• Hi, I'm the owner and main administrator of Styleforum. If you find the forum useful and fun, please help support it by buying through the posted links on the forum. Our main, very popular sales thread, where the latest and best sales are listed, are posted HERE

    Purchases made through some of our links earns a commission for the forum and allows us to do the work of maintaining and improving it. Finally, thanks for being a part of this community. We realize that there are many choices today on the internet, and we have all of you to thank for making Styleforum the foremost destination for discussions of menswear.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

    Styleforum is supported in part by commission earning affiliate links sitewide. Please support us by using them. You may learn more here.

Dress Lace-up Boots. Breaking it in or not?


Senior Member
Jan 6, 2016
Reaction score
Having some conundrum with fitting dress boots. I've never had a truly well-fitting pair of boots except for the Lof & Tung Bancroft on their H last. The main problem I've had with fitting boots is this supposed 'breaking-in' period that some seem to suggest.

Right now I'm trying out some Bodileys balmoral boots, one at 6.5 and another at 6. The 6.5 feels big, not really snug at the front, the heel has some slippage which is causing the metatarsal to slip slightly. The 6 feels too small, a bit too snug at the front (I wouldn't call it tight but definitely less room than the ideal fit), and more importantly the heel presses against the feet quite a bit.

Now I know the basics of fitting - widest against widest, snug but not tight, the width can stretch a tiny bit but not the length, wear suitable socks etc. which have all worked well for me when fitting shoes, but for some reason boots, especially lace-ups have been troubling.

When fitting dress boots, is the 'breaking-in' period a myth or is this something that one should actually consider? Some guides have suggested that you should leave some heel slippage at the back, some say there should be none, and if there is indeed a period of slight discomfort that's inevitable with boots, what actually changes when they become more comfortable?


Active Member
Jan 7, 2019
Reaction score
My advice to you, having lost a LOT of $$$ with shoes that did not fit and ended up being donated,

If it fits too tight in the beginning, it will NEVER fit right later.

I purchased a Lof & Tung Chardin jodhpur last year on their T last in a size 8, was quite snug on the ball of the foot. I kept it thinking it will eventually stretch out and will fit ok, 1 month later wearing it every other day, i got a lot of blister and pain in my toes, and the boot never fit right.... beautiful boot it was with excellent quality though.... would have fit perfect in 8.5 but i did not want to go through the hassle of exchanging it, i wish I did. Some lucky fellow is probably wearing them now in good health I hope.

Also had the exact same experience with a pair of Thursday boot captains...but those were of much inferior quality compared to Lof & Tung

If its a bit loose, you can fix that easy with thicker socks and/or an insole. I personally hate insoles due to the fact they raise your foot up within the shoe, i prefer tongue pads which any competent cobbler can fabricate for your boot.

Featured Sponsor

What is the most important handwork to have on a shirt?

  • Hand attached collar

    Votes: 16 30.2%
  • Handsewn button holes

    Votes: 17 32.1%
  • Hand finish on yolk and shoulders

    Votes: 20 37.7%

Forum statistics

Latest member