If you have owned real leather shoes in your life, you may have noticed that when you put them on, they don’t always fit the same. Sometimes they are too loose, sometimes they are too tight. This is unique to real leather shoes, but there are ways to make sure your shoes always fit properly.
Do leather shoes stretch or shrink? Because they are made of animal skin, they shrink and stretch when stressed. So when you wear them, they stretch from the inside out. On the other hand, if they are not worn for an extended period of time, they will shrink due to the surrounding pressure.
Since genuine leather shoes are expected to stretch and shrink, you may be wondering what size to buy to minimize fit problems. This article provides pertinent information on how to choose the best size and how to stretch and contract as needed.
Knowing which items in your wardrobe are the right size can sometimes seem daunting. Have you ever had a pair of leather shoes that no longer fit and you don’t know what happened? We have thoroughly researched and answered the question of whether leather shrinks over time. Let me put it simply.
Yes, leather boots can shrink over time. Especially if you don’t wear your boots often, the leather tends to tighten over time and lose its original shape. There are also many possible causes of shrinkage when leather boots are frequently wet.
To begin, we’ll go over everything there is to know about leather boots and how to stop them from shrinking. If you want to replace your old boots with new leather, we can help.
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Why Do Leather Boots Shrink Over Time | Unrivaled Guide 2022
Generally speaking, leather shrinks when exposed to heat, moisture, or sudden temperature changes. As mentioned above, leather boots tend to lose their shape if not worn regularly, so it is safe to say that boots require a lot of maintenance.
Leather also typically shrinks and stiffens if not conditioned and maintained. Like any other leather material, whether it is shoes or not, if not cleaned and moisturized, it will be damaged beyond repair.
Storage can affect the way your leather boots fit the next time you wear them, so it may be worth investing in boot padding or something else to keep them in their original shape.
According to the Leather Dictionary, the leather fibers in shoes begin to become stiff and brittle over time, which is sometimes inevitable.
How To Repair Shrunken Leather Boots?
When boots begin to shrink, every moment counts. To repair shrunken leather boots, first :
- Storing a bucket of warm water.
- Soak the boots in the water.
- Let the leather soak for about 60 minutes.
- Soak a pair of socks in warm water.
- Put on wet leather socks and boots.
- Wear them until they are almost dry.
It is worth noting that wearing wet leather shoes outside to dry more quickly can make them very uncomfortable. Of course, it is possible to take the boots to a leather repair store and have them re-cut, although this will be expensive.
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Do Leather Boots Have To Be Tight At First?
Yes, it is normal for leather boots to feel a little tight at first. Because of the thickness of genuine leather, some discomfort is expected until you get used to the boots. Nevertheless, leather boots should not be painful to wear, so if they hurt, return them and buy a size or two larger. Finally, stretching leather is time-consuming and sometimes inefficient. However, leather tends to stretch a bit the more you wear it, so if you think there is hope for your shoes, you can certainly try breaking them in an old-fashioned way.
Should I Buy Leather Boots In A Smaller Size?
In general, it is best to buy leather boots a little smaller than your normal size. We said that leather will gradually relax over time as it is worn, and this applies to shoes as well.
Again, you do not want to buy a pair of boots that will be painful to wear, so try to find a happy medium. Please keep this in mind as a shoe that is a half size smaller than your normal size will suffice.
In addition to this, you can try using a shoe expander inside your leather boots, but be careful. Although durable, leather can crack if overextended, and repairs can be expensive/tough.
How Can I Prevent Unnecessary Stretching And Shrinking Of My Leather Shoes?
Did you understand that stress and strain can cause leather shoes to stretch and shrink? What you may not yet know is that this can be avoided to some extent. And it’s all about maintenance. Here are some tips to minimize the stretching and shrinkage of leather shoes.
- Clean them properly.
- Put them away when not in use for long periods of time.
- Avoid exposure to intense heat.
- Always wear socks.
- Give shoes a rest.
- Use shoe polish.
- Proper cleaning
When dirt adheres to leather shoes, it puts extra stress and strain on the shoes. This is why there will always be lines of dirt on the shoes. Leather shoes can retain their shape and size longer if they are cleaned with the proper products. If the insides are also dirty, take steps to keep them clean.
Put Them Away When Not In Use For Long Periods Of Time
Leather will shrink if it is not used for a long time. This is why leather shoes can feel tight if they are not worn all winter. It is for this reason that shoemakers pack shoes to maintain their shape and size. To keep the size of your foot in leather shoes at all times, you can stuff a sock or handkerchief into them.
Avoid High Temperatures
Gentle heat is suitable for drying leather shoes, but strong or prolonged heat is harmful. Heat mainly shrinks shoes that have nothing in them. Therefore, exposure to strong heat, such as from the sun or a heater, can cause shoes to shrink and crack. For drying leather shoes, it is best to choose air-drying rather than frequent heat. Also, store leather boots in a cool, dry place.
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Always Wear Socks
Wearing socks is also very important for leather boots to maintain their shape and size over time. This is because, without socks, sweat will constantly come into contact with the leather fabric, loosening the fibers. If this happens while on the move, it will cause the shoes to keep stretching, and in no time at all, they will stretch and not fit properly.
Give Your Shoes A Break
Leather shoes are attractive and you may want to wear them every day, but unfortunately, their shape, size, and appearance will ruin them sooner than you expect. As a result, the shoes you like best may not last a year whereas they should last three years.
Leather is a natural skin and needs to be aired out from time to time. Instead of making your leather shoes suffocate, you should let them breathe after three consecutive uses.
Use Shoe Polish
To keep leather moist, it should be polished regularly. This will help it retain its elasticity and prevent cracks, creases, and other changes that could alter the size and shape of the shoe.
Also Read: Can You Wear Leather Boots In The Rain?
How To Restore Leather Shoes | Video Explanation
Leather, like human skin, stretches and shrinks. It is not advisable to buy smaller or larger shoes in the hope of changing the shape or size, but sometimes it is the only valid option. The rule of thumb is to know the material of the shoe and carefully stretch and shrink it. Also, if you keep your leather shoes in good condition, they will last longer with a little work.
Hi, I am Brian, Lives in Mooresville, North Carolina, and Went to The University of Texas at Austin, I am a shoe lover & know the inside out of shoes. I am well aware of the qualities of top-quality boots. That’s what I’m sharing with the reader of About Shoes/boots/footwear. Read More Here