besides working as a digital marketing expert, Anabel is a freelance copywriter.