How to Shrink Leather Boots? 5 Effective Methods

If you don’t know how to shrink leather boots, we will help you out. Everybody loves to wear brand new boots, but the problem arises when boots run slightly bigger than your feet. They don’t provide a solid hold to your feet that you wish to have. If your boots are not providing you a solid grip, don’t worry, as, in this article, we will tell you the most effective ways to shrink your leather boots. After following any of these methods, your leather boots will get shrink and will hold your feet the way you want.

How to Shrink Leather Boots

It doesn’t matter how much you have spent on your leather boots; if they don’t truly fit your feet, they are not worth it. That’s why it’s a serious problem if boots run big. That’s why it is necessary to get the right size of boots; however, if you have bought slightly bigger leather boots and don’t want to replace your boots, then you can follow these methods to shrink boots so that they truly fit your feet. You can shrink all kinds of leather boots with these methods; even you can shrink leather cowboy boots or leather work boots.

1st Method – Soak Leather Boots to Shrink Them

soak leather boots in water to shrink

This method is time taking; however, it is easy to perform. You just need a bucket full of water and well-fitted socks. You can even shrink leather boots that are too big with this method.

How to perform this method?

  1. Take a bucket and fill it with water. The bucket should be large enough that boots get completely dip in it easily.
  2. Now put your boots inside the bucket. Make sure all the exterior of your boots is soaked in the water. Let the boots stay inside the bucket for about one hour. After one hour, pull out your boots from the bucket.
  3. Now wear well-fitted socks, and then step inside the bucket full of water to make socks completely wet. You can also make your socks wet from the direct water tap. The purpose of making the socks wet is to make your leather boots perfectly adapt to your feet’ shape.
  4. Now wear the wet leather boots over your wet socks. Don’t remove the boots until they are completely dry. Let the boots dry naturally rather than following other leather boots drying methods. You can do whatever you want to do during this time, including your daily tasks, because this process takes some time. We understand, you may find this process a bit uncomfortable and weird, but this method is really effective.
  5. Once your boots and socks are completely dried, you will notice that your leather boots are shrunk enough. Now apply any good leather conditioner on your boots to restore their look.

2nd Method – Sew the Elastic Strap in Your Boots

sew elastic straps inside the boots

This method is really useful if you have thin leather boots. However, it’s not really beneficial for thick leather boots. That’s why you should only follow this method if you have thin leather boots. You just need a needle, sewing thread, and elastic strap. The major benefit of this method is that this method doesn’t dry out the boots.

How to perform this method?

  1. Take an elastic strap and cut it to the size of your boots’ heel counter.
  2. Insert the elastic strap inside the boots, at the heel counter.
  3. After placing, use hairpins to hold the elastic strap at that position properly.
  4. Now sew the elastic strap boundary along with the counter heel (rear part of the boots) of the boots. It will help make your leather boots shrink.
  5. After sewing, remove the hairpins.

3rd Method – Use Heel Grip

attach heel grip

This is the easiest method. If you don’t want to make the extra effort, you should choose this method. You just have to buy the heel grip from the store for this method and nothing else. However, this method will not give a custom fit of boots like the soaking method, but you can still benefit from this method if your boots are slightly bigger. The heel grip will help fill up the gap.

How to perform this method?

  1. Get the heel grip
  2. Attach its adhesive side to the inside of your boots, at the counter heel (the rear part of boots from inside). It will fill up the gap, and you can wear the boots right away.

4th Method – Use Hot Water and a Hairdryer to Shrink Leather Boots

This method is beneficial, especially when you want to target the specific spots of your boots. However, you have to be very careful while performing this method. If you don’t properly follow the guidelines, you may damage your boots. You need a spray bottle, warm water, and a hairdryer to perform this method.

How to perform this method?

  1. Fill up the spray bottle with warm water. You can also use a damp cloth instead of a spray bottle.
  2. Now spray on those parts of your leather boots that you want to shrink. If you leave any area dry, that part of the boot will not get shrink. Spray only on the outer side of boots, don’t spray inside of boots.spray hot water on boots
  3. Now pick up the hairdryer and blow-dry the outer side of your leather boots. Remember, use a hairdryer at the lowest speed settings and maintain the distance of 6 inches between your boots and the hairdryer. Our purpose is to shrink boots, not to destroy them. If you bring the hairdryer too close to your boots, it will wreck your boots. Here is the most important key to remember while blow-drying your boots. Those parts of your boots which you will blow dry first will shrink the most. That’s why you have to look first, which areas of your boots are the loosest, so blow dry those areas first to shrink them more.blow dry leather boots to shrink them
  4. After you are done with blow-drying, wear boots to see if they fit perfectly. If you still feel that some parts of your boots are still loose and you want to shrink those parts. Then again, spray hot water on those areas and blow-dry again until you feel they are shrunk to your desired size.
  5. Once you notice that your leather boots are shrunk enough, apply a leather conditioner on your boots to restore their look. Moreover, the leather conditioner will also prevent your boots from cracking that can occur due to heat.

5th Method- Steam Shrinking the Leather Boots

steam shrink leather boots

This method can give you your desired level of shrinking; however, this method can be expensive for you. Also, you have to perform this method with great care. Ignoring any instruction can shrink your boots more than the desired size. That’s why please read the instructions thoroughly and follow them.

You need iron, a boot tree, a wet towel, and gloves to perform this method. Remember, the boot tree is also the most important item required in this method, as your boots will shrink to the boot tree’s shape. So, pick up the right size of boot tree.

How to perform this method?

  1. First of all, pour a small amount of water (20-30ml) into the boots, shake the boots well, and then pour out the water. The purpose is to make boots wet from the inside.
  2. Now, insert the boot tree inside your boot. After inserting the boot tree, make sure the boot tree is not stretching your boots; the boot tree should be a bit smaller than the boots’ size. Your boots will shrink to the size of the boot tree; that’s why make adjustments accordingly.
  3. Now pour the water into the bowl and put the towel into it. Once the towel is completely wet, squeeze it. Ensure the towel is only wet; there shouldn’t be too much water dripping down the towel.
  4. Now wrap the towel on the stitching area of your boot’s right side (the welt construction between the sole and the upper part.
  5. Wear the gloves to save your hands from the iron steam.
  6. Make the iron hot, and slowly rub on the stitching area of your boots. Don’t rub the iron directly on you boots; the towel should be on your boots’ stitching area, and then you have to rub on the towel. Don’t place the iron on a specific spot for a long time; otherwise, it will shrink that area too much. Just keep moving the iron quickly. However, if you want a specific spot to get more shrink than other areas, you can place the iron on that spot for 3-4 seconds.
  7. Wrap the towel around the whole boots, then slowly rub the iron around the whole boot’s skin. Rub the iron quickly; just don’t place the iron on a specific spot for a long time.
  8. Now move to the other side of your boot. The towel must have become dry due to excessive steam, so make the towel wet again, and repeat the process on that side as well.
  9. After going through all these steps, you will notice that your leather boots are 30-40% shrink of your desired size. So, you have to make the towel wet again and repeat the process on the whole boots. Keep on repeating the process until your boots are shrink enough. Try to focus on those areas that you want to shrink more. For example, if to shrink leather boots around the ankle or wish to shrink leather boots’ calves, spend more time on these areas.
  10. After that, you will notice that your boots are hot; at that point, press the boots with your hand to give them a final shape.
  11. Once the boots become cool, apply a leather conditioner on your boots.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to shrink leather?

The approach is to pick up the easiest method, as you can harm your boots by picking up the difficult method. The easiest approach is to make your boots wet and then blow dry your boots with a hairdryer. Maintain a distance of 6 inches between your boots and the hairdryer. Use the hairdryer at the lowest speed settings.

Does water shrink leather?

If you soak the leather in water and then apply heat to it, it will shrink. You can apply heat from any source, including a hairdryer, sun, or any other heating device.

The Bottom Line

You can shrink your leather boots in a lot of ways. The most effective methods to shrink the leather boots include soaking boots, sew elastic straps, using a heel grip, using hot water and hairdryer, and using the steam method. These methods will help you make your boots tighter to your desired size. All these methods have different benefits and difficulty levels; you should choose the method you think you can easily perform. We hope you will get make your leather boots tight by following these methods.

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