How to Stretch Cowboy Boots Around the Calf?

Whether you buy a new pair or about to use an old cowboy boot, they can not be worn for such high-demanding activities without stretching them out. The genuine leather cowboy boots are more prone to shrinkage than synthetic leather so don’t hate your favourite pair for this habit.

The leather cowboy boots that get shrunk within a few days, can be stretched out easily with not one expensive but several cheap ways. In this article today, we would be discussing the most popular and recommended ways of stretching cowboy boots to perfection! Without further ado, let’s have a look at the best possible options;

How to stretch cowboy boots around the calf?

  • Stretching cowboy boots with a boot stretcher
  • Stretching cowboy boots with water and conditioner
  • Stretching cowboy boots with a leather stretching spray
  • Getting the cowboy boots stretched from a Cobbler

Stretching cowboy boots with a boot stretcher

Stretching cowboy boots with a boot stretcher is the oldest yet effective way of adjusting the cowboy to your calves. Boot stretchers are readily available online at affordable prices. The stretching equipment produces supernatural results in just a matter of minutes. 

However, using this equipment for the first time can be a little tricky for a newbie but we have got you covered! FootFitter is the most popular boot stretcher brand that has been serving the cowboys for years. Here’s how you can use the two most popular boot stretcher to stretch your cowboy boots;

#1.FootFitter Premium Professional Boot Stretcher

The toe block with spot stretching plug slots, widening handles, and the three spot stretching plugs(corns, bunions, and, pressure point)heroically stretch the cowboy boots. 

To stretch the cowboy boots using FootFitter Premium Professional Boot Stretcher follow the below-mentioned instructions;

  • Close the toe block(if it’s open)by turning the widening handle counterclockwise.
  •  Take the foot stretching spray and apply it to the boots and allow it to do its magic. If the foot stretcher is not in a spray bottle you can gently apply it with a soft fabric piece.
  • Prepare the toe block for the job by Inserting the spot stretching plugs into the dedicated area.
  • Now, Insert the toe block, push it in until it starts touching the end.
  • Once it reaches the end, turn the widening handle clockwise to widen it out in the cowboy boots.
  • Keep turning until it stretches out the cowboy to the fullest.
  • To get the best results, now leave the stretcher in your favorite cowboy boots for at least six to eight hours.
  • Turn the widening handle counterclockwise to close the toe block once again.
  • Gently pull the stretcher and take it out.
  • Congratulations! Your boots are now nicely stretched out.

#2. FootFitted Cast Aluminum Combination Boot Instep And Shaft Stretcher

The FootFitted cast aluminum combination boot instep and shaft stretcher can be used to stretch the ankle and calf of the leather western working, riding, or work cowboy boots. It consists of an instep notch, shaft notch, peg, and widening handle. The boot stretcher can easily be used by following the institution written below carefully;

  • Close the stretcher if it’s open. To close the instep section, slide the peg to the instep notch and turn the widening handle counterclockwise. To close the shaft section, slide the peg to the shaft notch and turn the widening handle counterclockwise. Your stretcher is now ready!
  • Apply the leather boot stretcher spray to the cowboy boots and give it some time to relax the boot out.
  • Insert the stretcher in the boot fully closed
  • Now slide the peg to the instep or shaft section and turn the widening handle clockwise. It can be used to stretch both the instep and shaft at the same time.
  • Keep turning the widening handle until the boot is stretched out fully.
  • Leave the stretcher in for about six to eight hours
  • Close the stretcher again by sliding the peg and moving the widening handle counterclockwise.
  • Once it is closed, gently pull and take the stretcher out.

If you frequently have to stretch your leather cowboy boots investing in a boot stretcher would be a nice idea.

Stretching cowboy boots with water and conditioner

Stretching the cowboy boots with water and conditioner is the cheapest way to get the job done. It doesn’t require any instrument, a good leather conditioner and water is enough to give the leather cowboy boots a good stretch. 

This method is a little uncomfortable if you are not used to wearing wet boots. It doesn’t work synthetic leather cowboy boots. To stretch the cowboy boots using water and conditioner solution you have to go through the following steps;

  • Fill and bucket full of water soak the cowboy boots in it.
  • Leave the boots soaked for at least 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Take out the boots and shake them well to give the excess water a way to go.
  • Put them on to let your leather boots conform around your calf.
  • Keep wearing, when the water starts evaporating it’s time to put on a leather conditioner.
  • Take the boots off when you are satisfied.

If you are patient enough to keep the wet cowboy boots on for a good amount of time, the result would be similar to the above-mentioned method.

Stretching cowboy boots with a leather stretching spray

Leather stretching sprays comes to the rescue when we are looking for a cheap and easy-to-use solution to stretch out the much-needed cowboy boots. Just like all other mentioned methods, it only stretches out genuine leather boots. 

The leather stretching spray allows the cowboy boots to sit well around the calf by softening the leather out. A big advantage of using leather stretching spray on cowboy boots is that they don’t damage the boots and their natural color. Foot matters cobbler trusted shoe stretch works well on cowboy genuine leather boots. To use stretching spray all you have to do is;

  • Shake the bottle well.
  • Spray the genuine leather cowboy boots thoroughly.
  • Put the boots on
  • Leave them on for the recommended time (it can be a few minutes or a few hours)
  • Wear with pride.

Getting the cowboy boots stretched from a Cobbler

Cobblers can also be hired for this job when you want your cowboy boots nicely stretched out around the calves. Getting the cowboy shoes stretched out from the cobbler can be expensive as it can make you pay somewhere around $15 to $85. They use stretching sprays and tools to fix the leather as per your requirements.


Stretching cowboy boots with DIYs

Since all stretching methods are a little expensive the advanced cowboys have come up with several DIY ways to stretch out the cowboy boots to their calves. There are hundreds of natural ways but we would be discussing the common and 100% working ones;

Stretching out the cowboy boots with steam

Steam is the best way to stretch out the leather. Garment steamer or hot water steam can be used to give your beloved cowboy boots a good stretch.

Stretching the cowboy boot with steam is a little harmful in the long run as the water-saturated leather fades away quickly. It’s important to give the much-needed steam the right way to minimize the harm and maximize the advantage so, here’s what you need to do;

  • Take a garment steamer or hot water kettle
  • Direct the steam towards the area you want to stretch
  • Remove the boots after 20 seconds
  • Check if the treated area has softened out or not. In case it’s still not soft enough to stretch, treat the boots with steam for another 15 seconds
  • Once the boots are soft and warm put them on
  • Keep them on until the moisture dries out completely
  • Take them off and rub the leather conditioner to smoothen them out. 

You have to be careful while steaming the cowboy boots because putting the steamer up on high heat won’t speed out the process but it can permanently damage the material. If you want your shoes to be more comfortable, you can wear the newly steamed cowboy boots with socks.

Stretching out the cowboy boots with hairdryer

The hairdryers can also be used to give the cowboy boots the stretch they need. It is one of the easiest ways of stretching out the boots all you have to do is;

  • Turn on the hairdryer
  • Turn it towards the desired area
  • Leave it on working for about 20 seconds
  • Check if the leather is beginning to soften out or not
  • Put them on with one or two pair of socks

Remember! Whatever home remedy you use to stretch the boots wear the boots for a few hours afterward as these methods can only make the leather vulnerable for stretch. 

Stretching out the cowboy boots with moisturizing lotion

It may or may not work as well as the other methods but it can surely help you in slipping into the cowboy avatar without any difficulty. Since you are using it on your expensive much-loved cowboy boots, make sure the moisturizing lotion is not cheap. 

To give your boots a stretch gently run the lotion until the boots absorb the moisture properly. Slip your feet in and abuse the boots for at least two to three hours.

When your feet get comfortable with the space they have now, you can take them off.

Stretching out the cowboy boots with ice

Who puts a pair of boots in a freezer? Cowboys actually, to stretch them out. To give your cowboy boots an ice therapy,

  • Put a shopping bag in the boots and gently stretch it out to the entire boot
  • Fill it up with water
  • Put it in the freezer until the water in cowboy boots freezes out
  • Wait for the frozen water to give the much-needed stretch
  • Take them out and remove the frozen water bag
  • Leave the boots for a few minutes until they become wearable.
  • Put them on until the water dries off completely.

Stretching out the cowboy boots with Vaseline and Alcohol 

Alcohol and vaseline are known for their rewarding nature and a variety of uses. To stretch the cowboy boots this way;

  • Pour the alcohol on the cotton pad 
  • Treat it with some vaseline
  • Take out the cowboy boots and gently massage the vaseline-alcohol-treated cotton pad.
  • Wear them on with socks until they get comfortable

Alcohol and vaseline would not only smoothen it out for walking but also helps in restoring the shine and newness.

Stretching out the cowboy boots with plain water

Lukewarm water is your friend indeed that does not disappoint you in need. Fill the spray bottle with lukewarm water and spray the boot thoroughly to soften the material out.

Once the material is vulnerable for stretching, slip your feet in and keep wearing them until you are satisfied. Remember! Do not use too much water that it starts dripping off, the boots should still be dry enough to be called dry.

Stretching out the cowboy boots with wet socks

Wet socks? Yes, wet socks can do wonders especially if the socks are dipped in nice warm water. Put the nicely warm wet socks on and do what you can do to put the boots on. It’s probably the most uncomfortable way of stretching out the cowboy boots but it works amazingly well.

Stretching out the cowboy boots with extra socks

Do you know how the stretch aiding equipment stretches the leather out? By making its place by hook or crook. So, if you are in no mood to try anything wears them off with multiple socks. There would be a lot of sweating of course but you have to pay the price at the end of the day.


The superior-grade cowboy boots can be recognized by the frequency of shrinkage. The shrunken cowboy boots are a little hard to stretch sometimes they take four to five hours to become wearable. 

Several methods are used to stretch the genuine leather cowboy boots, the professionals usually prefer hiring a cobbler or using stretching equipment and stretching sprays to give the boots a nice stretch without damaging the material.

There are some DIY ways as well, the beginners mostly use vaseline and alcohol mixture, moisturizing lotion, steam, multiple pairs of socks to stretch their newly bought or old pair of cowboy boots out.

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Hi, I am Waqar and active in the horse world since 2012. I have MSc (Hons) in Agriculture from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. I love to solve equine health care issues and note down in the form of research papers. I have written hundreds of equine health care, accessories, names, and history-related blogs. My equine related work is watering a lot of horse-related magazines and blogs.

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