Stretching Tight Boots at Home

Written by cece evans
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Stretching Tight Boots at Home
Boots (boots & stirrups image by Clarence Alford from

Tight boots can ruin the wearer's day. Boots tight around the foot and ankle cause painful blisters within a few hours. If worn over time, tight boots often cause foot and ankle injuries, as the discomfort forces the wearer to walk in unnatural and injury-inducing ways.

Often it takes a few hours for boot buyers to realise that their new boots are too tight, and by this time it is difficult to return the boots to the store or online vendor. However, there are a number of solutions to tight boots which significantly increase comfort.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Shoe-stretch spray or liquid
  • Boot stretcher

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  1. 1

    Spray or apply shoe-stretch liquid on the boots. The spray relaxes the boots' leather fibres and causes the leather to stretch in response to pressure from the feet.

    Results vary depending on the thickness and type of leather. Shoe-stretch spray, unlike water, doesn't stain the leather and also keeps the leather soft.

  2. 2

    Wear the boots around for a few hours after applying shoe-stretch liquid. The time spent stretching the boots through wear depends on the thickness of the leather and how tight the boot is.

  3. 3

    Insert a boot stretcher into the boot after applying shoe-stretch liquid, instead of wearing the boots around. Boot stretchers are basically shoe stretchers with a long handle--shoe stretchers are wooden foot-shaped blocks cut lengthwise. Turn the crank after inserting the stretcher to expand the wooden block to the desired shoe size. Leave in the boot for a few hours or days.

    Stretching Tight Boots at Home
    (old shoehorn #2 image by Richard J Thompson from

Tips and warnings

  • Shoe-stretch liquid and mechanical shoe stretchers are each effective on their own. However, the most effective results come from using both.

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