How to Stretch Rubber Boots: 5 Way To Stretched Rain Boots

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The question “How to stretch rubber boots” is one of the most common ones asked by those who unfortunately order a pair of rubber 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.

As your rubber boots 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 rubber boots a new size that perfectly fits your foot.

How To Stretch Rubber Boots with Easy Method?

Stretching rubber boots or neoprene boots is not a challenging task for each of us, and there are various methods by which this can be done without any hassle. Let’s explore five of the most used methods below:

1. Stretch Rubber Boots with Ice

This method is quite easy to do by taking the advantage of some basic household items, water, plastic Ziploc bags, and a freezer. However, don’t expect to see 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.

Stretch rubber boots with ice

To do this method, 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 rubber in the freezer overnight and take them out the next morning.
  6. Take the frozen bags out of the freezer and put the rubber boots on. Repeat the procedure 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. How to stretch rubber? Stretching liquid boots

Stretching liquid shoes

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

  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 rubber boots that are less paid attention to apply the stretching 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 rubber more.
  5. Walk around in the rubber boots while they are still wet for greater stretching.

3. Stretching your boots wider with a hairdryer

Hairdryer to make your boots wider

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

Here is how to stretch rubber:

  1. First, put on a pair of thick socks, then the rubber boots for a greater stretch, and avoid burning yourself.
  2. Turn the hairdryer on and target it at the specific areas you want to rubber boots stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Keep the dryer 15 cm away from the boot.
  3. Walk till your rubber boots cool down. Keep moving your foot around or flex your foot until the rubber boots lose the heat for better stretching.
  4. Repeat the process if needed. Continue to heat and walk till you get the desired size.

4. Boot or Shoe Stretcher

Boot Stretcher

To see how well the boot stretcher has worked, or how much longer it needs to stretch, put on these boots as soon as you’re done stretching. For most boots, the stretcher works well and helps bring the boot to the correct size.

Here is how to use these devices:

  1. Insert a closed boot stretcher into the toe area of the rubber boot. Make sure the stretcher is fully closed and slides all the way into the boot so that it is in the toe at the front of the boot.
  2. You can turn the handle counterclockwise to close it all the way.
  3. Turn the handle clockwise to open the boot stretcher until it tightens.
  4. When the stretcher of the boot feels really tight and the handle becomes hard to rotate, turn it 2-3 turns to really stretch the rubber out.
  5. Leave the stretcher in the boot for 8 hours. Place the rubber boot on a flat surface so that it continues to stretch evenly


  1. Rubber can break if you stretch too fast. Avoid turning more than 5-6 times when it feels difficult.
  2. It may take 2-3 times to stretch your boots

5. Cobbler

expert cobbler stretch your boots

If you find it difficult to stretch rubber on your own, then you can have your rubber boots stretched to the expert cobbler.

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

Handle your boot while and after stretched?

Below are some tips to handle your boots:

  1. Do not let your rubber 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 rubber in front of a fire for shrinking minimization. Let them dry naturally instead.
  2. Make sure not to expose your rubber 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 rubber 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 rubber and ankle rubber boots using the sam


Do stretch rubber boots as you wear them?

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

You should give your rubber 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 boot is uncomfortably tight, you should buy other ones that perfectly fit your feet for comfortable walking.

Can I stretching my rubber boots too much?

Yes, you can. After a certain point, any more stretching will just weaken the rubber and make the boot break in. The average rubber boot can probably handle about ½-¾ inches of stretching before it starts to break in.

But, it’s worth noting that a tiny boot can not be stretched beyond certain limits. So, you certainly have no choice but to buy another pair.

How many times can I stretch my rubber boots?

It depends on how often you stretch rubber and how much you stretch rubber each time. Unfortunately, rubbers are not indestructible, stretching them will cause them to break.

In general, the more times you stretch and stretch each time, the faster the boot will wear out. As long as your stretch is minimal and infrequent, you shouldn’t experience any degradation beyond what’s normal for an older boot that wears out over time.

How can I make my rain boots looser?

The ways listed above all help you make your rubber boots wider. But the following ways are considered by many to be more effective:

  • Ice to stretch your boots. Freezing your boot can help expand them.
  • Heat can also help stretch boots.
  • Last but not least, you can stuff your boot with materials such as rolled-up towels, old newspapers, or any other material that may help stretch the boots.


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

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