Ah, leather – the smell, the feel and the sound of a good adventure. For adventurers like us, the excitement of getting a new hunting boot is incomparable – you’d almost want to try it on as soon as you get home. We would confidently stride down the hall and into the fields only to head back and retire with an aching sole and wounded heel later. Often, we find ourselves breaking in the shoe for a few more tries until the shoe fits perfectly and got tired of our blisters. But how can we hasten stuff like this and enjoy our boots much sooner? How can we save ourselves from painful blisters and kill more time outdoors instead?
With the wilderness of tips here and there, here are some tried and tested tips on how to stretch leather boots. Here’s what you’d need:
- A pair of boots
- Leather conditioner/ cream
- Hair dryer
- Boot stretcher
- A pair of socks or insoles
Even if a ton of guides out there says so, soaking your shoes in a bucket of warm water or tucking it in a freezer might be a bad idea. See, cowhides, or any organic skin-like matter soaked in water it would stretch, contract and lose its oil. In that way, it will make the leather brittle. Aside from that, even though the water may dry on the surface, it can penetrate deeply throughout the shoes. Water damage on the shoes can go as far as the interior of the sole and start a rot, making it invisible. So, which is a better idea, warm it up or cool it down? Neither. That’s why we would rather recommend classic tips and tricks to stretch your shoes.
Some of the tools and techniques we have covered here are: using a leather conditioner, a hairdryer or a boot stretcher. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to utilize these tools and techniques:
Blisters are usually caused by a difference in fit from the leather as it rubs against another surface, by adding a leather conditioner it helps adjust its moisture content and adjust to a new mold without too much force. With a leather conditioner or shoe stretcher spray, aside from moisturizing the leather, it also helps increase the friction making the fibers of a leather softer.
Step 1: Prepare
Remove the shoelaces from the best ranger boot. Prepare the leather by removing dust from the surface using a clean cloth.
Step 2: Apply
Place a small amount of the polish cream on a clean cloth, lather on the surface of the leather and wipe clean. There are a variety of leather conditioner available in the market and the most suitable ones usually animal-based products.
Step 3: Allow to dry, twist a little and then it’s ready to be used
There is a variety of leather conditioner available in the market and one the most suitable ones are usually animal based as they are easily absorbed compared to petroleum-based ones which just coats the leather.
Step 4: Repeat the process if necessary
HEAT IT UP WITH A HAIRDRYER
Warmth makes the leather contract but too much can make it dry out, that’s why an effective trick is to use a lower heat source. For this to be effective, heat should be applied where the problem areas are specifically located. This kind of technique is usually meant for genuine leather as the heat will melt synthetic ones. More about that through this link.
Step 1: Prepare the boots
Remove the shoelaces from the boot. Prepare by wearing layers of socks or just a thick one to help it stretch further.
Step 2: Apply heat
Use a blow dryer to touch on specific areas of the boot. Usually, the area that needs adjustment is around the heel and toe areas. Place heat in each area for around twenty to thirty seconds per area
Step 3: Walk around and let it cool
The boot will mold into your shoe as it cools down. Walk around your home a few times a day and allow the shoe to be broken down further.
Step 4: Protect
Don’t forget to make a few finishing touches to your correctional officer boot such as applying a protector or oil. If you still feel uncomfortable with your boot, placing an insole can help to further cushion your feet for a comfortable walk.
Step 5: Repeat the process
If the boot still fits tightly on areas around your foot, you can repeat the process or add socks to stretch it a bit further. You can also opt for a damp newspaper and let it dry for a while, then finish off with a hairdryer
Another good option is to buy a good boot stretcher. A boot stretcher is usually composed of components aimed to stretch mainly the foot and calf area of the shoe. Durable boot stretches come from wood and metal with some are adjustable while some are just flexible. Finding the right one for your shoe is a matter of budget and preferred options. The only difference is that this specific stretcher has a mechanism that allows one to access the even for ankle height boots. To know more, click on this link: (https://bootmoodfoot.com/how-to-stretch-leather-boots/)
Step 1: Position the boot stretcher
Position inside the boot with the handle in the boot opening. Once positioned, turn the handle to crank it open. It will stretch the calf and toe are of the shoe. Let it stay there for a few minutes before removing it out
Step 2: Fit the boot
After you have removed the stretcher, try the shoe again if it fits. Repeat the process if necessary
ALTERNATIVE: RUBBING ALCOHOL
This can be used only for work boots as it dries the leather as quickly as it dries out. To make use of this technique, you can utilize a sock and soak it on the rubbing alcohol. Wear the sock and slip on your shoes to break them. Repeat as necessary.
Alternatively, would you still not be satisfied with a leather cream or a blow dryer technique, you can always go to a cobbler. But if you ever find your boot in a wet situation, allow it to breathe and dry the insides with a newspaper as to wicker the moisture out from the insides of the shoe. Also, remember always to clean your shoes and polish it every after use. Doing so would not only prevent grease and dirt to damage your shoe it can also help the leather age beautifully.
It is important to be able to settle comfortably into your footwear, in some situations, it is the difference between life and death. An ill-fitting shoe can insulate your feet from the cold or protect your feet from sharp objects, but it can’t protect you if you have blisters -this can be an entry point for nasty things in the wilderness. To avoid situations like that, make sure your boot – an armor and a trusty friend is something that you’re already comfortable to use before you venture out there. A well-cared boot protects your feet from injury and guarantees to serve you for years to come. What do you think of this tutorial? Did you enjoy reading it? If you did please do let us know in the comments. Also, if you have a suggestions and topics you’d want us to write about, shoot us an email.