Can You Microwave Shoes to Break Them in? (Will They Stretch?)

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What if I told you that you could break in your new pair of shoes by cooking them in the microwave? Believe it or not, this is a common practice for many skaters.

How does it work? Microwaving your shoes allegedly breaks down the glue holding the shoe together and makes them more pliable, which ultimately makes them more comfortable.

This is a quick and easy method to make sure your shoes fit correctly before you take them out on the street or when they just don’t feel right.

Can You Microwave Shoes to Break Them in?

You can microwave shoes to stretch them out (or shrink them down, depending on what you want). If you’re not a sneakerhead, however, don’t bother. It’s not very effective and it might ruin your shoes.

You can break in the upper part of a shoe by putting it in the microwave. To do this, remove any extra laces so they don’t melt and put your shoe in the microwave on its side with the toe facing out. Make sure that there is plenty of extra room because the shoe will expand during microwaving.

How Long Should You Microwave Shoes For?

The length of time you need to leave it in depends on how thick the material is and how warm you want the upper to be. A thicker shoe might require longer or more than one session.

Depending on the strength or heat level of your microwave, it’s most common for any microwaving of shoes to last 15-30 seconds at a time.

To do this safely and correctly, first ensure that your shoes don’t have any metal elements to them. As long as they don’t, you can microwave them for about 15-20 seconds.

Then, put on the socks and warm shoes, walking around in them as they mold to your foot contour. The heat will soften them as they stretch to fit your feet.

Is It Safe to Put Shoes in the Microwave?

It is perfectly safe to microwave a pair of shoes, as long as you are absolutely sure there is no metal on the shoe. This includes eyelets, buckles, loops, tips, etc. Microwaving anything with metal, shoes included, is unsafe.

Metal-free shoes can be microwaved safely, but it’s important to be sure not to leave them in the microwave for too long. Overheating can cause logos and plastic parts to melt.

For maximum safety and best results microwave your shoes for 15-20 seconds. You can always put them back in for a few seconds if you need to.

Why Do Skaters Microwave Their Shoes?

Skaters sometimes microwave their new shoes in order to break them in faster.

New skate shoes often have a break-in period, and the process can sometimes lead to blisters on the wearer and other uncomfortable events. Because of this, some opt to microwave their new shoes in an effect to avoid this problem.

However, please be warned this SHOULD NOT be attempted! The microwave can melt the plastics on the shoes and even light the laces on fire! Also note that metal never goes in a microwave, and your shoes might have metal on them!

Can I Microwave Vans?

Many people will actually use their microwaves to work on breaking in their Vans. This brand of sneakers can be stiff when new, which requires you to wear them and stretch them out over time.

 

Vans Men's Atwood Trainers, Canvas Pewter White, 10

 

How to Microwave Vans

As long as your Vans don’t have any metal on them, they should be safe to microwave for a short amount. Put them in the microwave for no more than about 30 seconds, being careful that the rubber or glue doesn’t melt. The warmth will soften and stretch the fabric, which will help you to break them in when you wear them directly after.

What If I Microwave My Wet Shoes?

Putting your wet shoes in the microwave isn’t a good idea. Many shoes are made from materials that do not microwave safe. Rubber and leather are two such materials.

Rubber doesn’t respond well when exposed to a lot of heat and you may melt parts of your shoe. Heat can melt glue that could be holding your shoes together.

Some shoes have metal on them, which is definitely not compatible with a microwave. You could cause your shoes to catch on fire, or at the very least create a lot of smoke inside the microwave.


In summary, the microwave is as good a place as any to help these shoes break in and stretch. Put your shoes in a dishcloth or pillowcase, heat them up and let them sit. You may have to do this process a couple of times before they fit like you want them to.

Keep in mind, you do not want to overheat the shoes!!! This can cause the shoe material to melt and the smell of the melting rubber will never go away even after they cool down.

You may also be interested in… Do Muck Boots Break In? and Do You Need Snow Boots For Skiing? (10 Reasons Why You Need Snow Boots)