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Stretching New Boots: Can it Be Done, or Will I Mess Them Up?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

My turn-of-the-century-looking H By Hudson leather ankle boots have begun ripping where the vamp meets the sole after 6 short months of light office wear: A cool-looking boot, but unfortunately a cheapie.

I have just purchased a pair of Levi's Baldwin Derby Lace-Up boots from the UK on closeout at $70 USD shipped. For that price, I won't be complaining if I only get 6 months of wear out of them. At any rate, my size is either 12 or 13 US, and these were advertised as 11 UK/46 European, which I see is the equivalent to 12 US and appears to be the largest size produced for this boot. They arrived in the mail this week, and as I found they are stated as 11 UK/11.5 US inside the boot, these are in fact 1/2 size too snug.

Do any of the remedies actually work, like putting bags of water in them and sticking the pair in the freezer, or spraying with rubbing alcohol? If anyone has successfully stretched their boots @1/2 size, I would sincerely appreciate any advice.


post #2 of 6
If they don't fit you should not have bought them. These are simply nonsense, old wives' tales at the kindest.

They may have been cheap but they were far from a bargain, throw them away and remember to buy the correct size next time.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello GBR--

Thanks for your reply. One of the perils of buying shoes online is the inability to try them on first. From my internet research, I found that European 46 translates to US 12, which in most cases fits me. Naturally I would not have purchased these had I known they would be @1/2 size too snug, and now it's not worth paying $20-$25 to return them to the UK for a refund...minus original shipping.

If anyone has a success story with stretching new leather shoes, please share!
post #4 of 6
Stretching depends a lot on the leather and construction. The perfect example is a pair of soft belly leather loafers vs. shell cordovan boots; the first will stretch a ton the second hardly at all.

If you do return them, you will at least get some money back. A cobbler will charge $20 or so to stretch them, you need legitimate tools to successfully stretch shoes.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thank you Shoelove--

The boots in question don't exactly have the most supple leather; please see the photo above. I will call around to see if any cobblers in my area are equipped to stretch shoes, as you mention. These fit me fine with no socks on...but naturally I won't be wearing them around the office with no socks. If I can get anything approaching a 1/2 size up then I will be content.
post #6 of 6
No problem, hope it works out for you
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