Love, love, love your leather boots
Are you always happy when boots season rolls around? Do you find yourself wishing that boots season was every and all seasons? Well, join the boots-loving club. Boots are awesome shoes that keep your feet warm and stylish. Especially when it comes to leather boots. Leather boots look cool on your feet, and they make you feel totally awesome. I mean, who doesn’t love a good pair of boots?
Boots can make any outfit look better, and any day better, which is why it can be just so annoying when they are just too darn tight.
Why do your leather boots need to be stretched?
Sometimes you buy some adorable leather boots, and they are just a little too tight. Or even, they fit when you bought them, but seasonal changes and even age have caused your feet to swell and/or expand. Or maybe, the boots feet your feet perfectly, but just aren’t operating with the width of your calf or are uncomfortable squeezing your ankles. For whatever reason, your leather boots just are fitting as comfortably as you would like. These boots may even be causing foot pain. Foot pain can result from boots that are too tight because you are squeezing and squashing them in ways that they don’t like. Trust me, I have walked miles in boots that were too tight, and I regretted it for days afterward because I just was not my feet enough room to breath and lay as they naturally would.
But, fear not, because there are plenty of ways to stretch your leather boots to take away any pain and any tightness without damaging them. Read below for tips to stretch your leather boots.
The process to learn how to stretch and care for leather boots
This article is going to take you through three steps to safely stretch your leather boots. These will keep you away from anything that can damage the outer leather and keep you away from discoloration. These safe methods will not damage your shoes as long as you follow the instructions.
Then, the article will give you more DIY methods that you can do to stretch out your leather boots, potentially without having to buy a thing. However, as these are DIY and safe, they are not as guaranteed safe as the official methods, but they can work and they can save you money.
Lastly, there will be some care tips. These tips involve care for both your feet and your boots, so double the advice, double the care!
Okay, enjoy and hopefully, emerge with some great tips to stretch your boots, so they fit from toe to ankle to calf and so on.
Step one to stretch leather boots
The first step to stretch your leather boots safely is to use boot stretching liquid spray. An example of this is FootFitter Shoe Stretch Spray or Kiwi Select Universal Shoe Stretch. This spray is safe for the outside and inside of your leather boots and should not leave residue on the outside or a smell that remains after the spray has dried.
When looking for stretching liquid, it is good to make sure that the product you are buying is clear and leaves behind no residue. The point of this is to make sure that your shoes don’t look like you’ve stretched them and that they have always fit you perfectly from toe to ankle to calf and beyond. You want to keep your boots looking nice to you keep looking nice.
To do this, and ensure that the outer leather won’t be damaged, is to spray on the inside of the boot. However, spraying on the outside of your boots a limited amount should not harm them as the spray is literally made for leather.
So, if your boots have a zipper, unzip them so you can see where you are spraying. Spray your leather boots, and then move your hands around inside of the boots for a little to work them out and stretch them. Then, while the material is still wet from the leather stretching liquid spray, put them on and walk around in them. This will make sure that the boots stretch to fit your feet as that should be the desired result.
Make sure to wear socks while you walk around in them as the spray can potentially irritate your bare feet. Also, to be on the safe side, wear socks that you don’t care about that much while trying to stretch the boots to their best and most comfortable width.
Step two to stretch leather boots
While in a perfect world, just the first step of the process to stretch your leather boots would work perfectly, but often that just is not so.
If just the stretching liquid spray did not stretch your leather boots well enough, fear not because there is another step. This next step includes the stretching liquid again, but adds another element. Now what you want to use is a wooden boot stretcher (or one made out of another type of durable material) with the leather stretching spray.
When looking for a good boot stretcher, you should make sure that it meets certain standards. First, it should have double stretching capabilities, and it should be made of solid materials (like wood, not cheap plastic). Make sure it includes additional features (such as additional bunion and corn pieces that add stretch to certain areas where these types of foot problems can be common). Your boot stretcher should be durable, meaning that it will last, and be just as effective beyond one use. Lastly, make sure it can work with multiple types of shoes, not just specific leather boots.
For this, unzip your boots and spray the inside of your boots with the leather stretching spray. Again work your hand around in there, then insert the boot stretcher. Expand the boot stretcher until it reaches the desired stretch. Leave the stretcher in until the material is dry. If this doesn’t stretch your shoes out enough, but worked at least a little bit, repeat this step or step one again, or maybe even both.
Remember, a boot stretcher can work wonders, but it may not be able to stretch the boots to fit your foot as comfortable as your foot can. Remember that walking around in the boots while the material is still wet with the leather stretching spray in one of the best and safest ways to stretch your leather boots to fit your feet the best.
Step three to stretch leather boots
Okay, there are some cases where the first two steps just do not stretch as well as you want and that can all go along with how long you are leaving the boot stretcher in. Or maybe, you’ve managed to stretch out your leather boots in the toe area, but your calf is not having it and needs a little more stretch.
Alright, now this step is for if the first two didn’t work for you. Don’t give up yet, because there is one more step to stretch out your leather boots, making shoe they fit from toe to ankle to calf and beyond. Only use this is the first two steps didn’t work well enough because this can potentially over stretch your boots. For this step, the boot stretcher is left in a little longer than just until the material dries from the leather stretching liquid spray.
So remember the tips above about the boot stretcher being capable for double stretching, made of solid material, including useful additional features, and is durable. These are important because you want to have a well-made boot stretcher for your well-made boots.
For this last step, unzip your boots so you can see inside of them. Spray the inside of your boots with the leather stretching spray (and maybe even a little on the outside for an extra umph), then insert the boot stretcher. Make the boot stretcher the right size and make sure that it is in the right spot. You do not want to stretch out a part of your leather boot that you did not actually want to stretch out. Now, instead of leaving the boot stretcher in until the stretching liquid is dry, leave the boot stretcher in overnight. This will increase the width of your leather boots.
Okay. If none of these steps work and none of the DIY methods work for you, it may be time to take the boots to a professional. Leather shops have people who know how to safely and effectively stretch out your boots.
Additional DIY stretch methods
Now, what if you do not want to go out and buy all these new products to stretch your leather boots? Or if you do not want to drive or walk over to a leather shop and pay even more to stretch the boots that you have already paid for? Well, if you would rather just stick to what you have at home, I have three additional do it yourself methods to increase the width of those leather boots so they will fit you from toe to ankle to calf.
The first method may sound a little messy, but it is worthwhile for width increase. Ok, get ready for this because it may sound odd: wet newspaper. Sounds weird, right? But, trust me, it works wonders and doesn’t cost a thing (as long as you have newspaper lying around).
For this, all you have to do is wet down some newspaper, crumple the newspaper up and either stick it directly into the leather boots or put it into socks and shove those into the boots. For added results, if you have boots stretching liquid, after wetting the newspaper, douse it with some leather stretching spray. This will make the shoes work from the inside out and will stretch them without having to purchase a boot stretcher. This only works if you stuff your boots to maximum capacity. A couple of pages of newspaper just place in the boots will not do the trick. Remember, you can fill it from toe to calf to make sure that all of your boot stretches
The second method may also sound a bit odd as well. This method is freezing. Now, you have to be careful with this though. Getting leather boots wet can damage them as water discolors leather.
For this method, fill sandwich bags with water, sealing them tightly, making sure there is no risk of them leaking. Put the bags inside of the boots in the toe area and other areas where there is tightness. Then stick the boots in the freezer, making sure they are sitting upright. The water freezing inside of the boots will cause them to stretch as when water is frozen, it expands. When the water is frozen, and you have allowed the boots to sit in the freezer for a couple of hours, take the boots out of the freezer and allow them to thaw. Not allowing them to thaw first can damage them. Don’t be discouraged if they don’t fit perfectly yet because this method may take more than one round to get right.
The next DIY method goes in the different direction than the former. This method is heat. This method involves a blow dryer, some thick socks, and your ready feet and calves.
Put on a couple of pairs of thick socks and then stick your feet in your leather boots. Your toes will be tight and uncomfortable, but that’s the point. If you are not uncomfortable, take your feet back out and add another pair of socks. Take a hair dryer and blow it onto your leather boots while you are wearing them. Make sure to bend and move your feet inside of the boots as much as possible as you do this because it will allow for the boots to stretch more easily. This is also the best DIY method to stretch the boots to your feet specifically, much like walking around in them with the leather stretching liquid spray.
Another way to save some money and use items that are already in your house it to create your own stretching spray. Pour 70% rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle. Spray the boots until the areas you need stretched are moist. Let the alcohol soak in for about twenty minutes and then slip them on. Walk around in them and stretch them out.
Hopefully, these tricks work and your leather boots fit wonderfully after this.
Other leather boots tips
Here are some more tips about your leather boots in general, beyond the stretch.
If your boots are just slightly tight, maybe adjust the socks you’re wearing. If you are wearing thick wool socks that could be the answer to your tight leather boots dilemma. Try wearing thinner socks. Peds makes a lot of really nice, thin, and durable socks.
Do you find yourself getting blisters from your boots? There are multiple options to fix this. One would be to buy heel liners (this is only if your heels are what are getting the blisters) or buy a blister prevention bar. This comes in a container that resembles a stick of deodorant, and all you have to do is apply it to problem areas before you put on your boots and it will help prevent blisters. These include Fab Feet Blisstick or Fancy Feet Blisstick. You can also take an easier method and apply band-aids to problem areas before putting on your leather boots. This will reduce the friction against your skin and your shoes that cause the blisters. The only downside to this solution is that the band-aids can easily slip off when rubbed the wrong way.
Now, here are some tips for general care for your leather. I know that if you are going through the trouble to stretch them out, you must care about the quality and look of your leather boots.
One is to keep them away from rain and snow. As mentioned before, leather does not do well with wet as it can cause unfortunate discoloration. Another tip is to moisturize it with leather conditioner. While the boot may not take well to water, they do take well to specially made moisturizer. To take care of the bottom of your boots, that part that has more likely contact with the ground, add a protective rubber sole. Especially in the winter, this can help the leather near the bottom of your boots avoid contact with the gross and wet ground. Another tip is to use leather creams as a way to treat the inevitable scuffs and fading that will occur when you wear your leather boots often. Choose a color that matches the color of your boots, and read the instructions on the packaging. The last tip for leather boots care is to wipe down your boots after every wear. Pick up a dust bag and remove any dust or dirt that has accumulated while you were wearing them out and about.
Yay, stretched boots!
Okay. Now, you are your leather boots are ready to take on the world. You have stretched and increased their width to fit your feet from your toes to your ankles to your calf. They fit great, and they look great because you’ve learned some awesome care tips as well. Enjoy your stretched leather boots and make sure to keep an eye on them because it would be a shame if anything ever happened to them. Okay. Get ready to go out and rock your day and your leather boots.
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé
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