In this short post, you will see how to make boots bigger.
If your boots run slightly smaller, you know, like less than a quarter of an inch, there is no need to return them.
Or perhaps they fit snugly in the morning. However, as the day progresses, your feet expand and you find that the shoes tend to fit tighter than you would like.
You can make the shoes bigger, at small or no cost. Just use these tried and tested methods. They work!
In any case, leather, whether it is full grain, nubuck or suede, stretches easily and safely, without damaging its fibers.
How to stretch work boots
You will be surprised just how easy this can be once you set your mind on it. It is also very effective. If you do it well as we will advise you here, it will not affect the lifespan of your footwear.
There are simple and somewhat harder methods for making your shoes more fitting.
It is always good to start with the simplest methods. If they work, you do not need to try the hard ones. In this section, we shall look at a couple of methods that you can use to stretch your shoes.
Wear the boots with thick socks
Take a pair of thick socks and put them on. You can even wear two or three pairs. Put on your boots and walk around in them for several hours.
You can spend a day in the boots. You can also wear them for several days with the socks. The increased volume of your feet is going to force the boots to expand such that they will have enough room when you wear them with regular socks.
This technique is simple, but it mostly works with shoes that were fitting snugly (not too tight and not too tight). Therefore, if your boots were like blistering tight, it might not work.
This is also a good method for breaking in new shoes. It forces the leather to expand and adapt to the shape of your feet.
Leather conditioner softens the leather and makes it easy to stretch
You can use a leather conditioning product such as Obenauf’s Leather which is made of special oil that seeps into the leather and makes it soft enough for easier stretching.
The good thing is that this product stretches the leather and at the same time, it heals it. Therefore, the quality of your shoes is not going to be affected at all.
When you buy it, carefully read the instructions for use before using it. That way, you will know how much to apply. You can use a sponge to apply the product or the provided applicator.
The conditioner will also create a thin layer, which will keep water out. From time to time, you should apply a thin membrane on your leather shoes to make them waterproof.
It is sad that you cannot use this method on suede shoes, but on the other types of leather, it works!
Stuff the shoes
Who says that you will always wear leather boots? If you have textile, suede, canvas or other non-leather boots that need some breaking in, stuff them up. This is a good method for how to stretch boots that are not leather.
You can do this with old newspapers, old rags, sponges and so on. Stuff them in properly and hard. In fact, you can push them in with a blunt stick or something. That way, they will stuff the shoes properly to the toe area.
Do not neglect the ankle part of the boot. To hold it up, find a large, stiff book and roll it up. If you can find an old telephone directory, it would be awesome. It can help set the boot shaft straight.
Depending on how tight the shoes felt, you can let the stuffing stay in place for several hours to a few days. That way, they stretch and adapt the new shape. When you wear them, you will feel the increased size.
Use a hair dryer on the shoes
A hair dryer can do much more than just dry the hair. Of utmost importance is the fact that it gives heat.
Leather becomes more malleable when it is subjected to heat. The good thing is that you can use a hair dryer even on suede shoes.
First, wear a couple of thick socks. Remember, you want to force the shoes to expand and keep the new shape and volume.
You need to apply gentle heat on the shoes. If they felt too tight, you can apply the heat continuously for a minute, pause, walk around and apply again. The good thing with this method is that it gives almost instant results.
You can also target the tight spots with the hair dryer. As the leather fibers become more flexible under the heat, the shoes start to fit in better.
Since you will be wearing thicker socks, when you remove them and wear regular socks, you will find that the shoes fit!
You may repeat this process if you feel that it is necessary.
And now, we can move onto the somewhat complex methods. Relax, they are just slightly complex:
Use a shoe stretcher
If you think buying a shoe stretcher makes sense, go ahead and get it. OK, let us just say that if you wear boots to work daily, you will obviously break a couple of them in a year. Therefore, buying a shoe stretcher makes perfect sense.
By design, a shoe stretcher will expand gradually so that it keeps the leather expanding. Made of wood and imitating the shape of your foot, if you leave it in the shoes overnight, by morning, they will have stretched very well.
Take them to a cobbler
If the shoes felt especially tight and you do not have a stretcher, you can take them to a cobbler. You will pay a small fee, say, anywhere from $15 to $30 but they will be broken in so well and they will fit nicely.
The cobbler will know the best techniques to use to break in the shoes for you. And oh yes, shoe repair shops do still exist in this century, even in your city.
Ice is really good for how to stretch shoes wider. Find plastic paper bags, fill them with water and keep the shoes in the freezer overnight.
When the water turns into ice, it will expand and the shoes will stretch. You can let the shoes stay in the freezer for up to 24 hours and then defrost them.
How much can you stretch leather boots? Not so much since you do not want to break the leather fibers.
Thankfully, leather is quite malleable and it stretches really well. With these methods for how to make boots bigger, you do not have to wear bruising shoes to work.