How To Break In Cowboy Boots (Step By Step Guide)
Hello there, western stylers! Is the breaking-in process of your favorite western boots getting more and more difficult day by day? You must have been so excited to wear your pair the next day you brought them home. But after wearing, you already have blisters and extreme pain in your feet due to the tightly hugging leather material to your feet. We get what you have been through. Worry not! Almost all of us have been there. Besides, we also know that the pain is doubled if you are suffering to break in a pair of leather cowboy boots. To begin with, let's hope we finally can bring an end to your sufferings by some of our easy steps to breaking in your cowboy boots. Without delaying any further, let's get into the details.
Firstly, out of all the techniques, we have divided them into two sectors. The first sector consists of mostly inexpensive ways. They will not even cost you a penny and you can expand your boots with what you already have in your home. This sector also has so many more ways of breaking in your boots than the costly ways of doing the process. So, you can choose any one of them and do it accordingly. On the other hand, the second sector comprises ways for which you need to spend some money. You can go with the second one if you are a regular cowboy boots user and already own several pairs of this type of boots. In that case, it becomes an investment for you.
Here, we will be discussing the low-cost ones. You will get a clear idea about the different ways and full details on how to carry them out efficiently. We will also include the downsides (if there are any) for each method.
Steaming the Inside and Using a Hair Dryer
For steaming, a clothing steamer or a vessel of hot boiling water can be used. Make sure to hold the steamer at least 8 inches away from the boots. Otherwise, there is a chance of the material getting damaged. Recognize the areas that you would like to expand. Now, steam the inside as long as you think the material started being a bit softer and malleable. Remember to not over-steam. However, the steaming should not be done for more than 30 seconds at a stretch. If after 30 seconds, you see that the material has not become soft enough, do the same thing for 5 to 10 seconds at max. Next, you can slip on a plastic bag and then wear them so that you do not feel discomfort due to the wet surroundings on the inside. Wear them till they are completely cooled down and then leave them to dry naturally.
The same steps should be followed for using a hair dryer to stretch the pair. Instead of a steamer, you are just carrying out the process with a dryer. Both these steps are meant to expand your pair of boots to at least half a size giving you a nice custom fit. But keep in mind that this process bears a chance to damage the boot material if overdone.
Immerse in Water
Word of caution: Leathers can get wet. But when the water starts drying, it can draw out the necessary bound oil along with it, making it fragile. So, if you are following this step (or steps that include water based substances) to stretch your boots, please make sure to condition your cowboys with a suitable conditioning product that works well for your boots.
For this process, you will need a bucket/bathtub (or any other pot big enough to hold your boots), water, a pair of plastic bags (optional), and a pair of socks. Fill the bucket with water and immerse your boots without getting the inside wet. It is time to take the pair out of the water if you are feeling the insole is starting to get wet. Now, put on a pair of socks and slip on a plastic bag before slipping on the boots. Walk around till you feel the boots are almost dry. This process is tested to expand the boots until you get a comfortable fit.
This step is more like the steaming method except that you spray a little bit of water inside. If you wish you can walk around them with a pair of plastic bags until they are dry. This step also needs conditioning the boots afterward as you are getting them wet. Do not spray more water than needed as this can shorten the longevity of your cowboy boots.
Wear Them at Home
This is a very easy and tidy process for those who do not want to get messy with all the dryer, steamer, water, and stuff like that. After bringing them home, just put them on whenever you are feeling like walking around the home or do your daily chores while you are walking on your cowboys. This is definitely going to give you a masterful feel around the home! By the way, this method is going to take a long time to break in and can get painful. But remember to take them off as soon as you are getting uncomfortable in them and put them on whenever possible next. This method has no chance to sacrifice the unification of your boots except that this procedure can get painful and extremely uncomfortable at times.
Wearing with extra socks
This is more like the step "wear them at home" except you put on two pairs of socks at the same time and wear them around the home. This can be painful but it works and makes the boots mold to your feet.
Frozen Zip-lock Water Bags
Who does not have zip-lock water bags in their home? Almost all of us do. This step is simple except that you need to have enough space in your freezer to put your boots. Fill the water bag up to 80% with water. Lock the bag safely and put it inside so that it touches the areas that need the stretching. Simply put them in the freezer and wait for 8 to 10 hours to get your preferred fit. Make sure the ice has melted before taking it out.
We will be discussing three of the most used expensive techniques that are used by many boot lovers around us.
Stretch Spray and Stretch liquids
There are many brands for these products. The best thing is, they are made in a way so that you do not damage the boots while expanding them. Stretch spray works just like the water spray but with more efficiency. However, you will get an instruction manual with each product. We recommend you follow the manual properly to get the best results as different brands follow different ways to use their sprays/liquids.
Cowboy Boot Stretcher
This might be one of the most expensive ways in our list which lets you get your perfect fit without fail. They are known to increase your cowboy boots almost to a full size. For this, you can first apply the stretch spray or stretch liquid at first and then insert the stretcher inside. Try focusing on the problematic areas. In most cases, they expand while you are turning the handle clockwise. But different ones can come with different characteristics. So you better know everything about the one that you are purchasing from the seller. However, they are known to work on only the toe box area. We would still like to give you an image demonstration about how this works!
Take Stretching Services From the Professionals
Last but not least is to find the nearest shoe stretching professionals in your neighborhood and explain all your needs to them. They will guide you through what needs to be done and how much they will be charging you for the process. This is a very easy way and worth the money you will be spending but it is hard to find these types of services nowadays.
All these steps are capable of stretching your cowboy boots but all of these may have side effects. Also, breaking the originality of your boots by some external process makes them less durable. As a result, our recommendation will be to buy a pair that fits you well. Try on a lot of them, try several brands, and then go for the best one. And still, if you are having problems breaking in; just follow the steps discussed above.