How to Shrink Western Boots Using Vinegar

by Stacey Beth ; Updated September 28, 2017

You can shrink stretched out boots by using a little vinegar.

Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

Western boots never go out of style, so if you are into the cowboy look, investing in a good pair is worth every penny. But even the most well-made boots can stretch out after a lot of wear. So if you have a pair that has become too big, you don't need to wear two pairs of socks to make them fit. You can shrink the boots down using vinegar. It's a time-tested remedy that works like a charm.

Items you will need

  • Soft cloth
  • Leather conditioner
  • One cup of water
  • One cup of white vinegar
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Pair of thick cotton socks
  • Hair dryer
Step 1

Use a soft cloth to apply a light coat of leather conditioner to your boots. Vinegar can be dehydrating, so this will help to prevent your boots from drying out. Conditioner will also keep the vinegar from staining the leather.

Step 2

Pour one cup of water and one cup of white vinegar into a bowl. Mix well with a wooden spoon.

Step 3

Place a pair of cotton socks into the bowl. Let them sit for a minute or two to soak up the liquid.

Step 4

Place one soaked sock into each boot, pushed up into the toes. Let your boots sit for two hours.

Step 5

Set a hairdryer on a medium setting and begin to dry the boots on the inside and outside. Continue until they are halfway dry, leaving them slightly damp.

Step 6

Place the boots in a warm spot in your home to finish drying. If it is a nice day, put them in shaded area outside. Don't set them in the direct sunlight, which can cause them to discolor.


  • If the boots have not shrunk to your satisfaction, repeat the above process one more time.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

About the Author

Stacey Beth is a magazine editor and wardrobe stylist who has been writing about fashion since 2001. Her work has appeared in many online magazines, including The Ground, Unallied, Iconography, Ladygunn, Boho, Venus and Eliza. Beth holds a Bachelor of Science in fashion design.