How to stretch and soften leather boots and shoes?


To break in your new leather boots and shoes quickly and safely, Ekomfort recommends seven simple steps, from putting on thick socks to using stretch sprays, to help you achieve optimum daily comfort.

By ekomfort Updated May 7, 2024

Reviewed By Ekomfort

Fact Checked By Haroon

Breaking in your new leather boots and shoes can be a tricky process, but with these 7 tips from Ekomfort, you can achieve optimal everyday comfort without damaging your footwear. Find out how to stretch and soften your new leather boots and shoes for worry-free everyday wear.

Key Takeaways

  • To avoid chafing and blisters, start by wearing your new leather shoes for short periods and repeat several times.
  • To stretch your leather shoes, put them on over your thickest socks and walk around the house to give your feet time to get used to the new shape.
  • For tight areas, use a tool like a spoon to gently lift and lengthen the leather without damaging it.
  • To speed up stretching, use a hair dryer to heat the tight areas and lengthen the leather without damaging it.
  • For longer-lasting stretching, use shoe stretchers that can be left inside the shoes for several hours or even overnight to achieve a perfect fit.

Clothing legend has it that the Queen of England has someone to break in her new shoes if they’re a little tight. And why shouldn’t she? Always on her feet for royal visits and functions, she can’t afford to feel uncomfortable.

For the rest of us, having someone make our beautiful new boots and shoes feel like our old favorites probably isn’t an option. Yet everyday comfort is just as essential. Here’s the essential Ekomfort guide to breaking in your new leather boots and shoes quickly and safely, without damaging them.

Also read: The difference between sneakers and shoes in Luxembourg

Photo de deux bottes de motards placées l'une en face de l'autre

7 proven ways to stretch and soften leather boots and shoes

1. Wear Them Small And Often

Wear them sparingly, at least at first. The temptation to show off your new acquisition will be immense. But if you start with a few short outings, you’ll give your feet time to get used to the new shape and feel of leather.

2. Wear them at home

This is the simplest of tricks and often works wonders. Put on your thickest socks and walk around the house for a few hours. It might feel uncomfortable and a little strange, but think of any temporary inconvenience as a long-term investment in your feet.

3. Use a Spoon

Take a wooden or metal spoon-it doesn’t matter use it to gently lift and lengthen those parts of your shoes or boots that feel a little tight. Heels are a common area that can cause rubbing at first, and a spoon is the perfect shape to get a good stretch.

4. Use the Hair Dryer

While you’re wearing your new leather shoes around the house, plan a few sessions with the hair dryer. Yes, you heard me right. Concentrate on the parts that pinch or feel tight with a 20-second blast of heat to lengthen the leather without damaging it. This combination of thick socks and extra heat delivers fast results. Keep the shoes or boots on until the leather feels cool to the touch, making them more likely to stay lengthened and fitted to the contours of your feet.

5. Use a crushed newspaper

This is the method Grandma always swore by. Take out some old newspapers or magazines and dampen them very lightly. Then crush the pages and place them inside each shoe or boot. Wait until they are completely dry before removing them. Be very careful not to dampen the paper too much, as you could damage the insoles.

6. Buy Shoe Stretchers

These are perfect for leather shoes and boots, less useful for sandals. Place them inside and let them stay there as long as possible to gently stretch for you over time. Nighttime is ideal.

7. USE A STRETCHING SPRAY

All leather stretches and softens over time, but a spray can speed up the process. Most shoe sprays are alcohol-based, which allows them to dry quickly. This also prevents shoes from developing water marks as they dry. Spray your shoes and boots and insert your feet. Shoe stretchers are a suitable alternative for feet if you don’t have time to wear shoes at home.

In the meantime, you can browse the latest Ekomfort shoe and boot collections online.

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