If you’re an avid hiker, you know that a comfortable pair of hiking boots is essential to a pleasant hike. But even the best hiking boots can feel a little snug after extended wear.

If your hiking boots are starting to feel too tight in the toe box, don’t worry—there are a few easy ways to stretch them out.

In this blog post, we’ll share tips for stretching the toe box of your hiking boots.

1. Buy the Right Size Boots

This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s worth repeating—boots that are too small will never stretch to fit your feet no matter how much you try.

Make sure you buy hiking boots that give your toes plenty of room to wiggle without being too big or sloppy-feeling.

2. Wear Thick Socks

When you first put on your new hiking boots, make sure you’re wearing thick socks (or two pairs of thinner socks). This will help fill out the space in the toe box and make the boots feel less snug.

3. Walk Around the House

Once you have your new boots on, walk around your house or apartment to get used to the feel of them. This will also help loosen up the material in the toe box area.

4. Go for a Short Hike

Take your new boots out for a short hike on easy terrain to break them in gradually. This will help prevent blisters and will also start stretching out the toe box area.

5. Do Some Toe Stretches

Before putting on your hiking boots, do some simple toe stretches to prepare your feet for extended wear.

One easy way to do this is by placing a tennis ball under your foot and rolling it back and forth with both feet for several minutes at a time.

6. Insert Foam Balls Into Your Shoes

A more aggressive way to stretch out the toe box is by inserting small foam balls into your shoes while wearing them around the house (this works best with tall socks so the balls don’t fall out). The pressure of the balls will help stretch out the fabric in the toe area over time.

7. Soak Your Shoes in Water Overnight

If you’re really struggling to stretch out your shoes, try soaking them in water overnight (inside a shoe bag or pillowcase so they don’t get wet everywhere). The water will help soften up the fabric and make it easier to stretch out manually.

8. Use a Shoe Stretcher

If you want a hands-off approach, purchase a shoe stretcher from a local cobbler or online retailer and let it do its job overnight.

9. Use Boiling Water

A more DIY approach is to bring a pot of boiling water to bear on particularly stubborn areas of your shoes.

10. Freeze Your Shoes

If hot water isn’t doing the trick, try its polar opposite and stick your shoes in the freezer overnight (inside a bag so they don’t get wet).


Stretching out your hiking boots doesn’t have to be complicated—sometimes, simply giving them time and patience is all they need.

With these tips, you’ll be sure to have comfortable, well-fitting hiking boots in no time!