How To Break in Your Pickleball Shoes for Comfort and Better Play

Nothing is worse than having an important pickleball match tomorrow, and your brand-new shoes are rubbing your feet the wrong way. We all have gone through the same situations where we try to break in new pickleball shoes. But believe me, sometimes trying to break in a new pair of pickleball shoes can be as tricky as teaching an old dog new tricks. Afraid not because, in this guide, I will show you an easy method on how to break in your pickleball shoes.

How To Break in Pickleball Shoes

You might be wondering, “Why do I need to break in my pickleball shoes? I could also break them in while playing?” Well, to answer this question, picture this. You’re out on the court, playing with your friends, and you’re on top of your game, moving quickly and hitting excellent shots.

But wait, there’s a pinch here, a blister forming there, and suddenly, your game is ruined because your new shoes are making your feet hurt. Even worse, you cannot play your favorite game for a week or month due to a foot injury. You don’t have to go through a bum trip to break in your pickleball shoes.

You can break them in by wearing at your home with thick socks or use a shoe stretcher if necessary. In fact, it can be a game-changer, ensuring that your feet are protected for excellent performance before going to court. So, let’s discover the art of making your shoes comfortable and convenient.

Step-by-Step Guide to Break in Your Pickleball Shoes

Breaking in your shoes is the process of making them more comfortable and better fitting to your feet. It’s all about molding them to your foot shape so you can confidently wear them in high-paced games. Please note that breaking in your pickleball shoes is a time-consuming process. So, be patient and remain consistent. Here is a simple step-by-step guide to breaking into your pickleball shoes.

Step 1: Wear Pickleball Shoes at Home

Yes, it is true the quest to break in your pickleball shoes begins with the comfort of your home. Start wearing your new shoes while walking around your home, going upstairs, or cooking in the kitchen. You can also wear them while sitting and flex your toes and feet inside the shoes to help them adapt to the shoe’s shape.

But don’t wear them for extended periods right away. Start slowly; first, wear them for around 10 to 15 minutes, then gradually increase the wearing time every day. Check your feet regularly for pain or blisters. This way, you can identify areas of discomfort, and your foot will slowly adapt to your shoes. However, you should avoid wearing them outdoors as that can damage them.

Step 2: Use Thick Socks

However, if your feet are getting blisters, add extra cushioning by wearing thick sports socks with your pickleball shoes. These thick socks serve as a buffer between your feet and shoes, which protects your feet from friction and pressure points while providing a softer surface for your shoes to mold to. If you don’t have thick socks, you can also wear 2 to 3 regular socks.

Step 3: Take Short Walks

Now, when your feet get comfortable with your shoes, it’s time to take them for short walks around the neighborhood or local park. Take short walks, preferably on softer surfaces like grass or carpet. It allows your feet to get used to the shoes without putting too much pressure on them. This step not only helps your shoes adapt to your foot movement but also gradually introduces them to different surfaces.

Step 4: Play Short Games

Now, as your feet become more comfortable with your shoes, it’s time to take them to the court. But don’t go out and start playing intense matches. First, start with short pickleball games and drills. It will help you to identify discomfort and adjust accordingly.

Step 5: use a shoe stretcher

After all these steps, if your shoes still feel tight and hurting your feet, then you can use a shoe stretcher. Shoe stretchers are specifically designed tools that are used to slightly widen or lengthen the shoes. Put the shoe stretcher in your shoes and leave them when you are not using them. But beware, don’t push your shoes too hard, as that can damage your shoes. Also, follow the instructions that are given with the stretcher.

Step 6: Be Patient

The most important thing in the breaking process is patience. Remember, breaking in shoes takes time, and it is strongly advised not to rush the process as it can cause foot injuries. So, be patient, take your time, and always prioritize comfort. If you feel any spot that consistently causes discomfort or pain, don’t ignore it. Adjust shoe laces accordingly or add protective padding and cushioning. If the pain does not go away, consult with a podiatrist.

Additional Methods to Break in Your Pickleball Shoes

Below, I will describe some additional methods to break in your pickleball shoes.

1. Use a Hair Dryer

You can heat your shoes with a hair dryer to break them in. However, you should avoid heating the shoes too much as it can damage the shoe material.

  • Start your hair dryer and set it to a medium or low heat setting.
  • Hold the hair dryer about 6-8 inches away from your shoes.
  • Move the hair dryer back and forth to evenly distribute the heat.
  • Focus on the areas of the shoes that feel tight or uncomfortable.
  • Heat shoes for about 2 to 3 minutes and check the shoe’s temperature. It should be warm, not hot.

Now, after heating the shoes, put the warm shoes on your feet, move around your house, and flex your feet. Wear them for 15 to 20 minutes and let the shoes cool on your feet. It will help the shoes to adapt to your foot’s shape. Repeat the same process if needed.

2. Break them in using Ice

Breaking in shoes with moisture is a unique method that can help stretch the material of your shoes, especially if they feel too tight in specific areas. For this method, you will need two sealable plastic bags, water, and a freezer.

  • Fill the half bags with water, squeeze out excess air, and seal them to prevent leaks.
  • Now, insert the plastic bag into each shoe and make sure to place them in areas that are too tight.
  • Place the shoes, with the bags inside, in the freezer overnight.
  • Take the shoes out the next day and let the ice melt naturally.
  • Once the ice melts, remove the bags from the shoes and let them dry completely.
  • Now wear them and access the fit.

Repeat this process if needed.

3. Applying a Stretching Spray

To break in your shoes with stretching spray, follow this method.

  • First of all, make your shoes clean of dirt and debris to let the stretching spray penetrate the shoes effectively.
  • Now spray the stretching spray inside the shoes. Especially target shoe areas that feel tight or uncomfortable.
  • Put on the shoes immediately after applying the stretching spray. Walk around to help the shoe material stretch and adapt to your foot’s shape.
  • Now, all that’s left is to let your shoes dry naturally.

Repeat the process if needed. But use caution; don’t oversaturate the shoes with the spray, as that can affect the lifespan of the shoes. Also, make sure to use good-quality stretching spray to avoid any damage to your shoes. AngelusFoot Matters, and Fiebing’s are some good food stretcher brands available in the market.

How to break-in your pickleball shoes - Instructions chart


Are Pickleball Shoes Supposed to Be Tight?

Pickleball shoes should not be excessively tight or loose. They should provide a secure and snug fit with some room in the toe box area to avoid any discomfort. The width of the shoe should match your foot shape, and the heel should fit securely to avoid slippage. Also, make sure that the shoes provide enough arch support and prioritize overall comfort. So, it is crucial to try on different sizes before choosing pickleball shoes.

How Long Does It Take to Break in Pickleball Shoes?

There is no definite answer to this question. The time it takes to break in pickleball shoes depends on many factors. Such as shoe material, your foot shape, and how much you wear them. However, normally, it takes one week to break in your pickleball shoes fully.

Final Thoughts

In pickleball, where every move counts, your shoes are one of the most important pieces of equipment. They can Build your game or ruin it. But after breaking them in, they could become your greatest allies. Take breaks in your pickleball shoes, like making a bond with them. We have discussed all the steps on how to break in pickleball shoes. Now, all that’s left is to take your pickleball shoes, break them in, and confidently step onto the court.

Jimy jame
jimy jame

Welcome to the dynamic world of pickleball! I'm Jimy Jame, a pickleball enthusiast turned expert. With years of play and a love for the game, I'm here to share tips, equipment reviews, and strategies to elevate your pickleball experience. Whether you're a newbie or a seasoned player, join me in enhancing your game and celebrating the joy of pickleball. Let's paddle up, aim high, and pickleball on!

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