How To Soften The Back Of New Shoes

New leather loafers often have a hard back which make the shoe uncomfortable to wear.  Besides, the hard back could cause blisters on rubbing the back of your foot. Softening the back of new footwear could make a better fit and more comfortable to walk in.

In this guide, learn some hacks you employ to soften the back of your shoes and make them a better fit.  

Pro-tip: these tips are ideal for use on leather shoes.

Table of content

  • Using Oil
  • Kerosene makes leather flexible
  • Using soap before wearing the shoe
  • Padded socks
  • Freezing the shoe
  • Using duct tapes
  • Alcohol spray
  • Use shoe stretchers

Oil the leather

Olive oil has for long been used to treat and condition leather. Oil prevents leather from turning hard, brittle, and even from cracking. To make the back of your shoe supple, apply an ample amount of oil on the area and use your fingers to work the oil into the leather.

Allow the oil to settle then proceed to wipe off any excess amount on the shoe. You should spray a small amount of oil on a random basis to keep the leather flexible.

Kerosene makes leather more flexible

Using kerosene as an after coat makes the spout or back of your leather softer. Before applying the layer of soap, first soak the shoe into table vinegar solution. This makes it easy for kerosene to penetrate into the shoe.

Kerosene is flammable and has an unpleasant smell and, for this, you should treat the shoe hours before wearing it. You should also ensure you carry out the treatment in a fire free, well-ventilated room.

Rub with a little soap before wearing the shoe

Rubbing common soap on the shoe will make the leather flexible. Rub a small amount on the interior of your shoes back area. Avoid applying too much soap as it will start flaking and thus dirty your socks once it dries.

Excess soap can also make the insoles slippery especially if your feet sweat when you walk a lot.

Padded socks add an extra layer of protection

Have you observed that athletes and footballers wear thick padded socks whenever they are in the field?

Wearing thick padded socks minimizes the contact between the feet and the shoes’ leather. This minimizes friction that may cause blisters.

For new or ill-fitting shoes, thick socks force the shoes to expand improving on ventilation and making them more comfortable and a better fit.  

Icing shoes using zip lock bags

Freezing is another ingenious method of stretching your shoes. Ice expands as it thaws out and, in the process, stretches the shoe leather.

To use this method, simply put your new pair of leather loafers in plastic, zip-top bags and freeze for a night. Freezing the shoes makes them pliable and comfortable to wear. Ascertain that the bag is leakage free to protect your shoes from water.

Duct tapes if headed for a long walk

If you are planning on undertaking a more arduous task such as hiking, you can add some duct tapes at the back area. The duct tape layers will reduce rubbing and friction.

However, avoid using this method if you already have blisters on your feet as this may aggravate the situation.

Alcohol Spray

A mix of three parts water and one part alcohol forms an ideal spray that makes the leather’s fiber softer and thus gentle on your feet.

Spray the mixture until the shoe surface is dampened. Wear the shoe around the house for a few days to make it comfortable on your fit. Alcohol is far safer than soaking your leather shoes in water and risking damaging them.

Using shoe stretchers

If the methods above haven’t given you the desired results, you can opt to use shoe stretching sprays.

For this method, just spray the liquid on the back part of your shoe just before wearing them. Shoe stretching sprays can be used in combination with adjustable shoe stretchers for quicker results.

Tips to Keep your Leather Shoes in Top Condition

While you’d want to try every DIY tip you may get to soften your shoes’ back, it’s vital to exercise caution.

First off, you should only use a solvent that won’t degrade the leather. For instance, soaking your shoe in water for extended periods may weaken the fibers.

The type of brush you use when applying olive oil or conditioning cream should be gentle on the shoes’ surface.

When drying the shoes, avoid putting them under direct sunlight. Direct sunlight causes accelerated drying that will either make the shoe stiff or weaken the leather over time.

Abuse of leather even after the initial treatment may cause the back of the shoe to stiffen again and harder to soften. For instance, using your shoe in a muddy path will cause the leather to harden on drying and thus rub against the back of your feet.

Wrapping it up

Settling into your new pair of leather loafers has never been this easy. By using the tips in here, you can make your new pair of shoes more flexible and gentle on your feet. Each of the highlighted methods makes the back of the shoe suppler. This minimizes friction between the leather and the back of your feet thus minimizing possibilities if suffering painful blisters.

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