How To Stretch Rubber Boots (Detailed Guide)

How To Stretch Rubber Boots

Rubber boots look stylish and, at the same time, protect your feet from dirt, dust, or water. But if the rubber boots don’t fit well on your feet, then you are up for some big trouble. Ill-fitting pair of rubber boots can cause your feet to feel all cramped up. It may also lead to calluses and terrible feet-related infections that can be hard to cure eventually.

We all love a pair of snug-fitting rubber boots, but to avoid the dilemmas mentioned above, we can stretch them once in a while. However, there are various methods that you can try at home to stretch your rubber boots. These methods need to be carried out with proper care to not spoil your favorite pair of rubber boots.

Therefore, we decided to help you out by listing out 5 DIY methods and step-by-step guides on how to stretch rubber boots to perfection.



Can You Really Stretch Rubber Boots?

Not all shoes are stretchable, but that is not the case with rubber boots. Rubber boots are made in a very unique way, unlike other shoes. Rubber boots are molded and shaped under high temperature and pressure. The heat allows you to alter its shape and stretch it a bit as per your liking. Therefore, any extreme temperatures like heat or cold can help you expand your pair of rubber shoes.

However, various factors determine if you can stretch your rubber shoes or not. The quality, any added materials in the shoe, how old or new the shoes are, etc. Based on these factors, you must decide if you really want to stretch your rubber boots or choose to get a size larger.

Upon asking various shoe experts and cobblers, we figured that rubber boots can be stretched at home and is completely advisable. Therefore, we have listed some handy tips and tricks that you can try for yourself to stretch and make your rubber boots fit.


How to Stretch Rubber Boots?

To stretch your rubber boots, you can either go to a professional cobbler or carry out the stretching at home. We have mentioned five hacks along with a step-by-step guide for you to get started. Read below:

Method 1: Boot Freeze Method/Ice-Stretching Method

The Ice Stretching Method is quite a simple DIY hack that you can carry out easily at home. It may require some time to stretch your boots thoroughly. This method works on the expansion property of water when it turns into ice and is guaranteed effective in stretching your rubber shoes.

Here is what you will need:

  • Two zip lock/sealable bags – 1-gallon capacity each
  • Water
  • Freezer
  • Newspaper pieces
  • Rubber Boots to be stretched


How to Stretch:

  • First, take two zip locks or sealable bags of the capacity mentioned above. The more the capacity, the better, as it allows the water to expand and stretch your shoes further.
  • Fill these zip lock bags with water, up to 1/4th capacity, to provide enough room for expansion.
  • Squeeze any air bubbles out of the bag and seal or shut the zip of the bags. Turn the bags upside down to check if there is any leakage.
  • Fold these bags and place them in each of your boots. Push them across the toe box of your boots.
  • Place the boots in your freezer overnight. If possible, keep them in an elevated position from the heel. This would allow expansion in the downward direction based on the direction of how the water flows. By placing in the downward direction, it would expand and stretch at the toe box region.
  • Keep them in the freezer for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  • Allow the boots to thaw and remove the frozen bags from inside the boots.
  • Wipe the boots dry and try the boots on. If the stretch is appropriate, then you can store boots with some newspaper stuffings to retain the stretch.
  • Allow the newspaper stuffings to stay inside your shoes until you plan to wear them the next time.


Warning Tips:

  • Make sure to check there are no holes in the zip lock bags as the water may start leaking and spoil the insides of your shoes.
  • Do not keep the shoes in the freezer with other food items. Make enough room for your boots and keep them away from food items in your freezer.
  • Do not place the shoes for more than 8 hours unless you want a further stretch. You can place them back again if you feel the stretch is not sufficient. But make sure to check the stretch first.
  • Stuff the toe box with newspaper to not leave any space and to retain the stretch. Else, the stretch from the shoes would go away in no time.


Method 2: Heat the Boots

Rubber boots go through extreme temperatures already before they are molded into their perfect boot shapes. Therefore, applying some heat to them can help you stretch and expand the shoes as per your need.

Here is what you will need:

  • Rubber boots to be stretched
  • Pair of thick socks
  • Hairdryer


How to Stretch:

  • Put on a pair of thick socks on your feet and wear the rubber boots to be stretched.
  • Take a hairdryer and set it to high heat. Move the hairdryer constantly around the surface of the boots to spread the heat evenly.
  • Make sure to hold the hairdryer 6-8 inches away from the boot surface to not spoil the shoes.
  • Focus on the areas that need more stretching and feel tight, particularly after wearing the shoes. These areas can be around the heels, toe box, the upper part of the feet, etc.
  • Flex your feet while you are using the hairdryer over the boots. You can stretch your toes or raise your feet from the heels to bring a natural stretch to your shoe as per your feet.
  • After flexing and heating, you would feel the material has started to stretch eventually, and the boots start feeling comfortable on your feet.
  • Once done, go for a short walk in the newly stretched boots to allow the shoes to break in as per your feet. Once the rubber starts cooling down, it will harden and adjust as per the new stretch for your feet.


Warning Tips:

  • Do not use the blow dryer on your boots for more than 30 minutes.
  • Do not get the blow dryer too close to the rubber material, as it can melt it and spoil your boots.
  • Do not use a blow dryer on wet rubber boots.
  • Use some shoe moisturizer on the boots after heating them to retain the shine and moisture of the shoes and not make them very dry.


Method 3: Use a Boot-Stretcher


Boot stretchers, as the name suggests, are made to stretch your boots. These are suitable for leather, rubber boots, sneakers, etc. It is a very quick-fix solution to stretching your shoes but does not last permanently unless you keep doing it several times.

Things you will need:

  • Boot stretcher (wooden preferably)
  • Rubber boots to be stretched
  • Newspaper stuffings


How to Stretch:

  • Take a boot stretcher and make sure that it is in a closed shape. Push it right all the way towards the toe box.
  • Once pushed, slowly rotate the lever that opens the wooden stretcher and expands inside the shoes.
  • After rotating the lever/handle, when the stretcher feels tight, rotate the handle 2-3 times more for a complete and thorough stretch.
  • Keep the stretcher inside the boots in the same position for up to 8 hours or overnight. This allows the material to loosen and stretch comfortably.
  • Make sure to place the shoes in a flat position for evenly stretching the shoes in all directions.
  • After overnight stretching, rotate the handle anti-clockwise to bring the stretcher to its closed position again.
  • Pull out the shoe stretcher from the shoes and try the boots to check if they have stretched as per your requirements.
  • If you are not using the boots immediately, store the boots with newspaper stuffings; else, they may bounce back to their original shape.


Warning Tips:

  • Do not carry out the stretching on a pair of wet rubber boots.
  • After the stretcher feels tight, do not rotate the handle too much, it may tear your shoes.
  • If you want a more significant stretch, you may need to leave the stretcher inside the shoes for 2-3 nights straight.
  • Make sure to stuff the stretched areas thoroughly with newspaper and leave no space inside the boots. This allows retaining the stretch correctly.


Pro Tip:

  • You can also try this technique of combining both the methods we mentioned above together: Use a shoe stretcher if you want a good overall stretch from all areas of your rubber boots. Make sure to turn the handle and stretch it properly.
  • Now, use a hairdryer and move it evenly across the entire body of the boots.
  • The heat allows the reshaping of the rubber while the stretcher does the job of expansion.
  • You can adjust the handle of the stretcher based on the amount of stretching you need.
  • Make sure not to overdo either of the two steps, i.e., stretching and heating. If both are done excessively, it can wreck your shoes.


Method 4: Use Shoe-Stretching Liquids

Use Shoe-Stretching Liquids

Shoe Stretching Liquids is a quick hack to stretch your rubber boots. It is effortless but needs to be done with care to not spoil your shoes. These liquids are mostly alcohol-based that forms a chemical reaction with the shoes, and allows them to expand.

Things you will need:

  • Rubber boots to be stretched
  • Shoe Stretching Liquid
  • Alcohol/Water
  • Spray Bottle


How to Stretch:

  • Prepare a 1:1 solution of shoe stretching liquid with alcohol. If the solution seems too strong, you may dilute it with water.
  • Fill the solution up in a spray bottle.
  • Now, spray the solution on the rubber boots from a distance of 6 inches.
  • Ensure to spray the areas that need a good stretch, like the toe box, the heel area, and the spaces above your feet.
  • Allow the shoes to dry.
  • Wear them once they have dried to allow the rubber boots to break in as per the shape of your feet.


Warning Tip:

Check the shoe stretching solution first on a small area of your boots. Do not use the chemical if it causes any discoloration or harmful reaction on your boots.


Pro Tips:

  • You can wear a pair of thick socks after trying the shoes on once they have dried. This allows a more significant stretch while the boots are breaking in as per your feet.
  • You can also combine this technique with the techniques mentioned above. You can use a shoe stretcher while also spraying the solution for a better stretch.


Method 5: Wear Them Off

Wear Them Off

If you are overtly protective about your pair of rubber boots and do not want to try any stretching hacks on them, allow them to wear off. Eventually, after a few weeks of use, they start breaking and adjusting automatically to the shape of your feet.

Maybe, you won’t even need to try the above hacks anymore. On a lighter note, all you need is a pair of rubber boots and lots of waiting and patience for this method.


How Often Can I Stretch my Rubber Boots?

Ideally, it is not very advisable to keep stretching your rubber boots repeatedly. Excessive stretching can deteriorate and spoil the quality of your shoes. However, this also depends on the rubber’s quality, the warranty on the shoes, brand, and several other factors. You may not want to try any of the above stretching methods with cheap quality rubber boots.

If you want an excellent permanent stretch using any of the above methods, you will have to try them for at least three weeks until you get a perfect and proper stretch. If you take the necessary precautions and follow the steps and tips that we have mentioned, your shoes can remain protected while you can also stretch them safely.


Should I Stretch New Rubber Boots?

We would recommend not stretching your new pair of rubber boots right away. If you have newly purchased them, give them some time to wear off on their own. Eventually, they will break in and get accustomed to the shape of your feet.

But, even after several weeks of use, they still feel uncomfortable; you can try any of the methods mentioned above. Do not jump in to stretch them immediately after you have purchased them.

Pro Tip:

While buying a pair of new rubber boots, you can consider choosing a size that is few inches smaller than your feet. This is because eventually, the rubber boots are going to stretch anyway.

If you already buy a pair of loose-fitting shoes, they may start loosening even further and turn up to be bigger than your feet size. You would miss out on that snug and comfortable fit you expect from your pair of rubber boots.

After weeks of use, if the rubber boots feel uncomfortable and tight on your feet, you can consider using any of the stretching methods mentioned above.


Take Away

Sometimes, it can be challenging to break into a new pair of boots. Luckily, rubber boots are easy to adjust into and do not cause too much hassle while wearing. The best part is that rubber is naturally stretchable, and you can use this property to your advantage to stretch your rubber shoes.

If you are unsure how to stretch your rubber boots, we suggest you take them to a professional cobbler. Else, the easy-to-follow methods that we have mentioned above are quick fixes to stretch your rubber boots. The materials are readily available and cost-effective, making your rubber shoes feel comfortable on your feet.

Read our hacks mentioned above and tell us which one worked best on your pair of rubber boots through the comments section below.


Also Read:

Stretching Calf Boots

How To Stretch Cowboy Boots

How To Stretch Canvas Shoes?

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