Can You Break In Faux Leather Shoes? 5 Pros & Cons Plus Tips

Can You Break in Faux Leather Shoes

Whether it be for comfort, style or to avoid the uncomfortable process of breaking in your new pair of shoes, you might wonder if you can break in faux leather shoes. In this article, we will explore whether you can break into your faux leather shoes as well as some tips on the best ways or practices for safely breaking into faux leather shoes.

So can you break in faux leather shoes? You can break in faux leather shoes by applying some amount of heat from a blow dryer or using shoe stretchers like shoe or boot trees. While breaking into faux leather shoes will have a lot of benefits such as make the shoes more pliable, easy to wear, and more comfortable, there is a downside of possible wear and tear when you break in faux leather.

To learn more about the pros and cons of breaking in faux leather shoes and the best ways to do it without the risk of damaging your faux leather items, keep reading this article.

The Pros Of Breaking In Faux Leather Shoes

1. Breaking In Faux Leather Shoes Helps To Make Them More Comfortable

I do not mean to sound captain obvious here but one of the very first benefits to breaking in your faux leather shoes is so that they are a lot more comfortable.

You might find that your faux leather shoes are slightly snug at first, but breaking them in may help to make the shoe more comfortable.

This is mostly because breaking in your faux leather shoes means that the shape of your shoe will fit you better.

You might find this to be true with any type of new, stiff footwear, but it is one of the reasons many people prefer breaking in their own shoes so they are more comfortable from day one instead of having them feel tight and uncomfortable.

For those who need some time before deciding if a particular pair may or may not work for them, then break-in periods can play an important part in helping the wearer decide whether or not they want to keep a certain pair after all.

2. Breaking In Faux Leather Shoes Makes It Pliable And To Wear With Ease

I have had my fair share of not being able to bend and wear a pair of tight shoes after being away from the gym for such a long time.

One part is actually wearing the shoes with the other part being continuing to wear the shoes comfortably.

So breaking in faux leather shoes will make the former, which is the process of wearing the shoes easier. This is because breaking in faux leather shoes makes the faux leather shoes more pliable and easier to wear.

This is especially true for people who have a high arch or wider feet, as they are typically able to adjust their footwear more easily with just some time spent breaking them in.

I would say that this option is probably also one of the most popular reasons why people break in faux leather shoes – because you’d simply want to be able to wear your favorite faux leather shoes with ease.

3. Breaking In Faux Leather Gives It A Natural Appearance

You can also get a natural look by breaking in your faux leather shoes. This is because the oils from your skin seep into the material and make it more supple, giving it an authentic ‘worn-in’ appearance that resembles real leather.

But of course, with this more natural look comes a lack of shine in the material.

Your feet may sweat while wearing these types of shoes during the summertime months; however, they’ll eventually absorb any excess moisture so there should be minimal signs of perspiration after some usage.

What’s great about breaking in faux leather footwear is that if done correctly (i.e. overtime), you can achieve a nice worn-in look with little effort.

So if you’re someone who appreciates that sort of thing – or just want to have your new faux leather shoes maintain their original appearance for as long as possible then it’s best to avoid breaking them in too much.

4. Breaking In Faux Leather Shoes Helps To Personalize The Shoes

Another rather common benefit to breaking in faux leather and other types of shoes for that matter is some people simply dislike the look and feel of new shoes.

So the process of quickly wearing down a new pair of shoes will also provide them with an opportunity to create unique creases or cracks that suit their individual style and tastes while making sure their shoes fit nicely – and are worn out evenly on all parts of the footwear.

Although this is a rather not so common benefit, I have had a lot of close friends tell me the amount of joy this brings to them. I know this will definitely resonate with a lot of you readers.

The Cons Of Breaking In Faux Leather Shoes

Wear And Tear May Occur When Breaking In Faux Leather Shoes

The main downside to breaking into faux leather shoes is wear and tear. This will particularly happen if you break in faux leather shoes too quickly.

This is actually not a common problem but can happen with very low-quality faux leather shoe material when subjected to extended breaking in time.

However, breaking in faux leather shoes that are made from real animal skin instead of synthetic materials does not carry the risk for breakage, wear, and tear. This is because shoes made from real leather are elastic and very pliable.

The process of breaking in faux leather might also lead to the sole of the shoe separation on certain styles of shoes due to excessive stress.

Another way breaking into faux leather shoes may be problematic is that some methods of breaking into your faux leather shoes will require using heat and moisture.

When faux leather shoes are subjected to these elements for too long, it could severely damage the shoe.

They can begin to fade and warp out from shape. So while I would say these are pros in regards to breaking in these types of shoes, there is a very important con to also look at.

How To Break In Faux Leather Shoes

If you’ve made the decision to break in a faux leather shoe, there are many ways that this can be done. I will now talk about some of the methods for breaking into your faux leather shoes and what to watch out for when doing so.

It is important to note that if you’re wearing these types of shoes on an everyday basis, then this will not be too much of a problem.

However, if you only wear them occasionally and need them broken in quickly, I would recommend one of the following solutions below.

1. The Blow Dryer Method

The blow dryer method is the easiest and most foolproof way to break in your faux leather shoes. This allows you to apply a light amount of heat to your faux leather shoes to help break them in.

This will work because most faux leather materials are made of some type of plastic and heating it slightly will soften it making breaking in a lot easier.

You can use the blow dryer to target specific parts of the faux leather shoes that are the tightest. Here’s how you go about it.

Things Needed:

  • Blow Dryer
  • Rag or Towel


Step 1

  • First, put on your faux leather shoes. Now stand on a towel with any parts of it that might be sticking out, carefully tucked inside or outside. Be very careful not to damage these areas when tucking them back into the shoe!

Step 2

  • Plug your blow dryer and set it to the medium or highest setting.

Step 3

  • Next, take your blow hairdryer and start by blowing hot air onto the exterior sides of the shoe than work your way around until you’re able to gently force it through all creases in order for them to soften up.
  • Apply the blow dryer for about 15 minutes evenly on the surface of the faux leather shoes. You can also target specific areas of the shoes that feel too tight like the parts where the toes rest.

“If your feet begin to get too hot you would want to stop immediately briefly and try walking around to seen how much breaking in you have go on your shoes”.

  • You will want to hold the blow dryer about 6 inches away from the faux leather shoe and make sure not to hold the heat over one particular spot for too long.
  • This will make breaking into this type of material much easier since it typically dries stiff due to being man-made.

2. Using Shoe Tree To Break In Faux Leather Shoes

Using a shoe tree is one of the passive ways to nicely break into your faux leather shoes or boots. But first, what is a shoe tree?

A shoe tree is a device that is used to help maintain the shape of a shoe or can also be used for widening the shoe so that it fits perfectly.

Shoe trees are often made from wood and will have an elastic band around them so they fit snuggly into your shoes.

Using the shoe tree is convenient if you have a bit of time on your hands and have a shoe tree sitting on your shoe rack.

The goal in using a shoe tree is to stretch out the upper part of your faux leather shoes as well as providing extra support which helps prevent creases inside the shoes. The way you go about this is as follows.

Things Needed:

  • Shoe Tree
  • Leather Conditioner


Step 1

  • Adjust the shoe tree to the size of the shoe. Now readjust the size of the shoe or boot tree to half a size bigger than the shoe you intend to break in.

Step 2

  • Losen or untie the faux leather shoelaces to give room for the shoe or boot tree to expand the shoe. If applicable, lift up the tongue of the shoe as well.

Step 3

  • Slide the shoe tree or boot tree into your faux leather shoes and lock it in.

Step 4

  • Now reposition the shoe or boot tongue and retie the laces tightly.
  • I would suggest leaving it overnight. This should provide enough time for at least some stretching to take place without damaging any parts of the material too much.
  • You should have a bit of stretch on your faux leather shoes for you to feel comfortable when you wear them.
  • If you want to break into the shoes a lot more, repeat steps 2-4 each time you’re not wearing your shoes. Meaning you will leave the shoe tree in the faux leather shoes whenever the shoes are not in use.

Step 5

  • Condition your faux leather shoes.
  • The pros are that using a shoe tree will gradually stretch out your leather over time without any additional effort from yourself. The con is that they do require some patience before seeing results.

3. The Thick Socks Method

You can simply use thick socks to help stretch out your faux leather shoes so that you are able to break into your shoes comfortably.

The pros are that this is a quick and easy way to break in your shoes so you can wear them without discomfort. The con is that it does not stretch the leather out as well as some other methods which mean after breaking in the faux leather shoes, they will often feel tight again with time.

Things Needed:

  • Thick Or Heavy Socks
  • Leather Conditioner Or Coconut Oil
  • Microfiber Cloth Or Lint-Free Towel


Step 1

  • Load a microfiber cloth with leather conditioner and begin to rub it all over the surface of the faux leather shoes.
  • Make sure to maintain a circular motion when you apply the leather contioner on the shoes.
  • If you do not have leather conditioner you can also use coconut oil.
  • What doing this is going to do is to make the faux leather soft so that breaking in using the thick socks is easier.

Step 2

  • Put on a pair of thick socks. The pro here is that using thick socks provides you with a simple way to gradually and safely stretch your faux leather shoes.

Step 3

  • Now put on your faux leather shoes on both feet and securely fasten the laces or straps tight and snug.

Step 4

  • Walk around for 20-30 minutes then repeat steps every day while slowly loosening shoelace tension over days or weeks.
  • Following this method will help you to break in faux leather shoes. It is important to mention that this method may not work if the faux leather material used is too thick.
  • Also, if your feet begin to hurt so much that you cannot bear the pain, take the shoes off immediately and consider using other methods highlighted in this article.


Hi! I’m Kwabena, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leathercraft enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day about leather craft, leather cleaning & care, and everything in-between!

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