I really like everything about a brand-new set of cowboy boots—the smell, the feel, how strong the thick leather is, the super clean bottom part, and the shiny look.
But, there’s just one thing I’m not a fan of—the way they feel on my feet. When you first get them, most cowboy boots are not very comfy because the leather is pretty stiff by nature.
It takes some time (around 2-3 days to 2-4 weeks if you wear them every day) to properly make a new pair of cowboy boots comfortable and stretch them out so they fit just right.
Simply put, my legs are little thick, and they don’t easily fit into boots right away. I need to pay special attention to the long part of the boot to really widen it so I can slide my (Obviously thick and wide) feet in comfortably and walk around without my legs feeling super narrowed.
How to Make Cowboy Boots Stretched in 3 Easy Ways
Method 1: Stretching Spray Duo + The Boot Stretcher
Step 1: Use Stretching Spray on your Boots
Use a small amount of the stretch spray by following the instructions on the bottle or in the package.
DON’T SPRAY TOO MUCH!
Putting on too much stretch spray won’t make the leather softer any faster. It will just go into the leather and might harm it. You only need a small amount of the spray for your boots. The liquid is made to soak into the leather and loosen up the fibers.
In this situation, using less is better.
Step 2: Apply the Boot Stretcher
After waiting for the special liquid to work its magic on the boots, Place the stretcher inside and turn the screw to make it bigger. Make it bigger only until it touches the leather, then put a little more force to make it push out.
Be careful not to stretch it too much, as that might rip or harm the leather threads. You can repeat this multiple times if necessary. It’s safer to take your time rather than rushing and harming your boots!
Step 3: Take a break and do it again
Keep the boot stretcher in your boots for 12-24 hours. Wear the boots to check if they fit, and keep stretching them if necessary.
For example, if one time of stretching is enough for the instep but you need to focus more on the calves, do the same process on the shaft of the boots as many times as needed.
Just use the stretching spray again, put pressure on the parts that need it the most, and let it rest for 12-24 hours before stretching it again.
Feeling like you’ve stretched too much?
If you’ve been trying out the boots every time you stretch them, you’ll notice that the really stretched boot will be just a bit too big.
After you put them on and walk around for a few hours in the warmth, the leather should loosen up again (but in a natural way) and adjust to the shape of your foot, ankle, and leg.
Method 2: Double Sock Combo + Steaming (Hot Water)
Source / Horseracingsense
Step 1: Apply Steam (Hot Water)
Prepare your clothes steamer or a kettle with hot water.
Hold the clothes steamer above your shoe or put your shoe over the kettle, letting the steam go inside the shoe.
Allow the steam to fill your shoe for about 15 to 20 seconds. Check the leather to see if it’s a bit softer and elastic. If it’s still hard, use the steam for another 15 to 20 seconds.
Step 2: Chill Out and Put On Your Socks
Let the boots rest for a little while to cool off. You don’t want your toes to get burned by the hot steam.
While you wait, put on two pairs of warm wool socks.
Step 3: Get Striding
Once your boots are not hot anymore, Put your feet with two pairs of socks on and start walking.
At first, the boots might feel a bit too tight. But because of the warmth and moisture from the steam, the heat from your feet and legs, and the extra thickness of the double socks, the boots will slowly get more comfortable, especially around the arch and front part.
To make the top part of the boots more comfortable, try bending over (to stretch the front) or putting one foot on a fence post or a raised surface in front of you (to stretch the back). Also, move your ankles in circles to make the leather around your ankles and lower calves softer.
Method 3: Conditioning Solution + The Freezing
Source / Sandbaggy
Step 1: Fill ‘Em Up
Put water in a big plastic bag, close it well, and place it inside your boots. Make sure the bag fills up the inside of the boot, as near to the leather as you can.
If a bag is too small for the foot part or the boots are really big, use another bag for the leg part. This way, the calves will also stretch out.
Source / Wikihow
Step 2: Freeze ‘Em
Clear little space in your freezer so you can put the boots inside. This way, the water spreads inside the boots evenly, and it will freeze in a balanced way.
Close the freezer and let the boots stay in there for 8-12 hours.
As the ice gets bigger, it will push against the boots, making them stretch. If the water bags are filled properly (about 80% full with some air), they will stretch without tearing and making your boots wet inside.
After the boots have been in the freezer for around 12 hours, take them out and remove the ice bags shaped like your feet and legs.
Step 3: Condition ‘Em
Let the leather warm up for a few minutes. You can put it in a warm place or under the sun to make it warm faster. After that, use boot conditioner on the leather.
The conditioner will make the leather soft, loosen the fibers, and make the boots more flexible. The ice has already made them a bit bigger, but if you want them even softer or bigger, rub them with your hands.
Now, the boots should go on your feet more easily and fit much better. If they still don’t fit well, do the whole process 1-3 more times until the boots are stretched enough.
Extra Way to Stretch the Calf of Your Cowboy Boots
If you don’t have a boot stretcher, and trying to steam or freeze your boots isn’t making your calf stretch enough, here’s a simple trick that works well.
Go to your kitchen and find Cans of food that are about the same width as your ankles and calves. One of them needs to be fatter than the rest.
Usually, a 14 to 18-ounce can great for your ankles (unless your ankles are very thick), and a larger can, like one from Costco with 40 to 80 ounces, is suitable for your calves. Use the boot spray or conditioner, put the cans inside, and let them do the job of stretching out your boot’s calves and ankles.
It’s Valuable to Put in the Effort
Cowboy boots are super comfy, especially when they’re completely worn in and stretched just right. It might take a little work and some time, but I assure you it’s totally worth it.
I believe this guide has provided you with everything you need to do it yourself. No matter which way you choose, you’ll notice that the leather of your cowboy boots will moisture to your feet over time, making them feel like a second skin.
Once they’re properly stretched and worn in, cowboy boots will become your favorite, and you’ll be happy to wear them every day.
Q1: Can you make cowboy boots bigger by a whole size?
Shoe experts, those who fix shoes, and people who work with leather all say that leather can stretch. If you stretch your boots a lot, they might get bigger by one size, but not more!
If you stretch leather too much, it will get harmed. It will tear apart and become weaker. Leather that’s been stretched too far is more likely to fall down, droop, or wear out fast.
Q2: How can you stretch boots effectively?
If you bring your boots to a professional who fixes shoes (also called a bootmaker or cobbler), They’ll probably use a special tool and spray to make your boots wider. This method costs more, but it works really well and is fast.