How to Break in your Emergency Shoes

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

In my post “What if You Have to Walk Out of the City”  I mentioned you should break in your walking shoes well before any emergency happens.  This may sound unimportant and boring, but believe it or not, your survival could depend on your ability to walk for a long period of time, and shoes that do not fit could delay or prevent you from getting to safety.

One problem that ill-fitting shoes could cause are blisters.  Left untreated, blisters can be very painful and even get infected.  Other problems that could occur are sore or bruised toes, sprained ankles etc.

Tips to help break in your shoes

  1. First, wear the shoes around the house for a couple of days.
  2. Then, wear the shoes when you go on short errands for another three days.
  3. If you feel a blister coming on, take off your shoe and place a band-aid or moleskin pad in the area of discomfort, hopefully before the blister forms.  Do not wait until you are in pain to do this.
  4. Go on a short walk around your neighborhood.
  5. Finally, take some small hikes, starting with a mile or two, then go on longer hikes when you start feeling comfortable.  The shoes have molded to your feet and are now broken in.

Good socks

Wool socks are the best for long treks.   Why?

  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Allows your feet to ventilate.
  • They keep your feet cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

I have read advice in some sites recommending you should break in shoes the quick way by submerging them in water then letting them dry around your feet.  However, this may shorten the life of your shoes, so I myself did not do this and do not recommend it.

Just walk in them gradually and they will become more and more comfy.  Besides keeping your feet happy, a side benefit is, you are also getting into shape.  Being in shape can greatly aid in your survival as well, but we can discuss that at another time.

© Apartment Prepper 2017



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  1. Duct tape is a lot easier to come by, and cheaper than moleskin. I will have to try it next time I get a blister. Thanks for a great idea!!

  2. It wouldn’t occur to me to use wool socks for the new shoes but it is a great idea!

    It is also a good idea to wash shoes and keep em on while drying but I wouldn’t do it since I would feel bad for the loss of quality.

  3. I agree with just wearing them to break them in is the way to go. Wearing new shoes or boots that are not broke in is definitely rough on the feet.

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