We’ve all been there, you know. You’ve got a great pair of leather boots, you’re thinking you’re set for the winter season and at the same time going to look stylish, but then you hit a snag; your boots are too snug. Getting another pair of leather boots doesn’t look appealing, but the pair you want is snug. Talk about a dilemma.
Though you can get out of this dilemma by stretching your boots, how much can you actually stretch those leather boots? With the right methods, you can stretch leather boots to as much as a full size more but we think this answer is not so straightforward, because there are two factors at play; how much leather can actually be stretched, and how long it will take to stretch.
How Much Can You Stretch Leather Boots?
Leather boots, depending on the quality of leather used to make them, can actually be stretched, since it is skin. While this is true, it is also true that the time factor is crucial, so as not to damage the boots. So, over time, yes, leather boots can be stretched up to full size more.
When Should You Stretch Your Leather Boots?
Everyone wants boots not just for how they look, but also for how they fit. There’s no use of a boot that gives you severe blisters or causes you to wince in pain with every step. That being said, a boot that isn’t too tight or too small can still be very useful, provided you really want it.
You can stretch your leather boots when the size of the boots isn’t more than a full size below what you’d normally wear.
How to Stretch Leather Boots?
It’s possible to stretch your leather boots in any number of ways, and you only have to pick the one that suits your leather boots. For your convenience, we’ve listed and explained the best ways we think you can safely stretch your leather boots.
- Using Ice to stretch your leather boots
- Using Boot Stretchers
- Using Hair Dryers
- Using the services of a cobbler
- Wearing the boots at home
Let’s look at these methods in closer detail.
1. Using Ice to Stretch Your Leather Boots
Ice? Yes. It’s very possible to use ice to satisfactorily stretch your boots, if you follow the proper procedures, that is. All you need is a Ziploc bag and some water. Ensure the Ziploc bag is one-third full of water, or half full at the most.
Place the bag in the shoe, and place the shoe in your freezer for at least 8 hours. As the water freezes, it will expand your leather boots and make it stretch.
After you remove the boots from the freezer, let the ice thaw for about thirty to forty minutes before removing it from your boots. Let your boots dry naturally before you wear them, and you can repeat the process if the stretching wasn’t as much as you wanted.
2. Using Boot Stretchers
This method is a lot more effective than most because it mainly involves the use of tools adapted for the very purpose of stretching shoes, and this kinda guarantees uniform results.
To use, apply shoe stretch spray to help relax the leather fibers and aid easy stretching. After this, put the shoe stretcher into the shoe, and turn the handle until you have a satisfactory level of stretch. Leave the stretcher in for about 8 hours, then give the handle another full turn till the size is right.
3. Using Hair Dryers
This is an old method, but it works, which is why it features on our list. With this method, old is gold. All you need for this method is to get a thick pair of socks and a hair dryer. Wear the socks and put on your leather boots. It’s tight, but don’t worry; the tightness will be gone in a moment.
Set the hair dryer on medium heat and run it over your boots, pausing on areas that are particularly tight and cause the most discomfort.
Run the dryer till you have the desired amount of stretch, and then you can walk around the house in the shoes till they cool. Remove the socks and check to see how it fits. You can repeat the process till the desired fit is achieved.
4. Using the Services of a Cobbler
A cobbler is trained in the art of all that pertains to footwear, so they are a safe bet if you want to stretch your leather boots without doing it yourself. They know what to do exactly about the areas of your leather boots that cause discomfort, and unlike any other method on this list, you don’t have to do anything more than leaving your boots at the cobber’s shop and going back to get them.
We advise using this method for especially high priced boots, so you can avoid as much damage as possible.
5. Wearing the Boots at Home
This is probably the most uncomfortable method on our list because you’d be basically having to break in snug boots. Of course, we advise that you wear a thick pair of socks before you do this, and despite the inherent discomfort, you’d be breaking in your boots with little discomfort, especially when compared to having to do it normally.
Another plus side of this method is that you get to wear your boots and get used to them at home before you have to wear them out.
Conclusion & Final Words
Stretching your leather boots is often a recourse for leather boots that scrap and pinch your feet, as it’s not worth it to suffer blisters and bunions because your favorite boots are too tight.
Of course, the ideal thing would be to have leather boots that fit perfectly, but what happens when the boots you want so much are a bit snug? After all, the heart wants what it wants, else it won’t care. So, you can consider taking a snug leather boot you really love, safe in the knowledge that you can stretch it to fit. That way, you’d have the boots you love in the right size.
What’s more satisfying?