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Be careful and test on a small section if you’re going to use Lexol or Neatsfoot Oil, they can darken the leather (especially lighter colored). Here’s a link to Springfield Leather’s leather care page, you’ll find most anything you’d need.  Another good site is Weaver Leather they have a very good selection too. 

Edited by Tequila Shooter
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A Pard of mine that wears nothing but cowboy boots, once told me that he would put on the new boots and stand in a water trough, get them thoroughly wet, then wear them until they dry out.  I have never tried it ( never had to).

Most shoemakers offer a stretching service, if they are just slightly snug. They will stretch a little after wear them awhile too.

Good luck, Pard!

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Pecard Leather Dressing.

It is a leather conditioner. It is thick, like vasoline, but not really very greasy. 

It moisturizes the leather fibers, and you work it into the boot, (or other leather products)...sort of massage it in with your hands. 

Oil or water may not give you a good result. Some oil products may "sweat" oil for a while, after you have applied them to your leather, and may darken the leather. Water will work, but it dries out the leather fibers, and you end up having to use a leather conditioner anyway, so you might as well start out with a leather conditioner.

The Smithsonian, uses Pecard Leather Dressing, on their leather, which tells us that it can be trusted even on very old, antique leather. 

You want to moisturize the leather fibers, and make them slightly swell, so they will be more pliable, Even "broken in" boots will stiffen up, given some time, if they are not worn on a regular basis. 

 

My Two Bits.

W.K. 

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The water method is very good for molding the boots to your feet, it’s basically the same as wet molding leather for a gun. It will stretch the leather but it will dry the leather also, so you have to apply something to it afterwards. If any of you remember there was a boot inspection the next day, that was to make sure that you put shoe polish on the boots, not the best conditioner but it works.   The OP just asked about softening not about getting a better fit. 

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I recently purchased boots that fit correctly but were very stiff. Applied Lexol and wore them. Repeated the process until they were broken in. It may take a while but it does work. 

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Wetting the boots, in my opinion, is not a smart idea.

 

They should fit properly from the get-go.  While they may be stiff, they should soften up as you walk in them, but not stretch and become larger.  I suggest that you do not buy obviously cheap boots; they are just not going to hold up for you.
 

CB
 

 

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Bought 2 pair of Tony Lama shooters boot[same size]. My brown pair fit fine while the black pair were tight. So I naturally wore the brown pair [reheeled them once] until the sole broke. Had them resoled and now they don’t fit. Been wearing my lace up ropers ever since. If I try the water trick do I get the inside of them wet too? 

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you gotta wear them to get them to be yours , its a process but worth it as once they fit you wont want to wear other shoes , nothing like a great pair of boots , thank you daughter[s] 

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Wuz your drill sergeant an ugly blind dog?  Pee in them indeed!!  Did you offer to pee in his boots at no charge?  :-)

 

Cat Brules

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