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.
Let me start by telling you the story of two Johns.
John number one went on a day hike with a couple of friends in the Cascade Mountains about an hour from Seattle. He somehow got separated from his buddies and became lost. John was dressed in casual cloths for a warm weather day hike and had nothing but a lunch with him. He spent three days in those mountains and luckily made it out to tell the story.
John number two, a friend of John number one, was much better prepared when...