How To Stretch Calf of Boots With Zipper?

Boots that reach up to your calf tend to fit tight around your lower legs. I’ll cover tips for how to properly stretch the calf of boots with a zipper.

I have tried a lot of different calf boots over the years, and one thing that really bothers me is when they scrape and squeeze my lower legs. I have tried getting a size up but they ended up being too large for my feet.

I know how difficult it is to find the balance between the heel and calf size of the boots. That is why I made it a point to research how to stretch calves of boots with a zipper properly.

Below, I will discuss the different ways how to stretch boot calves. I will also answer some of your frequently asked questions about boot stretching methods. Hopefully, by the end of the article, you will have boots that comfortably fit around your heel and calf.

What You Will Need for Stretching Calf Boots

There are a few things you will need to get before stretching your calf boots. Don’t worry, though! Most of these items are available in supermarkets or even your home.

  • Socks (preferably a thick pair)
  • Shoe stretcher
  • Boot stretching spray
  • Newspaper
  • Blowdryer
  • Towel

However, do note that you would probably not need most of these items at the same time. Take what is only necessary to stretch your boots.

How to Stretch Calf Boots?

Leather boots that go away up to your calf are among the most popular boot styles today. However, they tend to be difficult to put on, especially new pairs because they have not been broken in. 

Fortunately, there are several methods to stretch calf boots. Read on below to learn more about them!

Use a Boot Stretcher

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One of the quickest and most effective ways to expand boots is to use a dedicated shoe stretcher.

As its name suggests, this special device can stretch the calf area of the boots. It can also increase the shoe size by at least half a size or one full size. So if you accidentally bought a larger boot, you can rely on this particular piece of equipment. Overall, a boot stretcher can help shorten the break-in period of the boots and ensure all-day comfort.

However, before using a boot calf stretcher, it is best to examine the zipper of the boots. Make sure that it is strong enough to stretch. If the zipper is not sewn in well or has poor construction, you risk damaging it when you use too much pressure with the shoe stretcher.

Once you are confident that the zipper can handle the pressure, you can proceed to insert the boot stretcher into your pair of boots.

Then, depending on the style of boot stretcher, you can twist the lever or small wheel in the center. Adjust the device until it fits snugly in the calf of the boot.

Finally, leave the boot stretcher inside the shoes for up to two hours. To achieve the best results, you might want to leave them overnight.

Apply Leather Stretching Spray

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If you do not have the budget to invest in a boot stretcher, do not worry. You can opt to use a leather stretching spray instead.

You can rely on this specially formulated solution to stretch leather boots and ensure comfort. You can easily find this product at a shoe repair shop, shoe store, or any online retailer. 

Simply apply the leather stretching spray inside your boots. Make sure to avoid spraying the boot exterior. That is because the liquid solution contains chemicals that can lead to faded leather material. 

You also have to be extra careful when you are treating boots with light tone leather to prevent possible discoloration of your new shoes.

After spraying the leather calf boots, wait for a moment until they absorbed the solution. Once the spray dries, you can put on your shoes straight away and enjoy comfortable wear throughout the day.

Wear Thick Socks

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Before trying out the boot stretcher or spray method, you might want to consider wearing socks first. This way to stretch calf of boots would probably not cost you much. That is because it is likely that you have extra pairs of socks hidden around your home. So, all you have to do is find them and put them on when wearing your calf boots.

It is best to don a thick pair of socks to stretch leather boots. Make sure to move your feet well inside to expand the fit of the shoes around your ankle area.

At the same time, wearing socks can minimize the risk of ripping or rubbing your skin. In other words, you can ensure comfort when putting on socks.

Do note that this method requires you to be patient. It might take several days or weeks to see substantial results. But if you perform this for at least 30 minutes every day, you can notice faster results.

Try the Newspaper Method

Besides wearing socks, using newspapers is another cost-effective way to stretch the calf of boots with zipper.

Take any extra or old newspaper you have at home. Crumple up some sheets of paper into several tight balls. Then, moisten them slightly with water.

After that, slip the balls of newspaper into your boots. Make sure to fill all the space.

Finally, leave the calf boots to air dry for around 24 hours. As the paper dries, you can expect them to expand and harden, which ultimately stretches out your boots.

You can perform this method every time you store your boots. Doing so can help keep their shape and optimal stretch for as long as you need. 

Consider Blow Drying the Boots

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You can also stretch calf boots by introducing heat. You can either use a boot dryer or a handy blow dryer.

Using the blowdryer method, you simply apply heat evenly over the boot exterior. Although you should focus on the calf area, make sure to cover other parts of the boots as well. Doing so can help expand both the calf and heel area of the boots for more comfortable wear.

Turn on the lowest setting and apply heat to the boots for at least 30 minutes every day. Feel free to repeat this process over the next few days or weeks until you achieve your desired fit.

Go to a Cobbler

Did you try the previous stretching techniques but failed? Or are you afraid of damaging the delicate nature of your boots? If so, you can always consider visiting a professional.

Take your boots to your shoe repair shop. You can tell the cobbler which areas of the shoes are giving you the most discomfort or trouble. Then, you can expect them to return your boots already stretched in the right places.

When you let a cobbler fix your boots, you do not have to worry about damaging your boots. You can get over the process quickly because they will have the necessary machine to expand your boots properly. 

However, remember that you have to pay for their professional service. And depending on their level of expertise, you might end up spending a large sum of money. So, I do not recommend this method unless you really have no choice but to go to a cobbler.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I alter boots to fit my calves?

If your boots are too tight, you can alter them for a perfect fit around your calves. The easiest method to reshape boots is to use leather stretching spray or a boot stretcher.

The former simply requires you to spritz the liquid formula on the interior of the boots. Then, wear them until the calf of the boots expands to a comfortable level.

On the other hand, the latter can effectively stretch out your boots without the need to wait for a long time.

How long does it take to stretch calf of boots?

It is hard to say exactly how long it will take to stretch calf boots. The expansion period depends on the type of material or leather of the shoes.

The key to stretching boots is to go slow. Trying out fast methods, such as putting footwear inside the freezer, will only work momentarily. However, they will eventually return to their prior shape. These can also damage the upper material. So it is best to do a little each day for the first few days of owning a new pair of boots.

What is the safest way to stretch your boots?

Most methods of stretching your boots listed in this article are relatively safe. However, they still carry a risk of damaging your boots, especially if you do not know how to properly use them. Take the blow dryer method for instance. If you accidentally turned it on to its highest setting, you can damage the boots.

So if you want the safest way to stretch your boots, bring them to a cobbler. You can trust these professionals to know exactly what to do when expanding your boots. But, of course, their expertise comes at a price.


Boots that reach your calf can be uncomfortable to wear, especially if they are still new. They require a break-in period but even then, they cannot guarantee a more comfortable fit around your calf and lower legs.

It is best to try different methods to stretch calf of boots with zipper. Hopefully, this article gave you some ideas on how to expand your shoes without costing you a lot.