Break In New Shoes With This Ingenious Hack

grinvalds/iStock via Getty Images
grinvalds/iStock via Getty Images

The glory of stepping out in a shiny new pair of kicks lasts about as long as it takes for that first miserable blister to form on your poor, unfortunate foot. Maybe your feet swelled throughout the day, and the shoes you originally thought were perfectly snug are now waging a chafing war against your lower extremities. Or maybe your feet are slightly mismatched, and your left foot is just a tad too big to fit comfortably in its shoe.

Whatever the reason you find yourself limping all the way home, determined to toss your to-die-for new shoes into the back of your closet for eternity, you should know that there’s an easy fix for your predicament—and it only requires items you likely already have at home.

You’ll need a hairdryer, one regular pair of socks, and one pair of the thickest socks you can find. (If you don’t own any extra-thick socks, two pairs of regular socks should do the trick). Don your multiple pairs of socks, and then, as Lifehacker says, “shove your feet into those shoes.” If your feet feel almost unbearably squished, you’re doing it right.

After that, turn your hair dryer on its hottest setting and pass it over the tightest parts of your shoes. Once you feel the shoe loosening up, switch off the dryer, walk around while your shoes cool down, and then take them off. Try them on again without the extra socks to see if they’re sufficiently stretched out—if not, repeat the process.

Image consultant and style expert Aaron Marino demonstrates the trick in the YouTube video below, and he also mentions an important bit of advice: The dryer’s heat could melt certain fibers, so don’t try this hack if your shoes are made from plastic or any other synthetic materials.

And, after you’re done tearing up the dance floor in your newly painless pair of boots, kick back with this list of incredible (and possibly painful) shoe styles from history.

[h/t Lifehacker]

Wayfair’s Fourth of July Clearance Sale Takes Up to 60 Percent Off Grills and Outdoor Furniture

Wayfair/Weber
Wayfair/Weber

This Fourth of July, Wayfair is making sure you can turn your backyard into an oasis while keeping your bank account intact with a clearance sale that features savings of up to 60 percent on essentials like chairs, hammocks, games, and grills. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Outdoor Furniture

Brisbane bench from Wayfair
Brisbane/Wayfair

- Jericho 9-Foot Market Umbrella $92 (Save 15 percent)
- Woodstock Patio Chairs (Set of Two) $310 (Save 54 percent)
- Brisbane Wooden Storage Bench $243 (Save 62 percent)
- Kordell Nine-Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $1800 (Save 27 percent)
- Nelsonville 12-Piece Multiple Chairs Seating Group $1860 (Save 56 percent)
- Collingswood Three-Piece Seating Group with Cushions $410 (Save 33 percent)

Grills and Accessories

Dyna-Glo electric smoker.
Dyna-Glo/Wayfair

- Spirit® II E-310 Gas Grill $479 (Save 17 percent)
- Portable Three-Burner Propane Gas Grill $104 (Save 20 percent)
- Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker $224 (Save 25 percent)
- Cuisinart Grilling Tool Set $38 (Save 5 percent)

Outdoor games

American flag cornhole game.
GoSports

- American Flag Cornhole Board $57 (Save 19 percent)
- Giant Four in a Row Game $30 (Save 6 percent)
- Giant Jenga Game $119 (Save 30 percent)

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

This Outdoor Lantern Will Keep Mosquitoes Away—No Bug Spray Necessary

Thermacell, Amazon
Thermacell, Amazon

With summer comes outdoor activities, and with those activities come mosquito bites. If you're one of the unlucky people who seem to attract the insects, you may be tempted to lock yourself inside for the rest of the season. But you don't have to choose between comfort and having a cocktail on the porch, because this lamp from Thermacell ($25) keeps outdoor spaces mosquito-free without the mess of bug spray.

The device looks like an ordinary lantern you would display on a patio, but it works like bug repellent. When it's turned on, a fuel cartridge in the center provides the heat needed to activate a repellent mat on top of the lamp. Once activated, the repellent in the mat creates a 15-by-15-foot bubble of protection that repels any mosquitos nearby, making it a great option for camping trips, days by the pool, and backyard barbecues.

Mosquito repellent lantern.

Unlike some other mosquito repellents, this lantern is clean, safe, and scent-free. It also provides light like a real lamp, so you can keep pests away without ruining your backyard's ambience.

The Thermacell mosquito repellent lantern is now available on Amazon. If you've already suffered your first mosquito bites of the summer, here's some insight into why that itch can be so excruciating.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.