How to Stretch Leather Boots With Water & Alcohol

Woman wearing high heeled boots

Leather boots aren't cheap, so when you find that yours are feeling a bit snug, you don’t have to run out to buy another pair. Instead, stretch the boots using two ingredients: rubbing alcohol and water. Alcohol works to loosen the fibers on the leather, allowing the boots to expand without drying it out. Water, when placed in bags inside the boots, can stretch the leather as it freezes and expands.

Moisten a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol. Apply the alcohol to the inside of the boots where they fit too tight.

Put your feet inside the boots. Walk around for five minutes so the alcohol works to stretch the boots to fit your feet. If the boots only need a little stretching, put them on with bare feet. If they need further stretching, put on a pair of socks before walking in the boots.

If the boots are still too tight, try using bags filled with water. Fill freezer bags halfway with water and securely close. Tuck the bags of water inside the boots, and place the boots in the freezer overnight. The water will turn to ice and expand, stretching the boots.


Do not directly apply water to the surface of the leather; it is drying and won’t help with stretching.