Fall is all about the leather. The fall season brings crisp air and chilly nights, and do you know what that means? It means it’s time to unpack those jackets and combat boots! Or maybe it’s time to buy a new jacket or (and?) a new pair of Dr. Martens. But with new leather comes a dilemma.
Brand new Dr. Martens leave blisters and can take months to truly break-in. A new leather jacket is similar: inflexible and constricting. So here are some tips and tricks to breaking in your leather just in time for the fall season.
First, Find the Perfect Fit
The most important choice you can make when buying new leather, whether it be a jacket or boots, is finding the right fit. Find out if the brand of boots you’re interested in runs large or runs small because no matter how rigorously you work at breaking them in, your boots will always be uncomfortable if they’re the wrong size. If you can, always try it before you buy it.
With jackets, make sure you have enough mobility to be comfortable, and maybe even bring a sweater to pair with your jacket when trying it on. You’ll be able to see how it fits with a simple t-shirt underneath it, and also how it fits when paired with a couple layers.
Second, Try a Leather Conditioner
If you don’t have time to waste, and you want your leather broken in in time for the weekend, try using a leather conditioner. A conditioner is meant to soften, restore, and promote flexibility. Try Leather Honey’s Leather Conditioner or Chamberlain’s Leather Milk, both of which are available on Amazon. And while this product won’t alleviate all the pain of new leather, it’s a good place to start.
Dr. Martens also sells its own brand of conditioner. Dr. Martens’ Wonder Balsam nourishes, conditions and protects the leather. And rubbing a little bit of it on the inside of your boot softens the leather. Make sure not to rely on this process, however, because there really is no substitute for simply wearing your leather.
Third, Get Creative
There are different strategies for breaking in your boots versus your jacket. For boots, wear them with thick socks. This ensures that you spend time wearing them, yet the thick socks protect your feet from inevitable blisters. For your jacket, many pros recommend wearing it out in the rain.
Different types of weather can wear a jacket down, so wearing it in the rain is essentially breaking down the leather. Others suggest sleeping in it. But maybe you’re not that desperate. Experts say that properly storing your jacket is important as well. Never fold it; always hang it up. Keep it away from heat as high temperatures shrink leather.
Fourth, Wear the Damn Thing
Nothing breaks in leather-like simply wearing it. Wear your new boots around the house, to walk the dog, to get groceries. It might be uncomfortable at first, but this is the best way to ensure you truly break them in. As for a jacket, wear it everywhere you can.
It may be awkward at first, but the point of leather is for it to form to your body, to move as your body moves. So the more often you wear your jacket and your boots, the quicker you’ll break them in.
Leather always looks cool: spring, summer, fall, and winter. Breaking it in properly and giving it that worn-in look makes sure your jacket and boots are living up to their full potential. Let us know in the comments below how you break your leather in!
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Recent college graduate, avid reader, lover of music and all things Yankees. Collector of pins, patches, and records.