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"Breaking In" New Shoes? Truth, Myth ... or It Depends? (Read 1240 times)

    Reading Kirsten's thread about rotating between her two pairs of shoes got me to thinking about this. Is there truth to the old "you gotta break in your new shoes" statement? Or does it depend (on your mileage, on the shoes, on your socks, on the lunar position Clowning around)? I am new to running (~4 months and currently at 15 miles per week, my longest runs are 4 miles). I just bought a new pair of NB 1222 last night that I haven't had a chance to run in yet. The first pair I bought (NB 1221) was early in the Couch to 5k program so didn't really notice that they went through a "breaking in" phase (possibly due to all the walking included).
    ---- Cynthia
    Scout7


    CPT Curmudgeon

      My experience: It depends. Some brands are stiffer than others. I've worn NB before, and I did notice that they seemed stiffer to me at first. I also have gone back to wearing a pair after not wearing them for a while, and they did seem stiffer than what I was wearing. Is breaking in running shoes the same as, say, boots? Nowhere near. But I have noticed that a new pair of shoes can cause blisters the first few times I wear them. I've noticed a loosening up over time, too. Also, the insoles will conform to your foot a little more as time progresses, so you'll notice that, too. I think the blisters and the loosening are the primary reasons why walking in them a little bit is recommended.


      Needs more cowbell!

        I am new to running (~4 months and currently at 15 miles per week, my longest runs are 4 miles). I just bought a new pair of NB 1222 last night that I haven't had a chance to run in yet.
        Hey, you wouldn't happen to wear 8 wides, would you...? I might have a deal for ya'! Wink Nice shoe, isn't it? It's so strange that it worked so well for me for 350 miles (~250 in first pair, 100 in second), but is almost like a different shoe to me now. k

        Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

        '14 Goals:

        • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

          Ha sorry Kirsten, I am wearing a 9.5. Cool
          ---- Cynthia
            I've never had to break in shoes. To me, shoes never feel better than the first run in them. Everyone says not to do it, but I've even worn a new pair right out of the box in races--marathons even--if it was a make and model I had owned before and knew treated me well.

            Runners run.

              I think the answer is - why *not* break them in first? Can't hurt. Whereas wearing a brand new pair to your next half-marathon just might hurt. A lot. I don't do much to new shoes. I usually just wear them around town for a few days, then try to make a point of just doing short runs with them at first. If I'm supposed to be doing something else to "break them in," nobody told me, and the above works just fine for me. (There's probably some high-tech expensive shoe oil or something that only the elites know about. Bastards.) The short answer is that I think as long as you don't try new shoes in a long race, you'll probably be fine. (But then, you shouldn't be trying anything new in a long race). If it's a long training run, if the worst happens you can always just limp home. In fact, you just inspired me not to break in my next pair, just to see what happens. If I get hurt, it's your fault. Hope you feel good about that.
              E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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              vicentefrijole


                I've never had to break in shoes. To me, shoes never feel better than the first run in them. Everyone says not to do it, but I've even worn a new pair right out of the box in races--marathons even--if it was a make and model I had owned before and knew treated me well.
                I'm in agreement with Mike here.. if a pair of shoes doesn't feel like "heaven" right out of the box, then they're not the right shoe for me. I've bought "stiff" shoes that I thought just needed to be broken in and always regretted it since they seldom got better. However, I'm not so bold that I'll wear a shoe out of the box for a marathon... hehe. Each pair of shoes is a little bit different (we're not exactly talking about quality hand-craftsmanship when it comes to most athletics companies) so I like to make sure they're nothing weird about each pair before I go very far/very hard. But maybe I'm just "risk-averse".... Big grin


                A Dance with Monkeys

                  Race distance x 2 and at least 5 runs before using them for a race. For a marathon, get 50 miles on those shoes. For a 5k, you will need at least 10ish miles. Like Gorilla man said, can't hurt, may help. And your shoes may feel good out of the box, but it is three miles later that you should care about. Or 20 miles later, depending on the race Big grin Mikey, ever run a marathon in shoes right out of the box?
                    In fact, you just inspired me not to break in my next pair, just to see what happens. If I get hurt, it's your fault. Hope you feel good about that.
                    LMAO Big grin
                    ---- Cynthia
                      Mikey, ever run a marathon in shoes right out of the box?
                      Yup. I did once. I debated back and forth about whether to use a pair that had 300+ miles on them, or the ones out of the box. They were the exact same make, model, year, even color. The old Nike Skylons. I was pretty confident they would give me no problems as I was on about my 5th pair. Went with the ones out of the box and it worked out. I didn't plan it that way--I would have preferred they showed up a week early so I could have run in them a few times. But, eh. Worked fine.

                      Runners run.

                        Trent, I ran your marathon with shoes just out of the box. Figured new flats were better than old trainers...
                          Trent, I ran your marathon with shoes just out of the box. Figured new flats were better than old trainers...
                          Oh, sure. And how'd that work out for you? Oh. Right. Never mind.
                          E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
                          -----------------------------

                            I don't break in shoes that are the same brand/style that I'm just replacing. That said, I have made sure to run in them a couple times before a race...just in case. That's probably the nagging idea that I should break them in, but I really don't think it's been necessary. One word of caution. One bad thing I did do...my first and only marathon...the morning of, I pulled out my running shoes...then the next pair, then the next...I had 3 pairs that looked exactly alike and I panicked and couldn't remember which was which! I ended up wearing the oldest/most worn pair that had already been retired (get rid of old shoes!). That combined with the new socks I bought at the expo (doh!) gave me the prize of 8 lost toenails. Shocked Sad I can't wait for a do over this year! Last year I was in abnormal discomfort/pain for over half the race!
                            Jennifer mm#1231


                            A Dance with Monkeys

                              Trent, I ran your marathon with shoes just out of the box. Figured new flats were better than old trainers...
                              Flats are not real shoes.