How to shrink leather boots


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How to shrink leather boots

If your boots are too big, here are a few simple steps you can take to shrink the leather:

1. Soak your boots in water and wear them until dry.
Dry your wet boots with a blow dryer to shrink the leather faster.
Sew an elastic band into the heel, or for heavier boots, use a heel grip.
Wear thick socks and use an insole.

Boots too big? Are they suddenly a size larger than when you tried them on in the store?

Many people pick up boots for work, or get a fresh pair as a gift, only to find what initially felt snug just isn’t cutting it.

No worries—if your footwear is too big, we’ll show you how to shrink leather boots five different ways.

Most of these methods will change your boot permanently, and in some cases, you may not like the change. Check the return policy on your boots before trying any of these methods. Some stores offer exchanges or store credit, even if you’ve worn your boots outside a few times.

It’s always better to get the right fit first before moving forward with anything that will permanently alter the boot.

If you’re not sure whether you’ve got the right size, be sure to read our comprehensive guide on how boots should fit first.

Method 1: Soak Your Boots in Water

What You’ll Need

You’ll need a bucket, a pair of socks, and some patience.

Step 1

This is an old trick they still use in the Army to break in ill-fitting boots. Fill the bucket with water and put your boots inside, fully submerging them. Let your boots sit in the water for ten to twenty minutes.

Step 2

Put a pair of cotton socks on your feet. Remove your boots from the water and put them on.

Step 3

Wear your wet boots until they’re dry or at least six to eight hours. The biggest risk you run with this method is that the leather might wrinkle and crease in some unappealing ways.

Step 4

After they’ve dried, treat your boots with an oil-rich leather conditioner to restore it.

Method 2: Wet Your Boots and Use a Hair Dryer

What You’ll Need

You’ll need an electric blow dryer and a shoe tree.

Step 1

Soak your boots in either a bucket or sink. Once they’re completely wet, put them on your feet or you can insert a shoe tree.

Step 2

Turn your electric hair blow dryer on low heat and begin to dry your boots. Make sure you keep the temperature on low, as the leather may warp, sag, or crack if you allow the dryer to run at its normal heated temperature.

Step 3

Keep the dryer about six inches away from the leather. Any closer and you risk of damaging the leather permanently. Do this until your boots are mostly dry and leave them on (or leave the shoe tree in) so they keep their shape.

Step 4

Treat your leather shoes with an oil-rich conditioner after they’ve dried. This restores the leather and will help prevent any cracking.

Method 3: Sew in an Elastic Band

What You’ll Need

You’ll need a thick sewing needle, and an elastic strip. If you’ve got thick boots, you won’t be able to sew through the leather. In that case, you’ll need a heel grip.

Step 1

Take your elastic strip and place it in the optimal position on your heel.

Step 2

Use a thick-gauge sewing needle and thread to sew around the edges of the elastic strip and through the heel of the boot. This will only be possible if your boot has thin leather. Otherwise, purchase a heel grip and use the adhesive side to attach it inside your boot.

Method 4: Wear Thick Socks and Use an Insole

What You’ll Need

A thick pair of wool socks, or in cooler months you can also wear two pairs of socks over each other. If that doesn’t solve the fit difference, add an insole into your boots.

Step 1

Put on a thick pair of socks and try your boots on. Does that fix the issue? If not, put another pair of socks on. Two pairs will make your feet hot, so this is only recommended if it’s a colder month.

Step 2

If thick socks don’t fix the issue, try adding an insole into your boot. This will help press your foot closer to the instep, which may remove a significant amount of heel-slip.

Step 3

If there’s too much room at the front of the boot for your toes, try stuffing the toe cap with crumpled tissue paper.

Method 5: Spray on a Mixture of Alcohol and Water

What You’ll Need

You’ll need isopropyl alcohol (which you can get from the pharmacy), water, and a spray bottle. After you spray your boots down, the alcohol will help evaporate the water quicker, thus drying your shoe faster.

This method should only be used as a last resort. The alcohol can wreak havoc on leather and if the mixture is incorrect, you risk removing dyes and ruining your boots.

Step 1

In your spray bottle, add a 25% alcohol to 75% water ratio and mix it up.

Step 2

Spray the leather upper until it’s wet. Wear your boots or add in a shoe tree to help them keep shape.

Step 3

Wait until the boots have dried. Let them sit out for a day, until fully dry, and use an oil-rich conditioner to restore the leather.

Method 6: Have them Resized at a Shoe Repair Shop

What You’ll Need

You’ll need to find a good shoe repair shop near you and you’ll need at least $100.

Shoe repair shops can resize your boot, but it’s a costly and time-intensive process. Because it’s so expensive, consider the original cost of the boot. If you can buy another pair for $150, it’s a better idea to just get a brand new set.

Shrink it Down

Life’s too short to wear boots that are too big. Try one of the tactics on this list and shrink them down to size.

Some folks out there recommend putting your boots in the microwave—don’t do that. You’ll ruin your boots and you might even ruin your microwave. It’s the worst two-for-one deal you can get.

And if you try any of the methods that involve soaking your boots with water, be sure to follow up with some tender loving care in the form of a leather conditioner. It doesn’t matter how well your boots fit if the leather is cracked and splitting apart.

How to shrink leather boots

Sometimes you just need to reduce the size of a leather jacket or a pair of shoes made of raw skin. It is possible to shrink leather without the loss of its quality. However, a craftsman must be very careful and follow a few simple rules to keep the leather product safe during the shrinking process.

How to shrink leather boots

Table of Contents

The step-by-step guide for shrinking leather safely

If you have a leather product that requires shrinking, you can dry it hot water or with any hair dryer. The combination of moisture and heat causes the contract of temperatures. The following way to shrink leather is effective for all types of genuine leather products:

  1. Take a leather product (hunting boots, work gloves, and accessories), then just put it in a large bathtub with hot water. The water should not be too hot. If you don’t have a bath or the product is quite small, use a large pot or bucket;
  2. Another way besides plunging the product in water is spraying the leather with an aerosol can filled with hot water. If you need to shrink not the whole item, a large water bottle will be sufficient for this purpose. However, it is a perfect way to shrink leather parts directly with hot water. Think of this method if you need to reduce the size of leather seats in a car;
  3. Saturate the leather completely with hot water. If you use an aerosol spray, make sure the whole surface of the product is wet. Don’t forget to turn it over to spray with water;
  4. Make sure the whole surface is evenly moist. Otherwise, the leather will shrink differently;
  5. You may place the product on a plastic sheet or cover to prevent water from drying out;
  6. If the item is made of thin leather, for example, soft gloves, it is enough to immerse it in water for a few minutes;
  7. Then you need to dry the product from hot water. The best thing to do this is to let it dry naturally, on the sheet or towel in your backyard. Prevent it from drying too quickly – for example, near a very hot radiator. Drying the leather too quickly can lead to brittleness or even cracking.
  8. When you dry the raw skin indoors, don’t act too fast as well. Slowly move the product back and forth, about 4 inches from the surface. Continue to do this until the item dries completely. If you keep the product in the street for a few hours, unmonitored, this may cause severe burns on the item. Monitor and wait until it is completely dry from water, but not too dry;
  9. Repeat the whole process from step 1 to 8 up to three times, if necessary.
  10. After shrinking leather, restore its natural softness – cover almost dry leather with a clean cloth, all the surface must be completely covered;

Shrinking leather with alcohol

Various factors can affect the leather shrinking. One of the most popular ways to shrink leather is by using hot water. However, sometimes you need to apply another type of liquid – pure alcohol. How does it work? After rubbing alcohol the leather loses its natural protective barriers and then hot water is absorbed quicker and deeper.

How to shrink leather boots

If you mix water and alcohol, you get a more effective way to shrink leather without any chemical solutions. Water alone is not effective in most cases. The best thing is that such a method works after the first use. This is how you should apply the mixture of alcohol and water for shrinking raw skin:

  1. At first, it is required to mix hot water with alcohol (1:1);
  2. Then take a bucket or use a bath to fill the half of it with this mixture;
  3. Allow the alcohol to soak in water in the bucket for 10 minutes at least;
  4. Then place a whole product in a container;
  5. Then remove the item from this container;
  6. Rinse the leather with cool water;
  7. Carefully squeeze out the excess liquid;
  8. Let the product dry, but keep it away from the direct sunlight. The required time for drying – from a few hours to 24 hours (depending on the item’s size);

Shrinking leather clothes with minimum efforts

For example, if you have a leather jacket, you may shrink it in a quite simple way. First, soak the jacket in warm water, but before doing this, apply a special waterproof treatment or rub it with beeswax. In such a way, you may protect the jacket from unwanted damage, and this does not prevent it from gradually decreasing into water. Then hang out the jacket outside (fresh air is required) for drying out. If you did everything properly, the jacket will become one size smaller.

How to shrink leather boots

The best way to shrink leather shoes

Craftsmen know that leather is a durable material that can shrink due to the effect of high temperatures. In such a way, raw skin products can be reduced in size. It is permissible to expose leather shoes for high and low temperatures, as well as their differences. To achieve the necessary level of high temperature, the shoes can be put in the boiling water or applied with hot steam.

It is recommended to use a hot solution based on laundry detergent for shrinking leather. If there is no time to dry the shoes for a long time, you can use an alternative option – spraying the shoes inside with a special spray gun. Then you need to leave the shoes to dry near an artificial heat source, for example, near a radiator. One size of shoes, at least, can be reduced due to such a method.

Final thoughts

If you have no idea about shrinking leather products, the following guide can be quite useful. Keep in mind that there are many ways to shrink leather without any special instruments or professional services. Just make sure to test any method on a small piece of leather before applying it to the whole product.

How to shrink leather boots

Steve Coltharp

Hello, my name is Steve and I’m an author of the blog “Leather Toolkits“, sharing everything related to leather and leather care. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Your boot doesn’t fit? Became oversized? Need to know how to shrink leather boots of yours? We always put emphasis on our appearance. For that, we sometimes end up spending a lot of time choosing the right attire and shoes. Shoes, or in this case, leather shoes , need to fit perfectly and snugly to boost our looks and confidence.

The problem with leather shoes is, they don’t fit all the time perfectly. The pair you tried in the store fit you right, but the same pair is feeling loose once you wear them a couple of days after.

Fortunately, shrinking leather shoes to your feet size is not that difficult. In this article, we are going to discuss five ways on how to shrink leather boots (or how to stretch boots to your size).

5 Ways to shrink your shoe size

  1. Soaking your boots in water
  2. Shrink by using a blow dryer
  3. Using vinegar solution
  4. Using an insole and wear thick socks
  5. Sewing an elastic band

You can try these hacks at home without going to a cobbler. Moreover, you can do it just with some common ingredients you can find. It is important to know that some of these tricks can change your boots permanently.

1. Soak your boots in water:

This old army trick can get the job done! Leather and water repel each other. Using that property, you can adjust the fit of your boots. You have to follow these steps.

  • Take a bucket of water. Put your boots in and fully submerge them in water. If they are not totally submerged, they can shrink unevenly.
  • Soak a thick pair of socks. That will help your boots get to the proper size and cancel the pain you might feel for the shrunk boots.
  • Put on the boots over your wet socks. The boots will start to shrink as soon as you bring them out of the water, so do that as soon as possible.
  • Walk with your boots on and let them dry on your feet.

How to shrink leather boots

2. How to Shrink Leather Boots using a blow dryer

This method also works nicely.

  • Take a water sprinkler or a spray bottle. Spray water on all the leather parts of your boots . Using a sponge or a piece of cloth will also do.
  • Maintain a distance of about five inches to get a good effect. Make sure the boots are equally wet on all parts.
  • Take a blow dryerand dry the boots. Keep the drier six inches away from the boot and blow the heat evenly. Remember, the parts to dry first will shrink the quickest. It is best to start from the loosest parts for an even shrink.

How to shrink leather boots

3. How to Shrink Leather Boots using vinegar solution

At this point, we’ll discuss how to shrink leather shoes with vinegar . Vinegar is a common ingredient that you can find in almost every home. The most common is white vinegar, but apple cider vinegar also works equally.

  • Use a pair of old socks and put them in a bowl. Pour one cup of vinegar and let them soak completely.
  • Now, put each sock into both shoes. Do not squeeze them inside; just lay them gently inside. Let them dampen the inside and keep them for about 1-2 hours.
  • Take out the socks and put the pair into the sunlight. Let them dry out completely in the sun.
  • Try them on, and if you need them to shrink more, follow the first method using water.

4. Use an insole and wear thick socks:

Thick socks can immensely help to get a snug fit. You can wear thick wool socks or may go in two pairs. The latter can make your feet hot and sweaty, so do it only in winter, or if one pair doesn’t give you ideal results.

  • Using thick socks may not make the boots fit perfectly. In that case, go for an insole. The insole will press your feet closer to the instep and eliminate heel slip significantly.
  • If there’s room between the shoe tip and your feet, use tissue paper and stuff it in the toe cap. These will help you to achieve a better fit.

5. Sew an elastic band:

Sometimes, soaking and drying methods don’t work the way you want them. To handle that, you can use an elastic band. You also need a thick sewing needle. Can’t find an elastic band? Use an elastic strip instead.

  • Take the band or strip and put it in a convenient position on the heel.
  • Use the needle and thread and sew the strip around the edge through the heel. You can apply this method if your boots have thin leather.
  • Otherwise, buy a heel grip and attach it inside of your shoes using an adhesive.

If all that fails…

By now you already know how to shrink leather boots using some easy tricks . But it can be unfortunate that any of these methods did not work on your shoes. In that matter, your best shot is to visit a cobbler and get them fixed. That will definitely work but at the cost of a significant amount.

You need to consider your budget, the cost of the shoes, and repair expenses. If the expense is too much, consider buying a new pair of leather boots .

Sometimes, whether by accident or by compromise, you end up with a shoe that is slightly too large.

Maybe you ordered online and didn’t get to try the shoe on, or you were wearing an extra thick pair of socks at the time you tried the shoes on.

Or perhaps the next available size down was too small, so you opted for a shoe that is slightly too big.

Either way, a shoe that is just a hair too big can be uncomfortable, especially if you plan on wearing it for long periods.

Thankfully, in the case of leather boots, it is easy to learn how to shrink leather so that the boots will fit perfectly when you are done.

This article will guide you through everything you need and the steps required to shrink leather shoes down to the size you need.

What You Will Need

Option 1: Shrinking with water

  • Socks
  • Spray bottle
  • Blow drier
  • Leather conditioner

Option 2: Elastic band shrinking

  • Elastic band
  • Safety pin
  • Curved needle and thick thread

Option 3: Tissue paper

  • Tissue paper

Option 4: Insole

  • Thick Insole


Option 1: Shrinking with water

When soaked and then heated, leather will naturally shrivel up slightly.

The best way to accomplish wetting leather boots is to soak a pair of socks in water, then wear them on your feet and put the boots on.

How to shrink leather boots

Wear the boots for an entire day with the wet socks, waiting until the boots have absorbed all of the water from the socks and left them dry before taking the boots off.

You can also spray down the boots with water on the outside, although this method is prone to developing cracks in the leather.

Use a spray bottle to target the toe area and upper of the boot, being careful to avoid the sole in the wetting process.

Once the boot has absorbed the water, put them out in the sun for a few hours or use a blow drier to dry them out completely.

If you use a blow drier, be sure to keep it on the lowest setting to reduce the chance of cracking the leather.

Whichever way you go about shrinking boots with water, you will want to recondition the boots when you are finished with leather conditioner since this process dries out the leather.

When the boots are fully dry, rub leather conditioner into the boot with a clean cloth, making sure to cover the whole boot evenly. Once done, allow the boot to air dry for a day or so.

Option 2: Elastic band shrinking

In essence, this method involves sewing a small piece of elastic into a band on the inside heel of the boot.

This method works best for thin leather boots, since you will have a very difficult time sewing through the heel of a thicker leather boot.

To begin, cut a piece of elastic with enough thickness to shrink the interior of the boot to your desire length.

Leave plenty of elastic at this point – it is easier to cut it later than to end up with a patch of elastic that is too small now.

Place the piece of elastic inside the heel of the boot, using a hairpin to fix it into place temporarily.

Then take your needle and a thick piece of thread to sew the elastic material permanently into the heel of the boot. Once you are done, remove the hairpin.

Option 3: Tissue paper

An easy, although short-term, solution to filling empty space in leather boots is to fill the toe with tissue paper.

This solution is easily customizable – you can add more or less tissue as needed – and the tissue paper won’t hurt your toes when you walk.

Option 4: Insole

Like the tissue paper method, the insole method involves filling the inside of the boot using an external add-in.

How to shrink leather boots

In this case, a thick insole will help to reduce the space between the bottom of your foot and the upper – it will not do much to reduce the overall length of the boot from heel to toe.

Any sufficiently thick insole will work, whether it is a thick orthotic insole or a thick foam insole, and you can even use the insole from an old boot.

Buying leather boots that are slightly too big can be extremely annoying, as you are reminded of the size mismatch every time you take a step.

Over time, boots that are too large can become painful and you won’t want to wear them.

Thankfully, it is easy to solve this problem in the case of leather boots by learning how to shrink leather boots down to size.

Please let us know how these solutions worked for your leather boots in the comments, and if you enjoyed the article please share it with your friends!

Just grabbed a new pair of work boots for a steal of a price only to find out that they don’t fit quite right?

How to shrink leather boots

I know it’s no less than an agony. Worry not! Luckily, you can fix this problem with quite simple hacks. If your boots are off only by a half size or so, there are few tricks that can make your boots snug your feet.

The natural material of our work boots can reduce molecularly which makes them a little smaller in mass. You can take the advantage of this same phenomenon and just by following a handful of tricks like immersing your boots in warm water and then drying them on your feet, using thick socks, using elastic bands, etc. you can definitely give your boots a tighter fit.

So before throwing your pair give these hacks a try and thank me later!

1.) Use Water to Shrink Boots

Our work boots generally use leather as their construction material. You know that leather and water repel each other. Just take the advantage of this by retaining the shape of the boots while they shrink. Let me tell you how!

1.) Fill a tub of water and soak your boots in it

Fill the tub enough so that your boots can sink in it. Mind it, if they don’t get completely soaked, they might shrink unevenly.

2.) Soak a thick pair of socks as well

By following this step, your damp socks will help your boots shrink to the proper size and will avoid the pain your feet might feel by shrinking. Check out the best socks for steel toe boots.

3.) Put on the wet boots over your damped socks

Try to follow this step as soon as possible because your boots will start to shrink right after you take them out of the tub. However, you need to be a little careful as while wearing you might take a little elbow grease.

4.) Wear them and walk around the house until they are dry

After you have followed the above three steps you can do whatever you want. As you will continue to walk around, the material will automatically shrink to snug your feet. This may sound uncomfortable to you but trust me it’s really effective.

2.) Shrink the Boots with a Hair Dryer

The heat method is quite impressive and works perfectly for shrinking the boots. Just come after:

1.) Fill hot water in a spray bottle

Spray bottles are super helpful if your boots aren’t made from leather and you have to hit only particular spots. You can also use a sponge or old rag as an alternative to dampen your boots.

2.) Spray the water on outer surfaces of your boots

Make your boots soggy by spraying from about 5 inches or 13 cms away to avoid the mess. After all, any dry parts simply won’t recoil.

3.) Blow dry the outer parts of the boots with a hair dryer

The last step involves drying your damped boots using a blow dryer. Just hold the dryer about 6 inches from the boots and evenly pass the heat on each boot until both the boots become dry.

Remember, the parts which dry first will shrink the most, so it is advisable to start with those parts which are loosest on your feet.

3.) Shrinking Using Elastic Bands

Time to try your sewing skills! This method requires sewing a small piece of elastic into a band and then placing it inside the heel of your boot.

  • Cut a piece of elastic with sufficient thickness to shrink the interior of the boot to your desired length.
  • Just place this part of elastic inside the heel. You can use any hairpin to make it stable for some time.
  • Lastly, take a needle and sew this elastic material permanently into the heel.
  • Once you are done, just remove the hairpin and your boots are all set.

This method is very useful for thin leather boots and can be done using a curved needle. However, this method is difficult to be experimented on with thick leather.

4.) Stuffing Boots

I would not say stuffing boots will shrink them but this process decreases the internal dimension of the boot. You can use materials like newspapers, foam or cloth or thick socks for this. These materials can absorb the moisture quickly thus allowing your boots to hug you well.

When your boots are long and go beyond your toes, you can easily fill the gaps by cushioning tissue paper, cloth or any other scrap paper.

You can also try some good work socks which are thick and padded. These socks not only make your boots well-fitted but also prevent long boots from slouching.

5.) Using Insoles to Make your Boots Snug

Just like stuffing material in your boots, insoles also help to reduce the space between the bottom of your foot and the upper.

An insole is the first layer of the sole and is attached to the upper of the shoe. It is present directly beneath the foot which cradle the foot.

Leather is a flexible material that can be stretched out or even shrink with some methods. If you want to shrink your shoes that are stretched out because of too much use or even, if you have new shoes that are too big then you must know how to shrink leather shoes with vinegar.

Vinegar has the ability to contract the leather skin of the shoes and shrink its stretched condition and fit in your feet. Whereas the process of shrinking may not be difficult but it needs to tend with care otherwise you won’t get better results.

It has always been an issue that shoes perfectly match your personality are difficult to find. If you get them luckily then either they are slightly big for your feet or stretched out due to wear. There is a solution for leather shoes to shrink them to get better fit, like suede, leather, and canvas shoes.

You just need to use a wet cloth and apply heat to make the leather shrink of dress shoes, sneakers, boots, or heels or by adding inserts to them.

How to Shrink Leather Shoes with Vinegar?

Table of Contents

Here is the procedure to shrink the leather shoes with white vinegar you can either use apple cider vinegar.

How to shrink leather boots

  1. Take a pair of old socks and 1 cup of white vinegar in a bowl, soak the socks in the vinegar and place them in each shoe one by one. Do not squeeze them just put as it is and let them soak by insides of shoes thoroughly for 1 or 2 hours approximately.
  2. As I have told you vinegar has the ability to contract tissues of leather so the socks full of vinegar would shrink the leather shoes. Now remove the socks and discard them from the shoes and place them in a warm location where they can dry completely. It’s better to keep them in sunlight it will help shrinking more easily and dry them fast.
  3. You can shrink them more with water wet them with water for damp, not for soaking.
  4. Expose them to direct sun and allow time to dry thoroughly but be careful when they are fully dried remove them from the sun otherwise, the leather would have cracks on it.
  5. Now put on your shoes and if you think they are still big to wear and need more shrinking then go with the procedure of using water.

Shrinking your Shoes with Water

Some of the leather shoes are so much stretched out or too big to wear. You are unable to stay stable in big shoes so you need to shrink them as the leather shoes look weird on your feet when they are stretched out too much. Apply the process to shrink your shoes.

How to shrink leather boots

  1. Well, this process is a bit risky for your new leather shoes because water has the potential to damage leather or even if you are shrinking old, stained, or cracked shoes to shrink. There is another option to prevent leather shoes from damage is to apply the leather protector solution where you want to do the process. But remember it will become more resistant to water and you cannot get the desired result.

So if you want to apply the leather guard then allow it to dry fully before going ahead to continue the process.

  1. Damp the shoe sides and top of the area which is too large such as toe. Take a small spray bottle and fill it with water or even you can dip your fingers in water and rub the area of the shoe you want to shrink. Do this until it gets damp enough keep in mind that do not let the water go inside especially on soles or the base of the shoe where it is not needed.
  2. keep them in direct sunlight and allow them to dry yeah it takes longer than the other methods of drying like with a blow dryer. But this process will reduce the chances of heat damage to the shoes. So put them outside or near sunny windowsill and keep checking them after a few hours if they are dry or not.
  3. If you do not have enough time or the sunlight level and temperature are inadequate for drying shoes, then you can use a blow dryer to dry them. Turn on the blow dryer and put it on the lowest temperature settings and keep the dryer at a distance of 6 inches away at least from the shoe to avoid burning or damaging the shoe.
  4. You can use other sources of heat or drying the shoes but they are risky like putting the shoes near the fireplace or oven may damage the portion of the shoe which is not wet and can burn the area. So drying with a dryer is a good option instead of heating up them with burning fire. Suppose if you do not have a dryer then you can put them near the fireplace but at a distance where it’s not very hot check by your hand.
  5. Repeat the procedure if necessary to make little adjustments while it depends on the thickness and type of leather shoes. If they are too large and stretched out then do this process 2-3 times to shrink the shoes and heat them the same way of course.
  6. When you finished dried your shrink shoes then apply some leather conditioner to them. You can get one from the market or purchase it online, as the water and heat treatment may cause cracks or stiff leather shoes. So the leather conditioner will help to smooth the surface of the shoes and prevent more damage. Read instructions on the packing and follow them for better results, if you don’t find any instruction then go in a simple way.

Use a soft cloth to rub the conditioner on the shoes and let them dry without any heat treatment anymore. Just put them aside for some time then you can wear them. The leather conditioners are specific with the type of leather ask the shopkeeper which one to use to condition your shoes.

If you found this article helpful, give us your feedback below in the comment box.?

How to shrink leather boots

Footwear is among the most sensitive parts of an individual’s personal look; people want to look good and leather boots can achieve such. Leather boots are always a welcomed addition to one’s footwear collection .

Owing to their durability, leather boots have attracted many admirers but imagine the frustration when reality hits the buyer that the shoes are nothing but small in size. However, remedies on how to shrink leather boots exist!

Of Soaked Boots and Socks

This approach to shrinking leather boots entails the use of both the leather boots and socked. For starters, it is good to use lukewarm water to soak the leather boots in.

How to shrink leather boots

Naturally, leather shrinks when exposed to some heat, however, its elasticity is also at risk hence caution is generally advised. Soaking can be done either in a bathtub or a water basin of considerable size depending on what is available. The duration of the soaking can take at least one hour for better results.

Once this has been done, attention can now shift to the socks.

The socks to be used are soaked for five minutes and they’ll be ready for the shrinking procedure. An alternative approach is wearing the socks and placing your legs in water hence soaking the socks. Here the user will have to settle for the option that is not only easy but also comfortable for them to employ. What follows thereafter is the most critical part…wearing the boots with the socks on until they dry!

As one goes on with their daily activities drying takes place thus shrinking the boots! Leather conditioner can be applied later on. This technique works best with genuine leather boots, lesser quality boots are likely to get spoilt.

Water and heat

The presence of a source of heat is mandatory. The water that one ought to use should also be lukewarm to ensure that leather’s natural property to shrinking on heat exposure is utilized. Application of water to the boots takes a different turn to that discussed earlier on. A spray bottle filled with lukewarm water is to be used to sparingly spray water on the loose parts of the boots.

In the event such a bottle is not available, dabbing fingers in water and applying it on the boot may be a convenient alternative.

How to shrink leather boots

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There are many ways to dry the leather boots. The boots can be left a safe place to slow-dry on their own. However, if speed is required the boots can be dried under the sun or next to a fireplace. A blower can also be used as an alternative.

It should be noted that excess heat will cause cracking of the leather hence caution should be exercised.


Sewing and elastic band on the heel of a leather boot is best suited for the thinner boots. One can start by cutting an elastic band of relevant size making sure that it is in excess to ensure a smooth sewing.

The band is then aligned to the heel using safety pins (although hair ins can also be used for this), a needle and thread are thereafter used to conduct the process. This method definitely needs a set of good skills and an experienced cobbler to do it best.


In the event there exists a space between the feet and the upper section of a leather boot an insole can be the simplest remedy. Options exist between a permanently glued insole and a detachable one which will be placed on top of the existing insole. However, thick and detachable insoles are the best to use to solve the problem and they guarantee comfort to the wearer.


In conclusion, it is crystal clear that there are ways to address the problem of having larger boots. The boots can be shrunk to a favorable customized size that the owner in question can be comfortable with.

However, care should be taken especially where heating and warm water are in play, this is simply due to the fact that excessive heat does more harm than good on the leather boots. Shrinking of the boots can either be done personally or be contacted out but in any case it’s good to know exactly what is being done to that hard earned leather boot of yours. Information is power so they say, all leather boot loving readers should consider themselves empowered!

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