Boot sizin'
December 8, 2009 10:54 AM   Subscribe

How do I know if these boots are too small, or just need to stretch?

I just bought a pair of knee high leather boots (these ones). They are a size 7, and I usually wear a size 7 or 7.5. Just tried them on (they came in the mail) and they are very tight around all parts of my foot - heel, top of the foot, sides, toes - and a little bit tight around the calf. Almost painfully tight around my foot.

I've never had a pair of real leather boots before. Should I exchange them for the size 7.5, or is this just what leather boots do?
posted by little_c to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total)
Leather will stretch a little, but if walking in your boots hurts, I'd exchange them for a half size up. You'll be way more comfortable, and leather boots are better when you can wear really thick socks under them, anyway.
posted by oinopaponton at 11:05 AM on December 8, 2009

I've broken in a few pairs of leather boots and while breaking them in, none of them were so tight that they caused me pain right off the bat.

A friend of mine bought a too-small pair of leather boots because she loved them and figured they'd stretch. Now she has a gorgeous pair of $300 leather boots that she has never worn because once they were broken in, they were still too small.
posted by futureisunwritten at 11:06 AM on December 8, 2009

You can always put an insole in a bigger boot. Not so much the smaller ones...
posted by Madamina at 11:10 AM on December 8, 2009

Exchange them. Years ago (when i was even more fashion-challenged than I am now) I bought a pair of snakeskin cowboy boots that were a little too small. I figured they'd stretch. Wore 'em for a week straight, trying to get them to stretch; then I was pretty much couchridden for a week because my feet hurt so bad.
posted by notsnot at 11:10 AM on December 8, 2009

Quality leather shoes/boots can be expected to stretch to adjust to your particular foot, but if they need to stretch uniformly, then they are too small. A half size up should do it. Remember that the width will stretch more quickly and to a greater degree than the length will. A generous helping(s) of oil/conditioner/protectant at the very beginning will help make the breaking-in process go more quickly and smoothly. Good luck...nice boots.
posted by nickjadlowe at 11:13 AM on December 8, 2009

Anything that's "painfully tight" is too small. Take them back and get ones that fit.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:19 AM on December 8, 2009

Too small. Even if they do stretch, the surface will no longer be sleek and smooth, but you'll have pretty obvious these-boots-are-too-small bumps for each of your toes, etc.
posted by halogen at 1:30 PM on December 8, 2009

Too small. Around the leg and even on the top of the foot can stretch a little, but the toes won't stretch - tightness there is the definition of too small!
posted by crabintheocean at 1:32 PM on December 8, 2009

Too small. Agreed.
posted by Vaike at 1:39 PM on December 8, 2009

I wound up with blisters under my toenails trying to break in leather shoes that were too short in the toes. Send them back.
posted by crazycanuck at 9:43 PM on December 8, 2009

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