How To Stretch Cowboy Boots?

Cowboy boots are a perfect blend of fashion and comfort. Those are the kind of footwear that bring in a heightened level of confidence.

Even though the whereabouts of the inventor of cowboy boots remain history, we’re sure that he is being praised worldwide. However, it is said that the Spanish cowboys used to wear vaqueros that have a close resemblance to cowboy boots. They were specifically designed to protect the feet from walking on uneven and rugged terrain. Although in the present times, they are also considered to be a fashion statement.

These boots can only work their charm if they provide the right fit. If you have already bought a pair but can’t seem to adjust it, do not worry! There are several ways where you can get your cowboy boots to stretch according to the contours of your feet.



Ways To Stretch Your Cowboy Boots

Ways To Stretch Your Cowboy Boots

There are several methods where you can stretch your boots to get that ideal fit. But before we get started with that, you must understand the following:

Note: As cowboy boots are made of cowhide leather, they might require a bit of breaking-in time. Hence, you can only stretch your cowboy boots if you get your appropriate size. You simply cannot expect to stretch your boots if you have opted for two or three sizes smaller than your normal size.

Now that we have cleared that out, let us look at some of the best tried-and-tested methods to stretch your cowboy boots. We have segregated the techniques for your convenience. You can choose any according to your preference.


Most Effective Method: Boot Stretching Spray

A typical boot stretch spray can go a long way in getting those comfortable cowboy shoes that you had always desired. You can get one at your nearest general store or online.

How to Use:

Clean your cowboy shoes with dry cloth. Take a boot stretching spray and sparingly spray it in the boot’s inner compartment. Wear it and walk till the boot dries off. This will allow you to get a personalized fit according to your feet. If your feet still feel cramped up, you can repeat the process.


How Does it Work:

The boot stretching spray allows the cowhide leather to stretch according to the length and width of the feet. So, it is mandatory to wear the booth after spraying it so that you could get a customized fit.

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Additional Process:

If the boot stretch spray isn’t working for you, there is an elaborate process that you can dive into. You will be required a plug set or boot stretching kit for the same.

After applying the boot stretching spray, insert the plugs in their respective plug slots on the toe block. Take the toe block and put it in the toe box of your boot in such a way that the toe block touches the end of the toe box.

With the help of the widening handle, expand the toe block by turning it clockwise. Once you find that ideal and snug fit, turn it 3-4 times for a permanent stretch.

Do not remove the stretcher from your boot. It must be kept in it for at least 8 hours. After that, gently remove the stretcher and turn the widening handle counterclockwise to remove the toe block. Pull it out without touching any side of the shoe.

This entire process will go a long way in getting that snug fit that you had always wanted.


Easiest Methods

We understand that not everybody will have a boot stretching spray or toolset laying around at home. The following are some of the methods that require minimum pieces of equipment. Moreover, these techniques can effectively help you in getting your cowboy boots stretched to perfection!



Steam can help in loosening up the leather. If you feel that the interior of your cowboy boots is stinging your skin, this will do the trick.

How to Use:

Steam the interior part of the boots with a garment steamer. If you do not have one, you can simply boil some water on the stove and let the steam fill up in the boot.

Hold the position for a few seconds and check in the interior of the boot. If it doesn’t feel softer, then repeat the process.

Advice: This process requires to be done with the utmost precision. The steam carries the potential of ruining the dye in the leather. You need to stop steaming as soon as the leather begins to soften up.


Submerge in Water

Water can be used in several ways to stretch your cowboy boots. Such methods are easy to use and do not cost a fortune.

How to Use:

Fill a large bucket or bathtub with warm water. Make sure that it is not boiling or extremely cold. Place the boots in an upright position so that the boots do not get filled up with water. Hold it for a few seconds and feel the inside of the boot. If it starts to get a little wet, quickly remove them. Try it on and walk around with it till it gets dried up.


How Does it Work:

Warm water helps in stretching and loosening up the leather without any negative repercussions.

Note: Verify that the interior of the boots does not get filled with water. Hence, as soon as you feel the insole getting wet, remove the boots from the water. You might also be required to use a leather conditioner to maintain the integrity of the boots.


Spray Water

If you are worried about damaging your boots with excessive moisture, you can try this method instead.

How to Use:

With the help of a water sprayer, spray the exterior parts of the boots. Make sure that the water doesn’t penetrate the insoles. Leave it dry for a few minutes before wearing them.

This technique stretches the leather easily. You might need to spray it a couple of times for the leather to soften up. However, do not overspray it.


Hot Water Bags

This is another unique technique that can stretch your cowboy boots overnight.


How to Use:

Fill up two bags with warm water and place one in each of your cowboy boots. Leave it overnight. Try it on in the morning and you will feel that the boots have stretched out.

Note: Get a sturdy water bag and verify that it doesn’t leak.


Freeze your Boots

If you are still worried about getting your expensive boots ruined by water, this is the right trick for you. It works flawlessly for minor stretches.

How to Use:

Take a bag and fill it with water. Make sure you seal the bag appropriately so that there is no room for any sort of leakages.

Place the bag into the toe box of your boots. You can keep the water bag in place by stuffing newspapers in the boot. Keep it in the freezer overnight. Gently remove the bag by thawing it and try the boots on.


How Does it Work:

The ice-cold water allows the boots to expand in stretches, and eventually stretches the width of your boots.


Quick Methods

Quick Methods

Are you in a hurry to fit into your boots?

The above-mentioned techniques might require some time to work. So, if you need to quickly stretch your cowboy boots, opt for the following techniques.


1) Hairdryer


Heat can also help in expanding the leather of the boots. It takes minimal effort with no side-effects.

How to Use:

Use a hairdryer and dry the interior part of your cowboy boots. Try it on with some socks and you will be good to go.


2) Lotion


A simple lotion or moisturizer can be beneficial in stretching the boots. It softens the leather that gradually leads to the expansion of the boot.

How to Use:

Take some lotion and apply it to the parts of your cowboy boots that you want to stretch out. Let it dry for a few seconds and wear them quickly. You should be able to fit in properly after the process.


3) Vaseline and Alcohol


The mixture of alcohol and vaseline can easily soften the leather and help in stretching the boots.

How to Use:

With the help of a cotton ball, dab some alcohol over the surface of your cowboy boots. After it has dried up, wipe it with a clean cotton ball. Verify that the alcohol has been absorbed into the boots.

Take some vaseline and put it all over the boots. Let it dry for a few minutes and wear them with socks. You will feel that your boots have expanded.


4) Wear Extra Socks


This method is like a blessing for those who are feeling extra lazy and need to stretch their boots with the least amount of effort.

How to Use:

Instead of wearing just one pair of socks, wear two or three. Gently place your feet in the boot. The extra pair of socks will stretch out the thick leather.

It can be a bit cumbersome to fit your foot in the boots because of the additional socks. However, this method is extremely effective in stretching out the leather.


How Does it Work:

The extra socks take up additional space in the boots, forcing the leather to stretch itself out.

These were some of the most effective methods that can be used to stretch your cowboy boots. We guarantee positive results by using these. However, if none of these methods seems to work out for you, you may have bought the wrong size.

In such a scenario, instead of forcing your feet in such uncomfortable boots, get a new pair.


Other Relevant Questions

Should cowboy boots be tight at first?

A new pair of cowboy boots should feel snug on your foot. There should be room for your toes. The ball of your foot should be in alignment with the widest part of the sole. So, even though cowboy boots can be stretched, they shouldn’t be too tight.


Is it OK to wear cowboy boots in the rain?

Cowboy boots are made out of water-repellent cowhide leather. You can use them in the rain. However, make sure that the boots are cleaned after use to prevent any damage to the material.


Do you wear socks with cowboy boots?

It is crucial to wear socks while wearing cowboy boots. It helps in keeping the feet dry. Moreover, it also prevents any blisters.


Can I wear leather boots in the snow?

You should avoid weather leather cowboy boots in the snow as it can result in the cracking of the material.


Should my toes touch the end of my cowboy boots?

There should be enough room for your toes to move around inside the cowboy boots. An ideal length of about ½” is considered to be ideal.


The bottom line

Cowboy boots can be a great fashion statement, only if you are comfortable in them. If you are unable to fit in perfectly to your new cowboy boots, do not panic. Keep the aforementioned techniques in your back pocket and stretch out your boots to your desired fit.

Your boots are supposed to secure your feet. So, instead of suffering from cramped feet, utilize the methods and gift yourself comfort as well as a luxury!


Also Read: 

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How to Take Good Care of Your Leather Shoes

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