“Break-In Worth It: Wirecutter’s Top Products That Get Better with Time”

Products that Improve with Time

Some items are notorious for needing to be broken in after you buy them (looking at you, Dr. Martens). But there are many things—including Wirecutter-tested items—that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to benefit from a break-in period. However, our staff experts who have tested and vetted these items have found they get better with time. Our recommendations include products from various categories such as kitchen appliances, electronics, and footwear.

Kitchen Appliances

  1. Cast Iron Skillet – With proper care and seasoning, cast iron skillets get better over time as they develop a non-stick surface that is perfect for searing, frying, and even baking.

  2. Dutch Oven – While a Dutch oven is useful from day one, its enameled coating smooths out and becomes easier to clean with regular use.


  1. Mechanical Keyboards – As you use a mechanical keyboard, the key switches break in, providing a more consistent and enjoyable typing experience.

  2. Headphones – High-quality headphones may require a break-in period during which their sound quality continues to improve as their drivers settle and adjust.


  1. Running Shoes – Although not all shoes require a break-in period, many running shoes benefit from one, becoming more comfortable and providing better support as the materials adapt to your feet.

  2. Leather Boots – As mentioned earlier, Dr. Martens, along with other leather boots, get better with time as the leather softens and molds to the shape of your feet.

In Conclusion

As you can see, many products get better with time once they are broken in. Investing in these types of products can provide you with increased performance, comfort, and long-lasting satisfaction. So, do not hesitate to consider these expertly-tested and approved options for your next purchase.