How to Get Rubber Rain Boots to Stretch at the Calves

Nicki Minaj in rain boots at the I Heart Radio Music Festival.

Photo: Isaac Brekken/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Rubber rain boots -- whether sporting cute, trendy patterns or prim and practical solid colors -- can effectively protect a girl's feet from unfashionably foul weather and surprise puddles. Unlike other boot materials, rubber has little in the way of give, and ill-fitting rubber boots can cut off circulation in the calves if they're sized too small. However, if your boots are just a little too tight to bear, and going up a size would make them far too large, you can still coax your boots into giving you an extra bit of stretch.


Break in your rubber boots through regular wear. As you move, the rubber loosens and stretches to accommodate your legs.


Soak your boots as much as you can while wearing them, then walk around until they dry so the rubber conforms to your shape.


Encourage the rubber to loosen up with a little heat. Aim a hair dryer inside the boot shafts for several minutes on a high setting, until the rubber heats up. Cover your legs with a few layers of thick socks and slide into the boots. When the boots cool, the rubber returns to a stiff state, this time a little wider than before.


Fill a re-sealable plastic bag with water and insert it into the boot shaft, then freeze the boot. Water expands slowly as it freezes, and will stretch the boot rubber as well. Let the ice melt before you remove the plastic bags.


Add a gusset, or sewn-in panel, to extend the boot width. Cut open the sides of the boot shafts and sew triangular panels of stretch fabric into the openings.

Things You'll Need


1.Rubber rain boots

3.Re-sealable bag


2.Hair dryer

4.Stretch fabric

6.Sewing needle


Tips & Tricks


Too big is often better than too small. If your boots are still uncomfortable after stretching, you need a new pair.

Do not attempt to stretch vinyl rain boots, as the material will not respond. Instead, add gussets.


Related Videos




Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Boot and Shoe Manufacture; Frank Plucknett Popular Science January 1943; What Makes Rubber Stretch? Field&Stream May 1974; Rx for Happy Feet; John Weiss

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