adidas / July 2021
Allison Graaff

How to Break in Running Shoes for Maximum Comfort

Time to retire your old running shoes? Learn some easy ways to break in your new running shoes for optimal comfort and performance.

Is Breaking in New Running Shoes Necessary?

Back when running shoes were made of stiffer materials like leather, runners had to spend more time breaking them in. But with the evolution of performance technology, modern running shoes are made to fit your feet comfortably right out of the box. If a shoe feels painful or uncomfortable, or you notice hot spots when you’re trying it on, that means it isn’t the right size, fit, or shoe for you. There’s not a whole lot to breaking in your new shoes apart from getting your body gradually used to them. With fitted sweat-wicking socks, your shoes should feel good on your feet, and after you run ten to fifteen miles in increments over a couple of weeks, your shoes should be nicely broken in and ready for your typical training or racing schedule. 

How to Break in Running Shoes

1. Wear your running shoes around the house, especially if you weren’t able to try them on before buying them. While cooking dinner or doing some house chores, you’ll notice any uncomfortable spots and decide if they are the right shoes for you. If they fit well, then wearing them will help your feet adjust to them.
2. If you’re still unsure if they are comfortable, wear them running on a treadmill for 15 minutes to protect the tread while you’re deciding.
3. If you’ve decided they feel good, then take them out for a short run. You don’t want to immediately wear them for your longest run. If they feel comfortable but just different from your previous pair, that means your body still needs to get used to them, which can take a couple weeks. 
4. Phase them in, alternating with your old pair if they are still in good condition. Run in your new pair for shorter runs a few times a week, working up to longer distances to get used to them. Eventually you can phase out your old ones to be your short distance or walking shoes, or retire them if they have broken down.
Overall, breaking in new running shoes should be a pretty simple and painless process. If your shoes are causing blisters or feel too tight in the toe box or heel area, then they might not be the right size or shoe type for you. With so many choices, there’s something for every type of runner. Read our article on how to choose running shoes to find the right pair for you.
adidas / July 2021
Allison Graaff