You wake up refreshed and excited to embark on a new day. You put together the perfect outfit and can’t wait to wear your new leather boots! You go to put them on, ready to conquer the day, but realize they feel really tight. Uncomfortable, and slightly unbearable, tight. Oh no!
Don’t fret! We have compiled a list of the top 4 methods for at home leather boot stretching. These approaches are great go-to options for boots that feel too restricting. Keep in mind that some options have more potential than others to significantly impact the size and width of your boot and can vary in the amount of dedicated time needed!
As strange as it may sound, freezing your boots can help expand the leather. This process is slightly time consuming and may require multiple rounds of freezing, but can have very impactful results. The first step in this process is to fill a plastic freezer bag with water. You can also use a freezer gel pack to reduce the risk of the plastic bag breaking. You don’t want to place the bag directly against the leather. Line the inside of the boot with a material like a newspaper. Next, place the bag(s) inside the boot in the tight areas. You can use crumbled newspaper to help position the bag properly. Once that is done, place the boot in the freezer and let it sit overnight, or for a minimum of 8 hours. As the bag freezes, it will expand in size and stretch your boot. Make sure you let the ice bag thaw before removing it. This is important because attempting to pull the frozen bag out may cause damage to your boot.
On the flip side, heat can also help leather expand. This method requires only a little time invested and is a quick solution for additional comfort. Again, multiple rounds may be necessary and is an option that should be utilized specifically for only slight changes in tightness. First, put on a pair of your thickest socks or multiple pairs and step into your boots. Next, take a hair dryer and place it on its highest heat setting. Blast the dryer over the tightest areas of your boots while flexing and bending your foot as much as possible. This strategy warms the leather and allows for it to soften and stretch for a more custom fit that works for your feet. Just be sure to let the shoes cool with your feet still inside!
- STUFF THEM
This approach can also be another time consumer and can require multiple attempts. You can use household items such as rolled up towels, socks, magazines, or newspapers to stuff the boot, forcing it to stretch. Simply insert directly into the boot. Leaving the materials inside overnight or over the course of several days is necessary in order to notice any change. You can increase the success of this method by utilizing a leather shoe stretching liquid or by conditioning the leather. It will wet and soften the leather, allowing for the materials to work more effectively as the leather dries.
- INVEST IN SPRAYS AND TOOLS
Sometimes investing in leather shoe stretching sprays and boot stretching tools is a must. Leather shoe stretching spray can simply be used on the boot for instant softness and wear or can help assist in the heating and stuffing methods above. We suggest testing the spray on a small part on the inside of the boot to make sure it doesn’t alter or pull the color from your boot. We recommend water based leather sprays and advise that you steer clear of any sprays that contain an alcohol base. Shoe stretching tools can also be your best friend. They come in a variety of different materials like metal or wood and can be extremely elaborate or very simplistic. They are widely available through retailers like Target, Walmart, and Amazon. The instructions are easy and straight forward and the results can be exceptionally rewarding.
*In certain cases, professional shoe stretching is required. This can address width and length issues more drastically and can make a significant transformation in size and desired comfort. Partner with your local shoe cobblers for more information on this option!