How to break in your Vans

How to break in your Vans

Can’t wait to hit the street in your new Vans shoes? You don’t want sore feet to slow you down! We’re all about helping our customers find the best fit for them, be it through your style, design or size. 

Use our carefully selected tips and tricks to break in your shoes fast, so you can get back out there and make it yours...

Wearing thick socks to break your shoes in

First things first. Dig out those chunky socks from the bottom drawer. Wearing a thicker material can help stretch out the shoe so your feet don’t suffer.

  1. Find a thick pair of socks, or two pairs of your everyday ones, and wear them under your new Vans shoes.

  2. Tie them up as normal - unless you’re breaking in a pair of our Slip-Ons of course - but don’t lace them up too tight! The idea is to stretch the shoe out slightly for a more comfortable and personal fit to you. 

  3. Wear your Vans around the house when you’re in - an hour or two each evening is perfect.

Breaking in your Vans

Wearing your shoes little and often

As well as using thick socks to relax the material, breaking in your shoes is as simple as wearing them a little here and a little there. 

  1. Put your Vans on, this time with a normal pair of socks of your choice. For our lace-up styles, tie to a comfortable fit around your foot.

  2. Wear your Vans for short periods of time, making sure you stay close to home the first few times.

  3. Remove the shoe as soon as you feel any discomfort or rubbing.

  4. Repeat these steps as often as you can. Twice a day would be great, but we know how active our customers are!

Breaking in your Vans shoes

Bending your shoes to help break them in

Vans shoes are designed to withstand the fast-paced life you live, with our sturdily designed vulcanised rubber soles providing long term durability and support. This said, if your shoes need a bit more help to break them in, don’t be afraid to soften them using a little tough love.

  1. Take the toe of the shoe in your left hand and the heel in your right and hold firmly.

  2. Slowly bend the shoe inwards pressing the two ends towards each other until you feel resistance - this will help the soles adapt to the arches of your feet.

  3. Repeat steps with the opposite shoe.

If you’d like even more support, check out our new ComfyCush™ shoes in our Slip-on, Authentic, Old Skool, Era and Sk8-HI styles. Re-engineered with a softer sole for comfort that won’t quit and help you stay on your feet for longer.


Using a hairdryer to help break your shoes in

Particularly good for our leather styles, turning the heat up can help mould the shoes to your feet for that perfect fit.

  1. Using a hairdryer, heat the backs of your shoes, and any other area causing discomfort, with medium heat until warm and soft.

  2. Wearing a pair of thick socks to protect your feet from the heat, put your Vans on and walk around inside until your shoes are cool - this helps soften the backs to the shape of your foot for a more comfortable fit.

  3. Repeat on the opposite shoe and feel free to repeat this method again. The longer you wear your Vans, the better!


How to stop your shoes rubbing

Nothing can banish a good mood better than a blister. Use this method to prevent rubbing once you start wearing your Vans shoes out and about. 

  1. Take a small amount of petroleum jelly - a little goes a long way!

  2. Rub the jelly into the back of your heel where the shoe is most likely to cause discomfort. This will usually be just above your sock line. 

Alternatively, you can wear socks that cover the point at which the heel may be rubbing - remember, you’ll need a longer pair for our Sk8-Hi styles.

Breaking in your Vans shoes


Now your pair of Vans shoes are good to go! If you’re wondering how to keep them clean, check out our guide on how to clean Vans shoes to keep them looking new or to restore an old pair to their former glory!