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Can you deliberately stretch out a leather ice skate?

 
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The missus has some nice/expensive leather Riedell figure skates that are about 40 years ago (gift).  They're in perfect shape but a bit tight.  Can they be stretched out?

The length is good, most of the width is good, it's just the bunion/arch area that's too narrow.
 
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https://www.shoehero.com/best-shoe-stretcher/

I think so.
 
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The key question remaining is stretched how much?  If they are a little tight, no problem. Certainly a shoe stretcher would work. For low tech, I have soaked shoes in water and stuffed them full of newspapers  to dry. That was followed by an ample amount of oil.  For high value items, I would go with the shoe  stretcher
 
Mike Haasl
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Ha, should've just searched on the Amazon in the first place.  I remember seeing antique stretchers but I didn't think they were a modern thing.  Looks like a decent wooden pair runs $25.  Thanks!
 
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Mike, for leather that old, it would probably be wise to first condition the leather, to avoid cracking the boots, at the pressure points of the stretchers, too.
 
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I've heard of people stretching a boot or a hat by half a size by inserting a garbage bag, filling with water, and putting in the freezer. The expansion of freezing apparently does the job.

Caveat emptor: I have not tried this personally.
 
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My family swears by potatoes, shove a potato in where you want it stretched out, apparently something in the potato helps the leather stretch, it could just be moisture of course.
 
John F Dean
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Mike,

I just looked at Amazon ..but not in detail.  Some of the items were designed to help shoes maintain their shape .... not to stretch.
 
Mike Haasl
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Thanks John!  The missus did some shopping and picked out something that had good reviews.  We'll find out in a week
 
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Hi Mike! First post/reply here on Permies though I've been lurking for years, finally feel I can add a bit of value to a thread.

When stretching leather, utilize a 50/50 mix of isopropyl alcohol and water to saturate and soften the material prior to applying force. The alcohol will evaporate faster than simply using water. Also, if you are using any type of stretcher that will contact the exterior of the skate, protect the leather with a rag with a bit more of the liquid mix. This is what we use in our practice in place of shoe stretch liquids/sprays that can be purchased.

Hope this helps and have a great day
 
Mike Haasl
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Thanks K!  The missus did a bit of research before buying the spray and saw similar comments.  It's good to know the ratio and that you actually had luck with it.  Thanks!
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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Hey K Newearth, welcome!

Your first post suggests you have more to contribute than you realize. Cheers!
 
Carla Burke
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Hey, Mike, how did it go?
 
Mike Haasl
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It was not as easy as I thought but we got it.  The unforeseen problem is that the boot was tall.  So I had to jam it in as far as I could and tie up the laces to hold it in before spreading it.  Luckily the "tightness" issue was far enough back on her foot that the spreader was able to spread it enough.  So it worked but to do it correctly you'd need a different (not invented yet?) style of stretcher that can go down in a boot and allow you to crank it open from above the ankle instead of behind and just above the heel.
 
Carla Burke
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Yikes! It does sound like it was a bit of a pain. I'm glad you were able to work it all out, though! I'm not sure how the mechanism on your stretcher works, but now I'm curious about that extension.
 
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If it's real leather, we always used baseball glove oil.  It might darken the leather a bit but your shoe, skate, boot, etc. will stretch to fit.  Go lightly with it as it can allow the leather to stretch so much it becomes too big.
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