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"The Bathtub Method"

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  • #21
    Originally posted by DarkStarrx View Post
    My boots are here!!! They also fit my large calves, even the one that is larger due to nerve/hematoma damage!!! So now wise COTHers, these are my first real tall boots and I want to treat them right. I definitely want to do the Bath Tub method it's almost 2 here is this enough time to sufficiently do this?
    Also, there is nothing I need to do to prepare them? Condition/Clean etc??

    Not enough time. You really need to do it first thing in the AM (like 7-8 AM), and then keep them on until the evening to make sure they are fully dry. It takes a good 12 hours if you properly wet them.
    Cherry Blossom Farm - Show & Field Hunters, Side Saddles


    • #22
      Originally posted by findeight View Post
      Honestly, if they fit pretty good thru the leg? Just wet the ankles and feet real good.

      But do it tomorrow morning or another day you can leave them on for enough hours, like 6 to 8 while you move around, ride and basically stay moving in them, to get the most out of it.

      Oddly, it was the back of my knee that ate the new boots before they broke in enough to drop a little. The foot was not bad though stiff, once the ankles loosened up enough to allow that drop, they were fine.
      I agree with findeight. But I'd give yourself as many hours to dry as possible -- even up to 12 or more if you can.
      Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion.... ~ Emerson


      • #23
        Originally posted by Big_Grey_hunter View Post
        If water is so bad for boots, shouldn't the "rain, sleet, snow, mud" have caused the boots to "loosen the glue, shrink the stitching, and dry out the leather"?
        Think Lincoln wax. It is a great protectant and keeps out "rain, sleet, snow, and mud." I have used it for years. It not only gives a high shine, but keeps the bad elements off footwear. Had I known this thread was about boot CARE I would have mentioned it. Since it was about dipping a brand-new pair of boots in a tub of water, I did not. Mea Culpa.


        • #24
          There's a somewhat-alternative method to the Full Bathtub Dip, too... which is what I did. I wasn't really interested in soaking the footbed, so I filled up my (very deep!) bathtub with warm water and dunked them from the top down. I submerged to the top of the foot and thus the footbed did not get wet at all.

          I wore mine for six or seven hours... voila, custom comfortable fit. I am very pleased with the bathtub method. Dipping my brand new $$$$$ boots into the tub was terrifying, but I'm quite glad I did! Break in was SO much easier.


          • #25
            Originally posted by Cookiewoo View Post
            Oh for heaven's sake. Don't for any reason wet your new boots this way. Wear them for short periods, use a good quality boot cream, and break them in gradually. What the bathtub method does is loosen the glue, shrink the stitching, and dry out the leather. If the ankles are stiff, and they often are, use some boot cream on the inside of the ankle and let dry. Would you soak the seats on your new car? Or wear a new leather jacket in the shower?
            As a matter of a fact this is exactly what I do if I want a new leather jacket to fit me perfectly. have been doing it since I was 16 and it works perfectly.


            • #26
              Be careful if these are pull ons! I did the bathtub method on mine (Ariats) a few times, and the pull loops for the boot hooks almost ripped off. The inner lining also stretched out with the loops. I now have to be very gentle when I pull them on with the hooks (can't get them on without) so that I don't rip them off completely. I now have ones with zippers


              • #27
                Originally posted by Cookiewoo View Post
                Had I known this thread was about boot CARE I would have mentioned it. Since it was about dipping a brand-new pair of boots in a tub of water, I did not. Mea Culpa.
                We get that you disapprove of this method, but is it really necessary to keep pissing in our wheaties?

                I did the bathtub method with my Crowne Pros (although not thoroughly, just the ankles because I didn't have 8+ hours) and it worked like a charm.

                I now have an awesome pair of Parlantis thanks to STA, which fit so well from the beginning I didn't have to.


                • #28
                  Does the bathtub help SHRINK the calf circumference of boots? Or only stretch them? My new boots are about 1/4 inch too large in the top 1/2 of the calf (even though they are the slim size). If the bathtub method will help them fit better, I might try it.

                  What about causing the boots to drop? Again, my boots are about 1/2 inch too short (or will be once they drop, according to my trainer). Will the bathtub method cause them to drop more, or drop less? Or will it be the same?


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by theroyale1 View Post
                    Does the bathtub help SHRINK the calf circumference of boots? Or only stretch them? My new boots are about 1/4 inch too large in the top 1/2 of the calf (even though they are the slim size). If the bathtub method will help them fit better, I might try it.

                    What about causing the boots to drop? Again, my boots are about 1/2 inch too short (or will be once they drop, according to my trainer). Will the bathtub method cause them to drop more, or drop less? Or will it be the same?
                    I don't think you can use the bathtub method to make boots fit tighter without taking a big chance. As I understand it, the process works to stretch boots because soaking the leather in water allows the natural skin to soften and stretch around your leg; then, as the leather dries while you are wearing the boots, it shrinks down from its saturated state to conform with your leg -- thus making the boots feel like customs.

                    People warn not to take the boots off before they are totally dry, because this could result in the leather shrinking to a size smaller than they were before being saturated.

                    It seems if you wanted to try the bathtub method in reverse, you would have to find a way to control the shrinkage to get them to shrink only as much as you want them too, and no more. There is also the possibility that they just won't shrink as much as you want them to.

                    I'm not sure how the bathtub methods affects how far they drop.
                    Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion.... ~ Emerson


                    • #30
                      Zippers/bathtub method??

                      I don't see anyone specifically mentioning if this method is OK for boots with zippers - anyone have experience with this?


                      • #31
                        I didn't use the bathtub method on my Ariats (with zippers) but I did hose them thoroughly while I had them on, focusing on the ankle area. I wore them all day, until they'd dried, and it worked well.

                        I don't see any reason you couldn't use the bathtub method with zippers, but you'll get more water inside the boot than you would if you had no zippers.


                        • #32
                          Glad this thread got revived... I have a shiny new pair of Crowne pro zips sitting in the box. The few times I've put them on I have to walk like Frankenstein, they are so stiff.

                          (says she who has not had to break in boots for 10+ years)


                          • #33
                            I have the crown pros and the bathtub method has been their saving grace. Well I used a hose and hosed my legs until they were wet and then walked.
                            I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by findeight View Post
                              1. Put them on.

                              2. Get them wet-as in saturated. Stand in bath tub, turn hose on them or go wash horses.

                              3. Leave them on for as long as possible-as in all day. As they dry they will conform to foot shape and ease out/stretch.

                              4. Remove. Insert boot trees or stuff with something to retain shape when removed. Keep OUT of direct sunlight and AWAY from any heat sources.

                              5. Allow to completely dry while wearing them over several days. Repeat only after they have completely dried.

                              6. Remember leather does shrink up as it dries so don't panic if they are snug when you put them back on...wear for an hour or so before deciding you need a repeat.

                              Obviously, condition after they are dry, do NOT overapply product and do NOT use neatsfoot-kills the shine.

                              Sounds outlandish but a tried and true traditional method. Will not hurt properly tanned leather-after all, a steer wore it out in the rain before it became your boots.
                              Wow! You people are for real, huh? I will have to keep this method in mind for when I get my first pair of tall boots. BUt, for now, it just makes me love my little brown Ariat paddock boots even more!


                              • #35
                                I don't care how popular the bathtub method is, no way I am walking around for 12 hours in wet boots, it just sounds too uncomfortable. I didn't have a particularly hard time breaking in my custom Dehners, nor any of my other riding boots.


                                • #36
                                  It's not really uncomfortable if you don't wet the footbed. I broke mine in during summer, and it was infinitely more comfortable than wearing a dry pair of boots around acting like little ovens

                                  Aeternitee - I broke in a pair of zippered Rectilinges (see above post) and had absolutely no issues. They fit gorgeously now.


                                  • #37
                                    Aeternitee -- I used the bathtub method on my zip Crowne Pros a year and a half ago. Worked like a charm, and the boots have held up very well.

                                    BAC - It was a little uncomfortable walking around in them for 12-14 hours the day I did it, but the end result was worth it for me. They fit like gloves and I love them. Not as much as I love the Sergio Grasso's I show/clinic in, but that's a whole different price point that I haven't been willing to venture into yet for schooling boots!
                                    Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion.... ~ Emerson


                                    • #38
                                      I have 3-4 year old Sergios that I used the bath tub method on when I first got them... it worked fabulously well! The boots have held up reasonably well even after being dunked. I just got the zipper replaced in one boot and now it is a little tighter than I would like it. Actually they are both pretty tight... so, does the bath tub method only work once, or can you do it multiple times? Based on the way skin works, I'd assume that multiple times would work, but does it become less effective? I am also interested in hearing what you guys think is best for boot conditioning, as I always feel like my boot leather is so dry.


                                      • #39
                                        Bumping this back up because I'm curious about doing this to a pair of pull-ons I have. They're the Ariat Heritages and are about 1/2" too small for my calves, but the ankles fit perfectly fine. I'm hesitant to dip them in water and then pull them on at the risk of pulling out the tabs (see Philibuster's post), but I can't see how I can just wet the calf part without getting water down into my feet.
                                        Road to the T3D
                                        fri [fri:] fritt fria (adj): Free
                                        skritt [skrit:] skritten (noun): Walk


                                        • #40
                                          And don't think that you need carefully crafted higher end boots to survive this. I did it with my first pair of tall boots, less than $100 from Dover. They ended up fitting like custom, comfortable as sneakers and I wore them day in and day out for about 8 years. Not bad for under $100.
                                          Nina's Story
                                          Epona Comm on FB