5 Methods How to Stretch Rubber Boots [Comprehensive Guide]

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How to stretch rubber boots

The question “How to stretch rubber boots” is one of the most common ones asked by those who unfortunately order a pair of boots that don’t fit quite right. This article will put these worries aside by providing a list of methods that can be easily applied for the best results.

Problems caused by tight shoes

Wearing tight shoes may make you more stylish, but they can:

  • Hurt your feet while walking.
  • Cause toes deformities like bunion or mallet toe.
  • Make your foot conditions worse like numbness, inflammation, or pain in the ball of your foot.

Why is stretching rubber boots necessary?

As your shoes shrink due to consistent wear and tear or they are too narrow for their feet, you might think of buying brand new ones. However, consider some methods of stretching them. They not only save you an amount of money but also give your boots a new size that perfectly fits your foot.

How to stretch rubber shoes with ease

Stretching rubber boots or neoprene boots is not a challenging task for each of us, and there are various methods in which this can be done without any hassle.

Let’s explore five of the most used methods below:

1. Stretching Shoes with Ice

Stretch rubber boots with ice

This method is quite easy to do by taking the advantages of some basic household items, water, plastic Ziploc bags, and a freezer. However, don’t expect to see the great results if you rely on it for changing the full size of your shoes as using ice to stretch boots is only applied for small or medium changes.

To do this, follow these steps below:

  1. Pour water into two sealable bags till they are roughly 1/3rd full.
  2. Before sealing the bags, leave a small gap in the seal to push excess air out.
  3. Put the water bags in each boot and ensure there is contact between the water and all the areas inside the boot.
  4. Position the water against specific areas that need stretching.
  5. Place your rubber boots in the freezer overnight and take them out the next morning.
  6. Take the frozen bags out of the freezer and put the boots on. Repeat the procedure till as needed.


  • Ensure the bags used are freezer safe.
  • Make sure the bags are not fully filled with water or they will burst when frozen.

2. Using Stretching Liquids Shoes

Stretch liquid

Stretching liquids are specially designed to help stretch shoes to the desired size. You can buy a specialized stretching liquid available out there, or you can make a 50/50 mixture of rubbing alcohol and water by yourself. Here are some main steps:

  1. Prepare a working surface to catch spills and drips by spreading out some black or white newspapers.
  2. Test stretching liquid in a small area. Choose a spot of the boots that are less paid attention to apply the stretching liquid and leave it a few minutes to dry.
  3. Apply the stretching liquid to the particular areas that need stretching.
  4. Wear one or two pairs of thick socks to help the boot expand more, then wiggle your foot to stretch out the shoe more.
  5. Walk around in the boots while they are still wet for greater stretching.

3. Using a Hairdryer to make your boots wider

Hairdryer to make your boots wider

Using a hairdryer is another effective way to make your boots wider. But, keep in mind that your boots can be badly damaged and start to melt under high temperature, so avoid heating them too long. Though this method is quick to get stretching results, it might not be permanent.

Here is how to do:

  • First, put on a pair of thick socks, then the boots for greater stretch and avoid burning yourself.
  • Turn the hairdryer on and target it at the specific areas you want to stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Keep the dryer 10 cm away from the boot.
  • Walk till your boots cool down. Keep moving your foot around or flex your foot until the boots lose the heat for better stretching.
  • Repeat the process if needed. Continue to heat and walk till you get the desired size.

4. Having an expert cobbler stretch your boots

expert cobbler stretch your boots

If you find it difficult to stretch your leather boots on your own, then you can have your boots stretched by an expert cobbler.

In addition to giving you useful advice on whether your boots can be stretched or you should buy new ones, a professional cobbler is able to stretch your tight rubber footwear by making use of specialized tools at their workshops.

However, the cost of professional boot stretching can vary from under $20 to over $100, depending on what type of repair is needed. That’s the main reason people avoid it.

Watch the following video to learn the stretching technique these professionals employ to make boots wider.

Handling Your Boot While Stretching

Below are some tips to handle your boots while stretching:

  1. Do not let your boots get wet as there is a risk that your boots may shrink back when it dries. If you accidentally make the mistake, don’t put them in front of a fire for shrinking minimization. Let them dry naturally instead.
  2. Make sure not to expose your boots to high temperatures too long or the integrity of boot materials will be affected.
  3. Don’t try to put on tight boots. Forcing your foot into uncomfortably tight boots can hurt yourself badly and harm your boot as well. Instead, choose another safer method like stretching it with ice, or using a hairdryer for even better adjustments.
  4. Sometimes, one method may not work for your case, so be patient and try to combine all those possible stretching methods to get the desired results. You can also make wide calf boots and ankle boots using the same ways.


Do boots stretch as you wear them?

Absolutely. Wearing your boots regularly can make it a little larger and softer. However, this method doesn’t always work well for all types of materials. Plus, it may take you time and bring out lower efficiency. Instead, you can try some aforementioned ways to stretch your boots to the perfect size.

Can you stretch out rubber rain boots?

Trying to wear these types of boots can damage them so badly in the end. As the rubber material is specifically vulcanized by manufacturers, the shape and size stay the same over time. Having said that, it’s not impossible for you to do the job by applying some boot stretching techniques that are more time saving and efficient.

Can you break in rubber boots?

Yes. You should give your hunter rain boots some time to break in, especially when they are new. But, don’t take it so long or you will end up damaging your foot. If your rubber boots are uncomfortably tight, you should buy other ones that perfectly fit your feet for comfortable walking.

Can you stretch out Hunter boots?

Yes. You can successfully stretch hunter boots as easily as rubber boots or by applying the methods mentioned above. But, it’s worth noting that a tiny pair of boots can not be stretched beyond certain limits. So, you certainly have no choice but to buy another pair.

If you want to buy rubber rain boots with a wider calf instead of stretch your footwear by yourself, then consider the best Hunter Wellington boots. These boots are the perfect choice for long-distance walking as well as comfortable working.


Those boot stretching methods not only help to free up essential foot space but also expand the life of your shoes. Does this article on how to stretch rubber boots help to solve your problem? Please leave your comments below.

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