How to Break in New Roller Skates: The Ultimate Guide

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Want comfortable skates quickly? Don’t worry! Breaking in new skates doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming; with the right tips and tricks, anyone can break in their skates easily.

To Break in New Roller Skates, follow these Methods:

  1. Heat Molding.
  2. Lacing Tricks.
  3. Skate technique.
  4. Pressure technique.
  5. Leather Conditioner.
  6. Switch Up Your Socks.
  7. Shoe Cobbler.
  8. Avoid Rookie Mistakes.
  9. Take Your Time.
How to Break in New Roller Skates

How to Break in New Roller Skates

Breaking in your roller skates can be done in numerous ways.

1. Heat Molding:

The heating technique is the perfect way to break in your new roller skates, especially if they are bakeable. To keep things safe, we turn to a hair dryer as opposed to a grill or oven. However, we don’t want to set it on the highest setting as this may cause damage. Applying the heat evenly will ensure that the leather won’t crack and you won’t burn yourself either!

Once your skates are warm and pliable, try them on (don’t forget to wear socks!) and skate for three to five minutes. When your skates cool off, their shape should be molded perfectly to the shape of your feet. No more uncomfortable shoes! So give it a try and enjoy those cozy new roller skates!

2. Lacing Tricks:

The lacing technique is an essential step in breaking in new roller skates. Rather than tying your laces as tight as possible, the key to breaking in skates is to lace them loosely on the last two holes and freely on the top reo holes.

This way, you can break in your skates without sacrificing ankle support. Tighten the laces on your skates after using them for a while, and leave them in the last hole. You’ll be able to enjoy a more comfortable ride with minimal restriction or discomfort on your feet!

3. Skate technique:

Skate technique is key when breaking in new roller skates. It can be both helpful and painful! By performing maneuvers that involve bending the knees, we help our ankles adjust to the skates and force them to expand in the right places. This includes jumps and tricky footwork, which will help to break your new shoes in quickly.

But remember: it’s not just about speed! Make sure that you take your time, as it’s important to do the movements slowly at first so that you can get used to them without hurting yourself.

4. Pressure technique:

Breaking in new roller skates with the pressure technique is one of the quickest ways to go about it. It involves massaging the toe cap and back of the boots with your thumbs, adding force and pressure to soften them up.

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You can also hit the sides of your skates with your elbows a few times if you want a more aggressive way to break them in. This technique will end up giving you a nice and comfortable fit that you’ll be able to enjoy for many skating sessions.

5. Leather Conditioner:

The conditioner is definitely the key to breaking in your new roller skates. If you’ve got them made of genuine leather, then the leather conditioner is your means to soften that boot and make it more pliable and comfortable.

You’ll want to apply this several times over a couple of days, and by the end of that time, you won’t have to worry about having an uncomfortable fit anymore! The leather conditioner even helps create a better grip on the skate, so you’re still surefooted even when skating around.

6. Switch Up Your Socks:

If you’re breaking in new roller skates, it’s important to switch up your socks. Not only will this help to ensure a comfortable ride, but it can also reduce any pain associated with breaking in skates.

Your choice of the sock is largely a matter of personal preference, but when it comes to new skates, opting for a thicker and/or taller sock may be the way to go.

Additionally, there are specially designed socks that are made with targeted pain relief in mind – so, if you find yourself experiencing blistering while skating try out the neoprene skate socks.

And finally, those with sensitive ankles should consider getting thicker ankle guards. These will give you more protection and help protect your ankles as you break in your new roller skates.

7. Shoe Cobbler:

If your new roller skates are stiff and painful, consider visiting a shoe cobbler or skate pro shop for help. Professional cobblers use machines to stretch and punch out the leather where it rubs on your feet.

This process involves stretching the leather in certain areas – at the sides or by the toes – without cutting any of it. It’s an effective way to break in new roller skates and ensure they fit comfortably when you go skating.

8. Avoid Rookie Mistakes:

New roller skaters are bound to make some mistakes at first, but there are ways to avoid rookie mistakes. The most common of these is tensing your feet while skating, which causes you to lose control. Focus instead on relaxing your feet and toes and you should be able to self-correct.

It is important to secure the laces of both quads and inlines tightly, but not too tight so that it numbs your feet. For inline skaters, don’t over-tighten the ladder on your skates. You should be able to bend your knees without too much restriction.

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By following these tips, rookie skaters can avoid making common mistakes when breaking in new roller skates and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience out on the rink!

9. Take Your Time:

When it comes to breaking in a new pair of roller skates, you want to take your time. Don’t rush through the process – it will likely take about 12 hours and roughly a month for most people.

Begin with shorter skate trips and gradually increase the duration. If you plan to go on a long skating session, be prepared for blisters and any discomfort that could arise from rubbing.

That’s because virgin feet and ankles are soft and unused to the rigors of skating – so it’s important that you give them time to adjust.

Why do I have to break in my new roller skates?

Roller skates are designed to be comfortable and responsive, but sometimes new skate boots can be stiff and feel a bit off. By breaking in your skates, you’re allowing the material to soften and adjust to the shape of your feet more quickly and painlessly.

Breaking in really helps with comfort, performance, control, and safety when it comes to roller skating. Without breaking them in, your feet won’t be able to move as freely or get as much cushioning, shock absorption, and support – which are all important things when it comes to being able to roller skate. Also without breaking them in properly, they could cause discomfort or even blister on your feet.

So rather than wear-until-it-bends like most people used to do many years ago (which is quite painful), the break-in methods that exist today make it easier for anyone who wants to roller skate. That’s why it’s important for you to break in your new roller skates!

How to break in roller derby skates

Breaking in new roller derby skates can be an important step to ensuring your comfort and performance in the rink. Fortunately, the same methods for breaking in regular roller skates can also be applied to Derby skates.

Firstly, it is essential that you consider the type of socks you use – thin socks are preferable to wearing thick socks because they provide more comfort and reduce pain and blistering.

Secondly, it may be helpful to keep hold of your last pair of skates while breaking in your new ones as they provide a form of practice and a means to stay physically active while wearing them in.

Lastly, if you cannot bear the wait to lace up your brand new pair then padding where it hurts is also an option that could help ease discomfort. Following these steps will help ensure your Derby experience is enjoyable!

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How long does it take to break new roller skates?

The time it takes to break in new roller skates can vary from person to person and shoe to shoe. However, with consistent effort and practice – usually over 8 hours a day – it is possible to break them in within a month.

This is an important part of the process for any roller skater, as the skate needs to be comfortable if you are going to be rolling around for hours on end! With enough patience and dedication, even the most stubborn of shoes can be broken in relatively quickly.

How do you break in new skates fast?

If you’re looking to break in your new skates quickly, there are a few methods you can try. The heating technique is one of the quickest and most effective ways, but it’s only applicable to roller skates that are specifically made to withstand heat. You’ll need to check with the skate shop if your new skates are “bakeable” or not.

An alternative is to ask the skate shop to punch out your skates first. This will reduce the discomfort around your ankles and make it quicker to break in the skates.


Do I need to break in new roller skates?

If you want to wear your new roller skates regularly, it is wise to “break them in” the same way you would a nice pair of boots.

Is it normal for new skates to hurt?

When you use your Brand new skates for the first time, some discomfort is natural. You may find that you get a few blisters or aches here and there. This can only happen in the initial wearing of the skates; it’s just part of breaking them in.

How do you soften new roller skate boots?

To make your skates more comfortable, buy a leather conditioner and use it on the rigid areas of the boot. With a soft cloth, spread the conditioner over those particular areas and then flex the leather back and forth to make it less stiff.


Breaking in your new roller skates is an essential part of the skating experience. With a little patience, the right supplies, and some trial and error, you’ll have skates that fit your feet perfectly and feel comfortable when you hit the rink.

As long as you stick with it, you’ll be feeling confident and ready to skate around in no time. So grab your skates and get ready for hours of fun on wheels!

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Joseph E. Bogle

This is Joseph E. Bogle, the founder and lead writer of, an enthusiast of skating for over a decade. I'm an aggressive skater and certified skating coach, dedicated to sharing his knowledge and passion for skating with others through his blog. With my unique combination of personal experience and professional expertise, is a valuable resource for skaters of all levels, from beginners to advanced athletes.