I've found that the best way to break in a new pair of boots is to take them out and beat the living tar out of them. I got a new pair of Matterhorns a few years ago shortly before deer season. After a rainy weekend spent hunting up and down the Idaho mountains through the mud, across streams, etc, they were soaked through to the gore-tex, yet were amazingly comfortable afterward. First time I ever broke in a pair of boots in two days. I think it was the soaking and stretching that did it, and a good treatment of mink oil afterward fixed the leather right up.
It's been my experience that squeaking is often a product of dry and/or stiff leather. Once you get 'em oiled and broken in, they should be fine.
As an aside, I've found it helps to put the boots in the oven to warm them up (but not enough to melt anything!) before oiling them. Not only does the heat open the pores in the leather, but it also lowers the viscosity of the oil and helps it penetrate better. You'll be surprised how thirsty hot leather can be.
[ This Message was edited by: expatriate on 2003-05-14 14:32 ]
I couldn't agree more with "expatriate". Having a good boot is essential when your covering some miles looking for your game of choice. Breaking in a pair of boots is just as important as selecting a good durable boot. I've never tried the oven trick but it makes some sence. I've always just wore mine around for a week or so and really got them wet and then walked them out dry. And you can never go wrong with oiling them up real good afterwards. When you finally buy them take care of them, as they will be taking care of you for miles and miles.
I've spent countless hours either on my hands and knees or bent over, messing up my back, looking for blood. One such instance I remember most was a hog hunt a few years ago in Mississippi. I had never shot a hog so when I poked a hole in this guy; I was determined to find him. Wearing snake leggings, I crawled on my hands and knees through the briars and the brambles and bushes where a rabbit wouldn't go. I found a spot of blood here and there but never the pig. And lucky for me, I didn't find...