Do Combat Boots Stretch? (5 Ways)

Many people prefer combat boots because of their durability, functionality, and fashionable appearance. However, one common concern when purchasing combat boots is whether or not they will stretch over time. 

In this article, we will explore the question of whether combat boots stretch, why they stretch, and how to maintain them.

What are Combat boots?

Combat boots are a type of footwear that was developed for the military. They are made to be strong, long-lasting, and comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.

Combat boots are typically made of leather, suede, or canvas, and they are frequently equipped with a steel toe cap, waterproofing, and other features to improve their functionality.

Do Combat Boots Stretch

Do Combat Boots Stretch?

The answer to the question of whether combat boots stretch is not straightforward. 

The extent to which combat boots stretch is determined by the materials used, how they are constructed, and how they are worn. 

Leather combat boots, in general, stretch more than canvas or suede boots.

Leather is a natural material that will stretch as it conforms to the shape of your foot over time.

The amount of stretching, however, will vary depending on the quality of the leather, the thickness of the leather, and the frequency with which the boots are worn.

Stretching can be reduced by wearing the boots correctly and caring for them properly.

Combat boots made of canvas and suede are less likely to stretch since these materials are less flexible than leather. Nevertheless, because of how they are worn and the pressure applied to them, they may continue to gently stretch over time.

Why Do Combat Boots Stretch?

Combat boots stretch due to the materials used and the way they are constructed. 

For example, Leather, in particular, is a natural material that can gradually conform to the shape of your foot. Leather combat boots will stretch and conform to the shape of your feet the more you wear them.

The design of combat boots also makes them susceptible to stretching. 

Boots with a wider toe box or a higher instep, for example, may stretch more than boots with a narrower toe box or lower instep. Furthermore, boots with a more pliable sole may stretch more than boots with a stiffer sole.

How to Stretch Combat Boots?

There are a few techniques you can use to stretch out a pair of combat boots that you purchased that are a little too snug. But, you must proceed carefully because overstretching your boots could harm them or impair their functionality. 

Here are some methods to consider:

1.) Keep them on while you’re inside

Wearing your combat boots inside is one of the simplest methods to extend them. Put on thick socks and walk for a few hours each day while wearing them. By doing this, the leather will stretch gradually without putting too much pressure on the boots.

2.) Use a Shoe Stretcher

Using a shoe stretcher is another way to stretch combat boots. Shoe stretchers are made to progressively increase a shoe’s length and width. 

You can buy a shoe stretcher at a shoe store or online, then use it according to the directions.

3.) Use a Stretching Spray

A stretching spray can be used as an alternative. These sprays are made to soften leather so that it can be stretched more easily. 

Apply the spray to the inside of the boots and wear them with thick socks. This technique has the potential to be successful, but it’s crucial to use a premium stretching spray that won’t harm the leather.

4.) Use a Hairdryer

Another simple method is to stretch your tactical boots at home using a hairdryer.

As a matter of fact, heat softens the leather and aids in its expansion.

The heat from a hairdryer will be quite helpful in extending tactical boots as the majority of them are made of leather.

5.) Use steam 

Another effective way to expand your tactical boots is to steam them. The leather becomes softer and more flexible when exposed to steam.

Your tactical boots can be steamed from the inside and outside using a kettle from your house, a nebuliser, or any other steamer.

Stop steaming the boots after you notice that they are sufficiently heated and you can wear socks with them. Make sure it’s not too hot to wear your tactical boots.

Put them on and start walking after you have completed steaming. Steamed leather is simple to stretch and modify.

Also, you will see immediate effects if you stretch the steamed boots with a boots stretcher.

Tips for Maintaining Combat Boots

Combat boots are an investment, so they must be properly cared for to last as long as possible. Here are some tips for keeping your combat boots in good condition:

Tips for Maintaining Combat Boots

1.) Keep them clean on a regular basis

Combat boots can collect dirt, dust, and other debris, which can eventually damage the leather. To remove dirt and debris, clean them on a regular basis with a soft brush and a damp cloth.

2.) Leather conditioning

Leather, especially if exposed to harsh weather conditions, can become dry and cracked over time. Apply a high-quality leather conditioner to the boots every few months to prevent this.

3.) Store them properly

When not in use, keep your combat boots in a cool, dry place. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight.


In conclusion, combat boots do stretch with use, but the amount of stretching is dependent on a number of factors, such as the materials used, the design, and how they are worn. 

Although all types of boots can gradually stretch a little, combat boots made of leather are more likely to do so than suede or canvas. 

You can extend your combat boots using a variety of techniques, such as wearing them around the house, utilizing a shoe stretcher, or using a stretching spray. To avoid damaging your boots or impairing their functionality, it’s important to proceed with caution and not overstretch your boots.

It’s crucial to take good care of your combat boots by cleaning them frequently and maintaining the leather if you want them to last as long as possible. Your combat boots may give you years of comfortable and fashionable wear if you take good care of them.

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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