There's no such thing as 'breaking in' shoes--your feet are just adjusting to the pain!I’m sure we can all admit to having one pair of shoes that hurt like heck when we first tried them on but we bought them anyways, planning to give ourselves time to ‘break them in.”

Here’s what you think happens during the ‘breaking in’ process: most of us assume that, with a few wearings, the shoes stretch out a bit, making them less likely to pinch, rub, or cause or feet to cramp.

Here’s what your friendly podiatrist knows: the shoes aren’t the ones doing the accommodating! Unless your shoes are made of super stretchy material, what really happens when you break-in your shoes is that your feet get used to having bunched up toes or an irritated heel and the experience becomes less joltingly unpleasant.

So many people have become used to the idea of molding your foot to fit a shoe that so-called Cinderella surgeries (where people get operations so they can wear fancy, ill-fitted stilettos) have become widely popular.

Guys, this is all really bad news. Your feet should feel good in your shoes—the first time and every time you wear them. If they don’t, it’s a sign that you need to move to another shoe rack, not try harder to make it work.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.