How to Soften Work Boots

Updated November 21, 2016

Before you start wearing your new or hard work boots every day, you need to break them in and soften them up. If you don't, your feet will get covered in blisters and your legs may hurt for days. It's easy to soften your work boots with a few simple tools and a little elbow grease. Not only are soft work boots more comfortable, but they are also less likely to crack -- and they'll last longer.

Wipe down the work boots with a basic leather cleaner. There are many options at the local superstore or cobbler shop.

Rub mink oil into the surface of the work boots to soften them up and make them water-resistant. Use beeswax if you are opposed to using mink oil or cannot find it.

Keep shoe trees in the boots when you aren't wearing them. Stretch the trees out as far as they will go to break in the boots and keep the insides loose for your feet.

Place a soft insole in the boots and walk around in them on hard surfaces like tracks or concrete to break the boots in and soften them up.


Never soak boots in water to soften them. This old wives' method does soften boots, but it also wears them down and can lead to cracks, damage or an early death for the boots.

Things You'll Need

  • Leather cleaner
  • Cloths
  • Mink oil or beeswax
  • Shoe trees
  • Soft insoles
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About the Author

Ricky Andromeda has been writing since 1999. His articles have been published on various websites, specializing in pool, art, hunting, antiques, home improvement, chemistry and gambling. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Louisiana State University and is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in writing at the University of Arkansas.