View Full Version : BOOT STRETCHERS: yes or no

12-13-2014, 14:59
I have a pair of Asolo TPS all leather boots that I can't seem to get broken in. They seem to stay tight in the width.
Has anybody had any experience with the stretchers that go into your boots and you crank the handle to spread open and stretch the boot.
Good, Bad or Ugly fill me in.

12-13-2014, 15:17
My sister used stretchers on Merrill boots and it helped, some. She was having rubbing on her little toe.

Ultimately, she ended up selling the Merrill's and buying a different brand and larger boots that fit.

12-13-2014, 15:30
Anthony's Shoe Repair, San Francisco, CA is the only place I had good experience with their adjusting shoe or boot fit.

I never took mountaineering or hiking boots, there.

I find the right fit.

For me: narrow heel, low-volume, nearly straight from the ball of the foot out to the big toe. I try on both feet. I walk around. I get on an incline, mountain shops offer, or, I stand at the edge of a curb (asking permission to go outside) bending my knees a little, I "bounce" gently to find out if my toes hit anything inside the boot or the hiking shoe.

I do all that, after pulling my heels up to the back of the lace-up boot or hiking shoe, and, lacing up.

If the hiking boots or hiking shoes do not fit, try another model or another brand.

If you cannot get into a store, find a store online that will allow "returns".

There is a great deal of suffering on the trails, from hiking boots or hiking shoes that do not "fit".

12-13-2014, 17:43
i have a shoe repair shop a few minutes from my house and i have used them to stretch my boots using their gear (they charged me 5 bucks, which is reasonable, and they let me bring them back a few times without charge to get restretched)....

but like DLP----its a temporary fix....

the better fix for me was getting new boots that fit better (mainly in toe box which in the old boots had shrunk due to my many water crossings)..........

12-13-2014, 20:07
My feet are size 14 wide...boots/shoes in that size are difficult to come by. Asolo Fugitives come closer to fitting me than anything else. Different lacing techniques helped a little but a boot stretcher is needed for my right foot. A kind man that owns a local shoe repairshop turned me on to boot stretchers and rubbing alcohol (it significantly softens the leather). It made long distance hiking with a pack possible for me. Give it a try....and it doesn't cost much.

12-16-2014, 09:46
If you purchased these boots through a retailer like REI or EMS, many of their stores have equipment that can shape the boot a bit to accommodate your foot/feet. There is a toe box cap that can't be stretched easily however and need to be heated to work, which can damage the liner and waterproofing nature of the boot. Someone like Dave Page Cobbler (Seattle, WA) may be able to manipulate this part of the boot.

As an aside, I have used the Asolo TPS boots for a number of years and have had great results with them from fit to durability, getting about 1,500 miles on each pair. I have heard those with naturally wide feet not liking their fit though, you may need to get a wider size even if the length is good. If you've not put hundreds of miles on these boots, you may be able to exchange them.

12-16-2014, 10:02
Buy a pair of boots that fit, My rule of thumb is, whenever i buy hiking footwear i buy a half size bigger than i normally wear, due to swelling feet.

12-16-2014, 22:48
Red-dog is 100% spot on. I buy one size bigger and said goodby to blisters forever!

12-17-2014, 00:18
I have a pair of Asolo TPS all leather boots that I can't seem to get broken in...

I have the same boot. I struggled with the the choice of medium vs wide width for a long time and ultimately went wide. I have been wearing these boot for a couple years in all conditions. While they are comfortable, they don't feel "Broken-in" like previous full leather boots I've owned.

To improve the fit I pulled out the original insole and replaced it with something thinner. I also lace the boots to keep the toe box lose but allows me to crank down at the ankle.

Good Luck

12-30-2014, 13:37
Thanks everyone.
I was hoping for a miracle fix instead of breaking down and buying new boots!