I recently decided to switch to cleats on my technical bike, and I have bought leather mtb shoes.

Based on previous experience with leather trekking shoes, I know that the first 3-4 days (about 40-50 hours) wearing the shoes will feel uncomfortable, until the leather adjusts to the shape of the foot.

So far I have used the shoes for a couple of hours (non-stop) with no complaints, but I would like to have them broken in before a long trip I am going to start in a couple of weeks.

Will wearing the shoes during my daily commute to work (40-50 minutes each way) do the trick, or do I need to wear them non-stop for longer time?

  • 2
    I think you would be good.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 18:46
  • 1
    Well, I'd probably wear them for a bit regardless before using them for a long trip. They may or may not become more accommodating, but you'll know how they'll feel. Long trips aren't really the time to try things like new shoes. Of course, longer rides give you a better feel for how they work on longer trips, but if nothing else, using them daily should get you a better feel for them.
    – Batman
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 23:12

1 Answer 1


Breaking in shoes is a personal thing. Some people can wear anything straight away, some people take ages. I had a set of boots that took over a year to become comfortable but they lasted for a decade.

You don't need to be riding to break them in. If you can, wear these shoes at work or while sitting down, will help the shoe conform to the foot. This becomes harder if the cleats are exposed, but MTB shoes are often recessed for increased walkability.

Leather is an interesting choice - if you treat it with beeswax or dubbin then it will become more soft and pliant. Regular routine application of nugget helps preserve them and maintain water resistance.

  • 1
    You could remove the cleats and walk around in exposed cleats cycling shoes. It's just unadvisable since they don't have decent traction cause they were designed for walking.
    – Batman
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 23:10
  • @Batman yeah that would work - could wear overshoes (rain covers) for traction. At work our bikes are on the First floor and theres a tiled staircase down to ground. I've almost lost it walking down them in cleats carrying bike, so now I walk down in socks and put shoes on at the door.
    – Criggie
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 1:37
  • 2
    I've got some cleat covers for my SPDs - despite the cleats being recessed there are times when I want to have a bit more grip on textured floors or avoid the risk of damaging the floor. Cheap on ebay.
    – Chris H
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 5:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.