General Question

prioritymail's avatar

Are these leather boot issues fix-able by a cobbler?

Asked by prioritymail (1617 points ) January 12th, 2012

I just got a pair of boots on EBay and the seller’s measurements were way off. The sole is an inch narrower, the shaft height is 2” longer, and the top opening is 1.5” smaller. This all adds up to the difference between a shoe that fits and one that does not.

How much can one stretch leather without damaging it? My toes and calves want a little more room. How much does it cost to have the shaft height reduced? Do people typically wear socks with boots? I imagine this is a nice thing to be able to do?

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9 Answers

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

That’s a real stretch to get them to fit properly. Send them back.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I agree with @RealEyesRealizeRealLies. The seller’s measurements weren’t off they were wrong.
Contact the seller via eBay messages and explain the issue with the faulty listing measurements. If you don’t get results in the next 12hrs, open a case with ebay’s resolution center. You’ll get a refund so you can buy a pair that fits.

As for stretching…there’s zero chance to stretch a sole an inch. The rest of the boot could be stretched, but not that much.

gailcalled's avatar

When my father was at law school, he worked part-time as a salesman in a shoe store. One of his pieces of advice I remember while growing up was, “If the shoes don’t fit when you leave the store, they never will.”

Caveat emptor. But worth trying to send them back.

Bellatrix's avatar

I think trying to make those shoes fit would really stretch them. I think you would ruin them and I can’t imagine they will ever be comfortable. I agree with the ‘send them back’ advice. The details given were inaccurate.

john65pennington's avatar

Chances are if you take the boots to a shoe repairman, the seller will not take the boots back or give you a refund.

Let them be and return them to the seller telling them they gave the wrong size and will not fit your feet.

prioritymail's avatar

Thanks everyone, this is definitely an option I’m considering. On the other hand, I only paid $23 shipped and I can put them on and walk around, the fit is just not perfect. Even though the measurements were pretty far off from what I expected, they aren’t as wildly far from what I need. My foot is 3” wide so I probably need like1/4 to ½” more or something, without socks; the shaft height definitely would need to be reduced, but after that’s done I think I’d just want them to be maybe ½” larger in diameter, or even ¼” might work. I found this guys post about stretching leather boots. These are leather lined, so he says you can get up to 3/8” total without ruining them, and he also says you can stretch the sole width-wise, which I think is pretty remarkable. I might just experiment. I also read that a cobbler can add a leather insert to give you more width in the calves, but I don’t think that would be necessary here. Another thing is the leather has that stiff new feeling and doesn’t feel broken in, so even wearing them around a little would probably improve comfort…

http://bootedharleydude.blogspot.com/2011/07/how-much-can-cobbler-stretch-pair-of.html

prioritymail's avatar

On second thought, he says that leather coated with plastic “will develop surface cracks if they are stretched, so it is not recommended to try to have those boots stretched.” When I search images of his brand examples, it looks very similar to what I’m dealing with. How can I tell if the leather is coated with a polymer? With patent leather, it’s obvious, but with his Chippewa examples, there is just some shine to the surface rather than the reflective thick coating you expect with patent leather. Is it that you can’t see any grain texture?

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@prioritymail: If the boots are dyed and not an extremely expensive brand then the chances are the color is in the polymer coating which not only dyes the leather but gives any pores, cracks or thin spots a more uniform appearance. You’ll spend a lot to reduce the shaft height and if you’re successful in stretching the toe box wider then you risk weakening the stitches to the last, if they are stitched at all instead of glue bonded.

If you paid with paypal, ebay is really good about resolutions, no matter the cost.

prioritymail's avatar

Thanks @Neizvestnaya. They look like this. It doesn’t look like normally dyed leather in that you cannot see any of the grain. The surface looks perfectly smooth…but matte, not shiny like you expect with patent.

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