How To Break In Vans [7 Easiest Ways For Faster Break-In]

Written By Sunny

Although Vans are known as comfy sneakers, they might feel tight or uncomfortable to wear at the beginning. That’s because, being made of premium materials, they need time for break-in.


But, if you wanna get the comfort out of your Vans right away, without waiting throughout the lengthy break-in period, Just stick to this article.

Because here I’ll show you some effective yet easy ways to break into your Vans in no time.

Stay put!

How Long Does It Take To Break Into Vans?

Generally, with regular wear, Vans can take up to 2–3 weeks for a proper break-in. They come with stretchy materials like suede and canvas. So these flat shoes will eventually stretch as you keep wearing them. And within a couple of weeks, they will fit you comfortably.

Although Vans stretch over time with typical wear, some easy yet effective methods may help you to skip the break-in period.

More than anything, you can break into Vans overnight with some methods like shoe stretchers or hair dryers.

Meanwhile, if you are trying to break into a pair of Vans that is smaller than your feet, no method can help you with that. All these methods will work when you are using them on slightly tight but regular-sized Vans.

So, it’s up to you which method you use for breaking into your Vans. Yet, regardless of the techniques, it won’t take longer than 3 weeks.

How To Break In Vans?

The usual break-in period of Vans may take some time. Yet you can break into them in no time by wearing them with thick socks, using a shoe stretcher, or freezing them. And it’s pretty easy to break into them if you follow the methods properly.

So, let’s find out how to break into Vans with the following 7 easy and effective methods:

1. Wear Vans With Thick Socks

Wearing thick socks with your brand-new pair of Vans can stop your suffering by stretching out the shoes. wear-vans-with-thick-socks

Just wear thick socks with Vans slip-ons or other models. For lace-up styles, tie the laces as regular after wearing them with socks.

As you need to stretch the shoes just for a bit, don’t tie them up too tightly. Otherwise, the shoes may stretch out beyond your need.

However, when all the lacing is done, walk on your shoes around the house for a little, until the shoes start to discomfort you.

Repeat this process for 1-2 hours daily, and within a couple of days, your Vans will be ready to be worn outside.

2. Use a Hair Dryer

Using a hair dryer is another fastest way to break into your Vans. use-a-hair-dryer

To properly carry out the process, follow the below-given directions:

  • Put on your Vans while socks are on to protect your feet from heat.
  • Set the hair dryer on low to medium heat and turn on the switch.
  • Heat the shoes while keeping the dryer at a safer distance, like, 10-12 inches away from the shoes.
  • Make sure to heat up the most discomforting areas of the shoes.
  • After 3-4 minutes of heating up the shoes, walk on them until they cool down.
  • Repeat this process until your Vans fit you comfortably.
Note: Don’t heat your shoes for a longer duration, as doing this can damage the materials.

3. Use a Shoe Stretcher

Using a shoe stretcher is one of the fastest ways to break into any shoe. And this is particularly good for Vans made of suede leather. use-a-shoe-stretcher

In order to properly use the stretcher on your Vans, go through the following steps:

  • Adjust the toe and heel blocks of the stretcher according to the size of your Vans and the amount of stretching they need.
  • After putting the tool inside the sneakers, slowly spin the wheel and handle clockwise to set it on the shoes perfectly.
  • Leave the stretcher inside your Vans in this position overnight.
  • The next morning, remove the stretcher by rotating the handle and wheel counterclockwise.
  • If needed, repeat the process for another 2 or 3 days, and eventually, you will get a comfy pair of Vans.

Using a shoe stretcher can be a bit costly. But if you can afford it, this process of break-in your Vans will be the quickest of all. And overnight, your shoe will become comfy from being a tight pair.

4. Use Steam

If you don’t get your hands on a hair dryer, you can use steam on them instead. But before starting the process, wear gloves so that you don’t burn your hands.

  • Take a bowl of water and boil it. When the water starts to boil, carefully remove the lid.
  • Position your shoes above the steam for about 3 to 5 minutes. Proper steaming will expand the fibers of your shoes while making them stretch.
  • Walk around wearing them while the shoes are still warm, it will help them to stretch even more.

However, in case your Vans didn’t expand as expected, repeat the process 2 or 3 times.

5. Walk on Your Vans For Short Periods

Walking on your Vans for a little period but often is the easiest yet the cheapest method to break in them.

Just put on the shoes with your regular pair of socks. Then, stroll around your house for a short period, like 15-20 minutes.

Walk on your Vans like this for the next few days, twice daily. And try to slowly increase the walking time each day.

Taking a short walk here and there with tight Vans will allow the shoes to slowly conform to your foot shape. And meanwhile, the break-in will happen, and you’ll get a comfy fit from them.

However, if you feel any discomfort or pain, take off the shoes as soon as possible.

6. Bend the Shoes

Furthermore, you can accelerate the break-in process of Vans by bending them each time before you put them on.

Vans shoes can easily endure rough and tough everyday wear, thanks to their vulcanized rubber soles. So if you are worried that your Vans won’t be able to withstand the bending pressure, don’t be.

Just go with the process by following the below steps:

  • Hold the toe of the Vans in one hand and the heel in the other one.
  • Bend the shoes inwards, but slowly as far as the shoes can go.
  • Don’t rush it, you need to be gentle with them, or you may end up ruining them.
  • Repeat the process every time you wear the shoes.

Bending will help the soles to adjust to your arches. And within a few days, your Vans will become comfortable as you need them to be.

7. Stuffing Them with Socks

To shorten the break-in period of Vans, you can stuff them up with your old socks. This will help to stretch your shoes and make them comfy footwear.

Simply stuff your Vans with a few balled-up thick socks and make sure the entire shoe is tightly filled up with socks. Thus, the socks will act like your feet inside the shoes while making them stretch.

Finally, after lightly tying the laces, leave them for a whole night.

Repeat this process for a few days. And your perfect fitted Vans will be ready for skating, walking, or whatever you wanna do with them.

I have always used this process to break in my Vans, whether they are Vans Ward or Old Skool.

Therefore, to quickly break in your Vans, you can use any of these methods, or may even go with a couple of them at a time. Either way, you can make them supple and comfortable in no time.


Should Vans Feel Tight at First?

Just like any other standard-width sneakers, Vans may feel a bit tight at first. But there’s nothing to worry about if they feel a little cozy in the beginning. Because of their stretchy canvas and suede upper, the shoes will stretch over time.

Does it Take Time to Break in Vans?

Typically, it takes 2 to 3 weeks to break in Van’s shoes with usual wear and tear. But you can quicken the process with some break-in methods like bending the shoes, using steam, or a shoe stretcher.

Can You Microwave Vans?

Some may find it feasible to microwave Vans for a faster break-in. But I won’t recommend you put them in a microwave. That’s because the heat and dry environment of the microwave can damage the suede and leather material of your precious Vans.

How to Stretch Vans for Wide Feet?

You can stretch Vans for your wide feet by using a shoe stretcher. As you can easily adjust the stretcher according to the width or length needed. And simply setting the tool inside them overnight will help them to stretch.

Bottom Line

Vans shoes are a classic wardrobe staple that can be worn in many different styles and situations. But they may need some time to be called a comfortable pair to wear every day.

Hopefully, with all the methods I’ve mentioned here, you can easily break into your Vans and make them comfy.

And for any more queries, comment down below!

About The Author
Sunny is all about action and activities. He finds it difficult to contain himself. Be it motorcycling, playing football, or exploring the great outdoors, he loves to keep his legs busy.Sunny quickly realized the importance of footwear to keep himself going healthily. This was when he decided to share all his knowledge and expertise regarding different footwear and their significance.Now, he’s on a mission with this humble platform by his side. With time he plans on doing bigger and better things.Apart from his writing and other hobbies, he loves spending time with his cat Sophie. He loves to cook for his friends and family too.

Leave a Comment