Most leather footwear isn’t a perfect fit on the first wear. Discover how to stretch your brand-new leather boots by reading on.
Your feet will stay warm when they need it in a pair of shoes made of genuine leather that are of the highest caliber. However, fresh leather can be stiff, so if you’re wearing a pair of boots that are just a little too tight, your feet won’t appreciate the combination.
Try not to force yourself to wear uncomfortably tight boots. You should return or purchase a new pair of boots if they are in fact too small. Or you can try to stretch your leather boots because some fabrics can be stretched in some ways.
Here’s how to stretch leather boots if the size difference is slight.
How to Stretch Leather Boots?
Below are the steps to stretch leather boots.
Use Oil Or Spray to Stretch Leather Boots
Nearly any store or shoe store, including the one where you purchased your leather boots, will carry oil conditioner and leather stretch spray. The performance will somewhat vary between the oil and the spray, but both will get the job done.
Read the information on the spray’s instructions thoroughly before using it. Some sprays are applied on the outside, while some are on the inside of shoes. Just spritz a little and wait 30 to 60 seconds to let it soak before putting them on.
Even leather boots can be stretched using a homemade solution made of alcohol and water. If you are uncertain about what you are doing, it is best to avoid doing this.
[Related: How to Stretch Elastic Bands on Shoes?]
The use of an oil conditioner is the alternative method for softening leather. To apply it to the outside of your shoe, put a small amount on a dry cloth—about the size of a dime will do. Use a different cloth to remove any extra oil if you see it. Let the oil soak for a bit and you are ready to stretch your leather shoes or boots.
Use a Boot Stretcher to Stretch Leather Boots
Another item to help stretch leather boots is readily available online. Boot stretchers like LANNEY Shoe Stretchers are inserted into the shoe and can quite literally stretch out the leather, especially the toe area.
A device like the Coralpearl Boot Tree Shaft Shaper, which is designed specifically for this area of the shoe, can be used if you need to stretch your ankle or calf.
You must be extremely careful not to harm the leather if you intend to use this technique. Before removing the boot stretcher, give it a few hours to dry inside the shoe. The alternative to overstretching and harming your shoes is to simply stretch a little less than you believe you need to, then repeat the process.
Use a Calf Stretcher to Stretch Leather Boots
Are your calves being pinched by a pair of tall boots? You might get the best results by using a calf stretching device. Similar to the traditional boot stretcher, these devices gently expand the leather on your boot’s calf to allow you to change the width.
Place these down the boot shaft and alter the width to use. At least 24 hours should pass with them inside the boots before fitting. If the boots are still too tight, you may need to repeat the procedure.
Use Rubbing Alcohol
You can make your own stretching spray in addition to buying them from most retailers. All you need is rubbing alcohol and water mixed in a clean spray bottle to achieve the desired result. Such an easy way to stretch tight boots.
If you don’t have a spray bottle, dab the mixture on your boots with cotton pads. Avoid using too much pressure when applying.
Further Reading: How to Properly Clean Leather Shoes to Keep Them Last Longer?
Natural Ways to Stretch Leather Boots
Wear Thick Socks
Among the simplest—and least expensive!) ways how to stretch out leather boots, including boots made of other materials. Being the safest option, it is my personal favorite because it slowly stretches out boots.
If the leather is soft enough and the boots don’t need to be stretched too far, it can also stretch out boots fairly quickly.
You just need to wear two pairs of socks while wearing the boots. Or one very thick pair. Although it’s not difficult, it can be uncomfortable. The two socks’ pressure can slightly widen and heighten the toe box, which results in a more comfortable fit.
However, we’d recommend you be extra careful as you may develop some blisters during the process. It is best to start with one pair of socks and add more if necessary.
Use a Blow Dryer
One of the other ways to prepare boots for stretching is to use a blow dryer on them. The heat will soften the leather, allowing it to expand and mold to your foot.
Before you put on the shoes, apply the blow dryer for about 30 seconds at a distance of about 5 inches to the areas that give you the most trouble when you wear the shoes. This approach can be used repeatedly to achieve the ideal fit.
Freeze Leather Boots
Conversely, you can skip the heat, doing the exact opposite and freezing your leather boots. Put water-filled sandwich bags inside your boots after filling them up.
Place the boots in the freezer after making sure the bags are tightly closed to prevent water damage to the leather. As the water freezes, it expands, slowly stretching out the leather.
Put Leather Boots on in Short Intervals
Naturally, you can wear your boots or shoes outside but try to avoid wearing them to work for the first few days. You probably don’t want a new pair of shoes to hurt your feet, so why subject yourself to that? Wear them until they enlarge enough to be comfortable in a store or bar. For a few days, two- to three-hour intervals should be sufficient.
Fill the Leather Boots With Newspaper
Utilizing used newspapers is a simple DIY method for stretching leather boots. Paper should be crumpled up, then gently dampened, before being stuffed into your boots. The paper will grow and harden as it dries, stretching the shoe.
To help your boots maintain their shape and ideal stretch, you can carry out this procedure each time you store them if necessary.
Take Your Leather Boots to a Professional
Although the majority of these DIY techniques require some time and work, if you don’t have the time, have them done by a professional.
Additionally, because they are experts at modifying shoes, this is the most secure way to stretch boots. And well, you’re not. Most cobblers/shoe stretching professionals will ensure that your too-tight boots are safely stretched. And here are ways to Get Scratches Out of Leather.
I highly recommend the designer pair in your closet or any great pair of leather shoes that you would like to preserve for a long time.
Just plan on having to wait anywhere from one day to a full week for your ideal boots. But what’s a week when you have the rest of your life to live in boots that are perfectly comfortable and don’t require any additional stretching?
Tips to Stretch Your Leather Boots Without Wearing Them
You don’t even have to worry about how to stretch boots while wearing them – you can simply do it at home.
Take note that this will expand the leather, but won’t allow it to mold based on your exact size and shape; but, you can even out the kinks once you start properly using them.
Conclusion: Stretch Leather Boots
We would like to reiterate that comfortable boots are essential. Too-tight boots can not only make you feel uncomfortable while hunting, fishing, or working, but they can also have long-term negative effects on your health.
The above-mentioned easy methods can be used to stretch out your boots if the shaft is too tight around your calves or the foot area is just slightly off (by about half a size or so).
Can You Stretch Leather Boots Up a Size?
The traditional way of stretching leather boots is to use a tool known as a boot stretcher. You can choose to lengthen the boot or widen it by using the one-way or two-way stretchers that are available. To use, place the boot stretcher inside and leave it there for a few hours. There’s a chance you’ll have to do it again.
Will Tight Leather Boots Stretch?
Leather boots will stretch slightly if your boot is slightly tight. You can purchase insoles, wear thick socks, or do both if your boots are too loose.