How To Make Your Own Boot Stretchers

The Corkboard Sretcher
The Corkboard Sretcher (Image: Alan Shepard)

Nothing stops a confident strut like tight boots. Shaft never had to stop and unzip his boots to let his feet rest. Clint Eastwood never had to stop, get off his horse and pull his boots off. Rest assured, no matter how tight, any pair of boots can be tamed. Although there are a number of high-tech, polymer shoe stretchers on the market, why shell out precious cash when you can craft a pair of boot stretchers for pennies?

Things You'll Need

  • 1-inch cork or chip board (30 inches squared)
  • Utility knife or handsaw
  • (4) 2-inch hinges
  • Screwdriver
  • Zippered plastic bags

Place the bottoms of your boots on the cork or chip board and trace them with a pencil. Make this a light, rough tracing. Then trace a larger template around the original. It only has to be 1/4 inch larger.

Cut out the larger shoe templates. Then cut each template into three pieces. This will allow the templates to be forced into the boots.

Fasten the hinges between the cut pieces, using two hinges per template. Be sure to fasten one hinge on top of the toe piece and one underneath the heel piece. This will ensure the templates bend properly.

Wrap each boot template into a zippered plastic bag. The bags will stop the chip or cork board from damaging the boot leather. There's no sense in stretching out your boots only to damage them in the process.

Leave the templates in your noncompliant boots for at least 6 hours. If they're still too tight, fit the templates back in and wait another 6 hours.

Tips & Warnings

  • When using a utility knife or handsaw, take precautions. Knives and saws can be potentially harmful.

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