You always want to own a pair of leather shoes that fit perfectly. But when I bought it, I realized that my leather shoes were a bit cramped and uncomfortable to use. Don’t worry about this problem, not only you but many people are also having to find a way to fix the tight leather shoes on their feet.
So how to stretch leather shoes and how much does leather shoes stretch, please read our following article.
Table Of Contents
- Why Does Leather Shoes Stretch?
- Why do You Need to Stretch Leather Shoes?
- How Much Does Leather Shoes Stretch?
- 7 Ways to Stretch Leather Shoes
- Is It Possible to Overstretch Leather Shoes?
- How to Know Your Leather Shoes Don’t Fit
- How Can You Avoid Having to Stretch Your Leather Shoes?
- What Are the Safest Stretching Techniques for Boots?
- Is It True That Leather Shoes Shrink?
Why Does Leather Shoes Stretch?
Genuine leather is a natural product that is designed to stretch. Leather is created from animal skin, just like ours, and it is supple, stretching, and shrinking in reaction to stress.
Leather shoes, on the other hand, extend from the inside. If you don’t wear them for a long period, they will shrink when exposed to external pressure.
Walking generates enough pressure for the skin to stretch spontaneously without the need for additional pressure. As leather is stretched over time, it normally grows softer and smoother, until it appears worn.
We encourage you to keep your shoe size as true as possible, as the leather will naturally stretch over time with your use. Although stretching measures in leather shoes are insufficient to rectify sizing mistakes, they will allow you immediately feel the shoes embrace your feet while avoiding pain. It’s referred to as “comfort fit.”
Stretching takes time, and a rest period of 100 hours is a decent general amount to utilize.
Why do You Need to Stretch Leather Shoes?
Sometimes it’s necessary to stretch the boots to the proper size to extend the life of the shoe, while other times it’s necessary for keeps your feet comfortable.
Even though tight boots have no obvious, short-term consequences, the continual rubbing of leather against one’s foot over time can develop shell-like dead skin, calluses, and bunions, among other problems.
The majority of foot issues may be prevented if your shoe/boot is the correct size. People often prefer to stretch boots when they are not the proper size to avoid such difficulties immediately or in the long run, and this is a sensible alternative!
How Much Does Leather Shoes Stretch?
How Much Does Leather Shoes Stretch? Experts believe that extending leather shoes is the only way to get a full size. If the stretch is excessive, especially all at once, it might harm the leather shoes’ integrity and make them more easily worn out over time, especially in the cold.
In reality, if you utilize a natural stretching method on a daily basis until the leg shoes have a good fit, you should only anticipate leather shoes to last around 1/4 of their original size. It depends on a number of conditions for it to extend more than 1/4 or half size, including:
- The kind of leather
- The leather’s treatment
- The leather’s age
If you have an extra-wide foot and you decide to order a pair of leather shoes with a regular width, they may be too hard to make the leather can be stretch to fit your foot.
Again, we recommend that you pick a genuine size leather shoe because the leather will most likely ultimately fit nicely against your foot’s particular form.
7 Ways to Stretch Leather Shoes
#1. Using Leather Stretching Spray/ Oil Conditioner
The mild and natural emollients in Leather Stretching Spray won’t stain or degrade the color of the leather.
Simply spray an adequate amount of the spray on your leather shoes, then put on your thickest socks and wear them until the spray has dried. This enables the shoe to extend organically as you walk in it.
Sprays and conditioners intended to stretch leather shoes are readily available at any shoe store or local shoemaker. You may also look for them on Amazon.com and other online purchasing sites. You may select from a variety of hundreds of various sorts.
Depending on the style of shoe you buy, you may need to spray the inside or outside. Before using, be sure you read the directions thoroughly to avoid damaging the leather.
You’ll need to rub a tiny quantity of leather conditioner over the exterior of the leather and let it soak in. This chemical will assist the leather in stretching by allowing it to relax a little.
One of the simplest methods to tighten leather is to use these chemicals, which you can manufacture yourself by combining alcohol and water and spraying the liquid inside the boots before attempting to stretch. For this, use a 1-1 ratio of water to alcohol.
#2. Using Boot Stretcher
These boot stretchers are meant to protect your feet from severe blisters and discomfort caused by improper size. These useful tools are a worthwhile buy if your foot feels cramped in too small leather boots.
To use, just slip the tool into your pair of boots, then adjust the breadth of the boot stretcher by turning the knob clockwise and gradually stretching the form of the shoe.
For optimum results, let the device inside your boots for 24 to 48 hours before trying them on to see how they fit. Because this boot stretcher is extra-long, it may be used on higher boots.
If you’re going to use this approach, make sure you don’t harm the leather. Before removing the boot stretcher, allow it to sit in the shoe for a few hours.
It’s preferable to stretch a bit less than you think you need and then repeat the process than to overstretch and damage your shoes.
#3. Using Boot Calf Stretcher
If you’re wearing a boot that’s mid-calf in length. A calf stretching gadget could be the best option for you. These devices, like the original boot stretcher, function by gently expanding the leather material to alter the width of your boot calf.
Place them down the shaft of your boots and alter the width to fit your needs. Allow at least 24 hours for them to settle within the boots before trying them on. If the boots are still too tight, you may need to repeat the process.
These not only assist to stretch out your boot calves but can also be used to store your tall boots standing up once you’ve attained your desired width. This helps to improve air circulation (which reduces odor and fungus) as well as prevent creases and wrinkling, extending the life of your boots.
***See More: How Do Converse Shoes Fit [Expert Advice 2021]
#4. Using Heat to Stretch
Firm leather will relax and expand as a result of a burst of heat. That is why this blow-dry process is effective.
Another approach may necessitate caution, but if you warm up the leather, you can stretch it out gradually. Warm up the leather with a heat source inside the boots, such as a hairdryer, and then place a shoe form or some balled-up socks inside the boot to keep the shape.
If you place anything in the boot that keeps the leather slightly stretched out, it will be more likely to maintain that size after it cools down.
To make extra room in your boots, wear them with thick socks (or two), and then use a blow dryer on a high or medium setting for 20 to 30 seconds on the parts you want to stretch out. Keep the boots on until they cool, then take them off and try them on with a regular pair of socks to see how they fit. As required, repeat the process.
You may also put your boots on while wearing thick socks and use a hairdryer to warm them up from the outside. Put them on with a thick pair of socks (or two) and then use a blow dryer on high or medium for 20 to 30 seconds to stretch out the regions you want to stretch out.
Keep the boots on until they cool, then take them off and try them on with a regular pair of socks to see how they fit. As required, repeat the process.
Again, use caution while using this approach, especially when blowing hot air directly on the leather, since the heat can harm the material if it is applied too close or too intensely.
#5. Using Freezer Water Method
On the other hand, you may avoid the heat entirely by freezing your leather boots. Fill a sealable plastic bag halfway with water, then carefully place it into the boot’s foot. Make sure the sack is pressed onto the region you’re attempting to stretch (ex: the toe).
Place your boots in the freezer after that. As the water freezes, it expands, stretching the leather gradually.
When using this approach, keep in mind that too much water might harm the leather, so make sure the water bags are well-sealed and won’t leak when placed inside the shoes.
***See More: What Makes A Good Hiking Shoe/Boot?
#6. Using Newspaper
Stretching leather shoes using old newspapers is a good idea. Wads of paper should be crumpled and gently wetted before being stuffed into your boots.
The paper will expand and stiffen as it dries, stretching out the shoe. If necessary, repeat this procedure each time you store your boots to help them maintain their form and elasticity.
#7. Using Thick Socks
This approach is used to break in shoes and prevent blisters, but using thick socks to fill up your shoes will also soften the leather and allow it to stretch out.
The sock technique, on the other hand, may be quite unpleasant since it tightens the boot even more. It is, however, a simple technique to stretch the leather if you can accomplish it without causing yourself discomfort.
Is It Possible to Overstretch Leather Shoes?
Leather boots can, in fact, be overstretched. This usually occurs when they are intentionally stretched rather than as a result of normal use. It can happen if the leather is stretched for too long or if too much pressure is used during the stretching procedure.
When leather is overstretched, it can be shrunk back down but may not return to its previous size, despite its elasticity. When you overstretch a material, it alters its composition. It may be tough to shrink the boot back to its normal size as a result of this.
This is one of the dangers of purchasing secondhand leather footwear. Unless you buy an insert to enhance the fit, the boots will always feel a little loose if the original owner had bigger feet than you.
How to Know Your Leather Shoes Don’t Fit
- Heavy creasing indicates that your shoes are ill-fitting. If you wear a shoe that doesn’t fit properly, your foot will flex in places it wasn’t meant to bend. As a result, ugly fractures appear. These cracks not only detract from the appearance of your shoes but also indicate that you are endangering your feet.
- Inside the shoe, your feet flop around. Your heel should feel relatively tight and secured inside the shoe. While a little slipping is okay, it should not be apparent during your usual stride.
- You’re aware that your foot is sliding out of the shoe. This can result in friction burns and wounds on your heels, as well as a significant tripping danger! That’s the last thing you want when you’re attempting to impress someone.
- From the outset, the shoes are painfully tight. From the first wear, we think a great fitting shoe should feel just “comfortably snug.” Although leather may stretch and mold with use, it should still be a comfortable fit right out of the box.
- Your foot’s widest section does not line up with the broadest part of your shoe. This usually means your shoes are too short, and you should alter the length and breadth accordingly.
How Can You Avoid Having to Stretch Your Leather Shoes?
You probably won’t want to have to use any stretching methods for leather shoes for fear of affecting the quality of the leather. Here are a few essential tips to help you find comfortable leather shoes in the first place.
#1. Custom Boots:
A few high-end boot companies create boots that are tailored to the customer’s specifications. These firms will use the information you supply about your feet to create custom-made shoes that properly fit your feet. This will provide you a more comfortable shoe right out of the box than mass-produced shoes.
#2. Adjustable Inserts:
Some companies use adjustable inserts that assist tailor the boot to the correct width for your foot. Although not the most effective approach, adding an adjustable insert to your boots allows you to wear them more freely without having to stretch them.
#3. Moc Toe Boots:
For those of you who suffer from tight toes, moc-toe work boots can give a bit extra toe box room. Obviously, the fit varies by manufacturer, but if you require toe space, a moc toe work boot is a good option.
#4. Shopping in The Afternoon.
Shopping for shoes in the afternoon is a great time because your feet will be able to warm up and expand. When your feet are at their biggest, a correctly fitted shoe should fit them. This will provide you with comfort throughout the day.
#5. Put on the Correct Socks.
Because wearing tube socks with formal shoes is a no-no. When trying on shoes, use thin dress socks for a more accurate fit evaluation.
What Are the Safest Stretching Techniques for Boots?
Any method that includes extending the boot from the inside out, especially one that works directly around the contour of your foot, will give you the most natural fit. If you don’t want to wear the shoe and want to utilize a dampening system, remember that you must extend the boot until it is totally dry or you risk shrinkage.
Is It True That Leather Shoes Shrink?
Yes! When the conditions are correct, leather shoes may shrink. It will be considerably more difficult to shrink leather if it has been overstretched. Shrinking leather is a considerably more difficult procedure that might harm the boots.
It’s not a good idea to try to shrink your leather boots at home since you might wind up ruining them. If they become too large after usage or stretching, a smart option is to add an insert to compensate for the extra space or see if a cobbler can assist.
Stretching leather shoes will help you overcome tight conditions when using them. Stretching leather shoes helps you find a comfortable fit when using them, however, you should still choose shoes that are the right size from the start because excessive stretching of the leather can shorten the life as well as the aesthetics of the shoe.
Hopefully, this article will help you find the most suitable method to stretch your leather shoes and understand how much does leather shoes stretch to have the perfect fit leather shoes.