Don’t Forget to Break In Your Wedding Day Shoes

On my clients’ to do lists, I have “Break in your wedding shoes” as a task that should be completed about two weeks or so before the wedding. Even though it seems like a minor detail, this small step can certainly save your feet from a lot of pain on the big day. But wouldn’t you know it… I didn’t even take my own advice last weekend! My regular wedding day flats were starting to get a bit beat up, so I purchased a new pair and debuted them at a client’s wedding on Saturday… without properly breaking them in. Big mistake! I’m now sporting painful blisters on both heels that I’m trying to nurse back to health for this weekend’s event. Don’t make the same mistake! Breaking in your wedding day shoes should absolutely be checked off your to-do list.

While Queen Elizabeth has assistants that break in her shoes for her, chances are high that you’re not so lucky. So what’s a girl to do? A simple Google search will certainly lead you to tips for stretching out shoes with alcohol, applying heat with a blow dryer, or even breaking them in by dunking them in water or freezing them, but I’m willing to bet your wedding shoes are a bit more fancy and dropping them in a bucket of water isn’t high on your priority list. In that case, the good old-fashioned, break-in-your-shoes-by-wearing-them trick is in order. Here are a few ideas on breaking in your shoes the safest way:

  1. Wear your new shoes around the house. Before wearing your shoes for your wedding day, try walking around in them at home, walking up stairs, standing around in them, and sitting down with them on. There’s no reason you can’t cook dinner in your fancy weddings shoes! The idea is for you (and your feet) to get used to having them on so that they become less stiff and slightly mold to your foot, making them much more comfortable.
  2. Wear your shoes for short periods at first. You don’t need to wear your shoes for hours at a time. Even several short stints will make a difference. Start by wearing your shoes for 10 minutes at a time at the beginning, and gradually increase the time every couple of days until you’re wearing the shoes for an hour at a time or more.
  3. Bring your shoes to work. If you sit at a desk for most of the day, there’s no reason you can’t put your feet to work while you’re there. Wear regular shoes to work, but when you’re sitting at your desk, bust out your wedding heels and simply get in the habit of having them on your feet. Wiggle around your toes and point and flex your feet to give the shoes some additional movement and help break them in even more.
  4. Scuff the bottoms: If the bottom of your shoes are slick and you’ll be walking on hardwood, tile, or concrete floors on your wedding day, you should certainly make an effort to scuff up the bottoms a bit so you don’t end up slippin’ and slidin’ on your wedding day. A quick rub of the bottoms of your shoes on concrete will certainly do the trick. If you insist on keeping your shoes picture perfect, you can wait to scuff up the bottoms of your shoes until after your photographer has captured their shoe shots. Even scuffing them in the driveway before the limo takes you to the ceremony is better than nothing!

Even if you plan to change into more comfortable shoes during the reception, you will likely be wearing your heels for a couple of hours — from the time you don your dress for pre-ceremony pictures until all the post-ceremony photos are wrapped up. Making these shoes as comfortable as possible shouldn’t be neglected. Trust me on this one, blistered heels at a wedding are no fun!

Do you have any other tips for breaking in your wedding shoes?

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