Stretching Tight Boots at Home

by Cece Evans ; Updated September 28, 2017


boots & stirrups image by Clarence Alford from

Tight boots can ruin the wearer's day. Boots tight around the foot and ankle cause painful blisters within a few hours. If worn over time, tight boots often cause foot and ankle injuries, as the discomfort forces the wearer to walk in unnatural and injury-inducing ways.

Often it takes a few hours for boot buyers to realize that their new boots are too tight, and by this time it is difficult to return the boots to the store or online vendor. However, there are a number of solutions to tight boots which significantly increase comfort.

Instructions and Guidelines

Spray or apply shoe-stretch liquid on the boots. The spray relaxes the boots' leather fibers and causes the leather to stretch in response to pressure from the feet.

Results vary depending on the thickness and type of leather. Shoe-stretch spray, unlike water, doesn't stain the leather and also keeps the leather soft.

Wear the boots around for a few hours after applying shoe-stretch liquid. The time spent stretching the boots through wear depends on the thickness of the leather and how tight the boot is.

Insert a boot stretcher into the boot after applying shoe-stretch liquid, instead of wearing the boots around. Boot stretchers are basically shoe stretchers with a long handle--shoe stretchers are wooden foot-shaped blocks cut lengthwise. Turn the crank after inserting the stretcher to expand the wooden block to the desired shoe size. Leave in the boot for a few hours or days.


  • Shoe-stretch liquid and mechanical shoe stretchers are each effective on their own. However, the most effective results come from using both.

Photo Credits

  • boots & stirrups image by Clarence Alford from

About the Author

Cece Evans has worked as a professional writer and editor since 2008. She writes reviews and feature articles on contemporary art for a number of Texas-based and national publications such as the e-journal, ...might be good. Cece also works as a freelance editor and researcher. She holds a Master of Arts in art history from the University of Texas at Austin.