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How to Break in Harness Boots

“Harness” is a well-known variety of Frye boot that features an “O” ring attached to studded straps at the ankle. Constructed from high-quality leather, Harness boots don’t, unfortunately, come out of the box ideally crafted to your foot’s unique shape. Breaking in a pair of Harness boots is a process that involves slowly reshaping and slightly stretching the leather to make the boots more comfortable. Avoid using quick methods of breaking in leather boots with water, which can warp and disfigure the porous material. Instead, take your time by slowly stretching the leather.

  1. Apply a thin layer of leather conditioner to the outside of the boots. Using a soft cloth, apply the product. Not only does the conditioner help extend the life of the boots, it also makes the leather softer and more pliable.

  2. Slip on two pairs of heavy cotton socks. Slide your feet into your Harness boots and begin walking for at least 20 to 30 minutes on a flat surface such as your kitchen floor or a smooth concrete sidewalk. If you can stand it, walk longer. If not, slip off the boots and set them in a cool, dry place.

  3. Repeat the process of working a thin layer of leather conditioner into your Harness boots the next day. Once again, slip on two pairs of cotton socks and walk around on a flat surface for 20 to 30 minutes or longer, if you can.

  4. Continue to apply a thin layer of leather conditioner to the boots once a day for the next two to three days. As the boots becomes more comfortable, extend the length of your walk. Eventually, your boots will be comfortable enough to wear for an extended period of time.


    Apply a leather conditioner manufactured by Frye or one formulated for use on the leather used to manufacture your Harness boots. According to the Frye website, (see reference 3) various types of leather are used to manufacture Frye Harness boots.

    Begin the process of breaking in your boots at least one week before attempting to wear them for an extended period of time.

Things Needed

  • Leather conditioner
  • Soft cloth
  • Two pairs of cotton socks

About the Author

Residing in Chippewa Falls, Wis., Jaimie Zinski has been writing since 2009. Specializing in pop culture, film and television, her work appears on Star Reviews and various other websites. Zinski is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in history at the University of Wisconsin.

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