How To Break-In Cowboy Boots: 6 Easy Methods

Written By Mahia

If you have ever owned a pair of brand-new cowboy boots, you must know that those boots are rigid and quite uncomfortable until you break them in. 

But how do you break in your new cowboy boots quick enough? How can you make them comfortable enough to start wearing them on the go? Well, I have the answer to your question.

To break in new cowboy boots you can wear them around your house to loosen up and try them on with some extra socks for more stretching. You can try moisturizing them with leather conditioners, or simply stretch them with a boot stretcher, stretching spray, or some heating and freezing techniques.

So, how do these methods work? How long does it actually take to stretch the cowboy boots? Keep reading as I answer all your questions and help you get comfy in your beloved cowboy boots.

Follow our guide to know how to Restore Cowboy Boots

How To Break-In Cowboy Boots?

New cowboy boots must be broken in before you can obtain that custom fit that you’ve been dreaming of. Leather stretches so you can gradually break in your cowboy boots, although the first break-in process may be difficult. The leather will expand and cause discomfort in your feet for a number of days when you wear your shoes.

There are a few ways you can break in your cowboy boots and I have mentioned 6 of them below in detail – hopefully, you will find the one that is the most convenient for you and gives you the perfect comfort in your cowboy boots.

But before that, go through our epic guide Where are Timberland Boots made

Method 1: Put On Your Boots And Walk Around In Them

The most basic way to break in your cowboy boots is to wear them! Your cowboy boots will adjust to your feet the longer you wear them.

I know that this is a time-consuming and uncomfortable (even painful!) procedure, but it is the only way to ensure that your boots are thoroughly broken in.

However, to ease the pin and discomfort you can wear the boots with a pair of thick socks or even use a garment steamer to steam the interior of the boots and make it more flexible.But this method will surely help break in your boots.

Check out our separate post on how to Waterproof Cowboy Boots

Method 2: Layer Up With Extra Socks

When breaking in your boots, wear two pairs of socks underneath. And make sure you walk around with this setting! 

This added layers of socks will make greatly increase the pressure exerted oon the leather by your feet and stretch it much faster than wearing it simply without any socks. 

Yes, I know what youre thinking, this is not a painless method either – but it will surely help break in your cowboy boots much faster.

Follow our other guide to know how to Clean Cowboy Boots

Method 3: Use Leather Conditioner And Oil

You can easily find leather conditioner or oil at your nearest store – so this method is quite convenient and painless as compared to the previous two. 

All you have to do is apply a generous amount of leather conditioner or oil to your leather shoes. Rub in and moisturize the leather thoroughly approximately once a week and wear the boots around. 

This will prevent the leather from being damaged all while aiding the stretching process of the cowboy boots. 

In a hurry? Check out my new post how to Shrink Cowboy Boots

Method 4: Apply Steam To Your Boots From The Inside Out

If you have a garment steamer, its best for the job. But if you dont you can always use a kettle or some other utensils as per your convenience. 

For about 20 seconds, direct the steam to the inside of the boot toward the area you want to stretch. Keep massaging the area you want to stretch with your fingers for around 20 seconds to get the desirable result. 

Slip the boots on your feet and walk around in them once they are soft, warm, and flexible. To guarantee that it adheres to every part of your foot, you should leave them on until they dry. 

If this is too unpleasant, take the boots off when the material has cooled and let them dry naturally. In case you want to speed up the procedure, don’t use a heat source since it will harm the material.

Once the boots have dried completely, put on some leather conditioner and you are good to go.

However, I must mention that this process is somewhat dangerous for your leather boots as being water-saturated can cause the leather to dry out or fade and the drying process is often lengthy. 

Method 5: Put A Bag Of Water Inside Your Boots And Freeze Them

Take two ziplock bags and fill them with water. Then put the bags inside the leather boots. The water bag should be placed in the toe box of your footwear as near to the toe as feasible.

To keep the water bag in place, stuff some socks or crumpled newspaper behind it to help keep it in place. 

Place the container in the freezer for at least 8 hours. It will grow in size and cause your boots to stretch. This happens because when water freezes to become ice, it expands, so this will make your leather cowboy boots expand. 

Before removing the ice from the bag, allow it to thaw completely.

This method takes multiple sessions and only stretches the boots a little at a time. But it is an effective method to stretch your cowboy boots.

Method 6: Use A Boot Stretcher Or Shaper

A boot stretcher is made up of two pieces of wood that are joined and fashioned like feet. You put the stretcher inside the boot and pull them further apart to stretch the boots. During the time that it is within the boot, it is coupled to a mechanism that may be used to move the pieces of wood further apart.

The boot shaper will also function similarly. But the only difference is that it will work by stretching the shaft area of the boot.

Using the shaper and stretcher together is a very easy and convenient method to stretch your boots.

Carry out the stretching process in multiple sessions and stretch the boot little at a time, followed by applicationof leather il or conditioner to prevent the leather from getting damaged.

Protip: Using many of these methods may result in painful blisters. However painful it may be, don’t worry the blisters will go away. And moreover, you can always cover the blisters with a some bandaid and carry on the process of breaking in so that you get the most comfort in the long run. 

How Not To Stretch Your Cowboy Boots

There are many stretching hacks that you may already know and many that you will find online. But are all of them safe to use?

Well, no, they are not. There are quite a few stretching methods that you may come across but they cause more damage than good. 

So, you must be careful about which method you choose to stretch your boots in order to not damage the leather or the structure of the cowboy boots – because you’d rather stretch them the slow and conventional way than go overboard with methods that may damage the boots.

Here I have mentioned some of the boot stretching methods that you must avoid while stretching your cowboy boots:

  • Do not submerge your boots in water. Cowboy boots are more durable than most other types of footwear, but soaking them in water for an extended period of time will twist the leather.
  • Do not apply direct heat to the cowboy boots. This may damage the leather and ruin your precious cowboy boots. 
  • When purchasing, do not attempt to size up because doing so will result in an inappropriate fit for your feet. This is a mistake people often make, so be careful to avoid it.

Final Thoughts

The process of stretching cowboy boots may seem painful and troublesome but once you get the hang of it and stretch the boots its the most comfortable and pleasant feeling wearing them out.

I hope you can follow the instructions and stretch your cowboy boots very easily. If you have any queries or suggestions, leave them in the comments below.

About The Author
Mahia is a complete package. A coder, writer and caterer.Despite her multiple careers, writing about shoes is something that gives her peace.Since childhood, Mahia is a shoe freak. And this is what lead her to do more research and gather knowledge about shoes.Mahia has always wanted to share her skill and knowledge about footwear with a mass audience, which ended her up in this amazing workplace.When Mahia is not writing, you can almost always find her in the kitchen experimenting with different recipes to upgrade her catering menu.

Leave a Comment