How Much Do Red Wings Stretch?


Redwings will stretch a little bit by half an inch to 1 inch as you wear them in, but this does not make them “perfect fit first-day†shoes. The toe area, especially, will not stretch very much since it is made of a pretty solid structure.

How Much Do Red Wings Stretch?

If you’ve just got new Red Wings, say the 1970s, and your feet touch the shoe toe, it simply interprets that the size of the shoe is small for you.

An ideal Red Wing for your size, even while stretchable, should leave some room in the toe area for your feet to stretch or move when walking.

Your first pair of Red Wings, even when your size, may be a little tight. I can assure you that over time they will stretch and mold to your feet.

Read on to find out how you can stretch that tight Red Wings to become the most comfortable pair of shoes that you own.

How to stretch Red Wings

If you are thinking about buying a new pair of Red Wings, you should be already thinking of ways on how to stretch the shoe. This is because Red Wing boots’ sizing can vary for each pair they make.

And chances are, the new pair you will buy will first seem tight to your feet. While the Red Wings shoe manufacturers have advised that buyers should get measures each time they want to buy a new pair of Red Wing boots, the new pair of leather boots may initially not fit quite right.

But there is no cause for alarm. I am about to show you five various and practical ways you can stretch out your Red Wings boots so they fit you comfortably. Of course, the common solution is to use a boot stretcher (Like this one on Amazon), but is that the only option?

HOUNDSBAY Boxer Heavy-Duty Professional Boot Stretcher
HOUNDSBAY Boxer Heavy-Duty Professional Boot Stretcher

What if you do not have or can not access a boot stretcher? So here are other five actionable methods you can take to stretch your red wings

The use of leather-stretching spray

This is one of the common ways to stretch not just red wings pairs, but also any other kind of leather boots. It involves the use of leather-stretching spray while wearing the boots for a custom fit.

In this method:

All you need is a small bottle of leather stretching spray.

  1. You only spray the inside of the boots in order to keep the leather in good condition.
  2. Avoid spraying the outside of the boot to prevent discoloration.
  3. After spraying the inside of the boots, while they are still wet from the spray, put them on in order to get the boots to stretch to fit your foot.

You can get a very good leather stretching spray at shoe stores, convenience stores, and online. And I recommend using this FootMatters Professional Boot and Shoe Stretch Spray on Amazon. It works well for this purpose.

Professional Boot & Shoe Stretch Spray

Spraying mixed alcohol and water inside your Red Wings shoes

Here is another way to stretch your Red Wings. A very simple DIY solution.

Here, you will be spraying alcohol mixed with water inside your boots

While this particular method works for the entire body of the shoe, it works by stretching the calves

After getting the mixture of water and alcohol, saturate the inside of your boots with the spray

Put on the boots as they are wet from the spray until they’re completely dry.

If the shoes still seem tight for you, you can repeat this method as often as required.

Make’em wet; stretch to the size of your foot

This is another effective way to stretch your Red Wings shoe. It involves wearing your shoes while they are wet so as to stretch them to the size of your foot. How?

  1. First, dip your shoe completely in a bucket of water.
  2. Allow the shoe to soak for 5 minutes.
  3. Then, wear you should around for 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. Wear them until they dry
  5. In order to make the leather retain its new stretched shape, you should massage a conditioning cream into the leather

Break-In and stretch with thick socks

This is the most cost-effective and natural way to make your Red Wings shoe stretch. You are simply wearing socks – thick socks – to stretch the leather of the shoe while at the same time breaking in.

This is the method I can recommend for any new Red Wings shoe, especially those that are just a little too tight.

  1. So first wear 1-2 pairs of thick socks. What I advise is to wear as many as possible, so long it allows you to put on the shoes.
  2. Then, put on your boots and walk around in them for 30 minutes at a time.
  3. By doing this continually for about 4 days, you should have broken in the shoe and stretched the leather such that it feels better than before

All in all, I can tell you that some of these methods and the process they involve can be a little uncomfortable especially when you attempt to do it when you are not at home.

This is because, clearly, you will need to able to take the boots off after 30 minutes or so.

To this end, if you do not want to go through all the stress and worry on how to stretch your Red Wings pair, or you are still a little unsure about successfully stretching your shoe without any side effect, then I can recommend you to see a cobbler who has all the necessary shoe stretching device to help you out.

Needless to say, however, that the latter options come with a downside too – the cost.

How long do Red Wings take to break in?

How Much Do Red Wings Stretch?

Red Wings can take as short as 3 days and as long as two weeks to break in depending on the frequency at which you wear them. It will surely take time, for about two weeks of regular wearing around. By then, the boots will have broken in around your foot, giving support where it is needed and flexibility in all the right places.

Like I mentioned earlier, Red Wings are not a “perfect fit first day†kind of shoes. They usually require some time to fit in more comfortably. This process is called the breaking-in.  In other words, Red Wings will be uncomfortable for a while, but after a couple of weeks, you will be compensated with a perfect fit shoe rightly for your feet.

There are some things you should expect while breaking in your new boots. But in matters of how long it takes, it depends on what method of breaking in the pair of Red Wings.

While it depends on the method of breaking in you choose – using shoe stretchers, wearing with thick socks, or what have you, breaking in your Red Wings surely requires patience and hard work.

At the end of the day, the best thing for you will be to choose a pair of boots that you will love and will be with you for many years to come.

There are many views as to how one should break in new Red Wings. However, is there a proper way to go about it?

How do you break in new Red Wings fast

Take note of the word ‘fast’…

A very quick, simple, and safest way to break in your new Red Wings shoes is to wear them inside a bunch. While this will ensure that the shoes fit in, it allows the shoe to conform with your feet for a perfect fit.

Surely, your new Red Wings shoes will seem a little tight, but you can gradually break in them by wearing them, perhaps with thick socks.

Other applicable methods of breaking in a new pair of Red Wings are some of the steps I have mentioned earlier. For example, the use of the leather-stretching spray.

The comfort you get from your new pair of Red Wings is not derived from how well you break in them. When shopping for Red Wings shoes, you should also consider buying a style you love, want to wear, and that meets your needs.

You also want to make sure that they fit, without any slipping.

How tight should Red Wings be?

In my opinion, I would say when you wear your Red Wings, they should feel snug and provide enough room for your toes to move while walking. The perfect Red Wings for you should also have little or no heel slip.

You may not even know how tight you want it to be on your feet, especially if it is your first time wearing new pairs.

But I can tell you that they may feel odd at first, but over time, they will stretch a little.

All in all, you should not be feeling any pain at any part of your feet when walking with your red wings shoes. This is why you should not joke with the Size consideration when buying shoes like Red Wings.

Are Red Wings true to size?

How Much Do Red Wings Stretch?

Personally, I think Red Wings are true to size. When I bought my Classic Moc 8138, it arrived in the exact 6-inch measurement, and I had no issues with the fitting. However, I understand that this may not be the same as with other people.

But the fact that your Red Wings shoes were tight when you first bought them and you found it hard to break in the shoe does not translate that it is not true to size.

By true to size, it simply means does the shoe comes in the exact measurement as indicated along with other specs of the shoe?

For Red Wings boots, I’d say Yes. Although, there are various perceptions as to the sizing of Red Wings boots.

But, it really depends on the style of boot in question. While some will run true to size, there are buyers who say some run half a size larger than presumed.

I believe this is a question you should find answers to when you visit the Red Wings store and follow the Red Wings sizing recommendation.

If you really want to know if they are true to size, it is best to go where your feet can be measured properly.

At least, the company employs certified fit specialists to help buyers out on this.

Ultimately, you will need a fitting tip as guidance when shopping for your type of Red Wings boots. And the good news is that their measuring system can identify your correct foot size, width to ensure a good fit.

How to take care of your Red Wings?

  • Do not wear your Red Wing too frequently
  • Clean your Red Wing with Horse-Hair Bristle Brushes
  • Leverage boot wax to bring out its shine

How you maintain and take care of your Red Wings boot will pretty much determine how long you will enjoy it as a new pair.  There are certain tips I want to show you on how to take care of your Red Wings shoes.

While most of these maintenance tips are simple to implement, it is quite important that you do not take them for granted, especially if you are going to be using the shoes regularly.

First of all, it is not ideal to wear your boots on consecutive days. Rest your Red Wings so that there will be enough time for the inner lining to completely dry out. This will prevent any moisture issues.

One of the biggest reasons why most men’s Red Wings wear out is that they do not allow the boot to rest. Wearing your Red Wings boot for consecutive days will quicken the boot’s natural lifecycle

As for cleaning your Red Wings boot, I recommend you to invest in horse-hair bristle brushes like the Jovitec 3 Pieces Horsehair Shoes Brushes Care to keep the leather clean. Unlike other too tough brushes, this type will effectively remove grit and grime. And when you are brushing the boot, brush with care – going in the same direction down regularly.

Lastly, you want to do anything possible to make sure the shoes look and feel as they should. So it is ideal to give the shoes good conditioning at least three times a year.

Allowing your Red Wings to dry is not really good. If the leather boots look cracked and dry, it is the best time to think of using products like boot wax to rejuvenate both the color and the natural outlook of the outer.

Rounding up…

Needless to say, Red Wing boots are available in a wide range of styles and sizes. Whether it is work boots, motorcycle boots, casual boots, or dress boots, choosing the one that fits your exact foot size may be a little difficult.

This is why a new pair of Red Wings boots may seem a little tight.

But, the good thing is that they tend to stretch a little over time. And, I hope this post has not only been able to show you how much Red Wings boots stretch but also how you can break in any Red Wings boot.

All in all, the crucial considerations to put in mind in order to buy a pair of new Red Wings boot that will fit your size are the flex point, heel, and width.

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