New leather boots can be stiff and uncomfortable. Eventually, the leather will become soft and more comfortable to wear, but this can take some time. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to speed up the process.
In this article, we will explain some of the best methods for softening leather.
Don’t Wear Them All The Time
When you first get new boots, it can be tempting to wear them all of the time. It’s best not to do this with new boots and stiff leather though as it can hurt your feet. Instead, try to only wear your boots for a few hours and leave some time in between outings.
This will give your feet a chance to adjust to the new boots, leather, and the shape of the inners.
Wear Them Indoors
One of the easiest ways to soften the leather of your boots is to wear them for short bursts inside the house. You should wear the thickest pair of socks that you have in order to stretch and soften the uppers.
If you don’t have any really thick socks, then you can wear two pairs of thinner socks.
Wearing thick socks inside your leather boots as you walk around the house might feel strange to begin with, but you will soon get used to it. The temporary discomfort will be worth it when the leather of your boots is soft and comfortable to wear.
Stretch The Leather With A Spoon
This next tip might sound strange, but it does work! Grab a large wooden or metal spoon and use it to stretch out the leather of your boots. Make sure that you concentrate on any parts of the boots that feel tight when they’re worn.
Typically, the tightest parts of the boots are the heels and ankles. Get your spoon inside the boots and press the flat of the spoon against the leather to stretch it out.
Heels are one of the most common places that cause friction and blisters when boots are still new and your leather is stiff so it’s worth concentrating on these areas to speed up the softening process.
Use A Hairdryer
To quickly and effectively stretch and soften leather is to create an environment where the leather is exposed to warmth, moisture, and gentle pressure. This is why wearing thick socks is successful.
They warm your feet up while gently stretching and softening the leather. Another way to create this environment is to use a hairdryer.
When you’re wearing your new boots and thick socks in the house, take note of any parts of the boots that feel especially stiff or uncomfortable. Focus a hairdryer on any areas where you can feel the boots pinching your feet and blast them for around 20 seconds.
The extra heat coupled with the gentle stretching of your socked feet will help soften the leather.
Don’t remove your boots until they have fully cooled down from the hairdryer. This way they’re more likely to remain stretched and soft.
You might have been told this method by an older member of your family and it can work, as long as you’re careful. Screw up some pages from a newspaper or a magazine and dampen them slightly with some water.
The paper shouldn’t be too soggy so be careful with how much water you use. If the paper is too wet it can damage the inner soles of your boots.
Stuff the insides of your boots with the damp paper, making sure that it gets into the toes and heels. Leave the paper inside until it has dried out and then remove it. We would advise doing this overnight. You should also ensure that the boots are dry before wearing them.
Use Shoe Stretchers
Another way to stretch and soften leather is with a shoe stretcher. These fit inside your boot and have a crank inside that can be opened wider to stretch your boots. They’re especially good for softening leather on the sides of your boots and stretching them wider.
Put the shoe stretchers inside your boots, open the crank, and leave them in place overnight. It’ll be especially effective if you can put the boots someplace warm.
If you don’t have a shoe stretcher, there is another way to do the same thing. Fill a couple of ziplock bags with water and ensure they are properly sealed so that no water can leak out. Put a water-filled bag inside each boot and then put your boots in the freezer.
Make sure that there is space around your boots and that nothing is pressing on the shoe part as this will stop the leather from softening and stretching. As the water in the bags freezes, it will expand, and this will place gentle pressure on your boots.
Use A Softener Spray
There are also leather sprays you can buy that are formulated to soften and stretch leather. Be careful when using these sprays that you don’t use too much as they can make the leather soften to the point of being floppy.
Although you want your leather to be softer, it still needs to have a degree of stiffness to it.
Spray the leather of your boots with the spray and put the boots on. You shouldn’t take your boots off until the spray is dry. If wearing the boots while they dry isn’t practical, you can either use a shoe stretcher or a shoe tree to help the boots keep their shape while the leather softens.
Most of these sprays are alcohol-based so once sprayed, they will dry quickly. It also means that they should dry without any watermarks or blotches.
Softening the leather of brand-new boots can take time. New leather is always stiff and restrictive but you can speed along the process of making it soft and supple by following the hints and tips in this article.
We hope that these methods will have your new boots feeling soft and comfortable in no time!