How To Stretch Cowboy Boots Around The Calf

by James Miller

Cowboy boots are always stylish, but they embody sturdy beauty which tend to be sophisticated. Most people find many problems with these boots, especially the wrong size or having a wide foot. Normally the leather around the calf is the issue with those with big calves.

The pure leather that cowboy boot uses is prone to shrinkage as opposed to that of synthetic leather, so there is no need to hate your boot. The good thing with this is that you can solve this problem by stretching the calf.

Stretch Cowboy Boots Around The Calf

In this article, we have reviewed the various methods of stretching cowboy boots to perfection. The methods include

How To Stretch Cowboy Boots Around The Calf
How To Stretch Cowboy Boots Around The Calf

Stretching Cowboy Boots With A Boot Stretcher

FootFitter Premium Professional Boot Stretcher Set (Boot Stretcher & 4 Oz. Bottle Of Shoe Spray)
FootFitter Premium Professional Boot Stretcher Set (Boot Stretcher & 4 Oz. Bottle Of Shoe Spray)

The use of a boot stretcher is the oldest and effective method of adjusting your cowboy’s calves. This method is simple and classic as it doesn’t require special skills to carry it out. All you need to understand is the several boot stretchers are available. You need to know which one to use.

Some of the common include Foot Fitter Premium Professional Boot Stretcher and FootFitted Cast Aluminum Combination Boot Instep and Shaft Stretcher.

Steps on how to use the stretcher

There are 4 main steps involved with foot fitter

  1. Determine the part of the stretcher

There are two main parts in a boot stretcher for repairing. The upper part concentrates on the calf areas, and the bottom part works well on the instep. You need to adjust, in this case, the top part.

  1. Calf measurement

To know your calf’s correct size, you need to measure it before adjusting the boot calf.

  1. Be keen on the upper handle of the stretcher.

Extend the upper stretcher handle to meet your required stretch in the boot calf. This step will ensure that you have a snug fit.

  1. Give it some hours after a stretch.

It is essential to leave the boot stretcher with the boot for some good hours or overnight as the material needs to be pliant.

Pros of this method

  • Easy to start
  • The boot stretcher tool is relatively cheap

Cons

  • Requires one to wait for many hours before wearing
  • It requires mastering the apparatus despite there is no skill required.

The Use Of A Conditioner And Water In Boot Stretching

Leather Honey Leather Conditioner, Best Leather Conditioner Since 1968. For Use On Leather Apparel, Furniture, Auto Interiors, Shoes, Bags And Accessories. Non-Toxic And Made In The USA!
Leather Honey Leather Conditioner, Best Leather Conditioner Since 1968. For Use On Leather Apparel, Furniture, Auto Interiors, Shoes, Bags And Accessories. Non-Toxic And Made In The USA!

This is another professional cowboy boot stretch method you can use. The method is easy to set up and do the stretch. All you need is a conditioner and a water bucket. The method involves 4 main steps, just like the other methods. They are

  1. Fill water into the bucket

Put water into the bucket and place your cowboy boot into the water. Wet the whole boot, although the target area with us here is the calf area.

  1. Wait for a few minutes.

Once you have soaked the pair into the water, you need to get them for about 10 minutes. The purpose of doing this is to ensure that the material is softer.

  1. Excess water removal from the boot

Remove the boot from water and shake them so that to remove excess water from inside the pairs. This is to ensure that water hasn’t created odors within your boot.

  1. Wear the cowboy boots and use the conditioner

While wet, take your cowboy boots and try to wear them although uncomfortable. The feet and calves will have been expanded. Rub conditioner around the calf areas as water will be evaporating from it.

Pros of the method

  • It doesn’t require special skills to use
  • Materials are readily available

Cons

  • Uncomfortable when wearing wet boots

Stretching Cowboy Boot Using A Leather Stretching Spray

FootMatters Professional Boot & Shoe Stretch Spray – Softener & Stretcher For Leather, Suede, Nubuck, Canvas – 4 Oz
FootMatters Professional Boot & Shoe Stretch Spray – Softener & Stretcher For Leather, Suede, Nubuck, Canvas – 4 Oz

Leather stretching spray is the best alternative for those who want to use a cheap and easy-to-use method. The method only works when stretching boots that are made out of genuine leather

Steps

  1. Shake the bottle with the spray well
  2. Spray the genuine leather with the spray and rub it with a towel thoroughly on the calf area.
  3. Please put on your boots once you have rubbed well and leave them on for a few minutes.
  4. You can repeat the spray and rub them before wearing it.

Pros

  • The spray doesn’t damage the boot as the natural color of the boot remains
  • The spray shortens the stretching time
  • It is easy to use

Cons

  • The spray is only ideal for cowboy boots made from genuine leather only

Stretching Cowboy Boots Using Steam

BEAUTURAL Steamer For Clothes With Pump Steam Technology, Portable Handheld Garment Fabric Wrinkles Remover, 30s Fast Heat-up, Auto-Off, Large Detachable Water Tank
BEAUTURAL Steamer For Clothes With Pump Steam Technology, Portable Handheld Garment Fabric Wrinkles Remover, 30s Fast Heat-up, Auto-Off, Large Detachable Water Tank

The use of steam is one of the best ways of stretching out your leather cowboy boots. The hot water steam or garment steamer is the one used in this case. However, the method is harmful as the saturated water might fade the leather quickly, but it will stretch the boot well if used well.

Steps

  1. Take a hot water kettle or a garment steamer.
  2. Direct the steam towards the calves that you water to stretch and remove it after 20 seconds.
  3. Check whether the calves are softened and if not, repeat step 2 with now 15 seconds.
  4. Once the calves are soft and warm, put on your cowboy boots
  5. Let them until the moisture from the boot dries
  6. Please take off your boot and rub the calf area with a leather conditioner to smoothen them.

Pros

  • The method is faster as you use few minutes
  • It works perfectly if the procedure is well followed
  • Material is readily available

Cons

  • The method is harmful and requires one to be keen
  • Wearing a steamed boot is scaring
  • The steaming might affect your boot permanently

Stretching The Calf Using A Hairdryer

1875w Professional Tourmaline Hair Dryer,Negative Ionic Salon Hair Blow Dryer,DC Motor Light Weight Low Noise Hair Dryers With Diffuser & Concentrator
1875w Professional Tourmaline Hair Dryer,Negative Ionic Salon Hair Blow Dryer,DC Motor Light Weight Low Noise Hair Dryers With Diffuser & Concentrator

The use of hairdryers is another method that uses the steaming ideas in stretching out a cowboy boot calf. It is also another simple method you can use to stretch your cowboy boot in the shortest time.

Steps

  1. Turn on your hairdryer.
  2. Direct it towards the calf areas that you want to stretch
  3. Leave it on for about 20 seconds before removing
  4. Check whether the leather has begun to soften
  5. Put them on with two or one pair of socks
  6. Take them off and apply a leather conditioner if you wish to smoothen the boot.

Pros

  • The method is easy to use
  • It stretches the calves quickly

Cons

  • The high temperature might affect the leather
  • Scaring to wear a hot cowboy boot

Stretching Cowboy Boots With Ice


Do you know you can put your pair of boots on a freezer to stretch them? I know it might look awkward, but the method works. I prefer this method as ice therapy in cowboy stretch.

Steps

  1. Place a shopping bag in your boot and stretch it out of the boots
  2. Fill some water into it
  3. Please place them in a freezer until the water in the cowboy boot freezes
  4. Let the frozen water stretch the calves into the expected extent
  5. Take them out of the freezer and remove the frozen water bag out of your cowboy boot
  6. Allow the boot to become wearable for a few minutes
  7. Put the shoes on until the moisture dries completely

Pros

  • It is easy to set it up
  • It is less expensive as no expensive material required

Cons

  • It requires patience

Use Of Lotion Or Alcohol

Vaseline Non Greasy Intensive Care Body Lotion, Aloe Soothe - 3 PK X 6.76 Fl.Oz / 200 ML
Vaseline Non Greasy Intensive Care Body Lotion, Aloe Soothe - 3 PK X 6.76 Fl.Oz / 200 ML

Lotion or alcohol can make the leather around the calf areas soft and more relaxed hence stretching. I have tried the method, and I found out that it works to some extent.

  1. You need to apply a little lotion or alcohol onto a piece of cloth and
  2. Rub it on the leather around the calf area
  3. Wear the boot with socks until they are comfortable

Pros

  • Alcohol and lotion help to smoothen the leather around the calf
  • They also restore the cowboy boots’ newness and shine
  • The method is easy to use

Cons

  • The stretch is limited

Final Thought

The frequency of shrinkage determines the best cowboy boots. Those cowboy boots the shrunken are a bit hard to stretch as they require more time before they become wearable. There are several methods used to stretch genuine leather cowboy boots.

Some of these methods are professional, while others are DIY. The skilled techniques include the use of stretching sprays and equipment. They usually stretch the boots nicely without damaging them. On the other hand, DIY methods include steam, lotion, alcohol, among other methods. 

This DIY method requires one to be keen as some methods might affect the leather. Some like steam are harmful to you if you wear the hot boot barefoot. However, they are also good for stretching the calves of your cowboy boots. Choose the method that is perfect and ideal for you.

About James Miller

James Miller Living in San Francisco, CA US
Finds passion in writing about all aspects of construction gears and works.
Graduated from University of California Merced in dual machanical and electrical engineering.

Leave a Reply