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My Boots Rub My Ankles, What Can I Do?

Posted by The Boot Guy on April 03, 2014

How can I soften the ankles of my boots?

Rolling machine Question for The Boot Guy: I bought my wife some boots last year while I was in Texas. She absolutely loves the boots, but cannot wear them because the sides of the boots near the ankles collapse in on her legs causing great pain. Is there a way to reinforce the ankle area? I have tried moleskin as an experiment but it did not work. Any suggestions?

 

Good question and I have some answers.

  • Question. First, are the boots tight on her calves? I ask because if the top of the boot is too tight it can force the boot to buckle in at the ankle. The solution in that case is to stretch the tops of the boots. This will make the boots not rub any more. Since you tried using a moleskin padding and that did not help any, it gave me the idea that the tops may be too tight.
    If that is not the case then here is another idea to try.
  • Flex the Seams. We have a special machine that is made to roll down the side seams. It helps “break in” the boot by rolling and working the leather to soften it.
  • DIY - What you can do yourself
  • You can do something similar by hand. First, dampen the inside boot seams with water. Flex the boot to soften anklesNext work the tops of the boots back and forth, and work the heel counter. Here is what I mean by work the heel counter. Take your thumb and press on the back of the boot at the point where the top meets the back counter. When you do this the side seams will pop away from the ankle area. Continue working both areas back and forth until the ankles are soft enough to wear. If you do this properly the side seams should end up not indenting into the ankle, but instead will either lay flat or even curl outward away from the ankles. 
    Using a leather conditioner on the area will also soften the leather and break the boot in faster too.

    Wearing heavier boot socks can also help protect your ankles. Boot socks are thicker and can cushion the area better.

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Flex the boot to soften ankles

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