how to stretch boots

How To Stretch Work Boots

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Leather work boots are the most popular shoe choice for people who work on a regular basis. These shoes keep your feet comfortable and protected from harsh conditions no matter what you’re doing. However, sometimes when leather boots don’t fit just right it can be tricky to find new ones that meet the same criteria of comfortability with style at an affordable price point; but rest assured there is always a way around this problem! that’ why we need to know how to stretch work bots.

Work boots are a necessity for most of us, but they can feel really tight and uncomfortable. It’s important to stretch them before you put them on each day so that your feet don’t get sore or develop any blisters from the constant rubbing against the inside of the shoe.

However, by stretching your boots, you can have them fit you perfectly. Here are some simple stretches you can do to make sure your work boots fit comfortably. The first method is stretching boots using professional stretching tools or using the DIY method at your home. All the methods can work perfectly if you do it well.

The professional tools for stretching boots

Various boot stretching tools are available in this method. The major methods are

Use of a boot stretcher

boot stretcher

Boot stretchers are instruments that are designed to expand your boots and prevent your feet from discomfort and painful blisters due to wrong sizing. The tool allows you to have a stretch control of it, and you get the desired fit.

The boot not only resizes your boot but also allows it to breathe well, preventing fungus and bacteria development. There are various boot stretchers in the market, with most of them made from wood or stainless steel material.

They also come with a variety of insoles, heels, toes, and calves. There are also various types, but the major types are standard boot stretcher, 1-way stretcher, and 2-way stretcher.

Using method of a shoe stretcher:

  • Insert the shoe stretcher in the boot.
  • Turn the knob clockwise to adjust it.
  • Then slowly stretch the boot’s shape.
  • Let it on the boot for 24 to 48 hours to have the best result.

It is good to mention that most stretchers increase the size of the boot by either one or half size than the normal.

The use of a boot-calf stretcher

As the name suggests, these are tools that are good for stretching the calf by squeezing them to your desired size. They work almost similar to the boot stretcher, and you adjust the width of the boot calf gently to expand the leather. Insert it in the boot and leave it there for 24 hours, and try to use the fit.

Calf stretches are the best solution if you want to stretch the entire shoe. They work perfectly with hiking boots, leather boots, and slip-on boots. You can get a calf stretcher that targets the instep only on the area you feel too tight and need to be stretched.

Use of stretch spray or liquid

The use of commercial boot sprays is useful in boot stretching. However, not all sprays are good, and some may distort your boot color. This method only works when you wear the wet spray. You are supposed to spray inside the boot to avoid damaging the outside leather.

The DIY methods of stretching boots

1. Use of alcohol and water

If you are getting challenged on zipping up your leather boots or finding that the shaft can go knee-higher, the use of an alcohol-water mixture can help stretch your boot. In most cases, many shoe designers use this method to stretch leather boots. To successfully use the method, follows these steps.

  •  Make a mixture of equal parts of water and alcohol.
  • Add the solution into a spray bottle.
  • Gently spray the mixture in the interior of the boots.
  • Slip-on the boots for it to loosen as the leather dries
  • You can repeat the process up to when you find the desired fit. To make it perfect, you can roll a newspaper or a towel and insert it onto the shaft.

2. The use of ice in stretching

How To Stretch Work Boots

Ice or freezing water in a freezer can also help to expand the boot and fit you. The method works by water expanding when it freezes to form ice. This will, in return, make the boot expand. In this method, you need to ensure that your boot isn’t getting wet when carrying out.

The procedure of doing it include

  • Insert sealable plastic bags on both boots, let them cover even the shaft of the boot
  • Fill the bags with water gently after you have placed them inside the boot
  • Ensure that the bags are well spread to the areas that you need to stretch
  • Put your boots on a freezer and let them stay there overnight
  • In the morning, remove the boots from the freezer
  • Pull out the sealed plastic bags with the ice, ensure you are not damaging your leather or exposing it to excess water.
  • Repeat the process if you haven’t achieved the stretch you wanted.

As the water is left in the freezer at night, the water will freeze to form ice that will, in turn, expand the boot.

3. Use of heat to stretch

How To Stretch Work Boots

Heating the boot can also help soften the material and allow the boot to fit you well. However, the method is hazardous if the amount of heat is used in excess. Excess heat will make the leather fade off. The heat needs to be moderate to make the leather relax and reshape to fit you when you wear it.


  • Connect your hairdryer to a heat source
  • Blow some heat to the area of the boot you want to stretch for 2 to 3 minutes
  • Wear the boots with thick socks while it is warm
  • While wearing the boot, blast the boot area you like to stretch with the blow dryer for 20 seconds
  • Keep the boots on your feet as it cools down
  • Please remove them and try to test their fitting with the normal socks
  • Repeat the process if the area hasn’t stretched.

4. The use of rags or newspaper

This is another DIY way that you can use at your home to stretch your leather boots. I know it might look strange, but it is one of the methods I have tried, and it has worked. Although it is not that perfect, you can try it. It involves the use of old newspapers or rags.


  • Wet some newspapers and gently crumple them
  • Stuff the wet crumpled newspapers into your boots
  • Let them stay in the boot up to when they dry up
  • Remove them once they have dried; drying can take up to 48 hours
  • Repeat the process if you haven’t achieved your stretch

With this method, as the wet newspapers dry up, they will expand and harden, stretching out of the boot. The good thing with it you can do it always when you are storing your boot up to the time when you will have the perfect fit.

5. Wear the boot with thick socks

Wearing your boot with a thick pair of socks can also work for you. The method is a bit tight and pinch, but you can use thicker socks to make it a success. Put on a pair or two, and wear your boots around the house for awhile (about 2 hours). You can also put on some jeans and try out how they go with leather jackets while you’re at it. Repeat the process every day up to when it stretches enough. This is the comfiest method and therefore ensure you are doing it when you are free at home.


  • Can you stretch out steel toe boots?

According to the people of old, steel toe boots are made for a tight squeeze. This may seem like an odd statement when you consider that these types of shoes were not widely available until about 100 years ago! Today we can easily stretch our favorite boots by using shoe stretchers or boot stretchers; pre-spraying them with stretching solution is optimal!

  • How tight should my work boots be?

The best way to know if your boots are the right size is by making sure there’s about an inch of room in front of them. The sides should not be painful, and you shouldn’t feel like they’re going to make it hard for toes to slide forward onto or hit the end.

  • Should work boots be tight or loose?

A work boot is designed to be both supportive and breathable. A little too much air can make it brittle, so you need a balance between support and breathing room while wearing your boots for the day’s job!

A work boot needs enough space that they’re not cutting off circulation but also tight enough to offer proper stability in order to do their intended task of keeping feet protected from wear-and-tear during tough hours on the jobsite.

  • Should my toes touch the end of my boots?

Don’t leave the store until you’ve checked for heel lift and toes touching the end of your boot. You should be able to wiggle your toes inside, so it’s not too tight around them. This will ensure that when they start swelling from wearing shoes all day or getting cold, there is room for those feet-stretchers!

  • Do boots stretch?

We should all know that a boot’s size will move after it is worn, but the direction of its movement depends on how tight or loose you want the shoe to be. For example, if your boots are too big now and they stretch out more than desired in order for them to fit better later when they’re worn-in; then we would say ‘try before you buy.’

  • Should new leather boots feel tight?

Most people think that after wearing a pair of boots around for awhile they will become more flexible and comfortable. This isn’t always true; some just feel too tight or restrictive from day one while others only take days/weeks before they start loosening up enough so walking becomes less uncomfortable than before!

Final thought

Has the article helped you with tricks you can use to stretch your boot? We hope so. We all like to wear boots that have excellent comfort. This will make us walk and do what we like with a passion. Wearing boots that will cause pain or blisters can affect the performance of our walk.

To avoid the pain, you need to stretch your boots. Boot stretching can be done at home with professional equipment or homemade tools. As we have seen, the use of a boot stretcher can be the perfect method. However, home methods are also good in stretching your boots. You only need to be cautious about some of the methods.

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