How to Break in Vans? – 5 Simple Methods

Are your vans extremely tight on your feet even if you have purchased the right size? In this article, we will discuss how to break into vans in five simple methods.

Usually, when new pair of vans are bought, they are stiff, so to make them fit into your size, they need a break-in. Luckily, many effective methods can break them in quickly and easily.

Numerous sizes are available in vans, so the size of everyone is available; sometimes, you get a pair of shoes that are too tight. So you will be looking for ways to make them properly fit.

how to break in vans

How to Break in Vans?

  1. You can use a hairdryer to heat the areas that need stretching. For this purpose, hold it for 20 – 30 seconds on medium heat settings at several inches distance.
  2. To break them in using a microwave, put them in it for 30 seconds with the highest temperature settings.
  3. Holding them in steam for 3 – 5 minutes also helps loosen their fibers.
  4. Put bags of water in the interior of the shoes and keep them in the freezer. This helps in stretching the vans.
  5. Hold them in your hands and stretch them like U shape. Repeating this step a few times will help in breaking them.

How Much Time is Required for Vans Shoes Break In?

The tough vulcanized rubber has made the soles of vans shoes so durable that they are resistant to wear and tear in the skate park. Unluckily, a break-in period will also be required to make them fit according to your size.

Your vans may need 2 – 4 weeks of regular use to stretch them out and break into them.

It is because the flat rubber soles of this footwear need almost a month to get your size, especially if your feet are used to wearing cushioned sneakers with arch support.

While selecting your vans, you must carefully choose the right size. If you purchase the wrong size, efforts to break them into your size will be useless. Because they will be creating too much discomfort while walking or running.

5 Simple Methods to Break In Vans

It will take a month for your shoes to become comfortable. However, many ways can make this process quick. I have given five methods in this article to break in vans that I use.

1. Use a Hairdryer to Break In Shoes

Using a hairdryer to break in vans is one of the most straightforward and fastest methods. In this technique, heat is applied for 20 – 30 seconds at medium temperature.

The steps of this method are given below.

  • Grab any thick socks and wear them. Next, put on your footwear that needs breaking in. I wear thick socks because they help protect the vans from direct heat and help in loosening them.
  • Now, put your hairdryer’s setting on medium, only for 20 – 30 seconds.
  • Start applying the heat on all the parts of the shoes that you want to stretch. Make sure you hold the dryer at a distance of several inches to protect the footwear from burning.
  • During the heat-applying process, bend your toes and back heels to loosen the fabric inside the shoe.
  • After bending your feet properly, take them out from the shoes.
  • Wear off the socks and put on the shoes to check that they now fit your size.
  • If you feel they need further stretching, you can repeat this process 2 – 3 times.

2. Use a Microwave to Break In Vans

Putting your vans shoes in the microwave for stretching is also one of the simplest and fastest techniques. The steps to stretch them are given below.

  • First, look at the oven carefully; if any metal remains are inside, take them out.
  • Keep the shoes inside the microwave and turn it on for 30 seconds in the highest temperature settings. However, after 30 seconds, quickly take them out; otherwise, they will completely warp due to melting with overheating.
  • Hold them with oven mitts or any pot holder to protect your hands from burning because the vans will be extremely hot at this time.
  • Let them cool for ten seconds when you take them out from the oven. However, don’t let them be too cool; wear them in your feet when they are slightly warm.
  • Walk around in your footwear for a few minutes and keep bending your toes and heels. Make sure all parts of your feet are spreading out.
  • After cooling, take them off and place them in the oven for 20 seconds.
  • Once you have given additional 20 minutes to them, take them out and check thoroughly; they will be widened up now.

3. Use Steam to Break In Vans

This technique will apply steam to your shoes for 3 – 5 minutes. You must use this method carefully to protect your skin from burning. Use a pair of gloves during this process for hand protection.

  • Pour water into a pan, cover it with a lid and keep it on flame.
  • When the water starts boiling, remove the lid and keep a stand over the pan to hold your shoes above the boiling water for 3 – 5 minutes.
  • The fibers of the shoes will expand due to steam, and they will easily stretch with your feet. The steam will loosen the fabric of your footwear.
  • When the steam is applied for 3 – 5 minutes, wear them on your feet. Now, bend the areas of the shoes which were too tight or rigid until you feel comfortable.
  • Repeat this method 2 – 3 times if they are not broken in.

4. Use Freezer to Break In Vans

This method is also effective for the vans breaking in. This is one of the most effective ways to stretch your shoes because you will not use heat like other methods.

  • Grab two Ziploc bags, pour water into them, and seal them properly. To protect water from leaking out, you can use two bags to cover them.
  • Now, keep these bags in the interior of the vans. Carefully arrange them in such a way that the places that are too tight hold them properly.
  • In this condition, take them and place them in the freezer.
  • When the water gets to freeze, it will expand; thus, the expansion will cause the area to stretch up, so freezing is important for breaking up the shoes.
  • You can keep your van for a whole day to freeze them completely. After taking them out from the freezer, leave them for 20 – 30 minutes. When the ice melts away, remove the bags from the footwear.
  • Clean your shoes with a cloth and let them come to the normal temperature so you can wear them.
  • You will see the difference that they will be stretched now. Put them on and check them.
  • If you feel any restlessness, repeat the process.

5. Bending Vans to Break In Vans

The vans footwear has an insole made of rubber and a waffle outsole. When you bend them, the insole and outsole stretch more quickly. So, they help in the stretching of the canvas also.

  • Hold your vans shoes so that its toes part is in your one hand and the heels region is in the other.
  • Now bend the footwear gently to the inner direction so that a U shape is made.
  • Through bending, the toe parts and sides will stretch quickly.
  • The other method of stretching is to hold them in the same way in both hands and stretch them horizontally.
  • Repeat both these stretching processes until the shoes have become comfortable. You will notice that the size is fine in a few days now.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Procedure to Break Into Vans Old Skool?

Take one pair of thick socks. You can use 2 – 3 pairs to get a more comfortable fit. Put them on and wear the vans footwear too. Tie them with laces but make sure they are not too tight.

Walk around them and keep bending your toes and heels back and forth to stretch them thoroughly.

Without Wearing Vans, How To Break Them?

If you want to stretch your vans without wearing them, stuff them with clothes overnight or use a shoe stretcher. Stretching is the most effective way to break in the shoes.

Shoe stretchers are tools that hold footwear overnight to break in vans without wearing them.

What is the Quickest Way to Break in Vans?

Wear any thick pair of socks and put on your vans shoes. Now walk around them and keep bending your toes and heels to stretch them. Thus, they will break in easily.

How Much Time is Required to Break Into Vans?

If you use your vans regularly, almost six weeks are required to break in your shoes on average. Only four weeks are enough to stretch if you wear them daily.

Why Are Vans so Tight?

Many vans footwear has no comfortable cushioning insoles and no support. There is no arch support in these shoes.

Some latest versions have come with cushioning, but they don’t have any arch support.

Final Thoughts

Sometimes when you buy a pair of vans according to your exact size, you still feel too tight after wearing them. These shoes take time to break in; if you use them regularly, a  month will be required to fit your feet. However, you can speed up the process with some useful tips.

This article gives many effective ways to break them quickly and easily. You can stretch them using any method. But, if you use any heating method, such as a microwave or hairdryer, use them carefully because they can damage them completely.

Daniel Robert is a shoe lover who enjoys writing about all kinds of footwear, including sneakers, Crocs, Vans, and more. He shares his vast knowledge on, a website dedicated to helping people find the perfect pair of shoes. With years of experience and a passion for all things shoe-related, Daniel's easy-to-understand advice has helped countless people make confident and stylish choices.

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