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Can A Shoe Or Boot Be Stretched? Can I Stretch A Shoe Or Boot Myself?

Can A Shoe Or Boot Be Stretched?

Yes, any shoe or boot can be stretched. At Boyer's BootNShoe, we stretch dozens of boots and shoes every day. How much your footwear can be stretched will vary depending on what material they are made of and which area needs stretching. Leather footwear will stretch much more than man-made footwear. At Boyer's BootNShoe we can expertly increase the size of your shoes using a variety of professional equipment. We routinely stretch boots and shoes in the length, width, instep, heel, bunions or corns. On boots we also stretch tops and throats to make a boot easier to get on. If anywhere hurts we can usually stretch or soften the exact spot to give you relief.

Shoe Stretcher

Shoe Stretcher

Can I stretch a Shoe or Boot Myself?  Yes you can stretch a boot or shoe yourself. But how much and where it can be stretch will be more limited than what we at can do with our large assortment of professional equipment.



Getting a shoe to stretch requires two things: preparing the material and applying pressure.

Preparing The Material:

-Preparing Leather: Leather will stretch best when it is wet. Warm water can be used for this, however it may discolor or stain the leather. We recommend using a stretching solution, like Ariat Boot Stretch. This product easily penetrates the leather surface . You should test the solution on an area to make sure it does not discolor. However, we find that Ariat Boot Stretch rarely causes any discoloration. 


-Preparing Vinyl and Urethane: Man-made leather is best prepared by warming the surface. A Warm blow dryer can be used for this. Note that the surface may be damaged if it gets too hot, so use caution. 


-Preparing Fabric: Fabric can also be treated with Ariat Boot Stretch. Test it in an inconspicuous place to make sure it will not discolor the surface. However, we find that it rarely causes any discoloration.


Stretching The Shoe Or Boot

Shoe stretching 

-Stretching requires applying pressure to the area that needs stretched. This can be accomplished in three ways.


-Wear it.Just wearing the shoe after applying a wetting agent may be all that is needed. The shoe or boot will stretch in the tight area. However this takes time and if the shoe is too tight it may hurt too much during the process. This usually only works for the width or for a bunion or little toe area. It will not work for stretching the length.


-Use a stretching tool. You can buy wooden or plastic shoe and boot stretchers that spread apart and widen a shoe. Stretch to the desired size and then let the shoe dry or cool while still on the stretcher. Leave them on the stretcher overnight.  




- Stuff It. I've heard of people just stuffing their footwear with Newspaper. But this does not apply as much pressure so it limits how much it can be stretched. 


-Professional Tools – You can buy all kinds of professional tools but it may be more cost efficient to send them to us to Stretch or take to your local shoe repairman. 



Can Man-Made Materials Be Stretched?

Yes, but not as much as leather can. Leather is more forgiving.

Will Boots And Shoes Stretch On Their Own?

Yes, but it takes time and lots of wear. A good rule of thumb is: If a shoe or boot hurts your foot then stretch it. If a shoe or boot is snug then just wear it until it stretches or conforms to your foot.


Slim, The Boot Guy 

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The Boot Guy - September 27, 2022

Hello Jillian, honestly there isn’t a good and affordable length stretcher for cowboy boot length stretching on the market. We use a special hydraulic machine to help us do length stretches. I would suggest taking them to a local cobbler to help with this!

Jillian - September 15, 2022

Can you recommend a cowboy boot length stretcher? I’m needing a bit less than a 1/4" and followed the link but see nothing for length stretching. ;)

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