General Question

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Can you stretch the leather on the shaft of a leather boot? If so, how?

Asked by DarlingRhadamanthus (11201 points ) May 27th, 2010

I bought a pair of leather boots via a catalogue and it is too late for returns. The shoe part fits fine. It’s a zip up boot and the shaft is cut really narrow (they are Italian boots, not made for American calves, apparently.) I am not overweight, but I workout and have more defined calves. It zips halfway up and can’t go further. Is there any way that I can stretch the leather out? Or does a shoe shop/cobbler do this sort of work? Any other solutions? These are really lovely boots and I would like to wear them.

Thanks in advance.

(I’m putting Texas in my topic box…because I know Texans know their boots!)

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6 Answers

Bobby42's avatar

Buy a leather conditioner, let it dry, and wear around the house, repeat, it sounds goofy that you would have to wear them around the house but it works. I have also heard of a “stretching liquid” that you can buy from shoe stores but I have never tried it- apparently when you use that you also have to get a metal/wooden shoe stretcher to insert into the boot. Be careful not to stretch too much. I hope this helps, it is always a pain when you buy boots and they don’t fit.

kevbo's avatar

In the U.S., there’s a store called Earth Shoe that is normally found in shopping malls. They usually have a boot stretcher in the back. I’d look around for a store in the U.K. that is similar. They should be able to do it for you.

anartist's avatar

When you are not wearing them, squirt them with the conditioner or something in a little red platic bottle called Leather Stretch [you can get it at cobbler’s/leather repair shop] and zip them up over a cylinder or appropriate size. Gradually increase size of cylinder.

Use the shoe stretch when you wear them too.

jpwilson25's avatar

As mentioned, first try the leather conditioner (which you have to let dry first). Second would be the stretching liquid (which you use while wet I believe). Both of those can usually be found at any boot store. I’m not sure how common boot stores are there but here in Texas, there’s usually one around the corner haha.

Aside from that, you could always take them in to see what can be done. One solution would be to have an elastic inset added to the shaft so that they stretch enough for you to zip.

Note: I do not condone any of the following methods haha

If you wanna get crazy (and possibly ruin your boots), get them wet and then wear them around. I’ve done this with my cowboy boots but would probably avoid doing so with something really nice.

And if you wanna get REALLY crazy, fill a bag with water and stick it into the shaft of the boot. Pop it in the freezer for a while and as the water expands, it should stretch out the boot. Just make sure you use leather softener to help avoid cracking.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

A good shoe repair shop may be able to stretch them for you, depending on how much too tight they are.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

If you can still find a real shoe and boot maker where you live, they have the skills and knowledge to do this best. Remember, the zipper may be damaged by stretching procedures!

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