So you’ve purchased your first pair of cork sandals? Now what? We’re breaking down breaking in your soon-to-be favorite new footwear. While every individual's experience may vary, understanding the general timeline and what to expect can help make the transition smoother. 

But First… Why Cork?

Known for its sustainable sourcing and water resistant properties, cork offers excellent support and cushioning. It absorbs shock while walking and can even improve posture and correct misalignment. Additionally, cork is

Maria Mule in Cork Basketweave

hydrophobic (repels water!) and between this perk and the breathable wool upper of our clogs or the basket weave of our Maria Mule and Liesl Skimmer, you can be rest assured you’ll avoid moisture buildup and unwanted bacteria. 

However, shoes with a cork sole do require a break-in period. This is because the cork footbed conforms and molds to your feet’s contours, which allows them to provide optimal support and comfort.

The break-in process

Ranging from a few days to a couple of weeks, breaking in cork depends on factors such as frequency of wear and your feet's individual characteristics.

During the initial wear, you may notice that the footbed feels firm and rigid.

This is perfectly normal, cork needs time to adjust and soften. This may feel different than your previous footwear, but not to worry, as you continue wearing the sandals the cork will gradually adapt to your feet creating a custom fit. 

In the beginning, some discomfort or pressure points are to be expected, especially where the footbed aligns with your arch and natural curves. This is due to the cork molding itself to your specific foot shape. It's essential to allow your feet time to adjust. 


Ways to speed up the break-in process:

  1. Gradually increase the duration - Start with wearing your sandals for shorter periods, allowing your feet to acclimate to the sandals. As you build tolerance, you can gradually extend the duration until you can comfortably wear them for a full day.

  2. Wear socks - It may sound or even look silly, but this creates a barrier between your feet and the cork reducing friction and providing additional cushion. Overtime, as the sandals break in, you can transition to wearing them without socks. 

  3. Apply Heat -  Use a hair dryer to apply medium heat to the leather upper or the cork footbed. Wear socks and slip your feet in, then wear until they cool. This process helps soften the material in order to mold it to your feet faster. Careful, as it may permanently stretch leather, so only use this method if you need more space in the shoe. 

  4. Care Products - Applying a leather conditioner or cork sealer to the shoes before wearing can help soften both the leather and cork and expedite the break -in process.

As you progress through the break-in period, you'll start noticing subtle changes in the way the cork feels against your feet. By the end of the break-in period, your new favorite sandals will have transformed into a comfortable and molded companion for your summer adventures. The cork's natural resilience and the sandal's ergonomic design will ensure that you can enjoy hours of walking, exploring, and indulging in the freedom of summer without compromising on comfort. Your feet will thank you! 

Louisa Slingback Sandal

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