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How to Break in Vans: Tips from the Experts

Breaking in vans involves wearing them frequently and for extended periods of time to allow them to mold and loosen up to the shape of your feet. Proper care during the breaking-in process is key to avoiding discomfort or injury.

If you’re a fan of skater culture, punk rock, or anything that leans toward the alternative fashion scene, you may be drawn to the iconic style and durability of vans shoes. However, breaking in a new pair of vans can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not used to wearing them regularly.

Fear not, though – with a little patience and attention to detail, you can get your new vans feeling comfortable and broken in sooner than you might think!

How to Break in Vans: Tips from the Experts


Understanding Your Feet And Your Vans

Choosing the right type of vans for your feet:

When it comes to breaking in your vans, the first step is to ensure that you have chosen the right type of footwear. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Determine the purpose: What will you mostly use your vans for? Daily wear, skateboarding, or hiking?
  • Consider the type of sole you need: Do you need grip, cushioning, or support?
  • Look for the right size: Vans may run larger or smaller than your regular shoe size, so it is important to measure your feet or try them on first.
  • Stick to the classics: Classic slip-ons, authentic, and old skools are some of the most popular vans styles that offer a comfortable fit for different foot types.

Understanding the fit and how it impacts the breaking-in process:

The fit of your vans influences how comfortable they are, so it is crucial to get it right. Here are some things to consider when breaking in your vans:

  • Wear them around the house first to adjust the fit and let your feet get used to them.
  • The breaking-in process may take between several days to several weeks, depending on the type of vans and how often you wear them.
  • Pay attention to any areas of discomfort, such as tightness or rubbing, and adjust the fit or use protective aids, such as blister pads or moleskin.
  • If you are planning to use your vans for skateboarding, opt for a snugger fit to provide more support and prevent your feet from sliding inside the shoes.

Importance of knowing your foot type and any related foot conditions:

The shape and structure of your foot can affect how you feel in your vans, so it is essential to identify your foot type and any conditions that may require special attention. Here are some examples:

  • Flat feet: If you have little to no arch in your foot, you may experience overpronation or excessive inward rolling when walking or running. Look for vans with arch support or use custom insoles to provide extra cushioning and prevent injuries.
  • High arches: If your arch is significantly raised, you may have less stability and shock absorption when wearing flat shoes. Look for vans with more cushioning and support or use orthotics to improve your foot alignment.
  • Bunions: If you have a bony bump at the base of your big toe, you may experience pressure and pain when wearing tight-fitting shoes. Look for vans with wider toe boxes or use bunion pads to alleviate the discomfort.

By understanding your feet and choosing the right type of vans, you can enjoy a comfortable and well-fitted pair of shoes that will last for years to come. Whether you are skateboarding, hiking, or simply walking around town, investing in quality footwear pays off in the long run.

Preparation For Breaking In Vans

Breaking in vans can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not sure where to start. But worry not, because we’ve got you covered! In this section, we’ll cover the importance of preparing before attempting to break in your new vans.

Importance Of Wearing And Walking In The Shoes Before Attempting Any Break-In Techniques

Before attempting any break-in techniques, it’s essential to wear and walk in your new vans for a period. This helps your feet feel comfortable in the shoes and adjusts them to the shoes’ shape. You’ll also be able to discover any issues you may have with the shoes ahead of time.

Here are some things to keep in mind while wearing your vans before breaking them in:

  • Wear your new vans for a few hours a day for a week.
  • During this time, reduce your regular activities to ease your feet into them.
  • Observe how the shoes fit and any signs of rubbing or discomfort.
  • Wear your socks of choice and ensure the socks you wear in the shoes are similar to what you usually wear.

How To Prepare Your Feet Before Breaking In Vans

There are some things you can do to safeguard your feet before attempting to break in your vans. Here are some tips to prepare your feet before breaking in your vans:

  • Soaking your feet in warm water can aid in loosening them up and prepare them to break in new shoes.
  • Massaging your feet with a soft cloth, foam roller, or massage ball can also help your feet warm up and prepare for the shoes.
  • Use a blister prevention or callus medicated pad on your feet.
  • Apply petroleum jelly or moisturizing lotion to your feet before wearing your shoes.

Best Time To Break In New Shoes

Choosing the right time to break in your vans is essential and can make the process a lot more comfortable and less painful. The optimal time to break in new shoes is when you can afford extra time to rest your feet.

Here are some best practices for timing the break-in of new shoes:

  • Break them in during the offseason, such as summer break or holidays when you can reduce your physical activity level.
  • Choose to break them in over the weekend or during a time where you’re not too busy.
  • Break them in before a big event, where you’ll be switching up your daily activities and moving a lot.

In summary, preparing your feet ahead of time and taking your time to wear and adjust to your vans before breaking them in are crucial to getting a comfortable fit. Choose the best time to break them in, wear proper socks, and use blister-prevention or callus medicated pad to prevent discomfort.

By following these tips, you should be well on your way to enjoying your new vans with little to no discomfort.

Effective Techniques For Breaking In Vans

Breaking in new vans can sometimes be a painful process. Whether you’re planning on skateboarding in them or just want to wear them comfortably, breaking them in is paramount. Here are some effective techniques for breaking in vans to make the process more comfortable and quicker.

Wearing Vans Around The House/Office

One of the most natural ways to break in a new pair of vans is to wear them frequently around the house or office. By doing this, your feet will help shape the shoe to your foot’s natural contours. It may take some time, but it is an excellent method for breaking in your shoes naturally without using any additional tools.

Moistening Leather Vans With A Damp Cloth

For leather vans, moistening them with a damp cloth can help speed up the breaking-in process. First, dampen a cloth, then rub it gently on the leather until the whole surface is damp. Next, wear the shoes until they dry.

This moistening technique softens the leather, making it more flexible and comfortable for your feet.

Using A Shoe-Stretcher Tool For Canvas Vans

Another effective technique for breaking in your vans canvas shoes involves using a shoe-stretcher tool. You can purchase a shoe-stretcher tool to help loosen tight areas of the shoe to make them more comfortable for your feet. Place the stretcher tool into the shoe’s interior and adjust it to the desired level of stretch.

Be careful not to use too much force, as it may damage the shoe.

Heating Leather Vans With A Hairdryer

Using heat to break in your vans leather shoes quickly is another excellent method. First, put on a pair of socks, then use a hairdryer to apply heat to the leather areas that are causing discomfort. Once the shoes become warm and soft, bend and flex the shoes to stretch them out.

Avoid using this method if your shoes have any plastic or rubber components, as they may melt.

Pre-Treating Vans With Leather Conditioner

One effective method for breaking in leather vans shoes and protecting them from the elements is to use a leather conditioner. Leather conditioner softens the leather, making it more pliable and comfortable. Apply the leather conditioner to the shoe’s leather surfaces, then wear the shoes until they dry.

Reapply the conditioner if needed to soften and protect the shoes further.

Breaking in new vans shoes can be a challenging process, but with these effective techniques, you can make the process more comfortable and quicker. By using these methods, you can enjoy your new vans shoes comfortably and confidently.

Caring For Your Vans

Importance Of Proper Vans Care After Breaking In

Now that you have successfully broken in your new vans, it’s essential to take care of them properly. Caring for your vans can ensure not only a longer lifespan of your shoes but also an overall better appearance and comfort over time.

Here are some crucial reasons why proper care is essential:

  • Protects the shoes from wear and tear caused by dirt, grime, and other external elements
  • Helps to maintain the shape and form of the shoes
  • Prevents color fading and maintains the original appearance of the shoes
  • Provides a more comfortable experience over time, as well-maintained shoes offer better arch support and cushioning

Tips For Cleaning And Maintaining Your Newly-Broken-In Vans

Proper cleaning and maintenance are crucial for keeping your vans looking great and feeling comfortable. Here are some essential tips for cleaning and maintaining your newly-broken-in vans:

  • Use a soft brush, mild soap, and warm water to clean the shoes
  • Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals, as they can damage the shoes
  • Let the shoes air dry naturally, away from direct sunlight or heat
  • Apply a protective spray to help keep the shoes water-resistant and clean
  • Avoid exposing the shoes to extreme temperatures or storing them in humid areas
  • Regularly clean the soles and remove any debris that may get trapped in the grooves

How To Store Vans To Maintain Their Shape

Proper storage is just as crucial as cleaning and maintenance when it comes to caring for your vans. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Use a shoe tree or stuff the shoes with crumpled paper to help them maintain their shape
  • Store the shoes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or any heat source
  • Avoid stacking the shoes, as this can cause deformations and creases
  • Alternating between different pairs of shoes can also help to extend their lifespan and maintain their shape

By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to ensure that your vans stay in great condition and offer optimal comfort and support. With proper care, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite shoes for years to come!

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Break In Vans

How Long Does It Take To Break In Vans?

It can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks to fully break in a pair of vans. The amount of time it takes depends on how often you wear them and how well they fit your feet.

Can You Speed Up The Process Of Breaking In Vans?

Yes, you can speed up the process of breaking in vans by wearing them around the house for short periods of time, using a shoe stretcher, and applying leather conditioner to the canvas or leather.

Why Do Vans Hurt My Feet?

Vans can hurt your feet if they don’t fit properly or if you haven’t broken them in yet. To avoid discomfort, make sure you’re wearing the right size and break them in slowly over time.

How Do I Clean My Vans Without Ruining Them?

To clean your vans without ruining them, use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub away dirt and stains. For tougher stains, try a mixture of water and mild detergent. Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals, as they can damage the material.

Can You Wear Vans In The Rain?

While vans are not designed to be waterproof, they can be worn in light rain. To protect your shoes, apply a water-resistant spray and avoid puddles or heavy rain. Always let them air dry after getting wet.


Breaking in vans can be a tedious task that requires time, patience, and proper tools. However, it is essential to ensure that your vans fit perfectly and provide the comfort and support you need for all your daily activities. Remember, every pair of vans is unique and requires a different breaking-in process.

Therefore, understand your vans’ material and use the right techniques to break them in comfortably without causing any damage. Following the tips we discussed, including wearing your vans indoors, using stretching techniques, and padding your shoes, can make your breaking-in process more manageable and faster.

Finally, remember to take care of your vans, and they will serve you well for an extended period.



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