How To Shrink Leather Boots: Learn The Effective Ways Of Doing It

Having leather boots with the precise fit is always important. If in case your leather boots have already stretched or had loose parts that need to be fixed, you have to know ways on how to shrink leather boots.

Shrinking leather boots is not only a job for a professional cobbler or shoe repair specialist. This can also be learned by an average joe. There are various ways or methods to shrink leather boots.

Over the years that I have collected all kinds of shoes, I have discovered some simple ways to effectively get the job done. Moreover, since I also enjoy traveling, these options are inexpensive and can be done on your own and from anywhere you may be.

I will share with you simple but effective ways on how to shrink your boots plus a few tips along the way as well.

Option 1: Using Water and Heat

What You Will Need

This option is the most inexpensive and simplest of all the methods. However, this process may be tricker compared to others. Keep in mind to be very cautious when using heat and water on leather. 

Too much or incorrect way of applying heat on leather can make it brittle and can cause wrinkles or worst cracks. Soaking leather in water can help do the trick as its leather fibers shrink when it begins to dry.

Although, speeding up the process of drying may not be the best idea for this and may cause serious mishaps on your leather boots.

  • Leather boots
  • Cup of water
  • Spray bottle
  • Blow-dryer
  • Small heater


1. Fill the water bottle with lukewarm water or have a cup of lukewarm water ready. Take note of the parts that have stretched and are loose. Spray a little amount of water or dip your finger in water and rub it on the loose parts of your leather boots.

(Tip: Incorrect use of water may cause damage to your leather boots. To avoid any water touching the surface of your leather boots that is not to be treated, you can use a leather guard. This will coat the surface of your leather boots you want to protect.

Keep in mind that leather guard must be allowed to dry completely before applying water to your boots.)

2. After you have applied water to the parts of the leather you want to shrink, you now need to apply heat. Remember to be very cautious about applying heat on leather.

Applying too much heat or speeding up the process of drying will result in cracks and wrinkles on your leather. To apply heat on your leather boots slowly, you can let it sit under strong sunlight.

3. Another option is to use a blow dryer. Use the lowest heat temperature setting and hold the blow dryer at least 15 centimeters away from you leather shoe to avoid damage. You can also opt to use a small heater for drying.

4. After drying your leather shoe, apply leather conditioning.

(Tip: Leather conditioning will help get rid of the stiffness caused by the process and also prevent any cracks in your leather shoe. Make sure to distinguish what type of leather you have and which leather conditioning is compatible with it.)

Option 2: Using an Elastic Band

What You Will Need

Another economical and simple way is to use an elastic band. This will be attached or sewn to the heel lining of your leather boots. This process can be easily achieved with boots that have thin leather but can be very difficult for thick boots.

  • Leather boots
  • star
    Elastic band
  • star
  • star
    Safety pins
  • star
    Needle and thread


1. Using your scissors, cut a substantial piece of your elastic band. You can buy elastic bands at any crafts store or sewing stores.

2. Use a safety pin to attach it temporarily across inside the heel lining of your leather boots.

3. Using needle and thread, sew the elastic band unto to inside heel lining of your leather boots. After which, you can remove the safety pins.

(Tip: For easier sewing, you can use a curved needle.)

Option 3: Using Thick Insoles

What You Will Need

To eliminate the gap between your foot and your leather boots, using thick insoles can do the job for you. Using thick insoles can fill the extra space in order for you to achieve that perfect fit. 

  • Leather boots
  • Thick insoles


Get a pair of thick insoles and insert them into your leather boots. Thick insoles will help fill in the excess gap between your foot and your leather boots.

(Tip: Most leather boots already have a built-in insole. No need to remove them, you can just insert another insole on top of it.)

Other Alternatives

Aside from these methods, there are other ways that you can shrink your leather boots. Some of the quick fixes that I have discovered are stuffing your leather boots with tissue. You can also use a piece of cloth or newspaper if a tissue is not readily available.

However, you may want to check if these options are comfortable for you. Try walking around a few times and assess if it works.

If you find the task if shrinking leather boots difficult or you just don’t have the time to do it yourself. You can always go to a professional to have them do the job for you. Visit a cobbler or a shoe repair shop to have them shrink your leather boots for you.

This option may not be as inexpensive as the ones that I have discussed, but it will definitely do the trick.


As promised, I have given you a few quick and simple ways you can effectively shrink your leather boots. These options are inexpensive and most of all, you can do it yourself.​

Now you don’t have to worry if in case you find your leather boots a little stretched out of having some loose parts. You can apply these methods and be on your way to your next journey.

Was this article helpful? Were you able to learn the different ways of shrinking your leather boots? Do you find the step by step guide useful?

Do you have any other suggestions regarding this topic? I would like to hear your thoughts about this article. Send your feedback and suggestions by leaving a comment below.

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