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How to Break in Red Wing Boots in 7 Easy & Simple Steps

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how to break in red wing boots

Red Wing is a brand that designs safety work boots for use in a risky work environment. Wearing a new Red Wing boot could be a bit uncomfortable for your feet in the first few weeks, and that is why you need to break in your Red Wing pair first.

So, how to break in Red Wing boots? Simply, you need to wear them at home for a while before you officially wear them at work. Breaking in your new Red Wing boots will help them achieve their full potential as protective footwear.

What You Need

You don’t need many items to break in new footwear, just your regular pair of socks and a leather conditioner.

The Best Way to Break in Red Wing Boots


Let’s say you already have a new Red Wing boot whose design you absolutely love, and you have the correct shoe size. So now, what do you do to break in your red wing boots?

There are different methods on how you can break in your red wing boots, but the best way is to do it inside your house with some simple and easy steps. If you do this, you can still return the shoes to the store in case breaking in the work boot fails.

Step 1: Wear your regular work socks (preferably thick ones).

In order for you to be certain whether the Red Wing work boots you have perfectly fit your feet, you need to wear your regular work socks first to check the compatibility of the two.

Using thick socks for your work boots is a good way of gradually expanding the room on the inside of the safety shoes. Thick socks will also provide your feet with additional protection from blisters that could possibly result from breaking in your work boots.

If you have no thick socks, then you can wear a couple of socks at once as it will provide the same benefit and protection as wearing thick socks.

Start breaking in your work boots while wearing thick socks for 30 minutes on the first day and gradually increase the number of hours you’re wearing them for the succeeding days.

Step 2: Step in into your red wing boots.

Allow your feet to carefully slide inside the safety boots. Move your feet around the boots and have an initial feel of the inside of the Red Wing boots.

Step 3: Lace up comfortably.

Make sure that you tie the laces comfortably, just tight enough that they will hold your feet in place while you use the safety work boots during the breaking in process.

Step 4: Walk, jog, and hop around inside the house.

This step is the getting-to-know-you stage of your Red Wing boots and your feet. Walking in your house for around 1 to 2 hours on the first day will help you gauge the fit and comfort of the shoes while wearing your regular work socks.

Step 5: Be mindful of any discomfort, tightness, or pain.

It is normal to feel tightness and discomfort upon wearing your new boots for the first time. In this step, you have to take note of the areas in your feet where the pain or stiffness is located, so you can keep checking on them during the break-in process.

Note: If the pain or discomfort is unbearable even for just a few minutes or hours, then stop and allow your feet and shoes to rest for a day. You can proceed to the succeeding step the next day.

However, if you are very lucky and the work boot fits you perfectly without any discomfort or tightness after more than three hours, then you can start wearing them at work.

Step 6: Repeat step 4.

The Red Wing boots break in period runs around 3 to 4 weeks. During this time, you need to walk, jog and hop inside your house. You can wear them every other day to at least give your boots and feet time to rest as well.

Doing this will help the shoes expand better, especially in the identified areas of the shoes where there is tightness.

Tip for breaking in Red Wing boots: Rock your Red Wing boots back and forth.

This step in breaking in your new pair of work boots is very helpful because it will loosen some of the leather fibers of the shoes. Rocking the boots back and forth will stretch the areas around the toes, the instep, and the ankles, which will give more room for your feet.

Step 7: Apply leather on your boots

The once tight and painful new Red Wing boots are now ready for actual actions at work! You can now start wearing your regular work socks and bringing your new shoes to work.

You should also apply a leather conditioner in the tight areas of your new boots. The conditioner will soften and relax the leather of these areas, making it easier to stretch the leather fibers.

Why Break in Your Red Wing Boots


Just like when you started a new job and needed to adjust to your workmates, your Red Wing boots and your feet need to get to know each other as well to have a good relationship.

Below are some of the important reasons why you need to break in Red Wing boots:

  • So you can wear them comfortably
  • For them to fit perfectly with your feet
  • To avoid getting foot injuries such as blisters, calluses, or corns
  • To avoid straining your feet

Always remember that fully broken in Red Wing boots are very beneficial for you and your feet, especially if you have to wear them every day at work. The breaking in period may take a while, but you need to do it if you want to have a comfortable Red Wing boot.

Bonus Tips

There are other methods or ways that can help you to break in your work boots faster. See below some bonus tips you can apply during the breaking in process.

Use a shoe stretcher

A shoe or boot stretcher is a good alternative for stretching or expanding your work boots if you have no time to wear them every other day. A shoe stretcher minimally stretches the width and length of the work boots, giving your feet additional room for a better fit.

Use some band-aid

To help your feet when developing blisters, you can put on a band-aid or some blister pad on the areas of your feet where you feel there is pain from wearing your new work boots.

Use a blow dryer

Blow-dry the stiff areas in your work boots. This will help in stretching the leather fiber. Do not forget to apply leather oil after to prevent the leather material from permanently drying.

CAUTION: This process should only be used when you are having a really hard time breaking in your boots, as this might dry out and crack the leather material of your work boot.

To learn how to properly blow-dry your work boot, click the link below:


It is very important that you follow the steps above on how to break in Red Wing boots as those steps will prepare them for regular use. After all, it’s you who will wear the safety boot at work, and you need to ensure that you’re comfortable with it while performing your heavy-duty tasks.

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