If you own a rain boot and have been using it, chances are you have noticed how the rubber tends to get hardened over time.
Rain boots, and rubber boots like such, are very frequently used in damp weathers, work environments by electricians, farmers, factory workers, etc. So, when they stiffen up, it is a big problem.
So, is there any way you can bring the rubber material of the rain boots back to life? Is there any way that you can stretch them?
I mean, Do Rain Boots Stretch?
Now that you have an answer to your question regarding whether they can be stretched or not, keep reading to find out how to carry out each of these methods, in detail.
How can you stretch your rain boots?
Before you learn how to stretch them, it is important that you know the characteristics of rubber and how the material works in general because, let’s face it, you don’t want to ruin the rain boots by trying to stretch them the wrong way, right?
A method requiring high temperatures and pressures is used to mold and form rubber boots. This method allows the rubber to mold into the desired shape, as well as makes it strong and durable.
Stretching your boots and applying the necessary heat will allow you to extend them again while keeping the majority of the rubber sole’s strength.
All the methods of stretching rain boots that I will go through below has its own “expansion mechanics,” however, they all work on the same principle that you can stretch rubber boots by applying heat or pressure to them repeatedly.
Check out our separate post to know Are Duck Boots Rain Boots.
Methods To Stretch Your Rain Boots
Method 1: Ice Stretching
The first method I will be discussing is the ice stretching method which is relatively neat, and suitable for small to medium changes to the rubber’s flexibility.
This method requires water, a pair of Ziploc bags, and a freezer – all of which you have at home.
Here is how you carry out ice stretching:
- Fill up about one third of the two ziploc bags with water, move out the excess air and seal the bags fully.
- Place these bags inside each of the rain boots in such a way that the liquid is in contact with all the interior surface of the boots.
- Then place the pair of boots in the freezer, and keep them there overnight.
- On the next day, take the boots out of the freezer and let the ice melt before removing the bags.
- Once you have removed the bags try on the boots to check if it fits well.
- If it requires more adjustments, carry out the process again.
Read more on how to Stop Rubber Rain Boots From Squeaking.
Method 2: Heat Expansion
Like you can probably guess, using heat is an effective way of stretching your rain boots. Heating rubber helps stretch or expand the material, and you can repeat the process as per your need.
The tools you need are a hairdryer and a pair of thick socks.
The process is as follows:
- Put on the tick pair of socks and wear your rain boots
- Position your hairdryer about 5 to 10 cm from the area on the boots that you want to expand and turn it on high heat
- Move the dryer around to cover all the areas you want to expand (toes/heels)
- After heating for about 30 minutes, walk around in the boots for another half an hour before taking them off
- If needed, repeat the process
You can use this process multiple times. However, care must be taken to not overheat the rubber as cheap rubber may melt.
While carrying out this process make sure you do not burn yourself and that the socks used are thick enough to provide sufficient insulation.
Follow our guide to know Are Rain Boots Slip Resistant.
Method 3: Stretching Liquids
Stretching liquids are chemicals that react with the material making it more flexible so that you can stretch them out as per need.
However, you must be careful to choose stretching fluid that is useable for rubber since these fluids are specific for each material.
The process is as follows:
- Make a 50:50 solution of water and alcohol, then mix the stretching liquid in it
- Place your rain boots overlayed down newspaper so that the stretching fluid can drip down on the paper instead of other surfaces
- Apply the stretching fluid on the areas that you want to stretch
- Wear a pair of thick socks and put the boots on for an hour to stretch the rubber
If you want more stretching, you can wear multiple layers of thick socks.
Check out our separate post: Do You Wear Socks with Rain Boots.
Method 4: Boot Stretcher
Boot stretchers are pretty straighforward devices made to stretch your rubber boots. You can stretch specific regions on your rain boots using these devices.
These devices are usually made to target and stretch the shaft or toe area of the boots. There are many types of boot stretches, but their main action is the same:
- Insert the stretching device inside your rain boots
- Activate the device once it is at the correct location to be stretched and lock it there
- Put on your boots once the stretching is done to check whether it fits better now
- Repeat the process if required
Read more on Why Are Rain Boots Yellow.
Method 6: A Professional Cobbler
If these methods are too complicated or too time-consuming for you there is no need for you to worry – you can always take them to a professional cobbler.
Cobblers can get them done the correct way, and there are lesser chances of getting your rain boots damaged.
The cobbler can not only stretch them out the professional way but they can also advise you on whether stretching is the proper choice for your boots specifically or whether you should purchase a new pair.
Can You Stretch New Rain Boots?
You must keep in mind that like any other shoes or boots, new rubber rain boots also take some time to break in.
You may feel as though your new pair of rain boots are somewhat rigid and inflexible, but after wearing them for some time these boots conform to your foot providing a more comfortable fit.
So, yes you surely can stretch a new pair of rubber rain boots, but you should not try to stretch them using the mentioned methods right off the bat.
Instead, wear them around, give some time to break them in. If they still don’t fit you properly, only then try out the mentioned methods to stretch them.
Rain boots are an excellent companion but they can get a bit stiff over time.
However, since they are made of rubber they can be maintained quite easily by periodically stretching them to maintain flexibility and comfort.
And luckily, most of the tools needed to stretch and maintain your rubber boots are simple household items, so there’s no extra hassle.
I hope this article has been helpful and you now know how to stretch your rubber boots by yourself.
If you have any feedback, suggestions, or questions, please leave them in the comment section below.