Rubber boots provide wearers long-lasting comfort and protection. However, they tend to shrink and get too tight over time, primarily if you haven’t used them for a long time. Fortunately, there are several methods you can try to expand them. Read further to know how to stretch rubber boots.
Method 1: Utilize Heat
The most common method for stretching your rubber boots is to utilize heat. As we all know, rubber boots are made and molded by applying high temperature. Therefore, you can also use the same method to stretch such footwear. The heat method is divided into three techniques, which are broken down below. Here’s how it’s done:
Method 1.1: Heat from Hair Dryer
Before anything else, you should prepare a hairdryer, your rubber boots, of course, and a pair of thick socks – you need these to protect yourself from getting burned or hurt. Moreover, thick socks will add extra stretching to your rubber boots. However, if the boots are too tight, you can wear thin socks to fit you.
Now that you have everything you need wear your thick socks and put on your rubber boots. You need to slip on your boots to ensure fitting while heating them.
Run your hairdryer on high heat over the specific intimate parts of your boots. Do not hold it too near to your boots to avoid further damages like material melting or scratching.
Continue focusing the heat over your boots for 30 minutes. Ensure to move the blower over different parts from time to time, e.g., toe box to heel or vice versa. Try to flex your feet while heating the boots to loosen the material quickly.
After 30 minutes of heating, start walking around with your boots on for another half hour. This step is done to give your newly-stretched boots enough time to break in and harden the material to retain its new fit.
Note: You can repeat the whole routine until you achieve your desired result. However, ensure that every heating session will not last for over 30 minutes. Always remember the 30-30 interval, which stands for 30 minutes heating and 30 minutes walking.
Method 1.2: Heat from the Sun
Put your boots on, and walk directly under the sun. Sun’s heat will naturally stretch your boots in a short span.
If you are tired of walking, sit on a chair or bench, and flex your boots, so that the sun shines on them directly.
Method 1.3: Heat from Hot Bags
Get all the supplies needed for this method, such as resealable bags, hot water, and your boots. You will also need newspapers, socks, or anything that help your boots to hold their shape.
Once everything is settled, pour the hot water on the resealable bags. Ensure that the bags are sealed properly.
Place the bags on the areas of your boots that you want to expand. Do this step carefully. You wouldn’t want the bags to burst at any moment.
Let the hot bags rest in the boots until they cool down. Remove them afterward.
After you remove the hot bags, place any crumpled newspapers or socks inside your boots. This step is done to ensure that the boots will stretch enough and retain their new shape. Let the boots cool down before trying them on.
Method 2: Apply Ice
Another method to stretch your rubber boots is to apply ice. Water is resilient as it can be used cold or hot to extend your boots. Like the heat method, all you need to do is follow the simple steps listed below.
Grab your Ziplock bags and fill them ¼ cold water full. You don’t need to add too much water because fully-filled bags might burst as the water expands when it reaches its freezing point.
Press the excess air out of the bags before entirely sealing them.
Once sealed, place the bags in each boot. You can position the bags on a specific area of your boots, which you want to expand.
Place your boots in the freezer, and leave them overnight.
Get your boots from your freezer, and carefully remove the bags from each boot. If it is difficult to pull the bags out, let the boots rest at room temperature for a few minutes before proceeding.
When you have successfully removed the boots’ frozen bags, place crumpled newspapers or old socks inside the boots. Ensure that the boots are full of such objects to stretch more and hold their new shape and fit. You can leave the stuffing until you plan to wear the boots.
Repeat the process if you are still not satisfied with their fit.
Method 3: Avail a Boot Stretching Device
Among the simplest methods of stretching your rubber boots is to use a boot stretching device. You can buy such equipment from shoe shops and online stores. There are various types and styles of stretching devices available in the market, but they all share the same purpose and process. Although most stretching devices have printed instructions on using such tools, let us show you the general procedure how it’s done.
Insert the stretching device in your boots.
Once the device is in position, activate the device, usually by twisting or turning the widening handle.
Leave the device in place for at least 6 hours. Try the boots on after such time. If they still don’t fit perfectly, you can repeat the steps above and leave them on for more hours.
Note: This method may take longer than the other methods, but it is still worth the shot.
Method 4: Use an Extension or a Stretching Fluid
There are extension fluids available in store that can help you stretch your boots to your desired result. However, using this method is tricky for rubber boots as most specialized stretching fluids are ideal for leather, nubuck, or suede. Thus, it is essential to find such liquid that is perfectly safe for rubbers to avoid damaging your beloved pair of boots.
Prepare the following items before proceeding to the next step:
For concentrated solution:
- Rubber boots
- Specialized stretching fluid
- Spray bottle
- Thick socks
- Gloves (optional)
For DIY Solution:
- Rubber boots
- Rubbing alcohol
- Measuring tablespoon or cup
- Mixing bowl or container
- Spray bottle
- Thick socks
- Gloves (optional)
For the combination of both solutions, prepare everything listed above.
Lay down the newspapers to block spills over your workplace. As much as possible, don’t use colored newspapers to prevent the ink from transferring to your boots. Further, wear your gloves if you don’t want your hands to get splashbacks.
Step 3 (Skip if you are using a concentrated stretching fluid)
Mix one part of water and one part of rubbing alcohol in a mixing bowl or container.
Note: Always use a 1:1 ratio of water and alcohol when using this method, even if you mix it with a specialized stretching fluid.
Pour the specialized stretching fluid or your homemade extension fluid into a spray bottle. Using a trigger spray bottle allows you to apply the liquid on your boots evenly.
Test the liquid first in your boots’ inconspicuous space and let it dry before spraying the fluid over your entire boots. This step allows you to see if the solution will not deteriorate the materials of your boots.
If you see a positive result, continue spraying the liquid to the areas you want to loosen up. You can also rub the solution if you don’t prefer the spray.
Wear thick socks and put on your boots while they are still wet. Walk around with the boots on, preferably throughout the day, to reach its maximum results. However, if the boots are too tight to wear, put a stretching device instead.
Method 5: Take Your Boots to a Professional Cobbler
The least recommended but most expensive way to stretch your rubber boots is to take them to your cobbler. It is also helpful if you don’t have the time to do the methods above. Moreover, you can seek a professional cobbler’s advice whether to proceed with your boots stretching or buying a new pair instead.
Rubber boots are generally stretchable, and you can do it at the convenience of your home and time. Try following the methods above whenever you are having a difficult day because of your tight boots. However, please take note that rubber boots may always return to their original size and shape. So, it would be better to be patient with your rubber boots.