broken in hiking boots

When “Broken” Is Better! | How To Break In Your Hiking Boots

on . Posted in Blog, Hiking

After months of dreaming, your hiking adventure in your dream location is just around the corner. You have probably meticulously planned your hike, researched the perfect route, and packed your essentials, including your newly bought hiking boots.

However, amidst the excitement, there is a slight problem: your new hiking boots. Why? Because those brand new hiking boots are too stiff and uncomfortable because they have not yet been broken in.

hiker standing on a peak

But no worries—we’ve got you covered!

This guide explains some simple and fast techniques to break in your hiking boots so that you can hike in comfort. and, even though the majority of hiking footwear from reputable online shops don’t take too much work to break in, you should always try your hiking boots out before you embark on your big adventure.

So, let’s get started!

Choosing the Right Hiking Boots

hiking boots on white background

Type of Hiking

First things first… determine the type of hiking you’ll be doing. Here’s why this is an important first step… Lighter boots will be good for day hiking, and sturdier hiking boots with ankle support should be used for trips like backpacking


Leather boots have long been long known for their excellent durability and support, but they require more breaking in. On the other hand, synthetic materials are easy to break in and also lightweight and breathable, but they don’t provide the same level of support as leather boots. 


Always select hiking boots with adequate ankle support and soft soles, especially when planning to hike in rugged terrain or carrying a heavy backpack.


The most important factor when buying hiking boots is getting them in the right fit. You can get your footwear from reputable online shops or professionally fitted at an outdoors store.

Breaking In Your New Hiking Boots

hiking boots on feet

Around The House

This one’s easy… simply put on your new hiking boots and simply walk around inside your house. This is probably one of the most common methods used to loosen up the boot material, but it’s quite useful! So, whether you’re doing laundry, cooking in your kitchen, or doing daily household chores, keep wearing your hiking footwear to help with the breaking in process!

Also, be sure to tighten the laces and wear the socks and insoles – in short, the same way you plan to wear them outside, do just the same inside.

This “around the house” process could take from an hour or two to a day or two, depending on the boot. This will help you to note any discomfort or friction and identify any potential issues early on. You can typically return or exchange for a more comfortable pair if you need to. 

Go for Short Walks

group hiking on trail

Start with short and simple walks around your neighborhood or your nearest park. After some time, increase the distance and try various terrains and activities as your boots soften.

Be sure to try different surfaces, such as pavement and grass, and walk on even slightly uneven terrain to simulate trail conditions. If the boots feel good, you’re ready for your adventure! 

Wear the Right Socks

Are you new to hiking? If yes, you are probably thinking, “I’ll just throw on my cotton socks, and I’m good to go.”

Not so fast!

You likely will not be comfortable, since cotton retains moisture, which can create friction and lead to severe blisters. 

So, what kind of socks should you wear? 

Always wear thick, moisture-wicking socks, like merino wool socks, when hiking. If you’re planning a thru-hike or any long distance, buy liner socks for extra comfort. If pressure points arise, try wearing two pairs of thin socks for a short period of time to create more padding.

Use a Boot Stretcher

If you feel that some areas of your boot are still tight, you can use a boot stretcher. That’s right, a high-quality boot stretcher will help to loosen specific areas of your boots, such as the toe box or heel. If you have leather hiking boots, this simple tool can gently stretch the leather to alleviate discomfort.

Tighten Your Laces

Another helpful way to assist in breaking in your new hiking boots is to simply lace them up snugly.

To keep your foot comfortable inside the shoe, you have to tighten your laces carefully so that your foot doesn’t move much. More movement means more friction, which can result in serious blisters.

hiking boots with mountain background

So, make sure to tighten those laces well, but not too tight, before you start walking around in your boots. Pay attention to different sections of your foot, adjusting the tightness as needed.

You can also experiment with different lacing techniques to find the most comfortable fit. 

Final Thoughts On Breaking In Hiking Boots

The information listed above will not only help you select the right hiking boots, but also assist you in being able break them in. This way, you can quickly turn your brand-new, not-so-comfortable boots into comfortable companions for your outdoor adventures!

Just remember that breaking in hiking boots takes time, and some boots take longer than others. Also, if you experience persistent pain after breaking in your boots, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice or get new hiking boots.

Happy hiking!

Hedgehog Dryer Review

This Stickman Is HOT!🔥 | The Hedgehog Dryer Review

Let’s face it. Nobody wants to go back out into rainy, cold, and even snowy condition in gear that’s still wet and cold from your previous outing.

That’s where the Hedgehog Dryer comes in as a helpful piece of equipment and technology.

hedgehog dryer in box with N1 Outdoors logo in background

Hedgehog Dryer Features

hedgehog dryer arms

The Hedgehog Dryer really is easy to assemble. It took about 5 minutes without even really reading much of the directions.

hedgehog dryer octopus legs
hedgehog dryer pre-assembly
hedgehog dryer settings

hedgehog dryer with boots gloves hat
hedgehog dryer optional adapters list

Final Thoughts

So what do you think of our “stickman?”

man holding hedgehog dryer

Well, hopefully the Hedgehog Dryer with ionic technology is something that could be helpful for you whether you’re hunting, fishing, hiking, or camping, or anything where your gear might get wet or cold.

After all, it helps keep your gear dry and smelling great!

Have fun out there!

(Be sure to check out all the N1 Outdoors apparel and merch as well as Rod Togs fishing rod wraps, as well as our N-Tune arrow wraps and tracers.)

woman with VR headset outdoors

Virtual Survival: Simulating Outdoor Challenges in Education

In an age where digital innovation is changing teaching methods, implementing outdoor education is crucial.

This detailed guide examines how virtual simulations affect learning, particularly in outdoor education, which generally relies on physical locations and experiences.

The Emergence of Virtual Learning in Outdoor Education

girl backpacking in woods

Understanding the Transition

Virtual simulations provide an immersive learning environment that mimics the outdoors. Students can negotiate complicated outdoor conditions in the classroom or at home using these simulations. This strategy expands outdoor education and adds a new experiential learning method that extends beyond classrooms.

Benefits of Virtual Outdoor Education

Integrating virtual learning into outdoor education brings a host of advantages:

  • Safety and Accessibility: Virtual simulations eliminate the physical risks associated with outdoor activities, making learning safe and accessible for all students, regardless of their physical abilities or geographic locations.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: By reducing the need for physical travel, accommodation, and equipment, virtual outdoor education is a financially viable alternative for educational institutions. It democratizes access to learning experiences that might otherwise be cost-prohibitive.
  • Customizable Learning Experiences: Virtual simulations can be tailored to educational goals, curriculum standards, and student interests by educators. This customization guarantees that each learning experience is relevant, engaging, and adapted to varied educational needs.

Technological Integration in Virtual Simulations

Advanced Simulation Technologies

Virtual reality (VR) and Augmented reality (AR) developments have improved the realism and engagement of virtual outdoor simulations. These technologies enable real-time exploration and interaction with three-dimensional computer-generated landscapes.

girl backpacking in woods

AR overlays digital information on the actual environment, linking the virtual and physical. These tools make learning more fun and improve spatial awareness, critical thinking, and problem-solving.

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Interactive Learning Tools

These interactive technologies in virtual simulations encourage active learning and offer a unique way to get more online reviews from students who engage with these platforms.

As active learners, students can experiment with alternative techniques, make judgments, and observe the outcomes in a controlled virtual environment. This experiential learning method proves beneficial for teaching complex concepts, as it enables students to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios.

Additionally, these simulations provide immediate feedback, reinforcing learning and facilitating rapid enhancements in strategy and comprehension.

Curriculum Development for Virtual Outdoor Education

Aligning with Educational Standards

mountains with flowersin the field

Virtual simulations are technologically spectacular and educationally valuable due to this alignment. The curriculum must complement and enhance learning objectives while effortlessly integrating with the educational structure. It requires educators, curriculum developers, and technology professionals to work together to integrate content, pedagogy, and technology.

Incorporating Diverse Learning Outcomes

The curriculum for these programs should be comprehensive and diversified to teach pupils many skills. It involves encouraging critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, and environmental awareness and sustainability.

Virtual outdoor education helps students build these skills contextually by mimicking real-world problems and settings. The curriculum should also accommodate varied learning styles and abilities all students can benefit from and contribute to learning.

Case Studies and Success Stories

Real-World Examples

kettle over fire

Analyzing Student Feedback and Performance

Analyzing student feedback and performance data is crucial to assessing virtual outdoor education programs. Student engagement, motivation, and satisfaction are measured together with academic outcomes.

Understanding students’ opinions on these programs improves curriculum and instruction. However, performance data can be utilized to evaluate simulations’ learning outcomes and highlight areas for improvement. Virtual outdoor education must be assessed and adapted to be relevant and practical.

Future of Virtual Outdoor Education

Evolving Technologies and Pedagogies

The future of virtual outdoor education depends on educational technology and pedagogy. New and mature technology will enable more advanced and effective learning simulations. It might involve using AI to personalize learning, advanced analytics to track and improve learning results, and more intuitive and user-friendly interfaces.

To maximize these capabilities, teaching techniques must grow alongside technological advances. It involves promoting student-centered teaching, innovation, and experimentation and upgrading the curriculum to reflect the latest educational research and best practices.

Expanding Accessibility and Inclusivity

Future goals include making virtual outdoor education more accessible and inclusive. It includes making these programs accessible and flexible to a broad spectrum of learners, including those with impairments who are economically poor, remote, or underserved.

Lowering technological and financial obstacles and creating culturally appropriate and linguistically diverse material are needed. Virtual outdoor education can help democratize high-quality education and prepare diverse students for 21st-century issues.

Final Thoughts On Virtual Outdoor Education

Technology empowers educators to provide engaging, safe, and effective learning environments. This technique helps pupils solve real-world problems and fosters lifelong learning and curiosity. Virtual outdoor education’s continuing development will shape the educational landscape and prepare students for a changing world.