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How to Stretch Cowboy Boots – 10 Easy Ways

how to stretch cowboy boots
Written by Willie F Brodson
Last Update: August 23, 2022

Cowboy boots are the shoes for bringing out the glam factor on a day out. Whether you’re going for an evening out on the town with your friends or just heading out for dinner with your partner, a smart pair of cowboy boots can instantly elevate your outfit.

One thing that can blow your intimacy with your cowboy boots is the dis-comfy experience when it has not been stretched out properly. Sometimes its nature of being heavy duty might be the reason for its hard leather but that doesn’t mean the elephant can’t carry its trump. In other words, they’re not your typical day-to-day shoe if they’re not stretched out properly. Apart from this, you should also know how to clean and tie the boot appropriately.

Here’s how to effectively give your shoe the attention they deserve.

Best Ways To Stretch Cowboy Boots

Cowboy Boots

Wear your cowboy boots many times

This is one of the easiest and effective methods to start with. Rub the boots with your legs in circles as you walk. Then, do this method 2-3 times a day. This will be helpful to relieve the pain for sure. Also, try to wear cowboy boots at night. Here, it is better to wear cowboy boots only for a few hours. This will be more effective than doing it during the day only.

Use steam to stretch

With this method patience and hardworking will bring excellent results. Place the steamer of hot water in the direction perpendicular to the boots. Maintain a 20 seconds heating of the leather while you’re feeling it. Be careful to not overheat your leather as it may change the color if overheated. Once you achieved the softer touch inside and outside your boot stop the application.

Use heat from the hairdryer

A welcoming idea to make your boot feel more relaxed is using the hairdryer. Heat is applied on the outer coats with nothing applied to the sole. A moisturizer should be enough for a less shiny boot. Using the hairdryer is important because it prevents sticking nature on your leather boots; which in turn helps to keep the boot in place while it gives your feet some warmth. Be careful to regulate the amount of heat though as it might be dangerous too.

Use lotion to soften the leather

A lot of people are only acquainted with lotion for polishing leather to shine. But there’s something more than that! It’s to soften your boot’s leather. Lubricating, dampening, and conditioning your leather allows it to be easily stretched and fitted into the length that you want, in a much easier way. Rub the leather lightly and generously, particularly around the hinge-holes. This makes the texture of the material suppler so that it allows you to get the boots to fit your feet.

Use alcohol and Vaseline to soften

Have the results of using Vaseline and alcohol could ever cross your mind? If yes, you could have started with it but anyway let’s see. Grab that bottle of wine from the fridge, today no popping Champagne until the boots are ready!

With the use of cotton poor it little like you normally do on your glass and then start to wipe the boots until the boots are drunk with wine. Use a gentle hand to apply Vaseline on the boots to prevent unwanted damage. After it has dried up, rub the alcohol that’s on the layer of your boots and remove excess Vaseline as well as any marks of wear.

Spray water around and inside cowboy boots

As water is a good solvent both for solid and liquid, so it is with the leather boots. When water is splashed on top and inside the boots continually, its leather will result to be smooth. Make sure the spray is not too strong, or you will end up having damage to your expensive boots.

Use cowboy boot stretcher

There are different types of boot stretchers and you’ve to pick the one that fits your boots need. When compared to other methods this seems simpler whenever it’s combined with stretching liquids.

If you want to stretch the length and the width of your shoe apply the double-stretcher.

If you want to uplift only the toe part higher use the toe-stretcher.

Use boot stretcher sprays and leather conditioners

There are a lot of remedies to employ when it comes to boot stretcher sprays, you may employ these conditioners to smoothen the skin of those cowboy boots, making them more comfortable to fit and spread.

The boot stretcher spray and conditioners can be used to stretch the boots in portions as you’re spraying you can be stretching too. These products are highly efficient and highly absorbent, allowing you to stretch the boots even more. These brands are suitable for several brands of leather boots.

Use ice

This is indeed a quick and efficient approach for minimal to medium changes, but don’t expect a complete transformation. The water crystals tend to expand hence they will push towards the shoe. You can fill some nylon bag with water partially or even use a Ziploc bag which is mostly recommended. Push out all the air space out of the bags and carefully push it to the exact place you want it to be stretched.

If you want to stretch the calf, adjust it towards its direction in a gentle manner by using soft tissues or newspaper. If you want it towards the toe direction do it in a likewise manner towards the toe. The change should be made overnight to allow the boots to fully cool off.

Use warm water bags

These bags are completely removable so that you can both unzip them and use them to stretch the boots further. You can insert as many or as little depending on how you want your boots to stretch. Just remember, if you soak the leather boot with warm water for too long, the fabric can become irreversibly damaged, which in turn will prevent you from working with the boot again. Warm water can decrease the turgidity of leather boots very quickly hence a lot of keenness may be required.

Things to keep in mind when stretching cowboy boots

  • Leaving the cowboy boots to dry out naturally with wind is important if you hard employed liquid techniques
  • Do not soak your footwear in liquid to spread them; this would ruin them
  • Kneeling is one of the best ways to stretch boots
  • If you want to stretch leather boots (especially leather boots for women), you can try out the traction method which involves finding the highest footpath and donning
  • If you neither have the time nor the energy to do the stretching yourself, you can hire other masters who specialize in stretching cowboy boots to do it for you


1. Does leather stretch when wet?

Ans. Yes, it’s one of the common features for leathers to stretch when they are wet. This why hot or warmer liquids are sprayed to the leather boots to stretch them. However leather can still stretch while still on your foot, because of the friction that you create while walking in a rainstorm or desert. At this point, it stretches to make your feet fit more comfortably.

2. How to Fit Cowboy Boots?

Ans. There are several modes but the most common is the use of thicker socks or putting on of 2 to 3 pair of socks. This method might take some time but be sure it will cause the leather to stretch. You can also apply a soft plastic bag to the boots. This technique makes the boots fit easily and firm. It is quite effective but not that healthy.

3. How much can one stretch boots safely?

Ans. The safest length is one full size. Getting to stretch your boots further than what you can wear is of no use. This ensures that boots are comfortable for you to wear, in the long run, which is why one should always stretch them when they need to.

About the author

Willie F Brodson

Certified by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals and a master of Science in Occupational Safety Management from Indiana State University, Willie F Brodson is an occupational safety expert who believes in the age-old saying – “It is better to be safe than sorry.”

Willie’s areas of expertise include legal guidelines for health and safety, coding and construction safety, fire prevention and theft, and environmental technology. Over a span of four decades, he has provided safety training and consultation and developed safety manuals for a number of state-owned and private organizations.

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