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You just bought a new pair of trail runners and can’t wait to hit the trails. But do you need to break them in first? For most people, the answer is no. New shoes these days are designed to be comfortable right out of the box. But you can do a few things to make sure your new trail runners are a perfect fit.
How to Break In Trail Runners
For most people, breaking in new trail runners is as simple as putting them on and hitting the trails. But if you want to be extra cautious, there are a few things you can do to break them in.
3. Break them in gradually: If you’re worried about breaking in your new shoes, take it slow at first. Start with shorter runs and gradually increase your mileage as you get more comfortable in the shoes.
4. Listen to your body: Ultimately, you know your body best. If you start to experience any pain or discomfort while breaking in your new shoes, stop and reassess. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Go for a Walk in Them
First, wear them around the house for an hour or so each day. This will help them conform to the shape of your feet and reduce any uncomfortable hotspots. Pay attention to the following signs that may indicate a poor fit:
- Your heel slides up and down when you walk
- Your toes feel cramped or uncomfortable
- The toe box feels too narrow – There should be enough room to wiggle your toes.
- Your toes feel achy or numb after walking in them.
If you experience any of these issues, it’s best to return the shoes and try a different pair. You may have the wrong size, or they may not be the right style of shoe for your feet.
Go for a Short Run in Them
Once you’ve worn the shoes around the house for a while, take them for a short spin on the trail. This will help you get a feel for how they perform and if they’re comfortable.
Watch the following signs that may indicate a poor fit:
- Your soles and toes feel like they are burning – this can be a sign that the shoes are too tight or the soles are too stiff.
- You feel a lot of pressure on your toes – this could be a sign that the toe box is too narrow.
- You feel like you’re going to slip – this can signify that the shoes are too loose.
- Your knees or hips start to hurt – this can be a sign that the shoes are not giving you enough support.
- Sore spots start forming on your feet – this can be a sign that the shoes are too tight or not the right style for your feet.
If you experience any of these issues, it’s best to try different shoes.
Alternate with your old shoes
If you’re still not sure about your new shoes, alternate between them and your old shoes for a while. This will help you get a feel for the fit and performance of the new shoes without committing to them full-time. A 2013 Study in Scandinavian Journal of Medicine in Science and Sports
found that runners who rotated between two different pairs of shoes reduced their risk of injury by 39%.
How Long Does it Take to Break in Trail Running Shoes?
It usually takes about 2-3 weeks to break in new trail running shoes. But ultimately, it depends on how often you wear them and how your feet respond to them. If you’re having any doubts or discomfort, it’s best to consult a shoe specialist or return the shoes.
A few words of caution to remember when breaking in your new runners
Here are a few words of caution to keep in mind: Start slow – Running is a high-impact activity, so it’s important to give your body time to adjust. Build up your mileage gradually and take walk breaks as needed. Listen to your body – Take a break if you’re feeling pain. It’s also important to pay attention to the fit of your shoes. Make sure they’re snug but not too tight and that there’s enough room for your toes to wiggle. Be prepared – Have everything you need before you head out the door, including proper attire, sunscreen, water, and a phone in case of an emergency. By following these simple tips, you can make sure you have a safe and enjoyable experience.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced trail runner, it’s important to take the time to break in your new shoes properly. Follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to enjoying your runs without any pain or discomfort. How long it takes to break in a pair of shoes depends on how often you wear them, so be patient and let your body adjust gradually. And most importantly, listen to your body – if something doesn’t feel right, stop and consult a specialist.