Do Hiking Boots Stretch? How to Stretch?

Sometimes, you want to stretch the boot for precise comfort. However, not every boot shape is the same. And if you have a remarkable likeness for having different hiking footwear, you’d agree with the statement. Some boots have a more comprehensive build, while others are narrow. But do hiking boots stretch? If yes, how to stretch them without involving complexities?

The fact is, most hiking boots certainly get stretched, especially over the course of time and with effort. And how often you wear them has much to do with achieving the desirable boot shape.

Still, boot stretching is a time-taking task if you don’t want to ruin the quality and appearance in the first place. So let’s find out how you can easily stretch a boot yourself!

How to Stretch Hiking Boots? 6 Proven Ways

Here are the methods that really work:

1. Using Stretching Liquid or Spray

First, choose a mixture of 50% water and 50% rubbing alcohol. However, traditionally, you should buy the dedicated boot stretching liquid.

Now, lay some black and white newspaper on the surface (color newspaper’s ink can discolor the boot when you spray)

Find a rather meek area on the boot for a patch test, spray a small amount there, and wait until it dries.

If everything is alright, spray the solution on the boot from where you want to stretch the boot. Make sure the boot’s surface is thoroughly visibly wet. Keep the spray away from 5 cm when spraying

Now put on at least two pairs of socks and wear the boot to stretch it best. Make sure you walk around, briskly walk and do all the possible foot movements for ideal stretching of the boot.

The spray method is very helping in not only in stretching your boots but also in breaking them in.

Down below is the best boot spray you can try to stretch your hiking boots:

FootMatters Professional Boot & Shoe Stretch Spray

  • Premium shoe stretcher
  • Trusted brand by many customers
  • Won’t stain or fade
  • Works on multiple materials
  • Easy to use

2. Using Boot Stretcher

The boot stretcher comes in a different shape. So, select the boot stretching according to which area of the boot you want to expand a little. For stretching the foot’s length and width, use the dual-way stretcher of your true boot size. Use a toe stretcher for lifting the narrow toe box whereas the instep stretcher is for foot portion lifting.

After choosing the stretcher, gently use the knob of the boot stretcher and adjust it inside the footwear. Ensure to set the knob before placing it inside the boot.

Slightly turn the handle of the boot expander and rotate it anti-clockwise. It should make the wedge wide and the difference will be noticeable. Repeat it 1 to 3 times if there is a need for it.

Down below is the best boot stretcher you can try to stretch your hiking boots:

TYOPMU Boot Stretcher

  • Save your feet and toe
  • Sturdy, wear-resistant
  • Widely used
  • Easy to use

3. Using Shoe Tree

Choose a shoe tree since it is pretty helpful for its moisture-wicking quality and keeps off odor. And make sure the shoe tree is of precise size.

Slide the shoe tree inside the boot and keep it in there for 24 hours. However, don’t leave it for more than that. You can keep the boots on their sides for about an hour to amplify the moisture-wicking property of the shoe tree.

Check the difference regularly from the inside of the hiking boot. However, you can also take the boot of the professional cobbler if there is no change in the stretchiness.

You can try out different shoe trees based on the design of the boot.

4. Stuff the Boot With Socks, Balls or Newspaper

Filling the footwear with paper or fabric is an old yet useful way to stretch the hiking. Boot. Just roll the fabric, preferably some pair of socks, and roll them into a tight ball. Fill the boot with the fabric or the rolled socks until there is no more space left

For paper or newspaper, crush it and stuff it inside the toe box of the boot. You can also use any recycled paper.

You must do it for a night or 24 hours to get the results. However, repeat it if you still don’t see a noticeable difference.

5. Use a Hair Dryer

When you use a hair dryer, ensure you’re wearing the boot while wearing two thick enough socks (such as wool socks).

Now turn on the hair dryer and use it from where you want to stretch the boot. Hold the machine at least 10 cm away from the boot surface, the same as you do with your hair.

While blow drying, move and wiggle your feet a bit to remove wrinkles so the stretching gets more natural and better.

Walk around until the boots cool down, and make sure to walk and move your feet in every possible direction to stretch the footwear rightfully.

Now wear the boot with regular boot socks, and if the boot is still narrow at some point, repeat the step mentioned above.

6. Use Ice

To stretch the hiking boot using ice, you must fill the two Ziploc bags with water. Ensure the bag is labeled as freezer-safe to avoid any breakage or leakage.

After filling the bags with water (1/3 full of water), remove the excess air before sealing. Place the bag inside the boot but keep things snuggled.

Carefully move the bag toward where you want to stretch the boot more (i.e., toe box, calf, etc.)

Keep the boots in the icebox by placing them in some container or plastic box overnight or at least 8 to 12 hours. The expansion of water will help to stretch the boot for sure.

Filling a Ziploc bag with water comes with precise measurements. It is important to note that a quart (liter) bag stretches the toe and heel of the hiking boot, whereas a gallon of water (4 liters) bag works to stretch the calf of the boot.

Precautions for Stretching Hiking Boots

  • If you stretch your leather boots with a hair dryer, never use it too close to the boot. It can likely cause damage to the exterior and may affect boot’s lifespan.
  • Don’t use cold stretching methods on leather boots. Preferably the synthetic boots with ice stretching method go well.
  • Do not use mink oil excessively on leather boots because it can take the shine away and make the boot a matte finish.
  • Don’t put the boot in the oven. The artificial heat can dry the leather and cause brittleness faster.
  • Don’t use leather stretching liquid on synthetic boots; it will damage the quality.
  • Don’t use the shoe tree that has a varnish finish because it won’t absorb the odor.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to stretch the toe box of hiking boots?

Stretching the hiker boots have multiple methods to act upon. However, it depends on which area you want to change. For instance, you can use a high-quality boot stretching liquid or spray.

Moreover, placing newspapers or filling the boot with fabric is budget-friendly and easy for everyone. Using a shoe tree, hair dryer, or boot stretcher will greatly help you.

How to stretch leather hiking boots?

Stretching the leather hiking boot like suede is something that you should do with mindfulness. Oil conditioning to the narrow or tight boots always lets out comfy results. For this, gently rub the oil conditioner over the hiker’s boot and let it rest for a few hours.

It should work. However, there is a slight chance that this method will not work on the first attempt. If so, repeat it after some days (when the leather absorbs the oil). Preferably, this method helps in loosening the interior of the leather footwear.


Tim Campbell

I am Tim. Getting the inherited hobby from my father when I was a child to the fully grown individual I always loved boots. I live in hilly areas and love to explore the world at heights. That's where my profound hobby of boots collection comes in. I have tried a lot of boots and now helping my community to do better when having fun in different conditions like hilly areas, work, or farming. In this very blog, I have covered some awesome reviews and information that you may get hard otherwise. All of my self-experience and expert advice I have incorporated in this blog.

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