How to Stretch Leather Boots to Ensure Comfortable Wear

Have you finally bought that pair of boots of your dreams but they fit a little bit tight? Fret not! This article covers several techniques on how to stretch leather boots you can try to ensure more comfortable wear.

When I am shopping for leather boots, it is really important to me that I try them on in-stores. That is because brand-new leather can be stiff at first, which leads to discomfort and pain. I also find that the manufacturer’s sizing chart can be sometimes inaccurate. Hence, it increases the chances of buying larger or smaller shoes that do not fit me.

But no matter how careful I am when choosing the right size, I still experience a tight fit that often ends in blisters and aches. So, I often ask myself if it is still possible to stretch leather boots to fit me better.

Fortunately, there are multiple ways to stretch leather boots, so they can ensure more comfortable wear. I will discuss each technique in the article below.

Without any further ado, let us get on with it!

Apply Leather Oil Conditioner

Leather Oil Conditioner

The first way you can try to stretch leather boots is to use an oil conditioner. You can find this boot stretcher product at your local cobbler or shoe store. Shopping online on Amazon and similar e-commerce sites is also worth considering.

Leather oil conditioners will help the stiff material soften, so you can stretch it easily. Just make sure to rub a small amount on the exterior of the boots. Then, let the solution soak in for a minute or so before wearing the leather shoes. You will find them more comfortable to wear once the leather is stretched.

Consider a Stretching Spray

Consider a Stretching Spray

If you prefer a more convenient way to stretch your pair of leather shoes, you can consider a spritz of stretch spray. This method on how to stretch leather boots does not involve waiting for the leather to soak in the solution. Instead, you just have to spray it on the boots and they will soften and stretch to fit you more comfortably.

However, depending on the type of spray you get, you may need to apply it inside or outside of the shoes. Always remember to carefully read the instructions before using the stretching spray. You do not want to ruin the leather material accidentally, especially if the boots are expensive.

Use a Boot Stretcher

Boot Stretcher

Do you want to increase the shoe size anywhere between a half-size width to one full size? Then, it is best to use a boot stretcher.

This special device effectively stretches the width of the toe box to shorten the break-in period of the boots. Hence, a shoe stretcher can ensure your comfort even if the footwear is brand-new and stiff. 

Besides expanding the length of the leather boots, a boot stretcher can also largen the construction around the top part. This type of device is known as a calf stretcher that offers a better fit around your legs.

There are also expanders that are similar to boot stretchers. They can adjust the instep of the shoes to give you as optimal comfort as possible. These can usually be found in your local shoe department store or online shopping sites.

Do note that a boot stretcher can cost you several bucks. However, in most cases, buying this device is considerably cheaper than a visit to the cobbler or a replacement pair of new boots.

Introduce Heat to the Leather

Another effective way to speed up the stretching process is to introduce hot air to the leather boots. You can try using a blow dryer or hair dryer to soften and gently stretch leather. 

Make sure to apply heat evenly over the surface of the leather for at least 30 minutes every day. You can repeat this process over the next few days until you achieve a comfortable fit.

Just be careful not to add too much heat because it can damage the genuine leather material. You should also avoid using a blow dryer or a hair dryer if you intend to use the boots the next day. That is because the moisture around the entire boot will take some time to dry.

Wear Thick Socks

Do you have extra pairs of socks that you rarely wear? Do not throw them away! Instead, you can put on a couple of pairs of thick socks when using your leather boots. You can even wear a single thick pair if the shoes simply require a little extra space. 

Wearing thick socks can help stretch leather and the width of the boots far enough to make them comfortable to wear. Remember to perform this for around 30 minutes every day for at least a week to get the best results. 

Spray Rubbing Alcohol on the Inside

You can also use rubbing alcohol to stretch the leather boots, especially when it comes to the calf area. Create a mixture of DIY stretching spray using ½ cup of water and ½ of alcohol. Then, shake the two ingredients in a small spray bottle.

Similar to a real leather stretching spray, you should spritz only a little amount of the solution to the boots. You might also want to avoid spraying the exterior of the leather shoes. Instead, apply the boot stretching solution on the inside to avoid damaging the leather boots. Doing so can expand the footwear a little to accommodate your feet.

Put the Boots in the Freezer

You might also be surprised to know that placing your genuine leather boots in the freezer can help stretch leather material. That is because when the water freeze, the ice can help expand and stretch your shoe. 

If you want to stretch boots with this method, you can start by filling a Ziploc or plastic bag with a bag of water. After that, seal and place the container inside the leather boots. Then, put the shoes inside the freezer. Leave them overnight and prop the heel upward, so the freezing water can move into the toe area. Once morning comes, remove the leather boots from the freezer and let the ice thaw. 

Besides expanding your shoes, you can also use ice to remove stubborn stains like gum or glue that is stuck on the leather.

Take the Leather Boots to a Professional

If the previous stretching techniques failed or you simply want to get it over with, you cannot go wrong when going to a professional. Visit your local cobbler and they will have the necessary machine to expand or stretch leather boots properly. The advantage of this method is you do not have to worry about messing them up on your own.

Just remember that you have to pay for the services of the cobbler. And depending on their level of expertise, you might want to prepare a large sum of money.


Leather boots do not have to be stiff and uncomfortable to wear. There are several techniques you can try to stretch the leather material for shoes that look and feel amazing. These include using boot stretchers, wearing thick socks, applying a leather conditioner, and even freezing the boots, among other methods.

Hopefully, this article informed you about the most effective ways to expand the width or length of the leather boots.