by Jennifer Smith June 18, 2018 4 min read

Finding the perfect pair of shoes is challenging. So, it is a total heartbreaker if you find one, but the size doesn’t fit you. Boot stretching allows you to free up essential foot space. Moreover, it enables you to expand the life of your boots and turns stiff footwear soft.

snow winter boots

Boots in your collection can shrink on account of consistent wear and tear. This can happen in the shoe shop or among footwear that lies in your shoe rack. Of course, you cannot just throw away those unfit pairs of shoes, mainly, if they are leather boots. These are often at the costly end of price tags, so you cannot just bid them farewell if they end up a bit tight. This leaves you with an important question of how to stretch leather boots?

The ABC of boot stretching

Boot stretching makes the shoe more comfortable. Needless to say but boot stretching helps you also save money. Here is how to boot stretching can help you:

  • You don’t have to go rushing to a shop with a limited budget pocket at the first sign of shoe fitness distress.
  • What’s more, is that you can fix a boot’s size if they are your love at first sight but don’t have your size.
  • Adjusting your boot size is also a healthy option for your feet. Ill-fitting or rigid shoes culminate in toe cramps or muscle strain that aggravate foot problems.

Boot Stretching is not a time or effort demanding work. You have the following options.

You can use a boot stretcher

 Boot stretchers are very helpful. These are either made of wood or stainless steel and exhibit a variety. Different boot stretchers come in different sizes, for instance, helping resize heels, calves, toes or insole of the footwear.

These are durably built so you can use them repetitively for increasing the lifespan of your favorite boots. Additionally, boot stretchers circulate the air in your boots, which frees trapped moisture. Therefore, they help keep toe-fungus at bay.

For the other DIY options, here are some quick ways for stretching your leather boots:

Wear them in breaks

This is an easy way of stretching your leather boots. It’s challenging to ignore the impulse to wear the new pair of shoes right away. However, if you think you can master that, then you can try this method of resizing footwear.

  • Wear your boots a little at a time such that you wear them for some time in your house to initiate the wearing process.
  • Try moving around in the boots in thick socks to make good space.
  • A few walks around your home or casually while running errands will help you get the perfect size in no time.

Use a leather stretch spray

Multiple sprays are sold online for stretching boots. You can get one of them and spray it on the interior of the boot. In an interview with Who What Wear, the vice president at Leather Spa, David Mesquita said that this liquid "helps to soften the material." You need to be careful while spraying these leather stretching solutions though as they can lead to discoloration. Here is the best way to use the leather stretch spray:

  • Research the product before getting it.
  • Spray test a small area of your footwear before applying the spray on the area that needs to be stretched.
  • Spritz the product from a 5-inch distance on the area and let the leather absorb the solution for about 30 seconds.
  • Walk around in your boots to check its refitting.
  • Repeat the process if needed.

Fill in newspaper

  • Crumple up some newspaper
  • Wet it lightly. Make sure you don’t soak it through because that will damage the inner sole.
  • Put the slightly wet, crumpled newspaper in your boots.
  • Remember to remove it before you wear your leather boots.  


You will need water, a re-sealable plastic bag, and a freezer for this one.

  • Start with filling the plastic bag with water until it is half full.
  • Seal and squeeze it to get rid of air.
  • Put the water-filled plastic bag in your boot. Ensure that the bag presses into the area that you aim to stretch.
  • Next, put the leather boot in your freezer.
  • Leave the shoes in the freezer for a night.
  • Then, take them off and allow the ice to thaw for roughly 20 minutes
  • Remove the bag from the boots and wear them.

Repeat the process with the other boot, making sure that the plastic bag fills the footwear. You may repeat the trick if you feel that the footwear has not stretched enough.

leather boots


You can try heating to stretch your leather boots too. You will need a hairdryer, socks, and an oil conditioner. The socks need to be thick though. If you don’t own a thick pair of socks than you can always wear two pairs at a time.

  • Put pair of sock on and then put on the shoes. The fitting will be tight, but you will have to hang on.
  • Turn the hairdryer on to its highest setting and blast the air on the areas that need to be stretched.
  • Blow air on each area for no more than 30 seconds.
  • Keep your boots on while they cool and then take them off.
  • Wear your shoes again without the socks to inspect the new fitting.
  • Repeat the trick if your boots are still tight.
  • Once you get your ideal fit, apply a leather conditioner on the surface to make up for any lost moisture.

    Final words

    The best way to style leather boots is to wear them with a complementing leather jacket. Try to opt for a ‘less is more’ look when pairing leather pieces together. However, if you are a true steampunk fan, go crazy with studded leather jackets, leather hats, and quality leather boots. You shouldn’t compromise with boots that don’t fit properly. The Mayo Clinic highlights that wearing tight boots is an essential factor that can multiply the risk of developing foot complications. Wearing boots and other footwear that provide a crowded space for your toes can also lead to the same implications. Therefore, either invest in a shoe stretcher or try any of the other methods explained above for a good fit.

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