How to Soften Leather Boots – Pro Tips

Leather boots are worth all the hype about them and are highly valued regardless of the leather type. This footwear is highly durable and will keep looking good if you take care and maintenance a ritual at regular intervals. And that is the crucial need for leather boots and other leather items.

However, a leather boot can be stiff and keep the feet uncomfortable either because; the boot is new or lacks the proper care, which may even lead to leather peeling. But you can fix this discomfort if you know how to soften leather boots, whether they’re new or old.

The best part is that you can learn how to soften leather boots at home when you know what to do and you have the right equipment. Please, read on to learn the process on how to soften those leather boots, making them elegant and comfortable for you whenever you wear them.

oil to soften leather boots

How to Soften Leather Boots Step by Step

The discomfort of wearing a stiff pair of leather boots is something no one likes to experience. Aside from being a distraction sometimes, it could also lead to blisters as a result of rubbing. But you’ll get to know how to soften leather shoes to prevent blisters.

New leather boots usually come stiff, which could be because of their hard-wearing properties and ability to last for a long time. So, they need breaking in or softening before one can wear them comfortably. Here are the steps to softening leather boots.

Step One: Apply Conditioner

One of the best ways to soften new leather boots is by applying a good leather oil or conditioner on them. Applying it weekly will help to make the leather soft in a short time, and when the leather has softened, you can now use the conditioner monthly for maintenance.

Step Two: Wear the Boots Around the House

As you apply the conditioner on the leather boots, you can wear them around your home to help them soften better. You can put on a pair of thick socks, wear the boots, and walk around the house. The thick socks will help to put more pressure on the leather and stretch it.

The feeling of discomfort will be there when you begin wearing the boots at home, but that’s the advantage of softening it in your comfort zone. You can pull them off and rest your feet when they start hurting. Practicing this constantly for about two weeks will be of great help.

Step Three: Get a Boot Stretcher

Another step you can take towards softening leather boots is getting a boot stretcher. Boot stretchers in leather boots can cause them to stretch and expand, making them more comfortable on your feet when you wear them.

To use this piece of equipment, put it into your boots, and turn the knob that works on the toe part until you feel a kind of resistance and a bit of leather cracking. Then leave it in the boot for some days to soften and stretch the leather.

You can also try to increase the resistance as the days go by until the fit becomes okay with you. Extra Tip: it is a great idea to apply a leather conditioner on the boot while using the stretcher. It’ll help to soften it and stop you from dealing with leather cracking.

But if you don’t have a boot stretcher and can’t lay your hands on one, you can use a spoon to stretch the footwear. You should get a metal or wooden spoon that’ll apply good pressure on the tight part of the boot, put it in there, and leave it for some days to stretch.

Step Four: Apply a Stretching Spray

So, you don’t have all the time, but you want something that’ll stretch and soften the boots fast? You may try a stretching spray, as it is of the best leather softeners for boots. It helps these other methods to work more quicker.

So, you can get a stretch spray from the stores and spray it on the boots before inserting a boot stretcher or wearing the shoes around your home. These stretch sprays are usually helpful and don’t leave watermarks because they dry quickly.

Read Also: How to Soften Leather—5 Effective Methods

how to soften stiff leather shoes

Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

Q: How do you soften a stiff leather boot?

A leather conditioner usually helps when you’re looking for how to soften stiff leather boots. You should ensure that the boots are clean, apply the conditioner to its surface in circular movements, then allow the conditioner to sit in for several hours.

You may have to reapply the conditioner when the previous application has soaked in until the leather has softened.

Q: How do you break in stiff leather shoes?

You see, the stiffness of a leather shoe is what most people have to deal with at one point or another. So, for breaking in, or how to soften stiff leather shoes, I suggest using a pair of socks (thick ones) and a hairdryer. Please follow these steps:

  • Put on your thick socks.
  • Apply heat to the inner and outer parts of one of the shoes for about 60 seconds using the hair dryer on low heat.
  • Wear the heated shoe.
  • Do the same for the second leg and shoe.
  • Now, walk around with the shoes until they become cold. The heat softens the footwear and makes them take your feet’s shape and retain it when they cool down.
  • You can repeat this process until you get the result you desire

Q: How do I make my stiff boots more comfortable?

You can make stiff leather boots more comfortable by wearing them and walking around the house while wearing thick socks. You can also apply leather oil to soften the leather or fix a boot stretcher inside it for a few days to make it soft and stretched.

Coconut oil is also helpful in softening leather boots. You only have to apply it on the boots and leave it for long hours until the shoe less shiny or not shiny anymore. However, take care with the oil, as it could darken leather surfaces in some cases.

Q: How do you break in leather boots quickly?

One of the quickest ways to break in leather boots is the use of stretching spray. You’ll have to spray it on the leather boots, wear the footwear, and walk around in them. It’ll help to make the break-in faster.

Q: Does putting leather shoes in the freezer stretch them?

Some people believe that putting leather shoes in the freezer stretches them. You may try it out and see how it comes out. However, even if this method works, it may reduce the shoe’s durability.

Q: Are leather boots supposed to be stiff?

The stiffness of leather boots is not strange because it usually shows the material’s quality, good workmanship, and likely a long service time when you apply proper maintenance. However, the boots shouldn’t feel like your feet are in a cage.

Q: Do leather boots get looser over time?

Yes, leather boots do get looser with time. If you keep wearing them often, the leather will soften, stretch and take the shape of your feet, thereby giving your feet more space and comfort. Applying the tips that we’ve listed above will help it loosen faster.

Q: Why do my new boots hurt my feet?

If your new boots hurt your feet, it’s most likely because they need breaking in or softening. You can make it stop hurting your feet by always wearing it around the house, applying oil or leather conditioner, using heat, a boot stretcher, and other safe methods.

Q: Does freezing leather soften it?

Some people swear by this method of softening leather by freezing it. You may try it out and see. However, you should consider the durability of your leather item and ensure that this practice will not affect it.

Q: Is it normal for leather boots to be tight at first?

Yes, it is a norm for leather boots to be reasonably tight at first if it has good quality and made by a good workman. However, you can soften it by wearing it often and applying a few tricks here and there.

Final Words

A pair of leather boots are an essential part of one’s collection of footwear. It is classy and durable but can cause pain and discomfort because of its stiffness.

But you don’t have to bear that pain as we have listed tips on how to soften leather boots and wear them comfortably as if you’ve been wearing them for years.

Roseline Okereke

Chinonso Roseline Okereke is a biochemist and an enthusiastic content writer. She enjoys talking and writing about fashion and leather-related crafts. She has written various leather articles that give readers an indepth knowledge of leather while taking by the hand and guiding them into discovering many leather crafts and getting the best of them. When Roseline is not writing, she's busy teaching people how to live a good life. So, come along as she takes you through an exciting journey of leather and it's craft.

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