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How to stop steel-toe boots from rubbing

Updated February 21, 2017

Protect your feet from painful blisters by keeping your steel-toe boots from constantly rubbing against them. New and improperly fitting steel-toe work boots often rub against feet and toes, causing tenderness and blistering. Softening hard leather can help to prevent pinching when the shoe is flexed. Properly insulating and padding your foot can create a protective barrier that helps you avoid discomfort. Take care of your feet and your steel-toe boots by preparing the footwear before you spend an entire day in them.

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  1. Use paper towels to apply a generous amount of leather conditioner or saddle soap to all the genuine leather parts on the exterior of the steel-toe boots.

  2. Remove the excess and work the conditioner into the boot's surface with a leather brush. Owners of steel-toe boots made of synthetic materials can skip the conditioning process completely.

  3. Flex the steel-toe boots repeatedly with your hands in the way they will flex when you are walking. Within a couple minutes you will notice they become easier to flex and you can stop. Repeat this warm-up process at least five times before the first wear.

  4. Put on one or two pairs of thick soft cotton socks before sliding your feet into the steel-toe boots. Padded sole inserts are an additional option to provide supplemental insulation and help boots fit better. Walk around in the boots for 20 to 30 minutes before taking them off.

  5. Wear the boots a couple of hours longer for each successive use until you are comfortable trusting them on a long work shift or project.

  6. Tip

    Cover areas of irritation on your feet with a padded adhesive bandage right away. Reducing the friction may help you avoid blistering and further pain.

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Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Leather conditioner or saddle soap
  • Leather brush
  • 1 or 2 pairs thick soft cotton socks
  • Sole insert (optional)

About the Author

Jeffrey Brian Airman is a writer, musician and food blogger. A 15-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Airman has used his experience to cover food, restaurants, cooking and do-it-yourself projects. Airman also studied nursing at San Diego State University.

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