The Vine: December 20, 2013
Readers! Sarah here. I need help with boot-stretching.
Okay, here's the story. I got a great deal on a pair of vintage boots last month, a great enough deal that I didn't consider some snugness in the toe box (…hee) a problem. And if I wear just tights, or a very thin pair of socks, it isn't a problem…for a few hours…but at the end of the day, in both senses of that phrase, the boots are just a little too short.
WHAT I NEED:
Another quarter to half inch in the toe box. Width- and arch-wise, they fit fine.
WHAT I'VE TRIED:
1) The half-isopropyl-alcohol, half-water spray/huge socks treatment; it seemed to help, for an afternoon, but I think it was more my really wanting to believe than any actual results, and if they did stretch, it didn't last.
2) Asking the local cobbler to stretch them — this isn't a guy I've used for these jobs in the past; the shop I went to last time didn't blink when I asked them to stretch Hasbeens, but this boot is a different build, more like Fryes with a hard outsole, and this dude seemed to be saying that he couldn't stretch the insole/top past the stitching? (His exact words were, "Meez Bunting, you are naive to natural leather." Su…re?) That isn't what I asked for, and in any case it's a quarter inch, but he wouldn't try it. The other guys maybe could do it but they're two neighborhoods over.
YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT:
Tell me your boot-stretching DIY stories. I have Googled it pretty extensively, but Lifehacker and various About.com videos don't give me a sense of how realistic it is to try another method like a blowdryer. Have you tried the heat method? Does it work? What prep should I do, if any? Am I being "naive to" the way this boot is put together; do I need to accept that they're a short-term wear and I can't go out for the day in them?
I need your suggestions and caveats. You will not be blamed if the boot is fubared; like I said, the deal was so good I really can't go wrong here. (Pro tip: summer-community stores in the off-season = gold mine. One sincere comment about the quality of curation in the store, the next thing you know you're getting free St. Laurent. You're welcome.)
Nation Santae, bring me a fix!
Tags: Ask The Readers footwear rescue retail