How to Soften the Back of New Shoes in 20 Easy Ways

Whether you just purchased a new pair of shoes or they’ve been in your closet for a while, the backs of them can often be quite stiff. This makes them difficult to wear and can even cause pain or blisters. In this blog post, we will show you how to soften the back of new shoes in 20 easy ways!

How to soften the back of new shoes?

How to soften the back of new shoes

Try the following methods to soft your shoes. With a little bit of effort, you can make those stiff footwear feel like old friends in no time.

1. Use a Hair Dryer

The quickest way to soften the back of your shoes is with a hairdryer. This method is simple and quick, so if you don’t have any other materials on hand try this first! Overall, this step could take less than 5 minutes depending on how stiff the backs are. 

First, turn on your hairdryer in a medium setting. Next, hold the hairdryer about two inches away from the shoe and steadily move it back and forth across the middle of the stiff area. 

Just as you would with a blow dryer on your scalp, don’t hold it too close or keep it in one place for long – not only can this be painful from the heat, you could also accidentally melt the shoe! 

Repeat this step until you have evenly dried the backs of your shoes.

As a side note, if the back is too hot to comfortably touch, it’s definitely too hot to put on your feet! Let them cool off for a while before putting them on again. Some people also recommend using a hairdryer on the inside of the shoe, but this can be difficult to manage and time-consuming.

2. Use a Washing Machine

This method involves putting your shoes in the washing machine with a load of laundry, so it’s best to do this when you have loads of clothing that need to be washed. If you don’t have enough clothes to do this, try a different method. 

Start with a cold cycle and follow the “Delicate” instructions if they’re available. Otherwise, wash the shoes on their own – any additional clothing could damage them or cause your shoes to lose color.

However, make sure that whatever detergent you use is gentle and dye-free because it could ruin the color of your shoes. When the cycle is done, simply air dry them like you would any other clothes and check how they feel. 

This method can be time-consuming (especially if you don’t have a front-load machine), but this method doesn’t include any chemicals that could damage your shoes, so it’s the safest way to soften them.

3. Use a Shaving Razor

Next, we’ll show how to soften the back of new shoes with a shaving razor. This method is quick and easy without any chemicals involved, so it’s another good option if you don’t have any other materials or time. 

Start by turning over your shoe and using the rough side of the razor to rub it against the back where it’s stiff. If you have a few extra minutes, use a circular motion and don’t put too much pressure on your shoes because they could get scratched. 

However, if you place just enough pressure and move slowly, this step should only take about 5 or 10 seconds per shoe. Just like with the hair dryer, make sure that the back isn’t too hot to comfortably touch before putting them on. 

Overall, this step should take less than 5 minutes and will leave you with shoes that are soft and ready to wear!

4. Avoid Wearing The Same Pair Of Shoes

Avoid wearing the same pair of shoes every day, if possible. Change them out for a new pair at least once a week or more often if needed. This will give your shoes time to air out and dry properly between wearings. 

This will also help to prevent foot fungus from growing inside your shoes where you can’t see it. Tinea pedis, a form of foot fungus, is the most common fungal infection and can be contracted from communal showers at swimming pools or public gyms.

5.  Use Foot Powder

Use foot powder every day or after activities that make your feet sweat, such as running or playing sports. This will keep your sneaker smelling good and prevent them from getting too smelly. It can also reduce the gathering of bacteria inside of your sneaker if you get sweaty feet often.

Avoid using powder in your footwear if you have a history of athlete’s foot. Many powders contain ingredients that can exacerbate this condition. Instead, use an antiperspirant on your feet before putting on your shoes.

6. Use Petroleum Jelly Or Cream

This method is another quick way to soften shoes without any chemicals involved, so if you don’t have anything else this method could work well for you! 

The first step is to put petroleum jelly or cream on your feet. You can do this right before you put on your shoes, but some people recommend doing it in the morning and letting it soak into your feet all day. 

Then just put your socks on top of these products, slip into your shoes, and go! This method is ideal for keeping moisture away from your shoes while keeping them soft and comfortable.

7. Place Your Shoes In The Sun (Or Direct Sunlight)

how to soften new shoes

If all else fails, you can try how to soften shoes with direct sunlight or by leaving them out overnight. This method takes time because it doesn’t involve any chemicals – just heat from the sun! 

Just place your shoes outside on a sunny day and let the hot sun do its job. Make sure that your shoes are facing the right direction or else this won’t work at all.

8. Wear Socks That Absorb Moisture

By wearing socks that absorb moisture and wick it away from your feet, you can help keep feet dry. This will prevent odor-causing bacteria from growing in your shoes. 

The best type of socks is usually made out of either wool or cotton because these materials are known for their ability to absorb sweat without retaining any liquid. 

It is also a good idea to wear socks with closed toes so that you don’t have any open areas for bacteria to develop.

9.  Place Moleskin Or Bandaids

If you find that your shoes rub against your feet in certain areas, and you don’t know how to soften shoes that hurt which causes blisters or just discomfort in general. Fortunately, there are two very easy remedies for this problem. 

You can either purchase moleskin patches at a local drugstore or apply them over the area where the shoe is rubbing. Or, you can just use a bandaid to take care of the problem – just cut a small hole in the center and place it over where you’re experiencing discomfort.

10. Deodorise Shoes With Baking Soda

How to soften new shoes? Well, use baking soda as a last resort for freshening up your shoes or getting rid of any odors that have built up over time. Just sprinkle some baking soda into your shoes, leave it for a few hours, and then shake out the excess. If you need to, add in more baking soda to get rid of any lingering odor.

11. Avoid Wearing The Same Pair Of Shoes Every Day

One way to ensure that your shoes stay fresh and the back of shoes do not hurt is to avoid wearing them every single day. Not only will this help your sneaker last longer, but it will also guarantee that you don’t get any foot fungus or smelliness due to too much moisture!

12. Stretch Your Shoes

This is a good idea for shoes that are too tight and don’t know how to soften shoes that hurt because it doesn’t require any chemicals, heat, or time. Just take some newspapers and stuff them into the sneakers to stretch them out. 

For small shoe sizes, you can use socks or just leave the insoles in. You can also use this method to stretch out canvas shoes when you’re trying to get them on.

13. Wear Shoes For Short Periods At First

For some people, it can take up to a week or two before new shoes are completely broken in. If you have the time, just wear your new shoes for about half an hour and take them off. Then repeat this process over the course of a couple of weeks. 

This way you can stretch out the footwear and shape them to your feet at a comfortable pace. If possible, try on new shoes at the end of the day when your feet are swollen and they’ll feel more comfortable.

14. Use Leather Conditioner

Leather is porous and will absorb liquid easily. For this reason, it’s a good idea to treat new shoes with a leather conditioner before you wear them. 

This can be either done by applying a thin coating of leather conditioner with a cotton ball, spraying it on the shoe, or by applying a leather protector. Just make sure to test any chemical agents in an inconspicuous area before you apply them to your new sneaker.

15. Replace Insoles

how to soften shoes that hurt

Removing old insoles and replacing them with new ones is another simple way of making How to soften shoes?  You can either take out the insole and replace it with a new one or you can flip the original one over so that it’s nice and soft on your feet.

16. Don’t Buy Shoes That Are Too Tight

If you’re always struggling to get your feet into your shoes and the back of shoes hurt too much, it might be a sign that they’re just too small. In this case, the best thing to do is return them for a different size or try a different style.

19. Try To Get Lightweight Shoes

Shoes made from mesh styles will give your feet plenty of airflow and make them much more comfortable. If you want to avoid developing any smelly conditions inside your footwear(even when they’re new), opt for lightweight materials like mesh and breathable leather.

19.  Drink Plenty Of Water

Dehydrated skin can cause your feet to swell and it will often result in leather footwear becoming too small. For the best looking and feeling feet, try to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Drink plenty of water and avoid salty foods if you want your skin to look healthy and hydrated.

20. If You Have The Time, Try To Break In Shoes Slowly

Breaking in new footwear quickly can be a recipe for disaster. So when you get new shoes, it’s best to take things slow and give your feet plenty of time to adjust. Not only will this make the transition much more comfortable but it will also ensure that they’re not too tight when they’re a bit stiff at first.

Most shoes will become more comfortable with time, so don’t immediately give up on them if you think they feel too tight. This is especially true for leather footwear because their stiff backs can soften over time as you continue wearing them. In fact, many shoe manufacturers recommend breaking in your new leather shoes slowly to make sure it’s a comfortable process for you.

FAQ:-  How to soften the back of new shoes?

Q. How can I soften the backs of my shoes?

A. There are several easy ways you can soften the backs of shoes. You can either use leather conditioner, replace old insoles with new ones, try to find shoes that are lightweight, drink plenty of water, or use a bar of soap to clean your footwear. You can also take things slow when you’re breaking in shoes so your feet have plenty of time to adjust.

Q. How do I stop my shoes from rubbing the back of my heel?

A. There are a few tricks you can use to stop your footwear from rubbing the back of your heels. If they’re leather, you can try using a shoe tree to help them become a bit more form-fitting. If they’re rubber, you can cut a hole in the back and wear a pair of thick socks. This will make it much more comfortable and prevent your heels from getting red and blistered.

Q. How do I stop my shoes from rubbing the back of my ankle?

A. One of the easiest ways to take care of this problem is to use an ankle sleeve. These are typically worn underneath your socks and they’ll protect your skin from any potential irritation.

Q. How do you soften the back of leather?

A. If your sneakers are made out of leather, there are several things you can do to soften them. You can opt for lightweight materials like mesh and breathable leather. If the backs of your shoes are too stiff, you can use a shoe tree and conditioner to make them more comfortable.


So if you just purchased a new pair of footwear or they’ve been in your closet for a while, the backs of them can often be quite stiff. This makes them difficult to wear and can even cause pain or blisters. In this post, we shared a few easy ways how to soften the back of new shoes. We hope you found these tips helpful!

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