Stretching Boots in the Toes


New boots are great, but sometimes the tight toe box creates blisters and painful joints. Besides suffering through the break-in process by wearing them all the time, you can stretch the toe box with the right tool. Once completed, the newly-fitted boot will feel much better, preventing them from sitting in the closet collecting dust.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden shoe stretcher
  • 50/50 isopropyl alcohol and water mix
  • Spray bottle
  • Spray the shoe with the water and alcohol mix, inside and out. Doing this relaxes the leather fibers, making it more compliant to the stretcher. Let the solution sit for a few minutes.

  • Insert the stretcher into the boot. Push the end of the tool all the way to the front of the toe box.

  • Turn the handle on the back of the tool until the boot's upper is visibly taut.

  • Leave the tightened stretcher in the boot for roughly 24 hours. Remove the stretcher and test-fit the boot. Repeat the process until the fit is satisfactory.

Tips & Warnings

  • Condition the boots with leather conditioner to help restore some of the moisture lost from exposure to the alcohol.
  • Do not quick-dry boots by using a hair dryer or other direct heating source. Doing so prematurely dries the leather, risking cracks and fissures that are unrepairable.

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