How To Break In Cowboy Boots

Nothing is worse than the blisters and bruises from your brand-new cowboy boots.

You want to show them off and get wild in them but your feet are having none of it! Cowboy boots are made to be durable and although that is a good thing, it does also mean there will be a long period where you find yourself uncomfortable and irritated at them.

How To Break In Cowboy Boots

They will rub your toes ‘til your blisters pop and bleed and no one wants that! Luckily, there is a way to save yourself from such sores.

That’s right, some multiple methods and techniques will allow you to stretch out and brink in your boots so that they fit comfortably and without irritation to your foot. 

Cowboy boots are made to stretch so that they will eventually perfectly fit the wearer of the shoe. But how do they stretch? Most boots are made with cowhide leather, or some even with alligator or snake skins.

These organic materials can be stretched, so don’t worry if your boots are hurting right now – they won’t be after you try out the following methods!

How To Break In Cowboy Boots

Method 1: Extra Socks 

This method is 100% free (providing you have more than one pair of socks, of course) and easy to do. All you are going to need are multiple pairs of thick socks, your boots, and your feet. Simply layer at least two pairs of socks and slide your feet into the shoe.

Unfortunately, this may be a rather uncomfortable process, as it will feel a lot tighter before the boots stretch out. This method is great for stretching the boots in both width and length, so be sure to give it a go.

You’ll need to wear extra socks for more than just one occasion to stretch them out fully, but eventually, they can stretch up to a whole half size! The pressure from your feet covered in the socks forces the shoe to expand and thus makes room for your feet in the long run.

Another top tip when using this method is to wear the socks at the warmest part of the day, so the leather is more soft and pliable. This will help to stretch them out faster so that you can wear double socks for less time. 

Free To Do
Simple and Easy
Can Take a Long Time

How To Break In Cowboy Boots

Method 2: Using Steam

This method can be harmful to leather, and cause it to crack and become damaged so proceed with caution if you choose to try out this method.

What you are going to need to do is use a garment steamer (or if you don’t have one you could use the steam from a boiling kettle) and direct the steam into the boot in the area you wish to stretch out. Do this for around 20 seconds and ensure that the steam is hitting the exact spot you want it to.

Press this area with your fingers, and if it is still firm then steam for a further 10-15 seconds. You are going to want the area to feel soft and flexible. Once they feel this way, slip them on and walk around ideally until they have dried out. This will help it shape to the very specific of your feet.

If it gets too uncomfortable to do this, however, you can remove the boots once they have cooled and leave them to dry. Use a conditioning product that is suitable for the material of your boots and apply it to the area to prevent any damage.

Achieves Custom Fit
Not Expensive
Can Fade Color
Can Damage Leather

How To Break In Cowboy Boots

Method 3: Ice

When water is frozen and turns to ice, it expands. Which is exactly how this method will help to stretch your boot. It may sound odd, but you just have to trust the process with this one. The idea is that the water in your shoe will freeze and expand thus stretching the leather and expanding your shoe.

What you are going to want to do is fill a sealable plastic bag around halfway – the bag should be able to hold about a gallon of water. When sealing the bag, you want to ensure to avoid letting in any air. You should also turn the bag upside down just to check that there is no water leakage.

Take the bag of water and insert it into your boot, as close to the tip of the toe as possible. You can then scrunch up newspaper or old socks and stuff them into the heel of the boot to ensure that the water bag will stay in place.

Once you have this all set up, put the shoe into your freezer for at least 8 hours.

This is when the magic happens and your boots will stretch! Thaw the ice before removing the bag. This is the perfect technique that will help you avoid any blistering or calluses on your feet!

Simple Method
Not Invasive
Boots May Not Fit In Your Freezer

How To Break In Cowboy Boots

Method 4: Boot Stretcher

This is probably the most obvious way to stretch your cowboy boots, however, that doesn’t mean it is the best way.

You have to buy a boot stretcher for a start! It is, though, a very easy and fast way to stretch your boots, and you don’t even have to do anything! This is a good method if you own a lot of cowboy boots and it is worth the investment in buying the stretcher.

To stretch your boots with this tool, first, apply shoe stretch spray to the inside material of the boot. This helps to soften the material so that it is more malleable and easier to stretch.

Insert the toe-block into the boot and make sure it has been pushed far enough into the shoe that it touches the end of the toe box.

Turn the handle of the boot stretcher multiple times to increase the width of the boot, then set it aside for around 6 to 8 hours. Simply remove the shoe stretcher by retracting the widening handle and gently lifting the product out of the boot.

Fast Way To Stretch Boots
Expensive Product To Invest In

How To Break In Cowboy Boots

Method 5: Water Submersion

The last method we will cover today is the water submersion method. This method is when you submerge your boots into a bath of lukewarm water. Make sure they are as deep in the water as they can go without the boots filling with water and getting wet.

Then, use your hands and press down on the insoles so that they do not float. It is time to take the boots out once you feel that the insole has become slightly damp. Put on a pair of socks and wear the cowboy boots until they are dry. This will help the fabric to stretch to the fit of your foot.

Easy To Do
Could Damage Leather
Could Fade Leather

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, within these methods, you have found the most suitable way for you to stretch your brand new cowboy boots! No more blisters or pain, your shoes will fit you perfectly every time! Happy stretching!

Catherine McDowl
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