Do Running Shoes Need To Be Broken In

When it comes to running, having the right pair of shoes is crucial. But what many runners often wonder is whether new running shoes need to be broken in before hitting the pavement. As an avid runner myself, I’ve gone through my fair share of running shoes and have experienced both sides of the argument. Let me delve into the topic and share my personal insights.

The Case for Breaking In Running Shoes

Some runners swear by the practice of breaking in their new running shoes. The rationale behind this is that new shoes can often feel stiff or uncomfortable, which can lead to blisters or other discomforts during a run. By breaking them in, runners aim to soften the shoes and allow them to mold to their feet, thereby reducing the risk of developing any issues.

One common method of breaking in running shoes is to wear them around the house or for short walks before embarking on a full run. This gradually introduces the shoes to your feet and allows them to adapt to your movement. Another approach is to perform dynamic stretching exercises while wearing the new shoes to help loosen them up.

While breaking in running shoes may take some time and patience, proponents argue that it can result in a more comfortable and enjoyable running experience in the long run.

The Counterargument: Skipping the Break-In Period

On the other side of the debate, many runners argue that breaking in running shoes is unnecessary. They believe that modern shoe technology and advancements have eliminated the need for such a process. According to this viewpoint, running shoes are designed to be comfortable straight out of the box, and any discomfort experienced during the initial wear can be a sign of an ill-fitting shoe.

For these runners, skipping the break-in period means they can start running in their new shoes right away. They argue that going for a run in brand new shoes allows them to fully assess the fit and feel, as well as any potential issues, such as rubbing or hot spots. This approach helps them determine whether the shoes are the right choice for their running style without wasting time on a break-in process that may not be necessary.

My Personal Take

Having tried both approaches, I lean towards the side of skipping the break-in period. In my experience, modern running shoes are designed to provide immediate comfort and support. I find that if a shoe doesn’t feel right from the moment I put it on, it’s unlikely to improve after being broken in.

However, I do understand that everyone’s feet are unique, and what works for me may not work for others. If you’re unsure, it may be worth giving the break-in process a try, especially if you’ve had success with it in the past or if you notice discomfort during your initial wear.

Ultimately, whether or not you choose to break in your running shoes is a personal preference. It’s essential to listen to your body and trust your instincts. If a shoe feels comfortable and supportive right away, there’s no harm in hitting the road in it. But if you notice any discomfort or issues, don’t hesitate to take the time to break them in or consider trying a different pair.


There’s no definitive answer to the question of whether running shoes need to be broken in. It ultimately comes down to individual preference and comfort. The key is to find a pair of shoes that fit well, provide the necessary support, and feel comfortable on your feet. Whether you choose to break them in or not, the most important thing is to enjoy your run and take care of your feet to prevent any potential injuries.