How To Widen Steel Toe Boots – ShoePeeps

Written By Ahson Zahir

There are two things in life that I'm passionate about, shoes and writing. Combining both of my passions with my designing degree, I write forShoePeeps to help readers pick the best work boots, have fun.

Looking for a way to make your steel toe boots more comfortable?

Check out our guide on how to widen steel toe boots! We’ll show you the best way to do it so you can have the most comfortable pair of boots possible.

You deserve to be as comfortable as possible when you’re working, and now there’s no need to suffer through uncomfortable steel-toe boots. With our easy guide, you can widen them in just a few minutes and start enjoying your workday again.

What is the Right Size for Steel Toe Boots?

Compared with conventional boots and sneakers, steel-toe work boots are a bit heavier and more difficult to fit, but it is understandable. Steel toe boots are designed to offer some extra protection to your feet.

Furthermore, most users like to wear steel toe boots with work socks as they are a bit heavier, and often it is a workplace requirement. Consequently, when buying a pair of steel toe boots, we recommend getting the same size as your normal shoes, or you can buy a half size larger than your normal footwear, especially if your shoe size falls between two sizes. For example, if you wear 11.50, buy a 12.

Similarly, if you plan to wear steel-toe boots with thick socks, you need to buy a half size bigger than the regular shoes. Besides, you will have sufficient space for your toes to fit comfortably, and they will have enough breathing space. Hence your feet will feel comfortable while working and walking.

If you already have a pair of steel toe boots and you feel that they are a bit narrow and squish your toes, here are some practical ways to widen your steel toe work boots.

Why do you need to widen your steel toe work boots?

If your boots are too tight, they can cause several issues. Most notably, you’ll likely experience discomfort and even pain in your feet. This is especially true and crucial if you are a wide feet fellow, as the tightness will constrict your movement and cause blisters and aches.

Additionally, this can also affect your work productivity, as you won’t be able to move as easily or be as comfortable while working. To avoid these problems, it’s important to ensure that your boots fit properly and aren’t too tight. Otherwise, you’ll likely end up dealing with several issues that could have been easily avoided.

7 Easy Ways to Stretch steel toe work boots:

You can easily widen your steel toe boots by following these methods:

Use heat (hair dryer method):

Stretching your new steel-toe shoes is essential for a comfortable fit, but it doesn’t have to be tedious. You can stretch your boots by using some heat. The best way, in my humble opinion, is to use a hairdryer.

Furthermore, you might have to repeat the method if you feel that your boots are still too snug after using these methods. However, be careful because this widen method can change the boot’s shape and look.

Follow these steps to use this method:

  • Wear your steel-toe work boots with thick socks.
  • Then, use the hairdryer’s heat on your steel toe work boot’s exterior only. Never apply the heat inside your work boots.
  • When you use the hairdryer’s heat on your shoes, the boot’s fabrics will become softer; hence they will be wider than before.
  • Lastly, wear your steel-toe work boots until they are cooled down. Then we recommend you use a standard leather conditioner to preserve the boot’s look.

Trim the extra padding from your boots (if applicable):

Another way to widen steel toe boots is to trim down the additional foam padding and put it inside shoes where your foot comes in contact with the steel toe cap. Keep repeating this until all sides are stretched out evenly.

Microwave oven method:

Another practical and easy-to-follow method to stretch steel toe boots is by putting them in your microwave oven. However, you will have to turn on your vent as you will be creating steam while stretching out your steel-toe boots. Furthermore, never place your shoes directly on the heating element, as it can melt.

To follow this method; here are the steps:

  • Remove the shoe laces and put your boots inside the microwave oven for up to one minute.
  • After one minute, take them out.
  • Try to place your shoes when the oven is warm but ensure that it is not too warm as it may affect the shoe’s metal parts.
  • Wear the shoes and check the fitment.
  • If you feel they need more stretching, put them in the oven for two minutes.
  • You can repeat this process for two or three minutes as needed.

Mink Oil method:

This is the best method for leather work boots. Yes, you can widen your leather steel boots by rubbing mink oil on the boot’s exterior. You can also apply the oil to the boot’s interior if needed. 

The mink oil is magical and helps to soften the leather material. Besides, you can also use this stretching method if your boots don’t have a lining. 

After applying the mink oil, wear your boots so the leather material can adjust as per your feet’ shape. Lastly, after removing the shoes, stuff old papers or newspapers inside them for overnight.

Broomstick can also stretch your steel toe boots.

Wearing steel-toe work boots is a great way to protect your feet while working. However, these boots can often be tight, making it difficult to get them on and off. Thankfully, there is an easy way to widen your steel toe work boots using a broomstick.

Here is how to do it:

  • First, find the snug or tight area in your steel toe boots that you want to loosen up.
  • Now put the broomstick (you can also use any other stick) inside your shoes. Put it through the boot opening till the end of your work boots.

You can also perform this method in another way, and it is also simple. 

First, place your boot on the ground and press the broomstick downwards. 

Another way is to place your boots on the floor and ensure that they are facing the ground. Now push the stick inside them to stretch your work boots.

However, according to my personal experiences, the first method is more practical and effective. But you can try any of these methods.

Remember, in each push; you need to leave the stick inside your work boots for at least 20 seconds. However, you can insert the stick multiple times to get the desired results.

Use steel shoe stretchers.

If your steel-toed boots are too tight, there is a way to stretch them out at home. First, you will need to purchase a steel shoe stretcher. Then, you will need to either condition the leather with a good leather conditioner or use heat on the area that needs stretching. This is a great way to stretch out your boots if you don’t have time to take them to a professional.

For this method, we recommend using a steel shoe stretcher instead of a wooden one as it is more durable and delivers better results. However, if you use non-leather work boots, you can use any type of shoe stretcher.

Here is how to do it:

  • First, you need to apply the leather conditioner on your steel toe work boots so that they get softened. The conditioner will also help to widen your steel toe boots. 
  • Only apply the conditioner on the boot’s exterior side, not inside the boots.
  • Now, you need to put the shoe stretchers inside your work boots. Put it and rotate the stretcher in an anti-clockwise way. 
  • Keep it rotating until it gets fit inside the shoes. This will widen your steel-toe boots.
  • After steel stretchers fit inside of your work boots, rotate them to make your work boots widen and comfortable.
  • After this, don’t rush to remove the stretcher. Otherwise, your boots will come back to their actual shape and size. Hence keep the stretcher inside them for at least 24 hours.
  • After that, try your widen steel toe work boots. If needed, you can repeat this simple process.

Use Shoe stretching Spray.

If you are searching for economical method to widen your steel toe work boots, you can try using a boot stretching spray. This simple method involves spraying the shoes with a boot stretching spray, which works by loosening up the leather fibers and widening the steel toe boots. 

The process is simple: just spray on the shoes and you’re done. This hack can be used at your workplace without any issue.

The best part is, you can also this shoe stretching method at your work place without any problem.

Some additional tips to widen steel toe boots:

When you start a new job that requires you to wear steel-toe shoes, it is important to take some time to break in your new footwear. Wearing new boots to work daily can cause discomfort as your feet adjust to the shoes. It is better to wear the boots only occasionally until your feet get used to them. 

In addition, you don’t want your feet to become adjusted to being in an uncomfortable shoe. You may develop blisters or calluses if you wear boots that pinch your feet. 

Therefore, it is important to take the time to find a comfortable pair of boots that fit well before wearing them regularly.

Furthermore, if you cannot widen your steel toe work boots, take them back to the store and replace them.


Do work boots stretch out naturally over time?

Work shoes are essential for any worker. They’re tough, comfortable, and help keep your feet safe from hazards on the job site. 

However, there is one downside to work boots: they tend to stretch out over time. No matter what material they’re made of, extended use will cause the boots to become loose and ill-fitting. 

This can be a major problem for workers who need their boots to remain snug and supportive. Fortunately, you can do a few things to slow down the stretching process. For example, you can alternate between two pairs of work boots, giving each pair time to recover between uses. 

You can also try wearing thick socks or inserting arch support inserts into your boots. With a little effort, you can extend the life of your work boots and keep them fitting snugly for years to come.

How much can I stretch work boots?

You might be tempted to try and stretch your work boots beyond their limits, but it’s important to be aware of the risks involved. While you can safely stretch them a bit in length and width, anything beyond that could put too much pressure on the leather and cause them to break.

In addition, stretching them too much can cause the stitching to come undone, further damaging the boots and reducing their lifespan.

You can only play a little bit by stretching the leather. Roughly, you can stretch your work boots as much as half a size in length and 1 full size in width.

What is the best way to stretch leather steel toe boots?

You’re not alone if you’ve ever wondered how to stretch leather steel-toe boots. Many people find these shoes either too tight or loose, which can be quite uncomfortable. However, various ways to stretch your leather steel toe boots to fit more snugly. Follow the methods given above and get the right fit.

Besides, you can also use this simple procedure:

First, wet the boot’s inner part with Luke warm water. Then, wear thick socks and put the boots on over them. Walk around for at least an hour so the water can loosen up the leather material.

Finally, take off the boots and socks and put them to air dry. The leather will have stretched out slightly, and your boots should now fit more comfortably.

Should work boots be tight or loose?

A work boot is a lot like a relationship. You need to find the perfect balance between support and breathing room, or you’ll end up with something that’s either too suffocating or too flimsy. Giving and taking are essential for a healthy relationship; otherwise, things can start to feel a little too one-sided. 

The same goes for work boots. If they’re too constricting, your feet will feel uncomfortable and restricted all day. But if they’re too loose, you’ll end up with blisters and soreness. The key is to find a perfect balance and middle ground – a boot that provides enough support to get the job done without sacrificing comfort.

So go out and find the perfect balance – your feet will thank you for it.


That’s it! You now know how to widen steel toe boots. It’s not a difficult process, but it needs to be done correctly to maintain the safety and integrity of your boots. We hope you found this guide helpful and that you now have wider steel toe boots that will keep you safe on the worksite.

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