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How To Break In Leather Shoes

We share our favorite break-in tips to help you find your perfect fit.

When it comes to brand new leather shoes, you’re getting to know them, and they’re getting to know you. The break-in process is a sign of a quality, handmade leather shoe that will last. (Which is why you don't need to break-in rubber flip-flops.)

We put together our best tips to make sure you're giving the process a fair shot, because there's nothing more comfortable than a pair of leather shoes that have perfectly molded to the shape of your foot.


Wear your new shoes around the house for short periods of time to jump-start the break-in process. We recommend 2-hour increments over the course of a few days.

Please note that we're unable to accept returns/exchanges on items worn outdoors, so take your time deciding on fit inside.

If you experience any pain during these short periods of time, we recommend wearing socks with your shoes until they begin to soften.

(about 3-5 wears)

Wait until your shoes are uniquely molded to your foot before wearing them for an extended period.

Keep in mind, the break-in process is different for everyone and may be longer or shorter depending on the shape of your foot and the style of the shoe. Allow more time to break-in styles like boots and oxfords vs. sandals or mules.

Your heel and toe box are where the common pain points can be, also known as hot spots. Look out for hotspots, as they are the initial sign of an oncoming blister. If you start to feel friction or a little heat in a hotspot, we suggest protecting the area quickly.

We recommend applying Blistabloc or Moleskin padding to these hot spots.


b.bloc by blistabloc is a reactive, ultra-thin insert that reduces friction to prevent blisters from forming. Easily adhered to the inside of your shoe, it is a comfortable, long-term solution to keeping your feet blister-free!

Moleskin padding acts as a second skin and reduces friction between your foot and the shoe. It adheres directly to your foot rather than your shoe, and only comes off when you want it to. (Skip the band-aids!) You'll find Moleskin padding to provide comfort around the hot spots, which is the toe box and the heel but it is more of a temporary solution.


Do not attempt to manipulate the leather with either of these sources. You may find this information on other sites, but we do not recommend either of these methods as they will either dry out the leather or ruin the shoe completely. Using these methods may result in a short-term fix but will affect the durability of your shoes over time.


We source the most natural and luxurious leathers for our products we can find. Each Nisolo product is crafted by hand, paying the utmost attention to quality, and giving each product its own characteristics. Because our leathers are minimally processed, natural markings and color variations may be present, making each product uniquely yours.


In the same way that we care in selecting the materials and creating each product, we hope you will continue to nourish and love your products for years to come. By routinely taking them to a local cobbler you trust or caring for them yourself, you will enjoy your Nisolo products for a greater amount of time and significantly increase the product lifespan. Here are some of our ideas for care tips and maintenance products for you to use on your shoes.


By wearing and caring for your Nisolo products, you will notice that they only get better with age, as the leathers develop unique patinas and create the perfect well-loved look. And, of course, once you break our leather in, the shoes will mold to the shape of your foot, leaving you with the most comfortable pair of shoes you’ve ever worn. .



Travel Derby

Mariella Mule


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Email or chat us during regular business hours (CST) Monday through Friday.

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Paula Krebs - January 23, 2019

You’re so right about shoe care! I have some Nisolos from many years ago, and I always keep them oiled and buffed. I’ve had some resoled twice, and they’re still going strong. The old ones have great character, but I love the new ones, too!

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