How to Shrink Leather Boots At Home In 2 Steps (Easiest Way)

How to shrink leather boots

Have you just purchased a brand-new pair of leather boots and cannot wait to wear them as soon as possible?

Chances are, you might come across a simple hurdle that keeps you from showing off your new beauties to the world. They won’t fit right!

That’s right, most leather boots need to be worn a few times to fit the exact shape of your calves and feet.

You could give it some patience and time, or you could read on for some great tips on how to shrink leather boots that are too big. 

Approach 1: Use Water

This is the simplest and easiest way to shrink your leather boots but it can be a little uncomfortable.


  • Tub/Bucket
  • Water
  • Socks
  • Your feet!

Step 1: Submerge your boots in water

Fill a large tub or bucket with room temperature water and use it completely submerge your leather boots.

If your boots are made of suede, dipping them in water will damage them, so just soak the insides of the boots until completely wet and then air dry them in a place that gets ample sunlight.

Step 2: Put on Wet Socks

Yes, you read that right! I warned you this could get a little uncomfortable!

Just wear a pair of socks and dip your feet in a bucket of water to make sure your socks are completely wet.

This is necessary because it will help your boots shrink to the exact shape and size of your feet and make things much more comfortable for you.

how to shrink leather

Step 3: Put on Wet Boots

As soon as you take out your leather boots from the bucket of water, they will start to shrink.

Put on these wet boots immediately to keep them from shrinking down to the wrong size! It might be a hassle to put on these wet boots, so be prepared.

Step 4: Go About Your Day

Now that you have your wet socks and wet leather boots on, just go about your day as usual.

Try not to do anything that requires you to be around muddy or dusty areas since your wet boots are much more susceptible to getting dirty when wet.

Keep wearing them until the socks are dry. This should take a few uncomfortable hours as the boots start to shrink around your feet but trust me, once the socks and boots are dry, they should feel much better and fit you perfectly!

Approach 2: The Hair Dryer and Spray Bottle Hack

If wearing a pair of wet socks and wet boots doesn’t sound too appealing to you, you can try the hair dryer and spray bottle trick to shrink your boots.

Although this is a relatively easier way to do things and definitely will work, it might not give you as good a fit as the first approach.

However, this technique will work very well if you have a shoe that is not completely leather and you just need to target specific areas.


  • Spray Bottle/Rag/Sponge
  • Water
  • Hair Dryer
  • Leather Conditioner

Step 1: Wet the Boots

Keep your leather boots on a steady surface and fill up a spray bottle with some water. Now, from around 5-6 inches away, spray the outer surface of your boots with water.

Make sure you wet the boots completely without leaving any surface dry, or your boots will shrink unevenly.

Step 2: Dry with a Hair Dryer

Use a hair dryer on the lowest setting and start drying your boots from around 6 inches away. If you use a higher heat setting or get too close to the leather, it can absolutely destroy your boots, so be very careful when doing this.

Start with the areas that are most loose since the places that you dry first will shrink the most.

Step 3: Try Them on for Size!

When your boots are completely dry, put them on and see how they fit. If they are still loose, repeat the process once more. The use of the spray bottle will allow you to focus on the areas that need it most.

Step 4: Condition those babies!

After you are done with the drying process and are satisfied with the size and fit of your shoes, remember to moisturize the leather.

Leather can dry out and can start to peel or crack if not hydrated properly. Invest in a good leather moisturizer and use it sparingly to make your leather boots shiny and presentable!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is there a way to shrink leather boots?

There are a couple of simple ways you can shrink leather boots, both of them involve water. You can either dunk your shoes in a bucket of water and then wear them with wet socks until they dry.

This will make them shrink around your calves and feet and give you a perfectly snug fit.

The other way is to use a spray bottle and a hair dryer to target the loose areas on your leather boots. If you need to shrink the whole boot, make sure all the surfaces of the boot are nice and wet using the spray bottle.

Be sure to spray and provide heat from at least 6 inches away, and to use a leather moisturizer afterwards to ensure the quality and integrity of your leather boots.

leather boots

How can I make my boots tighter?

Loose leather boots can be really uncomfortable to wear and can make your cowboy fashion statement look shabby and unimpressive.

You can make your boots tighter by using two simple methods, both of them require only household items and are easy to follow at home.

  • Using a bucket of water, dunk your boots in there for an hour or so. Next, put on some wet socks and wear the wet boots immediately, because they will start to shrink as soon as they leave the water.
  • Keep wearing the shoes and walk around in them for several hours until they are completely dry. They should fit perfectly on your feet now.
  • If you want to target specific areas of the boots or if you simply want to stay away from the discomfort of walking around in wet shoes and socks all day, this second method is for you.
  • Just wet your boots using a spray bottle or a clean old rag or sponge. Focus on the areas you want to shrink more.
  • Now, using a hair dryer from around 6 inches away, start drying your boots. Like I mentioned earlier, start with the focus areas since the areas you dry first will shrink more.

Do boots stretch or shrink?

Yes! Leather boots can stretch or shrink over time, depending upon the weather conditions and the sort of usage they endure.

Thankfully, there are some very simple tricks and hacks to get those beauties fitting snugly on your feet again.

Can you shrink leather?

Yes! Leather is a very interesting and coveted material and can be very easy to work with, if handled and cared for correctly.

You can use a variety of methods to shrink leather. Even though the common principles remain the same, but the methods differ based on the kind of leather product that you want to shrink.


If you have invested in a good pair of leather boots and can’t fit in them perfectly, don’t worry!

Just follow the above-mentioned guides and you will be ready to strut those boots in no time! Just use a lot of patience and be careful in following all the steps as detailed.

If you have any questions, be sure to ask me in the comments and I will try my best to respond as quickly as possible.

If you like these tips, be sure to share them on your social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Reddit!

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