Leather work boots provide excellent protection, insulation, and they are appropriate for nearly all working environments. But sometimes, a snug fitting pair of leather work boots that you recently purchased may be a little too tight. While you may already be aware that the leather will ultimately stretch and match up to your foot’s unique shape, do you know how much leather can stretch? In this post, you will discover why leather boots stretch as well as how much they stretch. You will also get some tips on how to stretch leather boots at home.
See also: How to Measure Your Feet for Shoes
Do Leather Boots Stretch and How Much?
Why Do Leather Boots Stretch?
Original leather is pliable by nature. Leather is derived from dead animal skin and like human skin; it can shrink and stretch naturally. As you walk around wearing your boots, the pressure exerted on the leather will cause it to stretch naturally even with no external force or strain.
Since leather is naturally pliable, you should always strive to select boots that are your size. The boots might feel a bit snug during the initial wear, but they will get a lot more comfortable once they have been properly stretched. If the boots are excessively tight or large, bear in mind that stretching will not resolve the sizing issues. Your leather boots will take a bit of time to stretch, particularly if you plan to stretch the boots by wearing them.
See also: How to Shrink Leather Boots
How Much Can You Stretch Leather Boots?
Most shoe professionals agree that the ceiling here is one full size. However, this will depend on various factors including the type of leather, how old the leather is, and the treatment given to the leather.
When attempting to stretch your leather boots, take care to avoid overstretching them. This can occur when you put excessive strain on the leather in the course of stretching. Excessive stretching might ruin the boot’s integrity thereby increasing its likelihood to break down over time.
See also: How to Stretch Work Boots
How to Stretch Leather Boots at Home
The Boot Stretcher
The boot stretcher is a tool that is specially designed for the sole purpose of stretching boots. Aside from being highly effective, this technique guarantees consistent results. Stretchers come in various types. Thus, you must select the appropriate type based on how you want to stretch your boots. If you are looking to expand your boot’s width, a 1-way stretcher is most suitable for this purpose. If you want to widen as well as lengthen your leather boots, choose a 2-way stretcher.
Freeze Your Boots
For this, you will require some water and a gallon-sized ziploc bag. Pour some water into the ziploc bag until it is halfway full. Place the bag inside your leather shoes and position the boots in such a manner that the heels are slightly elevated. This will help ensure most of the water is within the toe region. Place the boots within the freeze and leave it overnight. Remove the shoes from the freezer in the morning and let them sit for some time so the water can thaw out. Lastly, take the ziploc bag out of the boots.
The water will expand as it freezes thereby stretching your boots in the process. Before you wear the boots, leave them under the sun to dry. Repeat the above process until you achieve your desired results.
You will require a hair dryer plus thick socks for this process. Wear the boots after wearing the thick socks. With a medium heat setting, run the dryer over the leather boots lingering on sections that are especially tight. Take care not to apply excessive heat as this may ruin the leather.
The heat softens the leather as well as reforms it to suit the additional volume from the thick socks. If required, repeat this process everyday until you achieve the desired result.
Wear the Boots While Wet
Immerse the boots within a basin of water. Leave the shoes in the water for approximately 7 minutes so it can absorb water. Next, wear the soaked boots and walk around in them for approximately 30 minutes. If you prefer, you can insert a stretching tool within the shoes to stretch them. As the boots dry, apply some conditioning cream on the leather and gently massage it in. This will help the boots to preserve their new form.