How to Break in Timberland Boots? 8 Effective Tips That Work

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As much as everyone likes a new pair of boots, they hate the break-in process. It’s a painful process that takes a long time. Worst case scenario is you get blisters. 

The bottom line, you need an effective way to break in the boots. That said, how to break in Timberland boots? 

The fastest and most effective way to break in Timberland boots is to use a boot stretcher along with a stretching spray. DIY methods such as wearing thick socks or two socks can also work. But remember that DIY methods will take a bit longer to break in the boots. 

However, the story doesn’t end here. There’s a lot more when it comes to breaking Timberland shoes. 

In fact, don’t miss the tips at the end of the article. Those tips can save you a lot of trouble in the upcoming years. Anyway, let’s start- 

How to Break in Timberland Boots? 

Whether it’s cleaning Timberland boots(with vinegar) or breaking them in, the process can get complicated. Do it wrong and your Timberland boots can hurt your ankle. Luckily, that won’t be an issue with the methods I’ll show you in a bit.

cover photo of how to break in timberland boots

But first learn how to break in your Timberland. So, here’s the guide-

  1. Start by wearing your Timberland boots for short periods of time, such as 30 minutes to an hour at a time. This allows your feet to adjust gradually to the boots.
  2. Wear thick, long socks to protect your feet from blisters and prevent the rough edges of the boots from rubbing against your ankles. If the boots are a bit roomy, the thick socks will fill up the space and prevent rubbing against the ankle bone. If you don’t have any thick enough socks, you can also double up on them for additional protection.
  3. Use a leather conditioner or oil to soften the leather and make it more pliable. Apply a small amount of the conditioner or oil to the boots and rub it in with a clean cloth. Allow the boots to sit for a few hours or overnight.
  4. Walk around in your boots, preferably on a softer surface, such as carpet or grass, to help the leather stretch and conform to the shape of your feet.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 several times until the boots feel comfortable and broken in. Be patient, as the process may take a few days or even a few weeks depending on how often you wear the boots.

Remember, breaking in your Timberland boots can be a bit uncomfortable at first, but once they’re broken in, they’ll be comfortable and durable. Good luck!

Now, that’s not all. Here are a few additional tips that you can use for yourself.

Tip 1: Wear Thick Socks 

Something as simple as wearing thick socks can help break in your Timberland boots much faster. Wool socks are much better in this case. Apart from helping in the breaking in process, these socks make Timberlands great for the snow(not that the boots aren’t already good enough)

But don’t worry if these aren’t available. Wearing two socks can also achieve the same result. However, make sure you don’t wear anymore than that. 

Tip 2: Submerge the Outer Part in Warm Water(Try to Avoid It) 

The heading might be a bit misleading if you don’t know what you’re doing. You should NEVER fully submerge your work boots in any kind of water. 

What you can do is-

  • Wet the outer part of the boots. 
  • This can take anywhere between 5-6 minutes. 
  • As soon as the insoles start getting a bit damp, you know it’s time to take out the boots. 
  • Now, walk around with the boots for a while inside the house. 
  • Do this a couple of times a week to stretch your Timberland boots. 

Tip 3: Put an Ice Bag Inside 

The interesting fact about water is that it expands when it turns into ice. While this might be simple physics, you can very well use it to expand the leather of your Timberland boots. 

The process is simple- 

  • Fill up a resealable bag with water. But don’t fill it to the brim, half-way full is more than enough.
  • Put the bag inside the boots. 
  • Make sure the bag reaches the end of the toes. Otherwise, it won’t be that effective in those areas. 
  • Leave the boots overnight in the freezer. 
  • The fit of the boots should get better in the morning. 
  • Don’t forget to completely dry the boots before trying them on. 

Tip 4: Apply Leather Conditioner   

If you ask me, this is my favorite method of breaking in boots. Although it works better for darker color boots. But leather conditioner probably isn’t the perfect method to protect your Timberland boots.

Too much leather conditioner or mink oil can ruin boots. Especially, light-colored boots can change drastically. Let me explain what happens here. 

When you apply leather conditioner(or mink oil spray in my case) inside the boots, the fibers in the leather relax. In other words, it stretches a little bit. On top of that, it keeps the creases out of Timbs.

If you use an adequate amount, it can help to break in your boots also while conditioning them. 

  • You can use both mink oil spray, mink oil paste, or any other kind of leather conditioner that doesn’t darken the leather. 
  • I choose mink oil spray because spraying is much easier than applying it with your fingers. 
  • After using a good amount of mink oil inside the boots, leave the boots to condition overnight. 
  • The next morning, try them on. If the result isn’t satisfactory, repeat the process again. 

Tip 5: Apply Rubbing Alcohol 

Before I go on, let me tell you I’m not a big fan of this method. Alcohol and leather never mix together. Too much alcohol can dry the leather pretty badly. Although did you know that alcohol plays a big role in removing ink from Timberlands?

If you still want to try this method, it’s on you. Nevertheless, here’s how you do it- 

  • Apply alcohol on the areas that feel tight. Or you can apply it all over the boot.
  • After leaving it to dry for a couple of hours, wipe the boots. 
  • If the boots are too dried out, you need to use a conditioner to bring back the moisture. 
  • Finally, try out the boots to see if your Timberland boots are broken in yet.  

Tip 6: Buy a Boot Stretching Spray 

A boot stretching spray is one of the best things you can get for your newly bought boots. It won’t damage the leather. On top of that, they don’t cost that much. But the question is how much do Timberlands stretch?

These little bottles of miracle work stupidly fast. And using these couldn’t get any easier. Whether you have leather timberland boots or nubuck, you’ll get the same awesome result. 

  • Start spraying on the insides of the boots. 
  • You don’t have to drown the leather in the spray. Just get them damp enough and that’ll do the job. 
  • After spraying, leave the boots to dry for a couple of hours. This is when the spray will start doing its magic. 
  • Finally, try the boots to see if they are broken in yet. 
  • The process might take a whole week. So, do it at least 2-3 times. 

Tip 7: Insert Newspaper or Towel

Source: Alamy Images

This is as easy or inexpensive as it gets. Although you can combine this method with a boot stretching spray/leather conditioner and increase its efficiency. 

  • Apply a leather conditioner on the inside of the boots. If possible, try to use a boot stretching spray. 
  • Don’t leave the boots to dry. You’d want to proceed with the next step as soon as possible.  
  • Now start shoving newspapers or a towel inside the boots. 
  • Some people suggest using damp newspapers. But that can leave torn-up pieces inside the boots. And I’m not sure if anyone would like to clean that up. 
  • But you’re clear to use a wet towel as that probably won’t leave excessive lint. 
  • After 4-5 hours, the boots should be stretched out a little bit. While they might not be properly broken in yet, you can always repeat the process overnight. 

Tip 8: Get a Boot Stretcher 

Finally, the fastest and easiest way to break in a pair of Timberland boots, a boot stretcher. Apart from being the fastest method, there’s no doubt this is also the safest. 

The price might seem like a lot at first. But think about it. You can use the same boot stretcher for all the boots you’ll buy over the next couple of years. Consider it as an investment and you’ll know its true value. 

  • Use shoe stretcher spray(optional). 
  • Put in the plugs if necessary. 
  • Insert the toe block and make sure it reaches the end of the toe. 
  • Move the handle clockwise to widen the stretcher. 
  • Keep your Timberland boots like that for the next 6-7 hours or overnight. 

What Not to Do While Breaking in Timberland Boots?

The internet can be a confusing place when it comes to boot-related advice. Some people aren’t even cross-checking what they’re saying. 

Anyhow, these are the 3 things you should NEVER DO while you’re breaking in your Timberland boots- 

Never Overdo It

Breaking in any kind of boot will take its sweet time. Instead of stretching the boots every single day, take a break sometimes. 

This will give the boots enough time to disperse the moisture inside. As a result, excessive moisture can lead to blisters. 

Submerge in Warm Water

I know I suggested this method. But you should still avoid it if you can. Here’s why. 

You see this method came from the military. I guess I don’t need to go on about how they don’t afford to spend any time breaking in their boots. The faster they get it, the better it is for them. 

The problem is this method dries out the leather. If you’re not careful, you might end up damaging the leather. 

Apply Direct Heat 

Plenty of people on the internet suggests using direct heat on the leather to loosen it up. In most cases, they use a hairdryer. 

While a hairdryer isn’t enough to cause cracks in your boots, do it enough times and the cracks will come crawling. 

Forget about loosening the boots. You shouldn’t even use it to speed up the drying process. The same goes for fireplaces. Just keep your Timberland boots away from heat. 

Final Words 

Well, that’s a wrap. Hope you’re in the clear on how to break in Timberland boots. In most cases, most people don’t realize when they’re breaking in a new boot. 

But having a guide that makes the process easier always helps. If you’ve got anything to add, don’t forget to comment down below.

Richard Nelson

Richard is the Head of Content here at Bootpedia. From an early age, leather boots have been a passion for him. So, he thought why not share his knowledge with the rest of the world? 

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