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How to break in Chelsea Boots

Congratulations on your new pair of Blundstone Chelsea boots! By purchasing this pair of work boots you’ve joined a long line of tradesmen, celebrities, fashion-influencers and farmers alike who saw the versatility and durability in this iconic leather shoe.

It is well known that to break in any good pair of leather boots you’re guaranteed a couple of bruises along the way, but succumbing to constant blisters and band-aids isn’t your only way to step into comfort. If this is your first time trying out this style, or even if you’re a seasoned wearer, these simple hacks can help make the break-in process more manageable. So leave the band-aids behind and trust these tips to help you bond with your new Blundstones, soon your new pair of shoes will become your go-to footwear for style and comfort!

To start with, it is essential that you have chosen the right sized shoe for you. You might have been looking for hiking boots and been tempted to go for a tight fit to handle those slopes, or maybe you were looking for something with more breathing room for fashionable way to enhance your everyday work-wear. But, in both cases, too tight and you could end up with sore feet, too loose and you could be sliding all over the place. To test if the size of your new shoes is right for you, make sure you have enough room in the toe box with the right amount of wriggling, as Chelsea boots are known to have a firmer fit across the top of the boot. Then check to see your that ankles feel snug in each step you take, though if it feels a bit tight there you need not worry as the leather will stretch slightly over time.

If you prefer a wider feel, we recommend buying a half size up from your usual fit, or else you might prefer the Classic Series over the Originals, as their design offers a little more width. If you’re choosing to go with the Dress Series however, you might need to go for a half size down from your regular measurements, as these have been crafted to have a moderately longer length. If all this goes over your head, you can get it back onto your feet before your purchase with the Blundstone size guide available on our website! The guide will also reassure you that you can exchange your buy for up to 30 days until you find your perfect fit! Learning how to break in boots can be effortless, but before you lace up (figuratively speaking of course, because as you probably already know, Chelsea boots are known for their iconic elasticated sides for simple slipping on) make sure your new leather boots have the right proportions and measurements for you.

So, now that you’ve found your sole-mates, it’s time to break them in! Let’s get started:

Wear your boots often!

Avoid wearing them for long periods of time at first, rather slip them on and wear them around the house for short periods of time each day, especially if you’re working from home and only planning to whip them out on the weekends. Or maybe take them out for a stroll to your local coffee shop. Your aim should be to increase gradually the amount of time you wear them each day.

Consistency will keep the leather stretching into your specific foot shape! Take this opportunity to identify any problem areas that may need some extra attention during the break-in process. This step helps your boots mold to the shape of your feet and allows the leather to soften and flex more naturally.

Wear thick socks!

A thick pair of socks is a great place to start, as the thickness will help to protect your feet from rubbing against the leather and will also help to stretch the boots out a bit. If you find that certain areas of your Blundstone Chelsea boots are causing discomfort, consider adding some extra cushioning. Gel or foam insoles can provide additional support and alleviate pressure points. Just make sure that the insoles don't alter the fit too much or make the boots feel too tight.

If you don’t have the right pair of socks laying around try layering up and wearing two or three pairs of socks to protect your foot and achieve the same effect! The goal of this step is to provide extra cushioning, protect your skin from potential rubbing or blisters, and to try and to provide some extra stretching for the leather fibers along the way.

Use Leather Conditioner

If you’re in a rush to run around town in your new Blundstone’s, consider investing in some high-quality leather conditioning products. This will expedite the softening process (and also guarantee your spot amongst veteran leather boot owners). A first-rate leather conditioner is recommended for Blundstone boots in order to ensure that you don’t affect the quality of the material or damage the leather fibers.

Apply a small amount of conditioner to a soft cloth and gently rub it into the leather, focusing on areas that feel stiff or tight. Be gentle with the application but don’t stress out if you’ve overdone it, Blundstone offers a shoe care kit that comes with a range of products that renew the leather to ensure your boots stay shiny or the suede stays fresh, depending on your style! The conditioner will help moisturize the leather, making it more supple and comfortable.


If your boots are still uncomfortable after a few days of wearing them around the house, you can try using a shoe stretcher to speed up the process. A shoe stretcher, also known as a shoe-tree depending on if you want the width or length of your boot expanded, is a device that you can use to elasticate and soften the boots out a bit more. These generally work well together with a good leather conditioner, though the combination isn’t crucial. You can leave them in your Chelsea’s while you sit at your computer (or for 6-8 hours while you binge a series) and the leather will be softer by the time you’re ready to head out!

An important note on shoe-stretching. The is not a step, but rather tip to steer you in the right direction: According to Blundstone experts, you should NOT attempt the DIY method of shoe-stretching by using a blow-dryer. This is an outdated and old-fashioned wives tale that causes more harm than good, making the minimal stretch it provides not worth it! This once beloved method is much more likely to cause damage to the leather fibers, so it doesn’t come recommend by leather experts! We understand the process can be tedious, but persistence will result in a much better outcome that hastiness!


Be patient. Persistence Pays Off.

Breaking in a pair of boots takes time. Getting your boots to stretch to your exact shape, making them uniquely yours, is part of the reason they are so beloved around the world, and why they have been for decades, so don't expect them to be comfortable right from the jump. The amount of time it takes to break in a pair of Chelsea boots will vary depending on the materials they are made of and how often you wear them. If your boots are made of leather, they will take longer to break in than boots made of other materials, such as canvas or synthetics. This is because leather is a natural material that needs time to adjust to the proportions, measurements and shape of your foot.
In general, it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to break in a new pair of boots. The more often you wear your boots, the faster they will break in. If you only wear your boots once or twice a week, it will take longer for them to break in than if you wear them every day. Breaking in your Blundstone Chelsea boots takes time and patience. Remember that each foot is unique, and the break-in period may vary. With consistent wear and care, your boots will gradually become more comfortable as the leather conforms to your feet. Don't give up too soon! It's worth the effort for the long-lasting comfort and style that Blundstone boots provide!

A good old-fashioned Shoe Cobbler

When it comes to your beloved pair of Chelsea boots, sometimes time is not something you have when it comes to your break-in process. Maybe you’re in a rush to get them to fit your feet so you can take them on your trip to that walkable European city, or your business conference in just a week’s time, or maybe a festival coming up that very weekend. Whatever the reason, sometimes they need a little extra breathing room and fast. Enter the trusted cobbler, the magician of shoe modifications. If your new exquisite Blundstone Chelsea boots feel a bit too snug and you can sense a band aid being added to the suitcase, a trip to the cobbler is the most effective way to treat your new shoe’s leather.
By handing over your prized possessions to the skilled hands of the craftsman, you entrust them with the task of expanding the confines of the boots. With meticulous precision, they stretch and manipulate the material, bending it to their will. The cobbler's tools work their magic, gently molding the once-constricting spaces into newfound comfort zones. Finally, your brand new boots emerge transformed, their fit now more accommodating, allowing you to breathe a sigh of relief in the knowledge that your Chelsea’s are ready for immediate action. This act of shoe salvation is a testament to the artistry of the cobbler, shortening an otherwise lengthy process and reminding us that when in need, a visit to the cobbler can truly be a step towards footwear bliss.

Congratulations, you've successfully navigated the break-in process for your Blundstone Chelsea boots!

New boots can be daunting, and the prospect of pain is never inviting. Just remember that pain can be avoided by taking it slow and keeping your wears consistent, sticking to thick socks in the beginning and graduating to more specific products if you need to, and being patient throughout the process will pay off in the end! Say goodbye to the bad parts of the break-in process and let the process become a way for you to form a unique attachment to your Chelsea boots, which will soon be uniquely fitted to you.
By helping you to bond with your Blundstones we hope to see you to continue on your journey, wherever it may be headed, with the right foot forward. By following these steps and allowing your boots time to adjust to your feet, you'll soon experience the perfect combination of sophistication and coziness. So, go ahead and step out confidently in your well-worn boots, ready to conquer any adventure that comes your way!
And if you are ready to try on a different pair, view our shop options below.