How exciting - THE perfect boots! They are the right color. They are the right style. The heels are exactly what you have been looking for. You order your size and the nice mailman brings you the box. You open the shoe box, the first time that box has ever been opened! The smell of new leather wafts from the box. Your hands tremble with anticipation. The excitement is almost too much. You put your foot into the boot, grasp the top of the shaft and push your foot forward. Suddenly your progress stops about three-quarters of the way into the boot. You remove the boot look inside for any of the packaging that you must have left inside, but there is none. The realization hits like a ton of bricks - the calf on the boot is too narrow. As the tears well up in your eyes, you gently place the boots back into the box and leave - defeated by a boot shaft.


You Have Options

Depending on how tight the boot is, consider stretching the shaft. Leather boots can be stretched up to 3/4 inch. The width of the boots can be stretched one full size. Don't make the mistake of assuming a pair of boots in a size 8 can become and 8.5. It means that a pair of boots that is a medium width can be stretched to a D width or a D width can be stretched to an E width.

Your second option is to buy wide calf leather boots. Wide calf leather boots, as the name suggests, means the calf is wider than the standard calf width. Boots also come in extra wide calf.

Leather Boots Only

ONLY Leather Boots can be stretched. Boots made of synthetic materials will crack and the boots will be ruined.

How to Stretch a Boot Shaft

If you already have a great pair of boots or you found the perfect boots, but the calf is too tight - stretch them. Stretching the boots to the correct size will take a little bit of time, but will be well worth it.

Apply a specialized leather stretching spray or leather stretching liquid to the boot shaft with a clean, lint-free cloth until the stretcher has covered the area of the boot that needs to be stretched.

Kiwi SELECT Universal Shoe Stretch (1) 7oz.
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(price as of Sep 20, 2016)

Insert a metal boot stretcher into the boot shaft and turn the handle on the stretcher until it becomes tightly wedged in the boot shaft and then turn it a little more. The key is patience – turning the stretcher little by little lessens the chance of harming the leather. Metal boot stretchers are stronger than plastic ones, but some heavy-duty, high-grade plastic ones will also get the job done.

FootFitter Cast Aluminum Combination Boot Instep and Shaft Stretcher
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Let the boots sit overnight so the spray or liquid can soak into the material sufficiently.

Apply another coat of leather stretcher and turn the handle on the boot stretcher to increase the shaft size. Remember little by little.

Let the them sit overnight again.

Repeat the process until the boots have stretched sufficiently - up to 1 inch. This process may take a couple of days as you slowly increase the shaft size.

Leave the stretcher inside the shaft for 48 to 72 hours before removing and wearing the boots. Leaving the stretcher inside the shaft allows the spray or liquid to dry fully and holds the stretch. Removing the stretcher prematurely increases the chance of the shaft shrinking.

Limitless Options

Now that you know how to stretch your leather boots, you have so many options. If you found a style that you love that do not have a wide calf, stretch them. Make sure to choose leather boots.

How to Stretch the Boot Width

After the boot shaft has been stretched sufficiently or it didn't require any stretching, you can stretch the foot area too. The foot area can be stretched up to one full width size.

Apply the stretching spray to the foot area.

Insert a stretcher down into the foot area of the boot.

FootMatters Professional Shoe Stretcher - Medium
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(price as of Sep 20, 2016)

Widen the stretcher until it is very snug and then widen it a little more. Again patience is key – widen the width little by little.

Let the them sit overnight.

Apply more leather stretcher and widen the stretcher until very snug.

Let the them sit overnight again.

Repeat this process until the boots have stretched a full width size.

Leave the stretcher in the boots for 48 to 72 hours.

What is Safe

Boot stretchers are safe to use on leather, suede and reptile skins.

Wide Calf Low Heel Boots

Some people choose to avoid the need to make the boots wider by purchasing wide calf boots.

Wide calf  with a low heel are worn with jeans tucked in, with skirts or dresses. Many women need the extra room because manufacturers tend to make them with a narrow shaft that simply won't accommodate a wide calf.

Easy Spirit Women's Lynskeyw Knee-High Wide Calf Boot,Black,7 M US
Amazon Price: $159.00 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 20, 2016)

Wide Calf Boots with a Heel

Sometimes an outfit just screams "I need High Heel boots!" Some manufacturers have listened and made boots with a wide calf and a heel. These boots work well with dresses, jeans or skirts.

Wide Calf Wellies

You've always wanted a cool pair of rain boots, but the shaft never fit your calf. Ugh! Thankfully Wellies are available in a wide calf! Wide Calf Wellies are very comfortable and wildly popular. Always choose Wellies that fit because they cannot be stretched. Some even offer an extra wide calf option.

Flat Festival Wellies Knee High Rain Boots Leopard US 7
Amazon Price: $24.00 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 20, 2016)

Extra Wide Calf Boots

Sometimes the wide calf choices are still a bit too snug. Thankfully, shoemakers make an extra wide calf option that is just as stylish as other boots.

Extra Wide Calf Wellies

Super cute rain boots come in an extra wide calf too! Wellies are fun and in style. Wear them with virtually anything you want. Tuck jeans into these extra wide calf boots with ease.

 Thigh High

Thigh high boots are super sexy and look amazing with jeans short skirts and dresses. If you have a larger calf or thigh or muscular legs you will have some difficulty fitting into them Choose a wide shaft version for the ultimate in style and comfort.