Breaking in a brand new pair of flip flops can be quite uncomfortable or even downright painful especially if you end up developing raw spots and blisters on your feet. The toe post can rub against your toes the wrong way, and the straps can cause a lot of irritation on the upper part of your feet or feel too tight. However, this does not automatically mean that you bought the wrong size flip flops or that you will have to get rid of them. Read on to learn how you can break in a pair of flip flops that are a little too tight when they are new.
How to break in flip flops? There are several ways you can break in your flip flops to make them more comfortable on your feet.
- The first technique involves simply wearing them and walking around your home. Flex your feet as much as you can, and wear socks to help the stretching process even further.
- Another technique that you can use to break in your flip flops involves getting them wet and then wearing them. You can do this by wearing them in the shower or spraying them in water.
- Another effective technique involves stuffing the flip flops with sheets of wadded newspaper under the strap to stretch them.
- Alternatively, you can blast them with hot air from a hairdryer for a few minutes while you have them on.
When you find that your new flip flops are a little too tight on your feet, you have the option to either send them back to the retailer or take it upon yourself to stretch them. Although returning your flip flops may seem like the easier thing to do, it is not always an option. Breaking in flip flops properly can take quite some time, but this does not mean that you should go for quick and easy techniques that could potentially end up damaging your footwear.
Techniques to use when breaking in your flip flops
1. Wear the flip flops around your house
Before you take your flip flops for a spin outdoors, try walking in them around your home. Walk up and down the stairs, stand in them, and do your chores as you normally would. Leave them on your feet for half an hour or a bit longer until they get too uncomfortable. Do this for a couple of days until you feel comfortable enough to wear them for a few hours at a time. Flex your feet as you are walking, and if possible, wear a pair of socks to help the straps stretch even further. As long as you are patient and consistent using this technique, your flip flops should break-in.
2. Get your flip flops wet and wear them
This technique of breaking in works best for leather flip flops. Wearing your flip flops while they are wet will allow them to soften and consequently conform to your feet. There are a variety of ways you can get your flip flops wet:
3. Wear them in the shower
One of the easiest ways of breaking in your flip flops is by wearing them in the shower. Keep them on your feet until they are dry. Repeat the process every time you take a shower.
4. Step into a bucket filled with water
Step into a bucket filled halfway with water while wearing the flip flops. Once they are wet, step out of the bucket and pat the excess water off using a towel to keep the flip flops from potentially discoloring.
5. Spray them down
If you are not keen on stepping into a bucket of water, simply spritz water on your flip flops using a spray bottle.
6. Steam them
Another technique that has proven effective in breaking in flip flops involves steaming them. Simply place the new flip flops in the bathroom as you take a hot shower. The steam will loosen up leather flip flops and allow them to mold to your feet. Slip on the flip flops after your shower and let your feet do the rest of the stretching out.
7. Stuff your flip flops
You can also try stuffing your flip flops with wads of wet newspaper under the straps. For this technique, you will need to ball up several sheets of wet newspaper and insert them under each strap of the flip flop until you cannot fit in anymore. You will be able to break flip flops this way due to the tendency of wet newspaper to expand as it dries. Allow the newspaper to dry overnight. Alternatively, you can try using a tennis ball or an empty water bottle in place of wet newspaper. Stuff any of these objects under the flip flop straps whenever you are not wearing them.
8. Blast them with a hairdryer
For this technique, you will need to wear a pair of your thickest socks before stepping into your flip flops. Once you have the flip flops on, blast them with the highest heat setting on your dryer for about two minutes. As you do this, move your feet around in the flip flops to help with the stretching process. Remember to move the hairdryer around to avoid focusing excessive heat on one particular point. Let the flip flops cool while on your feet to maintain their new stretched size. Repeat this process until you are comfortable with how far they have stretched.
9. Use a stretching spray
Spraying your flip flops with a stretching solution is another effective technique that you can use to break them in. Ensure that you keenly follow the instructions on the packaging of the spray. In most cases, the instructions will require that you stretch the flip flops manually in between sprays to make the process more effective.
10. Toss them in the freezer
For this technique, start by filling two Ziploc bags halfway full of water. Ensure that the bags you use are big enough to exert pressure on the straps of the flip flops. Place one Ziploc bag in each flip flop, ensuring that they are tightly sealed. Put the flip flops in another bigger plastic bag and place them in the freezer to protect them from coming in contact with moisture. Wait for about 3-4 hours. When the water in the Ziploc bags freezes, it will expand and exert pressure on the strap of the flip flops and consequently break them in. If well-placed, the water will adjust to the contours of your flip flop straps perfectly. Once frozen, take the flip flops out of the freezer and allow them to thaw before removing the bags and putting on them on.
11. Let a cobbler work on them
If all the techniques recommended above fail to help you break in your flip flops, your last option is to take them to a cobbler. An experienced cobbler should have the skill to stretch the flip flops without compromising their construction. In most cases, they will use a stretching solution and then stretch the flip flops over a machine as it dries. Ask for cobbler recommendation from family and friends, or simply look for one online.
How to make the straps of the flip flops more comfortable
Sometimes, you may manage to stretch your flip flops but still have to deal with the friction that is caused by the straps constantly moving against your feet. Constant friction can lead to the development of blisters on the affected areas and limit you from wearing the flip flops altogether. Here are a few tips on how you can make your flip flop straps more comfortable.
1. Use dish soap or wax
If your flip flops have leather straps, apply a few drops of candle wax or beeswax to soften and smooth them. You can also use dish soap for the same purpose. Both wax and dish soap build a barrier between your feet and the leather, consequently reducing the friction.
2. Apply deodorant
If you are wary of making a mess using wax, try applying deodorant to the flip flop straps as well as to the top of your foot. The deodorant creates a layer of lubricant and reduces the friction, keeping the upper part of your foot free of sores and blisters.
3. Use foot petals
Foot petals are another effective solution to make the straps of your flip flops more comfortable. Foot petals are products that are made from urethanes and are meant to help you stop friction and provide comfort.
4. Moleskin for the toe post
If the toe post of your flip flop is uncomfortable, try wrapping moleskin around it to form a protective barrier.
Like with any other type of footwear, flip flops should stretch on their own with continuous wear. However, when they are brand new, they can be uncomfortably tight on your fit, and you might need to take some extra measure to break them in. While the process of breaking in your flip flops properly can be somewhat time-consuming, it will make a significant difference in your experience walking in them.