How To Stretch Cowboy Boots At Home


Today, I’m going to show you how to stretch cowboy boots at home.

A lot of people think they can’t wear boots because they have a high instep and they can’t get them on.

Others have bunions that cause pain and they don’t have the time or the tools to break stretch their boots a little bit.

The good news is I have some proven tips to stretch your boots and make them a little more comfortable for you.

Let’s dive right into it…


How To Stretch cowboy boots

Boot Stretch Spray


One cool product you can use is the Boot Stretch. This is a product you spray inside the boot, then you put the boot on and walk around until the boot dries.

It helps relax the leather and makes it a little more comfortable to walk around while it is stretching to your foot.

Once you’re done with that, make sure you condition the leather to get that moisture back into the leather. Otherwise, it could dry out and you could have some cracks.


So, this is one way. The other way is steam…


To learn how to effectively stretch your Doc Martens for a more comfortable fit, check out the article.


You can also apply steam to the inside of the boot to get it on just to fit right. This can be done with a pot of boiling water on the stove, for example.

What you want to do at home is get the pot of boiling water going. You could also make a funnel with foil to give you more controlled steam.

Get the steam going, place the boot onto the steam and let the steam go up inside of the boot. This will start to relax that leather of your cowboy boots.

Before wearing your boots, make sure you air them out and cool them off because they get very hot with steam.

Once you’ve aired them out, you can stretch the inside with your thumb and press outwards. You can also rotate your boot over and place your thumb along the instep and just apply pressure.

One of the other things you could do is go inside and make a fist and that will also stretch a whole part of the boot.

Once that is done, place the boot on your foot, wear it till it cools. If it’s not enough, repeat that process and you should be good to go.


To unlock the perfect fit for your Dr. Martens footwear, be sure to read our Dr. Martens size chart and size guide article.

Immerse in Water


What you’re going to do is immerse your boots completely in water and get them completely saturated.

The reason for this is you don’t want to just dip the boots partially into the water because that could create a watermark.

So, you want to completely saturate the boots in a bucket of water.

Once you’ve done that and they’ve really gotten wet, you want to get them out and then slip your feet into them right away and then wear them for a while.

Be prepared because you’re going to be walking around in some squishy boots.

But as they dry, you want to then apply conditioner to the outside of the boot and then keep applying that conditioner.

The conditioner can be any kind of leather conditioner but you could actually even use a hand lotion or something of that nature.

The idea is that as the water is evaporating out of the pores, you want the conditioner to be going back into the pores and that’d be drying and solidifying the shape of that boot.

It’s going to be a bit uncomfortable wearing wet boots, but you want to wear them for a while.

This way, your cowboy boots are going to start taking the shape of your foot and you could eventually have a great pair of boots and feel great.

How to stretch cowboy boots around the instep and ankle

Sometimes, a person with a high instep can’t make the turn, and by stretching the throat a little bit, you can pop it in easily.

You can invest in a good stretcher to stretch the throat, which is the entry point of the boot, but we can use a baseball or a basketball instead.


Some cowboy boots fit tight across the instep even if the width is pretty good. So, if you didn’t have a boot stretcher, you can use a piece of leather, a baseball, and a rubber mallet.

Take a piece of leather, double it over and slide it inside your boots. Then take something like a baseball, put it on top of that piece of leather, and just shove it in the instep area where it is too tight at.

Then, take a rubber mallet and just wail on the sides of your boots where the ball is for 20 to 30 times.

Just make sure you don’t put the boot on your leg because when that baseball hits you, it’s going to hurt real bad.

Then, jam that baseball up in there and leave it overnight.

When you take it out, you can slip your boots on and they will fit comfortably.


Get all the air out of the basketball and shove it all the way down to the instep of the boot. Take your pump and pump the ball up. Then, leave the ball inside the boot for about two to three days.  

Get all the air out of the ball again, try the boot on, and there you have another simple way to stretch your cowboy boots at home.

How to stretch cowboy boots around the calf


A lot of athletes can’t wear boots because their calves are too large to fit in. You can use a stretcher and you can stretch the calf area to accommodate your calves.

How to stretch your boots with ice


Fill the bottom of a Ziploc bag with water. Get the air out and seal the bag. Put the bag inside your boots and tap them down. Put your boots in the freezer and let them freeze overnight.

Wait for the ice to thaw, take the bag out, and try your boots on. If you still need more space, you may want to use more water and repeat the same process if needed.

How to stretch cowboy boots with alcohol


Use a stretcher if you have one. Or, you can wear really thick socks and apply a stretching solution.

You can make a stretching solution yourself using about three parts water and one part isopropyl alcohol.

So, wear some thicker socks or double on your socks, spray your boots with your stretching solution, and wear your boots until they dry.

When you apply that stretching solution, that will let the leather relax and give, and when it dries, it will hold that position.

It might take a few times doing this, but walking around with the alcohol and the heat from your foot will stretch your boots out.

how to stretch cowboy boots width

Here you can use the width stretcher. Sometimes, you just need a little more room in the toe box for your toes and the ball of your foot.

how to stretch cowboy boots for bunions

Using the same width stretcher, you can add a piece to stretch the boot and create more space for your bunions.

The only thing you cannot stretch on a boot is you cannot make it longer. So, your boot has to be of correct length.

Final Thoughts

When trying on boots, you want to make sure that you have the right size boot on.

Starting off, I would recommend sizing your foot to get the right length and width, which is going to ultimately give you the best comfort of the boot.

If you don’t know your shoe size, you can get your foot measured in every shoe shop you happen to be in.

Don’t just rely on the fact that because you can fit into your cowboy boots it means you’ve got yourself the right size. You could end up having too much in the end or your boot could be too wide.

Cobblers have got a couple of options for stretching boots in the store. Some of the options they have to stretch cowboy boots include:

  • Instep stretchers.
  • Shaft stretchers.
  • And width stretchers.

But of course, you want to stretch your cowboy boots at home, and I hope you’ve learned something new today.

So, there you have it. This is how to stretch cowboy boots. If you’ve got a trick under your sleeves, please share it down below in the comments section.

About Eric Barber

Eric Barber is a happy father of two little angels, a husband, and a runner. He eats, sleeps, and dreams anything foot related: running shoes, walking shoes, sneakers, you name it. It all started when Eric was a shoe store specialist watching and fitting people's feet day in and day out.

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