If you are like many of us, you may often find that the great boots you bought can be a little too tight on the calves. This is surely an inconvenience as it may stop you from being able to wear them at all due to the discomfort or even the impossibility to slip them on or zip them up.

Fortunately, there are certain methods which you can try to stretch your boot calves, and most of them will actually work in the long run.

The stretching methods differ depending on the types of boots you are stretching and especially the material they are made of.


  • With a boot calf extender

Make sure you use the correct type of stretcher for the calves of your boots, so that you don’t stretch other parts of the boots which don’t actually need stretching, so pick a calf stretcher for this task. The effect is better if you pre-treat the boot uppers with stretching fluid before proceeding with the stretching. If you don’t have such a liquid, apply some rubbing alcohol and water to the tight places. Of course, before applying any kind of liquid or solution, test it on a small spot of the boots beforehand. When the boot is wet, wedge the stretchers in and adjust them until they fit comfortably. Rotate the handle to widen the wedge. Normally, it will take 2-3 turns. Let the stretcher do its job for 1 or 2 days. If the boots are delicate you should opt for 8 hours and proceed to test them. If they are still too tight, repeat the procedure.

  • With leather stretching spray

Make sure you pick the correct type of stretching liquid depending on the material of your boots. Test it on a small area before applying it on the boots. Apply the stretching spray or liquid on the tight calve area until it is wet. Put on 2 pairs of thicker socks and put the boots on and walk around with them for as long as possible. If this proves to be too painful, use stretchers instead.

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Boots calves stretching depending on the material

  • Leather boots

Leather is a natural material, so it is prone to stretching. To stretch tight leather boot calves, you can try to wear them with one or two pairs of thick socks or stuff them with a towel or newspapers. If this doesn’t work, you can apply leather stretching liquid or equal parts of water and rubbing alcohol and put them on once again to stretch them. Repeat if necessary. If unsuccessful visit an experienced shoe repair shop to stretch the boots for you.

  • Faux leather boots

Faux leather boots can be stretched by the same methods used for leather boots, although you should be cautious when using stretching liquid on synthetic materials. To be on the safe side, always do a test on a small inconspicuous area of the upper before proceeding with the stretching.

  • Suede boots

Use a hair dryer to heat up the tighter areas on your suede boots from the inside. Then put on some thick socks and put on the heated boots. Use the dryer to heat the tight areas with the boots on for about 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat the process and be careful to not overheat the suede. Walk around with the boots until they cool down. Remove the boots and test them. If necessary repeat the process. If this is not working, try using a suede stretching spray and stretchers. Always test the spray on a small hidden spot before applying it.

  • Rain boots

Tight calves on wellies is a common problem, which unfortunately is quite difficult to be fixed. You can try to stretch them a bit by filling the rain boots with beans and adding water. Place them near a heat source and let them sit overnight. Another method is to place a bag of water inside them and put them in the freezer for a while.