How To Stretch Climbing Shoes: Ultimate Guide

Oh no! You just bought a brand new pair of hiking boots, and they just don’t feel right. Your toes are crinkled, and your feet are hot all over the place, but your friend tells you that pain is the price to pay for performance. It just doesn’t seem worth it. You think to yourself, can I stretch these shoes? This scenario happens to a lot of climbers. If this sounds like you, don’t worry. We’ll discuss everything from shoe materials to what never to do with your shoes and everything in between. how to shrink your hiking boots, we wrote a post about that here.

First Things First: Can You Stretch Climbing Shoes?


The answer depends on the type of shoe you own. All hiking boots are made with rubber soles and treated or synthetic leather uppers. The rubber sole can stretch a bit as wear increases, but it’s nothing like the half-size stretch many people are looking for. ‘haven’t climbed in them, you should return them and increase the size. Leather shoes will be the best choice for you to successfully stretch a shoe. The other part of stretching the shoe is the direction it needs to be stretched. If the shoe is too short for you, you should buy a larger size. A shoe won’t stretch significantly in length, but if width or height is an issue for you, you can stretch it out. Before committing to your new, seemingly pricey pair of hiking boots, you may find yourself wondering how exactly they should fit.How uncomfortable should wear hiking shoes?

How uncomfortable should wear hiking shoes?

Elders in climbing often tell novices that pain is performance when it comes to climbing shoes. For many years, a scratched toe was seen as a sign of a good day in the mountains, but as new shoe designs continue to improve in both the fit and performance of older shoes, this has may be an outdated review. Have as little open space inside your hiking boots as possible, as air space often leads to rubbing and hot spots. This means that hiking boots should fit snugly, but not cause pain. Since there are so many brands that make great hiking boots, sometimes finding the right fit requires trying on the shoe several times.How uncomfortable will climbing shoes beTry to find shoes that fit your feet best. If you have wide feet, try finding wider or lace-up options. The more time you spend looking for the best pair of hiking boots, the less likely you’ll have to stretch your shoes after you buy them.How can you stretch hiking boots?

How can you stretch hiking boots?

First, you need to decide how much tension you need in your shoes. Let’s say one of your feet is slightly larger than the other, but nothing exactly. You can try a slow and gentle stretch. If your shoes are so tight that you can’t even get your feet in and have worn them out, a more stretch might be what you’re looking for. the most intense, so if you’re looking for the most intense time out there, option one might not be for you.1. Wear your shoes on a long hike. While it might be the most painful climb ever, the trendy way to stretch out new hiking boots is to take them outside for a long, sweaty day of climbing. The sweat from your feet moistens the shoes, loosening the skin a bit. After a long time climbing, or just in the legs in general, your feet will swell a bit. As rough as it may sound though, sweat combined with a bit of puffiness can be enough to stretch your shoes.2. Fill your shoes with water and freeze them. Get sealable plastic bags and fill them with water before placing them in your shoes. The idea here is to recreate your feet, but with water in the pocket. It can be a challenge, but try to fit the bag inside your shoe as close as possible so that your foot fits the shoe. Then put the shoes, bags and all in the freezer overnight. When water freezes, it expands and stretches the leather of your shoe, keeping it there for a long time. This method can take many freezing nights to make it perfect, but for small tweaks it can be perfect.3. Wear thick socks inside your hiking boots and then use a hair dryer to warm up. Find a pair of thick socks, the thicker the socks are, the more stretch they will be, and slip them inside your hiking boots. We know it’s going to be tight, because your shoes are already tight without socks, but do your best. Then, take a hair dryer and warm your feet, socks, and shoes for a few minutes. Heat loosens and softens the skin while thick socks stretch the skin. This method can also be done in stages, starting with thin socks and increasing the thickness until you’ve stretched your shoes to perfection.How can you stretch the climbing shoes e15908252548644. Soak your hiking boots in a basin of hot water. This is like a foot bath for your shoes, just put on your shoes, fill a basin with hot water and soak your feet for a few minutes. Once you take your feet out of the pot, wear your shoes around to dry them partially or completely. If you take them off before they’re completely dry, be sure to pack them with something to keep them in shape, like a couple of socks. This may seem extreme, but heat and humidity can really help stretch the skin.5. Put your hiking boots in a hot shower. We know this sounds weird, but listen to us. It’s the same as the previous method, but it might feel a little silly standing in the shower wearing nothing but hiking boots. With that in mind, get ready to shower by putting on your shoes. Make sure your shoes are completely soaked in hot water before you go out. As with option 4, you wear the shoes until dry or wear them until they are almost completely dry and then pack them to keep the shape of the feet until they are completely dry. You can also wait until they’re just slightly damp, put them back on your feet, and rock them on. After the initial heat and water stretch, push the shoes during the climb while they are still damp to ensure that they are as dry as possible. Like your shoes in color. This is completely normal, the dye used to color the skin usually bleeds the first few times it gets wet so you don’t need to worry. Feet that are blue, green, or red may look odd, but this color fades pretty quickly.Is There Anything I Should Avoid When Stretching My Climbing Shoes?

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Is There Anything I Should Avoid When Stretching My Climbing Shoes?

So we’ve determined that both humidity and heat tend to be good for stretching your shoes, but their capabilities are limited. Too much heat can melt the rubber on the sole and deform the entire shoe, so it no longer fits your foot. Put the shoes in the oven to warm up and then put them on, so the shoes will be softer and easier to stretch. However, this can damage the shoe in several ways. It’s best to avoid putting your hiking boots in the oven. Plus, the damage it can do to your oven is probably not worth it. Another thought that people often get into when thinking about reheating things is using the microwave. This is a slower heat that won’t be hot enough to melt the rubber unless you leave the shoe in for a long time, but it poses other risks. Many hiking boots have some metal parts, typically in the eyelets, that pose a risk of sparks if microwaved. worth using this one to try to warm up your shoes.We recommend using a hair dryer (very carefully) or hot water as they will not damage the material and structural integrity of the shoe.Do shoe stretchers work for hiking boots?

Do shoe stretchers work for hiking boots?

Shoe stretching machine with work for climbing shoes e15908225283105There are commercial shoe straighteners out there. They are blocks of wood that can be screwed further apart or closer together to hold the shoe in a particular shape. In general, these commercial shoe stretchers are not shaped for hiking boots, so they are not likely to fit your shoe the same way your foot does. It may be helpful to stretch the toe box, then wet your shoes with a basin of hot water or in a hot shower, and then let them dry on a shoe stretcher. to help them stretch the skin used to make hiking boots, be it moisture or heat. They also don’t conform to the same aggressive arch shape of many performance-oriented shoes, so you run the risk of stretching your shoes in a direction that you don’t want to elongate your shoes. A well-fitted hiking shoe is one that fits your foot well and leaves the least amount of space while not harming your feet. Shoe stretchers are not capable of achieving this.

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To sum it all up: Important strides in lengthening your hiking boots

So in general, you can stretch your hiking boots, as long as they’re leather and not synthetic. Not the right shape for your foot. The best option with hiking boots is to spend a lot of time finding the perfect shoe style and fit for your feet. That way you won’t have to spend time even trying to stretch them. So go out and try some new shoes! If you liked this post, Check out our other climbing tips here. And as we mentioned, if you want to compact your shoes, check out our post on shrink hiking boots here.Read more: how to connect moto g to pc

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