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  1. #1

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    Stretching leather shoes and boots - help!

    Does anyone have any experience with stretching out leather boots?

    I bought an AMAZING pair last week, but I had problems choosing the size. One size fit well in the length of the foot, but was tight around the calves and over the top of the foot. The second pair were way too long, but fit better in other places.

    Based on the assurance of not one, but 3 different sales staff that they would stretch out (and if they didn't, I could return them so long as I hadn't worn them out of the house), I took them home to wear around the house and try to break them in.

    This has worked over the top of the foot (mostly) and around the calves...but I would like to stretch them a little more. Has anyone ever tried to use a leather softener on the calves of boots? Many years ago I stretched some shoes, but never the calves of knee high boots

    They do fit fine with tights and long sock, but my hope is to stretch them a tiny bit so I can tuck my jeans in. I could return them for the size up, but am a massive clutz and worry that I'd trip over boots that are too long...

    Any advice?
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  2. #2

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    I would go to your shoe smith or local department store and get shoe stretch spray. It is basically isopropyl alcohol. Spray a little on the insides of the calf and wear them around the house. Good luck!
    "awwww....shades of Janet Lynn" - Dick Button on anyone who makes more than one mistake in their program.

  3. #3
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    I just recently had a pair stretched at my local shoe repair, was told to expect just a half a size bigger, and it was only $12. You can always try the water/freezer method, there are several YouTube tutorials like this one http://youtu.be/LA9OPuANjJs

  4. #4

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    Thanks for your input Cocomo, were the boots in fact half a size bigger after? Were you happy with the results?

    And Skatemommy, have you used the spray? I know what can be done and where I can buy it, I just don't want to ruin brand new boots, so am wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience and can tell me how it turned out

    As it happens, I wore them around the house today and they stretched out a lot - enough for me to put them on over jeans. They're still a bit tight though, especially over the top of the foot
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  5. #5
    Port de bras!!!
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    As Cocomo said, taking them to a shoe repair professional may help or wearing them over really sick socks around the house.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  6. #6
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    "He was a bad boy and I was a good girl
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  7. #7

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    PRlady - but I disagree. Shoes stretch. Especially leather ones

    Sick socks IceAlisa? Or thick socks? I might try increasing the thickness of the socks progressively. Thanks
    One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by *Jen* View Post
    PRlady - but I disagree. Shoes stretch. Especially leather ones

    Sick socks IceAlisa? Or thick socks? I might try increasing the thickness of the socks progressively. Thanks
    Thick, pardon the typo. Super thick and yes, try layering progressively.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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  9. #9
    Official FSU Alte Kacher
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    As a former shoe salesman, yes, leather will stretch. As a regular wearer of cowboy boots (like PL, I like pointy toes and high heels ), make sure the shaft is actually leather. Not all boots are. The material label will tell you. A good cobbler should be able to stretch them.
    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”– MLK

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reuven View Post
    As a former shoe salesman, yes, leather will stretch. As a regular wearer of cowboy boots (like PL, I like pointy toes and high heels ), make sure the shaft is actually leather. Not all boots are. The material label will tell you. A good cobbler should be able to stretch them.
    I also used to sell shoes, and will confirm what Reuven said - leather shoes can be stretched. So if these are leather, you're in luck.

    As with skate boots, leather can be stretched. If you bring them to a shoe repair guy/cobbler, they'll have a machine that'll do this quickly, and only in the exact places you need it.
    And so, dear Lord, it is with deep sadness that we turn over to you this young woman, whose dream to ride on a giant swan resulted in her death. Maybe it is your way of telling us... to buy American.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by *Jen* View Post
    And Skatemommy, have you used the spray? I know what can be done and where I can buy it, I just don't want to ruin brand new boots, so am wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience and can tell me how it turned out
    I've used isopropyl alcohol on specific places in my skates and it's worked well
    "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better." -- Samuel Beckett

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reuven View Post
    As a former shoe salesman, yes, leather will stretch.
    Doesn't it stretch wider, but not longer?

  13. #13
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    The sole of the shoe will prevent shoe size change, but width can be gained.
    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”– MLK

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by *Jen* View Post
    Thanks for your input Cocomo, were the boots in fact half a size bigger after? Were you happy with the results?
    My twelve dollars was money well spent and I'm guessing the stretch was just about a half size like they said. The kept my shoes for about 4 days so plan ahead if you want to wear them anythime soon.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reuven View Post
    The sole of the shoe will prevent shoe size change, but width can be gained.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cocomo View Post
    My twelve dollars was money well spent and I'm guessing the stretch was just about a half size like they said. The kept my shoes for about 4 days so plan ahead if you want to wear them anythime soon.
    Thanks guys I don't want the shoe size to change, I am just after width. I've committed to this pair, and wore them to work today. They've stretched out already, I'm just going to find the spray and then wear thicker and thicker socks
    One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.

  16. #16

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    Next time save 12 dollars... and buy cheap 5.99 bottle of Popov Vodka.
    Take thick socks, soak in Vodka and wear inside the shoes/boots for 2 hours.


    - This is a free Old World advise from the Victim of Soviet Consumer Goods Shortages who made size 34/35 shoes stretch to size 35/36 for 4 years

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinami Amori View Post
    Next time save 12 dollars... and buy cheap 5.99 bottle of Popov Vodka.
    Take thick socks, soak in Vodka and wear inside the shoes/boots for 2 hours.


    - This is a free Old World advise from the Victim of Soviet Consumer Goods Shortages who made size 34/35 shoes stretch to size 35/36 for 4 years
    Thanks Tinami. I haven't bought anything yet, so I'll keep it in mind
    One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.

  18. #18
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    And if the vodka doesn’t work, you can always drink it, then you won’t feel a thing!
    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”– MLK

  19. #19

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    I did think that my legs might be drunk. I'm sure it's possible to absorb alcohol that way
    One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.

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