How to soften (break-in) new golf shoes (Adjust to new shoes)9 min read

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How to soften (break-in) new golf shoes

Breaking in your golf shoes is essential to a long-lasting relationship with your new shoes. There are many ways to soften or break in golf shoes, but some techniques work faster than others.

Most new shoes do not require breaking in. They come pre-shaped and ready to wear. The act of walking and moving in any new shoe will begin to soften the material, and over time, your new shoes will get more comfortable.

As you break in your golf shoes, please do not skip this process by wearing them anytime you need the shoes. Whether it be for a tournament or a round of golf with your friends.

A great point to remember is that new golf shoes are not meant to be worn on courses that may have rocks, twigs, or even mud on the course. They might hurt your feet since they have not softened enough, and your feet may also not have adjusted to your new golf shoes.

We have previously reviewed the best golf shoes for walking and also delved into the details while reviewing Skechers golf shoes and ECCO golf shoes.

Practical tips and tricks to break in your new golf shoes

To understand why it is important to break in golf shoes, let’s first look at the common issues with new golf shoes and their solutions.

1. Choose the right size and fit for your golf shoes

If your new golf shoes have a tight fit, it could either mean you bought very small shoes or the manufacturer’s fit for the shoes is smaller than normal.

Please make sure to check these out before you buy your golf shoes.

If your golf shoes are too small, they will continue to be uncomfortable as you break them in. Even after a few rounds, the shoes will still feel tight because there is not enough room for the shoe’s footbed and your foot to fit comfortably.

This is especially important to check out if you have very wide feet since manufacturers do not always make wide golf shoes. US shoe sizes do not always equate to wide or narrow feet, and a few select companies make specific sizes just for that purpose.

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2. Wear golf socks

A few days after starting to break in your new golf shoes, you will most likely get a few blisters on the bottom of your feet. The top layer of skin will split open and later form a shallow callus if you continue to wear the shoes for long periods.

Blisters are not uncommon for new golf shoes when you use them in walking around. This is just the natural process of breaking in new shoes.

To prevent blister, consider purchasing a pair of quality golf socks. These socks will help you prevent blisters as well as keep the sock out of your shoe.

We recommend you consider FootJoy golf socks, for example, the FootJoy ProDry range or Nike golf socks like the Nike Elite Cushioned range.

golf, the golfcourse, green
Photo by Michal85 on Pixabay

Don’t let the blisters get too bad, or your feet may become raw from the blistering. If you have a blister on your foot, make sure to wear the new golf shoes for the following few days before playing a round.

3. Soften your new golf shoes

There are several ways to soften your new golf shoes. You can consider wearing the new golf shoes in various ways: walking and running, while playing around your home, or with friends.

Thanks to loosening or softening, the end game is to have easier and more comfortable shoes to wear.

When you are softening a pair of new golf shoes, consider wearing them in the following ways:

  • Wear them to work, and make sure you do not wear white socks if your job requires it.
  • Wear them while walking around the neighborhood for more than 30 minutes or so. This will help you break down the materials and soften the shoe.
  • Have them on when sitting down on your couch or even at your desk while working and sitting.
  • If you have only just bought your new golf shoes, go out for a round of golf with a friend or two.

When you have worn your shoes in these ways, you will know it is time to start wearing them on the course.

4. Use blister prevention tape or bandages to prevent blisters

When first using your new golf shoes, we recommend you use blister tape or bandages. This will help protect against blisters and skin irritation. Blister tape or bandages have a thin layer that is made not to irritate your skin while also preventing any skin from touching the new golf shoes.

This way, the blister can form, but it will not rub against the shoe, allowing it to dry and heal appropriately before going away, just like a normal blister.

5. Try using a shoe stretcher

If all the above steps do not help, you can purchase a shoe stretcher.

To use a shoe stretcher, you have first to size your golf shoes. Once you know your shoe size, buy the right shoe stretcher, like this FootFitter Heavy Duty Premium Professional 2-Way Shoe Stretcher.

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This shoe stretcher will help you to expand the width and length of your shoes. This is how it helps loosen your new golf shoes.

Before using a shoe stretcher, please read the instructions on how to do it correctly.

Some people often add a little bit of water to the stretcher before placing it inside their golf shoes. They usually let it sit there for 24-48 hours. Some people also like to add a couple of drops of oil or even baby powder on the inner linings of their shoes to make them easier to stretch.

golf, putter, golfing
Photo by nicer_ch on Pixabay

Frequently asked questions on adjusting to new golf shoes

Is it normal for new golf shoes to hurt?

When you first start using new golf shoes, you will often feel some pain in your feet and your legs while on the course. This is because the shoe’s arch is not yet adjusted; this is normal.

Some people feel incredibly sore after their first few rounds of golf as they adjust to their new golf shoes. If this happens to you, try not to push yourself too hard on the first few rounds. Wait until your body adjusts and gets used to your new golf shoes before playing the next round.

What causes a golf shoe not to fit right?

If you cannot get your golf shoes to fit comfortably, it is usually due to one or more of the following reasons:

  • You bought a pair of golf shoes that are the wrong size for your feet.
  • Your golf shoes are too stiff from new that they require a lot of breaking in.
  • The shoe’s arch is too high or low for your foot size, and you need to adjust it by buying the right shoe inserts.

How long does it take to break in golf shoes?

When you first get a new pair of golf shoes, it will usually take you around two to four rounds of golf before they feel comfortable. Shoes are typically made stiffer than your normal shoes so that you can have better support and stability on the course.

The time and amount of break-in required really depends on different factors. Two of the most important factors are the shoe’s thickness and the shoe’s width.

For instance, a thick golf shoe will take longer to break in than a thin one. Wide shoes also take longer to break in than narrow ones because they require more time for your feet and legs to adjust.

The bottom line is: Do not give up on your new pair of golf shoes just yet. A few more rounds of golf can go a long way in breaking them in.

When breaking in your new golf shoes, consider the following tips:

  • Try wearing them around the house or while jogging for the first few days. This will soften them up and make them easier to wear on the course.
  • Try walking around the course for longer than just a few minutes. Do not just walk around the course while playing since this will not help your feet to adjust.
  • Try wearing them to work or even when you are at a casual night out. These activities can help soften your new golf shoes while providing you with great experiences and great stories to tell your friends.
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What are the best golf shoes?

The best golf shoes to wear on the course are ones that fit your feet properly. If you have not yet adjusted to your new golf shoes, we recommend you give them time to soften.

We have previously reviewed the best golf shoes for walking in detail.

golf, putting, green
Photo by woodypino on Pixabay

Final thoughts on how to break in your new golf shoes

To break in your new golf shoes, here are the steps you can take to soften your shoes:

  • Make sure the shoe size is right for your feet. If you have a pair of golf shoes that are too tight, they will become very uncomfortable after just one round.
  • Wear socks with the new golf shoes. This will help prevent blisters from forming due to rubbing of skin and it will also keep the sock from being worn down too quickly.
  • Use blister prevention tape or bandages.

The most effective way to soften or break in your new golf shoes is simply to wear them for as long as you can before playing a round of golf. This will help the shoe break in faster.

Also, wear your new golf shoes around the house and at work for 6 hours or more so that they begin to loosen up. Wear your new golf shoes for 1-2 weeks before you wear them on the course unless they become comfortable sooner.

All of these techniques work very well together. Use them altogether if you can, and you’ll have your new golf shoes softened in no time!


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Michael G

I love investing in people! Michael is on a mission to help organizations and individuals become better. Michael has had a distinguished 10-year career spanning through non-profit and the corporate world. Michael's life purpose is in helping to simplify complex problems to define actionable solutions, which is why through public speaking, Michael is focused on inspiring and impacting people towards the right personal growth formula and generating sustainable business growth.

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