Author Topic: Is it my feet or is it my boots?  (Read 422 times)

Lee in Doncaster

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Is it my feet or is it my boots?
« on: 07:55:38, 29/08/17 »
Either my boots have shrunk or my feet have got larger.

In the last twelve months I've lost over six stones in weight and now one of my pairs of hiking boots don't fit me any more...I just can't get my feet inside them. My other two pairs are fine; maybe they are slightly larger...I don't know.

I'm wondering if anyone else has this problem; seriously, do leather boots actually shrink over time? I don't think that my feet have get larger or are even swollen due to water retention or whatever.
Walking every week in the Peak District...or somewhere else


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Re: Is it my feet or is it my boots?
« Reply #1 on: 08:19:31, 29/08/17 »
Feet do get longer over time, the arch flattens distance from heel to toes gets longer.

In my case I've moved up a full size from my twenties.

But given your change has been so quick, and problem relates to just one pair of's probably the boots that have altered shape.

Did you dry them out very quickly after they got well soaked, or something like that?
« Last Edit: 08:22:33, 29/08/17 by pauldawes »


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Re: Is it my feet or is it my boots?
« Reply #2 on: 10:04:55, 29/08/17 »
Sometimes I think it's a bit of each.  I am sure boots can shrink a bit, especially if they get wet a lot, and my feet have certainly spread with age!


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Re: Is it my feet or is it my boots?
« Reply #3 on: 10:06:57, 29/08/17 »
Full leather boots will not shrink lengthways but can shrink widthways particularly if the leather has been dried out too quickly.

As you've nothing to lose by trying it may be worth giving them a good soaking until the leather is fully saturated and softened and if you can get them on try to gradually walk some stretch back into the leather and keep wearing them regularly for short periods until they feel comfortable again. If successful make sure you dry them out really slowly and treat them with a generous dose of leather conditioner.

Another option is to take them to somewhere like Whalley Warm & Dry who have the facilities to be able to steam and stretch leather boots.
It normally costs between 20 and 40 depending on what's required but it's definitely a cheaper option than buying new boots - see under "Can you customise the fit of footwear purchased elsewhere?" They steamed and stretched a pair of Altberg Fremingtons for me in about 15-20 minutes while I waited for 15 a while ago.

If the problem is lengthways as pauldawes said feet can and do spread over time and a half to a full size change is definitely not uncommon. The only answer in that case is to replace the boots.


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Re: Is it my feet or is it my boots?
« Reply #4 on: 11:33:55, 29/08/17 »
Soaking your boots as suggested may be worth a try. In the good old days when boots needed breaking in I took a new pair of leather boots potholing for a day. They were soaked inside and out but they fitted like a glove after that.
Solvitur Ambulando


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Re: Is it my feet or is it my boots?
« Reply #5 on: 12:54:29, 29/08/17 »
Did that with every new pair of army boots I was issued with. Definitely helps!

Not potholing I should add, just getting them thoroughly wet and wearing them while like that to break them in.
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