Do Nubuck Shoes Stretch? Here's The Fact

Written By Nawar

If you are curious about your Nubuck leather shoes and want to know if they stretch or not then this post will help you.

Well, I have tested stretching two of my favorite nubuck leather shoes in different ways and here I’m going to share the results as well as my experience.

First, let me answer your question.

So, Do nubuck shoes stretch in real?


A big yes! Nubuck shoes stretch way easier than most other types.  Why is that? It’s all due to the soft leather material that it is made of. Fast stretching surely sounds awesome, however, not knowing a few dos and don’ts might end up stretching your shoes more than you wanted it to.

Still confused? Feel free to scroll down and have them answered.

Can you stretch your nubuck shoes?

Yes, you can stretch your nubuck shoes. Nubuck is so stretchable that sometimes you don’t even have to stretch them yourself. With just a few times of wear, your shoe will stretch automatically.

In fact, you would be surprised to know, nubuck is the most stretchable material after suede.

Unlike the usual leather, nubuck isn’t smooth, nor is it tough. Its soft feature allows it to stretch easily.

After all, it’s crafted by scraping off the outer skin of leather.

The absence of the outer skin of the leather hide makes the material weak and stretchable. Nevertheless, not all nubuck shoes stretch at the same pace.

Your friend’s nubuck shoe might have stretched within a day. That doesn’t mean it’s the same for you. Why?

Well, because all shoes aren’t made from 100% pure nubuck material. So the purer the nubuck is, the softer and more stretchable it turns to be.

Now that brings the question, what if your one is not stretching enough? Does it mean your shoe is of bad quality?

Nope, not at all. Stretching has nothing to do with the quality. What matters is the quantity and the type of other materials you are using with the pure form.

For instance, if the brand uses cheap plastic or fabric in a bigger amount, only then it’s of bad quality.

How can you figure that? Simple. Just wait till the cracks or the faded color pop up.

Also read, Can You Use Shoe Cream On Nubuck Boots.

Which one stretches faster among Nubuck and Suede


Ever imagined two Usain Bolt’s racing? Who would win, Usain a or b? A hard question indeed.

It’s the same when you try comparing nubuck with a suede. The difference is almost negligible.

You might already know, both nubuck and suede are leathers. Not with a smooth texture like usual. But instead with a rough, soft, and very sensitive upper.

Both are surely soft and rough in general. However, it doesn’t imply that both look and behave alike. They do have a significant difference.

So what is the difference? It’s the thickness that varies. Nubuck is made from the outer layer of the hide. Which gives it a thicker body. On the other side, suede is made from the inner layer of the hide.

Thus, it ends up with a thinner body.

Having a thicker body surely gives nubuck a greater advantage. Especially when it is about durability.

But since we are talking about stretching here, it isn’t nubucks strongest suit. The tough body does not stretch as fast as the thin body of suede does.

It’s important to remember, nubuck is being compared with suede and not all materials out there.

It may not stretch as well as the suede does. But among other materials, it stretches fast enough to fit well.

Read more on How To Repair Torn Nubuck Shoes.

Why to stretch nubuck leather

You already know that nubuck can stretch. But what you might not know is when to stretch.

The most obvious reason is so you could fit in your small-sized shoe. Then why not just buy a bigger size?

Unfortunately, not always the perfect size is available on the market.

Even the perfect size sometimes requires a bit of stretching as well. To make sure your feet have space to breathe and be comfortable all day long.

In addition, stretching prevents you from painful foot pain or blisters in that tight space.

Follow our guide on how to Condition Nubuck Shoes.

How to prevent your nubuck shoes from excess stretching

Stretching is a lot like gaining fat. You wouldn’t need to know much to be overweight.

All you need is to keep on having deep-fried snacks and sleep for long hours.

The number on the weighing scale would continue to rise. Until one day you would find it hard to return back.

The same goes for stretching. Unless you take preventive measures, your shoe would continue to stretch to a point where there is no turning back.

This is why I listed two simple methods that control your stretching features perfectly.

Here are the steps to prevent your shoes from stretching too far:

Using Leather Softener


Softener might sound like the perfect material to help stretch better. Surprisingly, it works the complete opposite. Softener keeps the skin of the nubuck fresh and tight, just the way moisturizer works.

Using softeners once a month is all you need to keep your shoes intact.

However, this doesn’t mean you wouldn’t be able to stretch at all. You still have the liberty to stretch the places you really want to be stretched. Except for this time, it won’t stretch without your control.

Also related: Do Nubuck Shoes Get Ruined in The Rain.

Using Waterproof Spray

Waterproofing spray might sound irrelevant. But it’s not. The best way to figure that out is to step outside when it’s heavily raining.

Did you know, water stretches out pretty fast? It’s true. Because it does.

Even in a slight bit of rain, you would start observing changes. This is why waterproofing helps you protect your shoes from stretching uncontrollably.

Steps to Stretch Nubuck Leather Shoes

As explained above, nubuck is a stretchable material. So there is not a need to work too hard to stretch your shoe.

Yet knowing a few simple and easy steps surely helps. To follow the steps, all you need are 3 simple tools. They are:

  • Nubuck/Suede Shoe stretcher spray
  • Stretching plugs
  • Shoe stretcher

Now that you are already, let’s move on to the steps.

  1. Spray the entire shoe, both inside and outside to soften the nubuck skin
  2. Insert stretching plugs in a place where the shoe is tightly packed.
  3. Place the shoe stretcher inside and resize to the size you prefer.
  4. Wait for 6-8 hours for it to stretch.
  5. Repeat the process, until it finally fits you right.

Check out our separate post: Can You Use Suede and Nubuck Protector on UGGs.

3 Best DIY hacks to try at home

Among so many, I carefully chose 3 effective DIY hacks you can try stretching at home.

The 3 Best DIY hacks are:

The Freezing Method

The steps are simple. All you need to do is,

  • Fill a ziplock bag with water.
  • Place them in places you want to stretch.
  • Put the shoe in the freezer.
  • Take the bags out and repeat the process after 6-8 hours later, if it didn’t stretch enough.

The Filling Method

Filling the shoe with thick socks also gets the job done. Just roll the socks into balls and put them on areas that require stretching. Do it on a regular basis until the shoe fits you well enough.

The Blowing Method

Blowing is a pretty popular method. Tried by many users, even YouTubers and experts as well. With a leather conditioner, hairdryer, and a few socks, your shoes will stretch just the amount you needed.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Fill in your shoes with socks
  • Apply a lot of leather conditioner
  • Use the hairdryer in medium heat to blow in places you want to stretch.
  • Let the shoe cool down and repeat the process once again, if your shoe is still tight for you.

Final Thoughts

If you have reached this section, you now know that nubuck stretches.

It’s due to its soft texture that allows further stretching. However, this stretching may be troublesome if we don’t control how far to stretch.

And this is exactly what I have gone through in this article. I provided the best and effective techniques and tips to stretch and also to control stretching as well.

These tips and techniques are experts recommended. So, you can get 100% effective results after implementing them.

Found my article helpful? Anything to add in? Do share your experience and tips in the comments below.

About The Author
Since she was a child, Nawar always had a fascination towards her shoes. There was not a time, she stopped researching or experimenting DIY methods on her precious shoes.As she continued growing up till now, her passion and her love towards shoes attracted this awesome place to work in.Now, her expertise and knowledge isn’t only helping herself but also the whole wide world we live in.

Leave a Comment