How To Stretch Cowboy Boots: The Best Methods

Written By Mahia

Are your feet tired of the extreme discomfort that your new cowboy boots cause? Are you searching for seamless ways of stretching cowboy boots?

Congratulations! Your search ends here.

Because with my in-depth research, I have come up with all the full-proof methods of stretching cowboy boots.

So if you want to transform your uncomfortable cowboy boots into a cozy one, then don’t forget to read the entire

How To Stretch Out Cowboy Boots?

When you purchase a brand new cowboy boot, don’t you feel the boots are very hard the first time you wear them?

If yes, it’s because the boots didn’t undergo the break-in period yet.

Usually, the boots break in naturally but stretching them speeds up the break-in period and makes your rigid cowboy boots into comfortable and feasible ones.

Sounds interesting, right?

Follow our guide to know Can Cowboy Boots Be Resoled.

So let’s see how you can stretch out your cowboy boots following simple and easy methods:

Method 1: Steam Inside The Cowboy Boots


Steaming inside the cowboy boots is a very affordable yet effective method of stretching. The only disadvantage is that sometimes steam fades or dries out the leather.

So do this method at your own risk.

However, you can give it a try because the steam method can increase

the boot to one size large.

Here are the steps by which you can stretch the cowboy boots with steam:

Things you’ll need:

  • Steamer or Kettle
  1. Take a garment steamer or a kettle of boiling water. When the steam is generated, hold the inside of your boots towards the steam for 15-20 seconds.
  2. Now put the boots away from the steamer and let the steam evaporate from the boots. And then, insert your hand inside the boots and press the areas with your finger where you want it to be stretched.

The steam will make the leather flexible, which makes the stretching easy. If you feel the boots are still firm, you can steam the boots for another 10-15 seconds.

  1. Once you feel the boots are soft, wear them and go for a walk.
  2. Wear the boots until they are completely dry. If you think the boots are too hot to wear, leave them to cool down and then wear them.
  3. Once you are satisfied with the stretching, apply some leather conditioner to the boots to retain their moisture.

Check out our separate post to know Why Are Cowboy Boots Pointed.

Method 2: Immerse The Cowboy Boots In Water

You might be wondering about how water stretches cowboy boots, but it is a fact that submerging the boots into the water stretches them. Note that leather becomes very flexible when the water reacts with leather’s pores and slacken the fibers; thus, the boot size increases.

Here is the procedure of stretching cowboy boots with water:

Things you’ll need:

  • Bucket
  • Water
  1. Fill a bucket with warm water.
  2. Immerse the boots into the water but make sure water doesn’t enter the inside of the boots. Slightly press down on the insole so that the boot doesn’t float.
  3. Once the insole gets slightly wet, take the boots out of the water.
  4. Now wear a pair of socks and then wear the wet boots and walk around in them.
  5. Don’t take off the boots until they are fully dry.
  6. Once the boots are completely dry, condition them with a conditioner to prevent cracking.

How To Stretch Cowboy Boots Instep?

A pair of stylish cowboy boots can be an ultimate treat to your feet only if you get the right size, but there are times when you mistakenly bought the cowboy boots with a tight instep.

Luckily, following some stretching techniques, you can easily make the tight instep into a comfortable fit.

Here I have discussed two methods following which you can stretch cowboy boots instep easily:

Method 1: Use A Western Boot Stretcher


Using a boot stretcher to stretch cowboy boots instep is one of the most popular and successful methods.

On top of that, there is no risk of damaging the leather in this method; you can follow this technique without any doubt.

All you have to do is to invest in a good-quality boot stretcher. But make sure you purchase the western boot stretcher and not the ordinary one.

Follow our guide on how to Wear A Boot Knife With Cowboy Boot.

So let us look into the stretching procedure of cowboy boots in step with the boot stretcher:

Things you’ll need:

  • Western boots stretcher
  • Boot stretch spray
  • Cloth
  1. Spray the inside of your boots with a boot stretch spray to relax the fabric. After that, with a clean cloth, wipe the spray so that the product reaches every corner of the boot. You can also wet the cloth with the boot stretch spray and then rub the inside of the cowboy boots.
  2. Before you start the stretching, you can also place the plugs into the corresponding plug insertions on the toe block.
  3. Now place the toe block inside the toe box of the boot. Make sure the toe block should touch the end of the toe box.
  4. To expand the boot, rotate the handle clockwise to widen the toe box. Turn the handle 2-3 times for a good stretch.
  5. Let the stretcher sit in the boots for 6-8 hours.
  6. To take off the stretcher, rotate the handle anti-clockwise and slowly pull off the boot expander out of the boots.

Method 2: Wear Thick Socks

Stretching cowboy boots with socks may sound weird to you, but you will be stunned by the result. This method is the most inexpensive and doesn’t require any products other than a pair of thick socks.

First, let me tell you about the drawback of this method. Wearing thick socks with your tight cowboy boots can be very painful; you may feel very uncomfortable, but the outcome is worth every pain.

The procedure is pretty simple; all you have to do is wear socks with cowboy boots. If your socks are thick, then wearing one pair will be enough but if your socks are thin, then try to wear two pairs of socks. Wear the socks and put your boots on and go for a walk.

This sock method can stretch your boot up to half a size up.

Try to do this method in a warmer environment because, at that temperature, leather becomes a bit flexible.

If you are thinking of wearing more than two pairs of socks for extra stretching, then don’t even think of it because adding additional layers of socks can make your feet swell, or you can end up having blisters.

How To Stretch Cowboy Boots Around The Calf?

Are you among them who has big calves? Do you struggle to fit your cowboy boots around the calf? If yes, then go through this section; I assure you it will give a guaranteed solution.

Hands down, the stretching method is a fantastic way to stretch cowboy boots around the calf.

So let’s discuss the most effective techniques of stretching cowboy boots around the calf:

If you are on a tight budget and looking for the cheapest ways of stretching your cowboy boots around the calf, I suggest trying the water and conditioner method; I guarantee you will be satisfied with the result.

Here are the easiest steps of stretching cowboy boots around the calf with water and conditioner:

Things you’ll need:

  • Water
  • Leather conditioner
  • Bucket

Note that you may feel a bit uncomfortable doing this method as you have to wear wet boots.

  1. Fill a bucket with clean water and soak your cowboy boots into the water. Make sure to wet the problematic area which is around the calf.
  2. Leave the boots in the water for 5-10 minutes. This makes sure the material gets soft.
  3. Once the time is up, take the boots out and give them a good shake to remove the excess water.
  4. Wear wet boots. I know you may feel uncomfortable, but this is when the magic happens.
  5. Put a leather conditioner on your boots, especially on the claves.
  6. Wear the boots until you are satisfied with the fitting, and then take them off.

Also, check out our epic guide on how to Restore Cowboy Boots.

How To Stretch Cowboy Boots At Home?

If you are not interested in investing in a fancy boot stretcher or leather conditioner, your household items may help you stretch cowboy boots.

These hacks for stretching cowboy boots at home don’t need any specialized tools as well as the outcome is outstanding.

So let’s talk about how to stretch cowboy boots at home:

Freezing a bag of water inside your boots is indeed a great technique to stretch your boots overnight. When the water freezes, it expands and relaxes the inside of your boots.

  1. Fill ½ to ¾ of a Ziploc bag with clean water and seal it properly. Don’t fill the entire bag with water.
  2. Put the water bag into the toe box of your boots.
  3. Now keep the boots inside the freezer for 8 hours or overnight. Meantime the water will expand and stretch your boots.
  4. Before you remove the ice bags, give them some time for thawing.
  5. Check the fittings; if you are not satisfied, then you can repeat the entire process.

Be very careful while performing the freezing method because if your water bag leaks, you will be left with a soaked pair of cowboy boots.

How To Stretch Cowboy Boots Fast?

Heating is an incredible way to stretch the leather faster. A heating source like a hairdryer is an easy-to-use tool for stretching cowboy boots. However, you have to be very careful while using heat on boots; excessive heat can burn the leather.

Here are the simple steps of stretching cowboy boots fast:

  1. Set the temperature of the hairdryer to medium-high, hold the hairdryer about 8 inches away from the boots, and heat them.
  2. Focus on the targeted areas like the heels, side of the boots, or the places where you want your boots to stretch.
  3. After heating the boots, wear them and go for a walk. Heating expands the leather, and as you wear the hot boots, it molds to the shape of your feet.

Follow our guide on how to Walk In Cowboy Boots: Like A Pro.


It is very important to buy boots that fit perfectly to your feet, but when you feel the boots are a tad bit tight, you can surely try the stretching methods.

However, if your boots are excessively tight, stretching will not be much of use; you should exchange or return them as soon as possible.

If this article was helpful to you, then don’t forget to share your opinion with us.

About The Author
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.

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