Thursday, October 11, 2012

And Bend... And Stretch!

So beautiful, I just had to have them.
There they are. Beautiful, leather, calf-length. The most amazing boots you've ever seen. You feel yourself drawn to them, your fingers search out the appropriate size, you slip them on, toes sliding in easily. You can feel the exhiliration pump through your veins as your heel slots firmly into place. Your smile starts to grow with the sound of the zipper rising.

Up, up, up, it goes.

The zipping came to a screeching halt
And then it stops. Two full inches before the top, right at your stupid, fat calf. Your heart sinks into your stomach. You tug, pull, and plead. Your eyes sting with tears (okay, so maybe you're not that attached to them). They're perfect, aside from that little snafu. You want them, you need them. So you buy them anyway, telling yourself that you're just bloated from all the walking and they'll fit tomorrow. Tomorrow comes and they still won't zip all the way. But now you're out money, possibly a couple hundred bucks. What do you do?

Grab the alcohol!! No, not that alcohol. Put the vodka back. Fine, take a sip first, then put it back. Alright, now go to the bathroom and grab the rubbing alcohol. If you don't have any, you can get it from any drug store for less than a buck. 50% is best, but 70% works too. While you're out, grab a mini spray bottle, too. Alcohol is easiest to apply by spraying. If you don't have a spray bottle, you can just dump a little on a cloth and rub it on, too.

50% rubbing alcohol and a spray bottle. Less than $2 at Wally World

Spray the inside of the boot thoroughly*. You don't want it to be dripping wet, but you do want it to be damp. Then put the boot on. I recommend putting socks on first, but hey, if you like the feel of cold, wet alcohol against your skin, more power to you. Maybe it'll even help with that athlete's foot.

Start zipping. When you reach a sticking point, spray a little more alcohol around the outside of the boot, especially near the zipper and around the circumference of the calf. I sprayed the entire top two inches of the boot and it zipped up pretty easily the rest of the way.

Wear until dry. Wear the boot until the alcohol dries completely. Depending on how much you soaked the inside, this could take awhile. The point is for the boot to dry to the shape of your foot. If you take the boot off too early, it will negate what you just did.

You may have to repeat the process a few times until the boot goes on without needing the alcohol, but if you have a pair of awesome boots like the ones I just bought, they'll totally be worth the effort.

Fully zipped over thick socks and jeans, comfy as hell. Love!

*I recommend testing the alcohol on an inconspicuous part of the boot before you spray the whole thing. It shouldn't discolor, especially if the boot is leather, but better safe than sorry.


  1. I don't have any boots with zippers but this is good information to hang on to. Does it work on tight shoes as well?

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  2. From what I've read, it should work on any shoes. The whole point is that the alcohol loosens the fabric enough for it to stretch, then when it dries, it dries around the shape of your foot. I've also seen a suggestion to soak the shoes in the tub for a bit, then put them on, but I think they'd take forever to dry then.


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