How To Break in Golf Shoes

Golf Waterton is supported by its readers. If you buy something with our links, we may earn a commission.

New golf shoes are always exciting and make the course something to look forward to, until the blisters start to form before the fourth hole. Yes, they’re not so easy to break into, so what’s the best way to soften new golf shoes so it doesn’t affect your game?

Here are eight tips to break into your new golf shoes quickly:

  1. Store the shoes with a shoe tree.
  2. Tie the laces loosely.
  3. Use a blow-dryer to soften the leather.
  4. Wear thick or double-layered socks.
  5. Wear them for a maximum of two hours or less.
  6. Exercise while wearing them.
  7. Bring alternate shoes the first time you go golfing.

Like all good things in life, breaking into a new pair of golf shoes takes time and patience. In this article, we have elaborated on the instructions mentioned above. Let’s dive in!

1. Store the Shoes With a Shoe Tree

Storing your golf shoes with shoe trees will help loosen them up to accommodate your feet, even when you’re not wearing them. A shoe tree will also help them hold their shape and is a good investment if you want your shoes to last long.

Most shoes are sold with cardboard shoe trees, but it’s best to invest in a more specialized shoe tree if you want to slip into your shoes quickly. 

If you already got rid of the cardboard shoe trees, but you don’t want to invest in permanent ones, you can scrunch up some paper into the shape of a foot and stuff it in your shoe. Either way, this will keep your golf shoes loose and easier to wear.

2. Tie the Laces Loosely

While you don’t want your shoe to be so loose that it falls off your foot, it’s best to tie the laces delicately at first. If you pull the laces as tightly as possible, you’re putting more stress on the shoe which will cause it to stretch out faster and can even shorten the overall life of the shoe.

If you want your golf shoes to last as long as possible (and minimize blisters), it’s best to break them in gently. So initially wear your shoes a bit loose, and once you get a feel for them you can start to tighten up the laces so your footwear is more comfortable.

3. Use a Blow-Dryer To Soften the Leather

If you have leather or partial-leather golf shoes, you can shorten the breaking-in stage by using the heat from a blow dryer to bend the shoe and shape it to your foot. Here are the steps you should take (pun intended):

  1. Put on your golf shoes.
  2. Turn on the blow dryer to high or medium heat.
  3. Hold the blow dryer 8 or 10 inches (20.3 or 25.4 centimeters) from your foot.
  4. Slowly move the blow dryer over the entire surface of both shoes.
  5. Spend extra time on parts of the shoe that feel especially tight, such as the toe or heel.
  6. Once your shoes are pleasantly warm, walk around or stand in them for a few minutes to further mold them to the shape of your foot.

This strategy is best performed when the shoes are still new, and you should avoid doing it more than once or twice. You also want to be careful with the blow dryer as high heat can melt or burn other parts of the shoe. Avoid blow drying the bottom of the shoe under any circumstance as this could damage the sole and lead to further issues.

4. Wear Thick or Double-Layered Socks

Wearing your new golf shoes with thick or double-layered socks will give you the benefit of sparing your feet from blisters as you walk the green. Thick socks will also help stretch the new shoe out so your foot has some breathing room, and this will make the breaking in process far less painful.

If you’re having trouble fitting thick socks into your shoes, loosen the laces as much as you can first. If you still can’t slide your foot in, you can wear regular socks and put extra fabric or padding near your heel. While this set up may feel tight now, your shoe will feel more comfortable in the long run.

5. Wear Them for a Maximum of Two Hours or Less

While you may be excited to go golfing in your new shoes, it’s probably best to keep them off the actual course for a while. If you wear these shoes for too long while golfing, your feet are likely to suffer.

Instead, consider taking short walks in grassy parks until your shoes start to feel more comfortable. As a general rule, take off your shoes as soon as they start to hurt your feet. If you develop a habit of walking in your golf shoes for brief periods every day for a week, your shoes will soften quickly, and you can spare your feet the unnecessary suffering. 

6. Exercise While Wearing Them

If you don’t feel like taking a walk every day, you can even break in your shoes in the luxury of your home or backyard. If you have a patch of turf, stand in the grass and try these exercises a few times every day to relax the tightness in your shoes:

  1. Lift your heel slightly off the ground until you are almost on your toes. Hold this position for a second before going back down. These movements will help improve your balance in the shoes while softening your shoes for future action.
  2. Place one foot in front of the other at your normal stride’s length. Rock back and forth on your feet in this position and pay careful attention to the movement of the shoes. Now, while in this position, pivot on your toes until you’re facing the other direction and repeat the rocking motion.
  3. Place your feet about four feet apart and perform slow, side lunges. Here, you want to bend one knee and lower your upper body while straightening out your other leg. Switch legs every minute or so.

These exercises will help you get accustomed to your shoe while stretching out the leather.

7. Bring Alternate Shoes the First Time You Go Golfing

The day you feel your new golf shoes are ready to meet the golf course is finally here! However, remember that you’ve just broken into these shoes, so always pack a backup pair just in case. You don’t want to get stuck on a golf course for hours with your feet feeling pinched. Hopefully, you won’t need the backup, but it’s best to come prepared!

Final Tips for New Golf Shoes

Being patient with yourself and your new shoes is crucial to break them in properly. Once broken in, here are two good rules for how to keep them young:

  1. Clean them thoroughly every other time you go golfing. This will keep them clean, and reduce the effects of any damage.
  2. Store them in a room with low humidity. Keeping your shoes dry when they’re not in use will ensure that they don’t deteriorate prematurely.

If you take the time out to care for and protect your shoes, they’re sure to last through the years!

Leave a Comment