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Bathtub method or cobbler?

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  • Bathtub method or cobbler?

    I scored a pair of Ariats for 80% off today! Yep, got 'em for around $80!!!!

    I can't zip the right boot up all the way (stupid knee surgery!). I can get it about 5" from the top.

    Should I try the bathtub method? Or, should I just take 'em straight to the cobbler and get a gusset put in?

    For those of you who've worked with cobblers, do they supply the elastic? How well did it work out?
    ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~

  • #2
    I know lots of people recommend the water method but it sounds too uncomfortable to me, having to walk around in wet boots for hours until they dry, I would take them to a cobbler. Maybe they could just be stretched and not even need the addition of a gusset? Although a gusset is always a convenience.


    • #3
      I bathtub'ed my Ariat boots this summer, after having them for over a year and just wanting to try and soften them up a bit. I wouldn't say they stretched out that much (if at all!), just moulded to my leg a bit better. And yes, it sucked wearing them wet all day - I ended up with rubs on my heels from them! I would take them to get stretched professionally, and/or get a gusset put in if I were you.


      • #4



        Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


        • #5
          Not to hijack the thread- but how does the stretching work? I have a pair of Ariats that I love, but they're veeery snug. It's okay in the summer when I'm wearing thin breeches, but this morning it was all snowy and I wanted so badly to put on my fleece breeches, but knew that my boots wouldn't fit. My boots have a zipper in the back, would that impact anything?
          Cascadia- OTTB mare. 04/04-05/10
          If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever


          • #6
            Originally posted by Lone View Post
            Not to hijack the thread- but how does the stretching work? I have a pair of Ariats that I love, but they're veeery snug. It's okay in the summer when I'm wearing thin breeches, but this morning it was all snowy and I wanted so badly to put on my fleece breeches, but knew that my boots wouldn't fit. My boots have a zipper in the back, would that impact anything?
            I had a similar problem with my Ariats, but I took them to the cobbler and he actually added a strip of leather on the back and then put the zipper on to make it wider. It looks great, you can't even tell


            • #7
              I've done the bathtub method (from recommendations on here) on my tall boots that would not zip at all on the top half. It worked wonderfully and my boots fit perfectly now. I would definitely do it again!


              • #8
                Originally posted by Lone View Post
                Not to hijack the thread- but how does the stretching work? I have a pair of Ariats that I love, but they're veeery snug. It's okay in the summer when I'm wearing thin breeches, but this morning it was all snowy and I wanted so badly to put on my fleece breeches, but knew that my boots wouldn't fit. My boots have a zipper in the back, would that impact anything?
                Just beware that if you stretch your boots a bit to fit thicker breeches they will be that much too big when you put them back on with thin breeches....just something to think about!

                OP - try the bathtub method. It doesn't harm the boots in the slightest and it just may be enough to do the trick. If it's not then I would go the cobbler route. But having had cobblers butcher my boots (and other tack) in the past, I'm always leery of sending anything I like out to be amended if there's a possible "at home" solution.
                Flying F Sport Horses
                Horses in the NW


                • #9
                  I'm pretty sure you cannot stretch zippered boots to a meaningful degree or the zipper will break when you try to run it up.

                  I could be wrong though. The only pair of boots I've had professionally stretched were pull ons (no zippers).


                  • #10
                    www.ridingbootrepair.com is who you want.

                    Do a search for my old thread...I had some mall cobblers really butcher a pair of boots. The guys at Pisano & Son (www.ridingbootrepair.com) fixed them better than new. I wouldn't even consider any other options.

                    Great buy, by the way! Congrats!


                    • Original Poster

                      Thanks for the advice!

                      I just emailed Pisano's to get some info. I'm a bit concerned about working with a cobbler when I'm not there in person. Are they pretty good about understanding your needs by phone/email? Meatyogre - I couldn't find your original thread.

                      I may try the bathtub method since there appears to be no downside (except for wearing wet boots for hours on end in cold Chicago weather).
                      ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~


                      • #12
                        I got a similar deal on a pair of Ariats a year ago, and I took mine to the cobbler to be stretched. It was surprisingly affordable ($15) and that including them stretching as many times as I wanted until they fit. Before stretching if I zipped the left one I could feel my pulse pounding, afterwards they were right, but loose enough that I could then wear them for a few weeks until they fit perfectly.


                        • #13
                          I have used the bathtub method on everything from stock Ariats to expensive customs (Vogels and Der Dau) and frankly the fit you get from that approach is fantastic.

                          FWIW, you do NOT need to get the boot soaking wet nor do you even have to make the foot portion damp (unless they are tight in the foot) for it to be effective. I hold mine by the feet and dip the shafts of the boots into warm (not hot) water, towel them off a bit, then put them on. They stretch *just* enough to fit the shape of your leg and no more, which is not necessarily going to be the case with the cobbler who is going to be working from measurements. I would definitely not work with a cobbler I could not be there with in person.
                          We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                          • #14

                            It's good for a laugh.

                            I agree, I wouldn't normally recommend working with a cobbler if I couldn't be there, but these guys really do understand riding boots.

                            The toughest parts are the tops and the ankle. If you have thicker legs/ankles or even a high instep, sometimes it's impossible to get the boot on without stretching it so much that it is then too big at the ankle or the top. If that is your issue, I really think going with ridingbootrepair will give you the best chance at getting a good fit. It really sounds to me like you need an elastic gusset at the top, to let you get it zipped the rest of the way up.


                            • Original Poster

                              Wow, MO, you sold me on Pisanos!

                              I'm going to try the bathtub method first. If that doesn't work, they're going straight to the riding boot guys!
                              ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~


                              • #16
                                If anyone lives near the Dayton, OH area, I can really recommend these guys: http://xeniashoe.com/repair.html

                                They really do know what they are doing when it comes to riding boots.


                                • #17
                                  I would go to the cobbler, boots that have any glue and not everything stitched will have a problem with the bathtub method. I did the "bathtub" with a pair of Dehners and a pair of Vogels and it worked beautifully. The gusset would be my choice for your Ariat FIND!!