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What is your fav break-in technique? Want to be sure the “folds” at the ankle don’t wind up irritating my ankle bones! New Petries. TIA.

Lots of leather oil and I wear them around the house while I’m cleaning or doing something else that involves running up and down the stairs. Also, standing on the edge of a step and doing heel drops and heel raises. Good luck!

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Petries are the toughest to break in…I gave mine to one of the kids a few years ago to break in for me LOL. I still was not happy with them after 6 months so I have them to the kid who toughed it out and wore them for years.
That being said I had a trainer who would stick a hose in there in the m morning and soak them while on her feet. She wore them all day like that

Silicone sleeves are your best friend. The ones on Amazon are just like the equestrian version, but cheaper. https://www.amazon.com/Silipos-10845-Tubing-Ankle-Sleeve/dp/B00JFTW43I/ref=sr_1_44?crid=34OFOGJG5ACSU&keywords=silicone+sleeve+tube&qid=1693859794&sprefix=Silicone+sleeve%2Caps%2C558&sr=8-44

Thanks all. These were custom measured so the only issue is how they will fold at the ankle when they drop, and my hammer toe and twice broken little toe (same foot……) I’ll get a shoe stretcher with the little movable bumps for that.
I have heard about the water treatment.
I’ll try wetting the inside of the ankle area and currently they are in wooden shaped trees

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Try spraying alcohol instead of water.

Walking up flights of stairs. Ideally only up them.

Years ago I took my first new custom boots (Dehners) out on a trail tide with my daughter. Her horse tossed her several miles from the barn and left. I hopped off my horse and said “ hop on my horse and see if you can catch him.” There I was, in the middle of the woods and night was coming, so I started walking. Three miles later I caught up with them at the barn.

After my heel blisters healed, I found that the boots were nicely broken in by the forced march.


New Petries have cushioned ankles and are pretty soft compared to the Petries of old. They shouldn’t hurt at all and should break in within a day or two. If they really hurt- it could be that a measurement is off. Amazon’s gel ankle sleeves can help.


Any tips on how to not rub the back of my knee raw waiting for the boots to drop? I’ve only ridden in them once so far and four days later I’m still a bit raw. :flushed: Although it sure is incentive to stretch down through my leg!

Either heel lifts tucked under the footbed to lift you up a smidge or stuff some mole foam or even a tack cleaning sponge under where it hurts.


Thanks! I was going to stuff some socks behind my knee and I may look for lifts too

If you like the shafts of your boots to be as stiff as stovepipes this will not be for you. But otherwise use your fingers to work the back of knee top of the boot shaft by massaging the leather and rolling it back and forth horizontally. It may take a half hour and your fingers may get crampy but the leather will soften up.


I thought the sock trick was helping but I don’t think I got it in exactly the right spot and now I have an angry blister. I will be using the vet wrap to secure it in place, and will try rolling the leather too!

I use these sleeves as well - can place the gel portion anywhere it needs to be!


I’ve had Petries as my last 5 pairs over the years. Have never really needed a break-in process as they aren’t super stiff, but are snug and fit like a glove. If needed, you can dampen the ankle and back of knee area with a light spray of 50/50 water & alcohol. Bend them a bit with your hands and then massage in a creme leather conditioner with warm fingers. Put the boots on and ride in them. They should be comfortable in < a week and certainly not create blisters. Otherwise they may not fit you correctly in the first place.