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Thread: breaking in and stretching cowboy boots

  1. #1

    breaking in and stretching cowboy boots

    I bought my first pair of cowboy boots recently. They came from Tecovas (https://www.tecovas.com/). I tried three pair from them before I found the one I like. I had been to a few local western wear shops here, but none of them had boots I liked in my size, because apparently men with large feet are only supposed to wear boots with all kinds of loud colors or crazy tooling.

    Anyway, I really like these boots. They look good and are comfortable EXCEPT when I try to put the left one on or take it off. The right one slides on with minimal difficulty but the left one takes about two minutes of grunting, cursing, and the fear that I will damage the straps by pulling so hard. I am unsure if there is an anomaly in the boot or an anomaly in the left foot/ankle. So is there a good way I can stretch out just the part of the boot that me foot gets stuck in? I've never worn boots before so I am unfamiliar with how they work.
    Last edited by Günter VögelBerg; 07-15-2019 at 5:12 PM.

  2. #2
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    If you can't get them stretched in the correct spots for each foot, my method might work for you. It is dated, but it has always worked for me.

    I wear the type of socks I would normally wear with the boots and then slide a plastic bag over each foot, making sure the bags come well above my ankles. Then I put on the boots and stand in a tub of water until the leather is thoroughly soaked. I wear the boots all day until the leather is dry, and the plastic bag helps prevent trenchfoot. This works best when the days are long and warm, but it's important that you don't take the boots off until the leather is dry. I've worn boots for two days before they were dry, and the fit was perfect.

  3. #3
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    1) Return them and get a replacement. 2)see #1

  4. #4
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    Mike has the method. I have done the same thing with hiking boots. A friend told me this,thought he was nuts until I thought about it. Most of my other boots,work,hiking got soaked when I was wearing them and dried on my feet. They all worked out great,so this is now my method.

  5. #5
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    I've used Mike's method since the old days when ski boots were leather. It has always worked. Recently was out in Oklahoma and bought new cowboy boots off the racks at Cavender's in OKC. The sales folks there were very helpful and I tried on lot of boots. Interestingly, I ran into a situation similar to the OP....the right boots felt good but the left ones seemed tight. The sales man, a part time rancher who had worked there for years, suggested the reason for the difference. Lots of people tried the boots on, usually the right one, and that stretched them out a bit more than the left ones.

  6. #6
    Will the soaking work if the part I need to stretch is not actually tight while I am wearing the boots--just tight while I put them on?

    My wife suggested a hair dryer, so last night I heated that one and pulled it on and off a few times. It's better buy not great.

    My wife thinks I am ridiculous for wanting cowboy boots. I like them. I figure I am at a point in my life where I can wear what I like.

  7. #7
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    I once watched an old timer at a now closed western shop beating the tar out of a boot to fix the problem you describe for a customer. He held a large dowel onside the boot and used another the beat the boot to stretch it out. He was pounding the heck out of the boot. Probably took him about 10 minutes of back and forth with the customer, but he finally got it right.

  8. #8
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    Ask the wife about shoe and boot stretchers. You can custom make one out of wood or buy one and modify the wood to fit.
    A machinist would blue the foot then see where it is touching the inside. Of course the blue would never come off the boot.
    Bill D

  9. #9
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    My wife takes problem shoes to the cobbler to have them stretched. Maybe one could do the same for your boot if you point out the problem spot.

  10. #10
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    My lord, brand new boots that DON'T FIT PROPERLY and you guys want to soak them in water and ruin them? Ridiculous. Makes no sense. Ok, maybe if you found them at a garage sale it would make sense but not brand new boots that probably cost a fair bit of $

  11. #11
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    Pat just try it once....

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Barry View Post
    My lord, brand new boots that DON'T FIT PROPERLY and you guys want to soak them in water and ruin them? Ridiculous. Makes no sense. Ok, maybe if you found them at a garage sale it would make sense but not brand new boots that probably cost a fair bit of $
    I sort of agree, but I've already worn them a fair amount. I figured they would stretch out more quickly than they have.

    I would love to buy locally, but all of the places I have been to hear my shoe size and they are like "Here are our three pair in your size. They are on clearance. Also, they are blue, or have stars and pictures of cows on them. What does a funny german sasquatch want with cowboy boots anyway?"

    There is a boot barn that I have not been to. It's way out in the suburbs, but is probably my next stop

    Last night I applied some diluted rubbing alcohol inside in the tight areas and stuffed that one with old t-shirts and I think that mostly did the trick. Now I want more boots--eyeing a pair or Lucchese goat skin boots.

    I have decided I want to become a naturalized US citizen next year. Better believe i'm wearing boots to the interview.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Barry View Post
    My lord, brand new boots that DON'T FIT PROPERLY and you guys want to soak them in water and ruin them? Ridiculous. Makes no sense. Ok, maybe if you found them at a garage sale it would make sense but not brand new boots that probably cost a fair bit of $
    To each his or her own. I can't remember how many new boots I've bought in my life, but they have all been for work, not urban cowboy outerwear, and water never hurt them. Neither did mud or manure, which required lots of water to wash off. I have used the soaking method to shape the leather uppers into a perfect fit for my feet since I was a teenager.

    As is the case with most footwear, standardized lasts are used to determine the size and shape of the boot. Unfortunately, my feet have never fit any standard mold set, so I have to compromise on the boot sizes and make my own adjustments. I normally don't have a problem with modern shoes, or lace-up boots, just pull-on boots. The method I described is not my design, but was passed on to me by my Mother. From 1958 through 1966, she managed a sporting goods shop in El Paso, Texas. The factory next to her store made boots by the thousands, and there was always a large washtub full of water outside one of the shop doors for customers to engage in boot soaking. As a toddler, I used to splash around in the tub when no one else was using it. The factory was owned by Tony Lama.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Günter VögelBerg View Post
    I have decided I want to become a naturalized US citizen next year. Better believe i'm wearing boots to the interview.
    Congratulations Günter! I wish you the best.

    I'm trying to convince my local Ausländerbehörder that I don't want to become a German citizen, just a German resident.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Günter VögelBerg View Post
    Now I want more boots--eyeing a pair or Lucchese goat skin boots.

    .
    Lucchese are fabulous boots. My go to boots are Black Cherry Goat skin ropers (in 14D so I know the problems in finding sizes) If when you wear out the soles you get them resoled by Lucchese, they will basically rebuild the boot as new.

    I'm lucky in that I pass a Lucchese store going to work everyday, but then again when you work less than 4 miles from The Alamo you do have better boot opportunities than most.

    https://www.lucchese.com/ to find their stores (and other retailers)

    John

    I have had the Smooth Ostrich in the past as well.

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