Finding the Perfect Fit: How to Stretch Leather Boots

how to stretch leather boots

A pair of good leather boots can mean the world for anyone who wears them every day for work. They’re warm, protect your feet from any outside influence, and they are some of the most durable pieces of footwear out there.

However, they are notoriously hard to break in, especially when they are just a tiny bit too small. That is why knowing how to stretch leather boots is an essential skill.

Below, you will find tips and tricks necessary for stretching your leather boots that will make wearing them a pleasure. Read on!

Leather Boots: What You Need to Know


Leather boots are necessary footwear for people working in many professions. These boots make doing any job safely possible, especially ones in cold and otherwise tough conditions. However, the boots are also durable enough to last for years even if you wear them every day. That makes them perfect for anyone, regardless of their job.

Apart from durability and protection, leather boots also offer you the opportunity to make a fashion statement. Just like denim jackets or white tees, leather boots never go out of style. They fit into most casual outfits and can make you look tough and cool on any occasion.

Of course, all of the above is only true if the boots fit you perfectly. Otherwise, you’ll be uncomfortable and in pain. It is important that you don’t force yourself to wear shoes that are a bit too small. Though it might not seem like too big of a deal in the beginning, it could cause severe injuries to your toes and feet in the long run.

Luckily, leather is a material that can stretch if you need it to. All you need is some pressure, heat, or a stretching spray. So, if your boots aren’t a perfect fit just yet and you are looking for ways to make that happen, read on. The sections that follow will teach you how to stretch leather boots like a pro.

Note: don’t try to stretch boots that are a whole size too small. These techniques should only be used for boots that don’t fit too well because they are new and need to be broken in.

How to Stretch Leather Boots: Different Techniques

From softening the leather with heat and oils to using a boot stretcher, here are the best tips on how to stretch leather boots.

1. Use a Stretch Spray


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A stretch spray or oil conditioner for leather is a handy tool that can help your boots fit you better. You can get it in most well-stocked supermarkets and in all stores that sell leather clothing and footwear. You can find more helpful tips on stretching your leather at Moonster Leather.

It is vital that you only apply this spray or oil to real leather. Synthetic materials might get damaged by it, and the spray will most likely not work. In addition, you need to follow the instructions that come with the spray carefully.

The instructions will tell you whether to apply the spray on the inside or the outside of the boots. They will also tell you how long you should let the boots sit before you can put them on and whether you should repeat the spraying process more than once.

The spray or conditioner works rather simply. It softens the leather and makes it easier for you to put on the boots and stretch them naturally over time. Follow the instructions closely, and your boots will be softer and ready to be worn every day.

2. Use a Blow Dryer


Heat can also help soften up the leather, allowing you to stretch your boots more easily. To get the necessary temperature, you only need a blow dryer. However, you need to be careful not to damage the leather. To avoid that, make sure the dryer is far enough away from the leather.

Keep the dryer at least 5 inches away from the boots while it is on. Blow dry them for about 30 seconds at a time until you feel the leather soften. It is best to apply heat to the parts that trouble you the most, such as the toes.

You can use the dryer as many times as it takes for you to feel more comfortable wearing the shoes, or when you feel you have enough space to walk comfortably. You can also put on the boots and wear them immediately, without waiting for the leather to cool.

3. Wearing Thick Socks


If you want to stretch your boots without softening the leather, you can put on a pair of thick socks (or two pairs of regular ones) and wear the boots around the house for a few hours. The leather will gradually expand to mold to your sock-clad feet. When you take the boots off, they will fit you perfectly once the socks are off too.

You can also use this technique after you’ve softened your boots with heat or a spray. That will speed up the process considerably.

4. Wearing the Shoes In Moderation


If you want to break in your shoes naturally while wearing them outside, that is possible as well. You only have to make sure you don’t wear them for the entire day right away. Instead, try wearing them for a few hours every day while going to the shop or running any other errands.

Doing so will ensure your boots stretch over time without any real effort on your part. Just make sure you don’t hurt yourself or get any blisters, and you’ll be fine.

How to Stretch Leather Boots: Pro Tips

1. Get a Boot Stretcher

A sure way to stretch your boots is to get a shoe stretcher and let it do the job for you. You can get one in most shoe shops, as well as online, on Amazon, and other sites.

A shoe stretcher is pretty easy to use. Holding the stretcher by the handle, you place it inside the boot and start rotating. When you can see the stretcher fits inside the shoes snuggly, leave it as it is.

It is pivotal that you let the stretcher sit inside for around 8 hours, as that will give the leather enough time to stretch permanently. However, don’t leave it for much longer than that, as it could stretch the boots too much.

When the 8 hours pass, check the boots and try wearing them. If they fit great and no longer make you uncomfortable, your job is done. But if you still feel some discomfort, put the stretcher back in and repeat the process. Just leave it for a few hours less this time around.

2. Make Your Own Boot Stretcher

If you don’t have money to buy a boot stretcher or simply can’t find one in any stores near you, don’t fret. There is actually a way for you to make your own makeshift stretcher. And the best thing is, you already have all the things you need at home.

For example, the easiest thing you can do is stuff your boots with a bunch of newspapers. Make sure you get in as much as can fit so that the bots are filled completely. Then, leave the boots to sit for at least a day.

Since you aren’t using a real stretcher, the boots will need more time to give in. So, this method might not be what you need if you are in a hurry and need to wear your boots ASAP. But if you have the time, go for it. It is cheap, and it works wonders.

A great tip on how to stretch your leather boots with no newspapers is to use anything else that you can stuff into the boots to achieve the same effect. As long as it fills out the shoes completely and you have it near you, it can help you.

Gretchen Walker
Gretchen is a homemaker by day and writer by night. She takes a keen interest in life as it unfolds around her and spends her free time observing people go about their everyday affairs.