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Can A Shoe Or Boot Be Stretched? Can I Stretch A Shoe Or Boot Myself?

Can A Shoe Or Boot Be Stretched? Can I Stretch A Shoe Or Boot Myself?

Description on how to stretch boots and shoes

Can A Shoe Or Boot Be Stretched?

Yes, any shoe or boot can be stretched. At Boyer's BootNShoe, we stretch dozens of boots and shoes every day. How much your footwear can be stretched will vary depending on what material they are made of and which area needs stretching. Leather footwear will stretch much more than man-made footwear. At Boyer's BootNShoe we can expertly increase the size of your shoes using a variety of professional equipment. We routinely stretch boots and shoes in the length, width, instep, heel, bunions or corns. On boots we also stretch tops and throats to make a boot easier to get on. If anywhere hurts we can usually stretch or soften the exact spot to give you relief.

Shoe Stretcher

Shoe Stretcher

Can I stretch a Shoe or Boot Myself?  Yes you can stretch a boot or shoe yourself. But how much and where it can be stretch will be more limited than what we at can do with our large assortment of professional equipment.


Getting a shoe to stretch requires two things: preparing the material and applying pressure.

Preparing The Material:

-Preparing Leather: Leather will stretch best when it is wet. Warm water can be used for this, however it may discolor or stain the leather. We recommend using a stretching solution, like Ariat Boot Stretch. This product easily penetrates the leather surface . You should test the solution on an area to make sure it does not discolor. However, we find that Ariat Boot Stretch rarely causes any discoloration. 


-Preparing Vinyl and Urethane: Man-made leather is best prepared by warming the surface. A Warm blow dryer can be used for this. Note that the surface may be damaged if it gets too hot, so use caution. 


-Preparing Fabric: Fabric can also be treated with Ariat Boot Stretch. Test it in an inconspicuous place to make sure it will not discolor the surface. However, we find that it rarely causes any discoloration.

Stretching The Shoe Or Boot

Shoe stretching


-Stretching requires applying pressure to the area that needs stretched. This can be accomplished in three ways.


-Wear it.Just wearing the shoe after applying a wetting agent may be all that is needed. The shoe or boot will stretch in the tight area. However this takes time and if the shoe is too tight it may hurt too much during the process. This usually only works for the width or for a bunion or little toe area. It will not work for stretching the length.


-Use a stretching tool. You can buy wooden or plastic shoe and boot stretchers that spread apart and widen a shoe. Stretch to the desired size and then let the shoe dry or cool while still on the stretcher. Leave them on the stretcher overnight.  




- Stuff It. I've heard of people just stuffing their footwear with Newspaper. But this does not apply as much pressure so it limits how much it can be stretched. 


-Professional Tools – You can buy all kinds of professional tools but it may be more cost efficient to send them to us to Stretch or take to your local shoe repairman. 




Can Man-Made Materials Be Stretched?

Yes, but not as much as leather can. Leather is more forgiving.

Will Boots And Shoes Stretch On Their Own?

Yes, but it takes time and lots of wear. A good rule of thumb is: If a shoe or boot hurts your foot then stretch it. If a shoe or boot is snug then just wear it until it stretches or conforms to your foot.


Slim, The Boot Guy 


  1. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Hello Bill, a women's 11b is roughly a men's 9.5 narrow. Unfortunately its just not usually possible to stretch a boot so much. We can typically get a half a size in length and a good amount in the width. Sometimes a full size if the leather is particularly supple.

  2. Bill Bill

    Hey there , I have a costume character business. Anyway I purchased a pair of Womens Old Gringo Yippie Kye A Bloom Blue Patriotic American Flag boots to go with my Patriotic Outfit. The boots are a women's 11 b is there anyway to stretch them to a men's 11 or 11.5 d

  3. Shelby abernathy Shelby abernathy

    Hi yes my right boot hurts my foot to wear it causes my bisters on my ankle and side for food and I able to get it stretched

  4. Paul Alexander Paul Alexander

    Hello, I was wondering if you can stretch shoes in length. I'm a size 13 looking at these pair of size 12's:
    Fairly desperate to make them work somehow.

  5. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Hello Omar,
    Usually A is a very narrow width (from narrow to wide for men, usually it is A, B, D, EE ). It is possible to stretch an A width to a D width, however if they are vintage shoes, there is a high risk of the leather cracking and splitting when they are stretched.

  6. Omar Cunningham Omar Cunningham

    Hello! I have a question. I'm looking to buy a cool pair of old two toned spectators off of Ebay. The size says 10.5A. I'm a 10.5D. I read somewhere that at one time "A" stood for "Average" which meant it fell in line with D width. At any rate, if I bought the shoes, is it possible to stretch an A width to a D? Any assistance would be truly appreciated. Thanks!

  7. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Hello Sasha
    Yes absolutely! Stretching can still be done on these boots, it just needs done more delicately. We take care to keep on eye on the zipper and let the leather relax on the stretcher incrementally.

  8. Sasha Sasha

    I have some mid-calf boots that need stretching but is that possible if the zipper is in the back, without damaging the boots?

  9. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Hello Peter,
    It is possible to stretch. However whether it will stretch that much with the material being alligator I can't guarantee. Alligator doesn't stretch as well as a softer leather would.

  10. Peter Betts Peter Betts

    Hi. Is it possible to stretch leather boots from width D to EE (or is that to big of a jump?) Material for one being Alligator leather.

  11. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Hello Joan,
    absolutely! Fill this form out here: letting us know what you want done and ship it with the boots. Please note we only ship domestically within the USA. If you have anymore questions let me know.

  12. Joan Joan

    Can I send in one of my new Old Gringo boots for stretching? I can tell that the left foot will be fine/break in by walking. The right is delicate after being somewhat crushed in car accident. The bunion on my right foot hits at the seam. Can you stretch that so I can wear these boots?

  13. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Hello Twila,
    You may find this blog post more helpful >
    Check out the section near the bottom "Boots are tight to get on" if you have any further questions let me know. Thanks.

  14. Twila Webb Twila Webb

    Hey so I have a super comfy pair of boots that I love but the are a bit of a pain to put on. The seem to be too tight at the bend once past that they are great. Any suggestions?

  15. Maggie Topkis Maggie Topkis

    I lost a lot of weight and in the process seem to have lost an entire shoe-size. I have a lot of really beautiful shoes, many with heels, that I just can't wear now: My foot slides forward into the shoe, and it's really uncomfortable. Is there anything I can do?

  16. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Hello Charles,
    How much a boot stretches depends on the boot and the material it's made of but 99% of the time with leather boots a B width can be stretched to a D width

  17. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Hello Dragos,
    It is possible to stretch exotic leathers. Lizard is a bit difficult to stretch as it doesn't give as much as softer leathers but we can usually get some give out of it.

  18. Dragos Dragos

    Can exotic leather ( looks like lizard)be stretched? I have a pair of shoes that are tight in the toe box.

  19. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Hello Scott,
    If you bought the boots with us, we do provide free stretching as needed on that pair!

  20. Scott burt Scott burt

    I just bought new boots pre broke in from ur company and would again but the right boot is great and the left boot is tight by the small toe and is really pain full if I buy again is there anyway to stretch them more .

  21. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Deltra-- are you asking if the tops on tall boots can be stretched? Yes this is possible. Check out this blog post on the subject

  22. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Hi Brenda, it would cost about $15 for the stretching as of Sep. 2020 plus return shipping which is about $15

  23. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Hello Troy,
    This sounds like a simple stretch you could take care of by getting a stretcher yourself, or taking it to a local repair shop to be stretched. If you don't have anyone locally and would like a professional to do it you can always send it over to us.

  24. Troy Smith Troy Smith

    I have a pair of Nike Air boots size 10. The left side of the instep is uncomfortable on the right shoe and definitely need widening professionally. Please let me know what to do to fix this case. Thank you.

  25. ASH ASH

    Insanely comprehensive :)

    Thank you so much,
    Now I have something to read during the holidays. This will take a while but well worth it like always

  26. TheBootGuy TheBootGuy

    Hello, we are located in the Mississippi river town of Quincy IL at 420 N. 36th st. You can absolutely send you boots on over to us to get stretched. Check out our repair page here: to print out a form and send them with your boots.

  27. Nancy Mitchell Nancy Mitchell

    I have extremely wide width on left foot, born this way. Can’t wear flip flops, foot deformed. I desperately need to stretch shoes? Where are you located? Can I ship to you? Help please!

  28. Zoe Boyer Zoe Boyer

    Hello Debbi, yes you can definitely drop them off at the store! Simply go up to the counter and one of our wonderful sales people will write you a repair ticket and walk you through the process. The price depends on where you need them stretched and the kind of boots they are. So when we look at them in person we can give you a for sure estimate if you ask. A rough estimate as of Nov. 2019 is $10-$20 per pair. Thank you for your question.

  29. Debbi Marmion Debbi Marmion

    I have a couple pairs of ankle boots that I would like to have stretched. Can I just drop them off at the store or how does it work? Also, what is the approximate price for stretching boots? Thanks!

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