How to Make Boot Shaft Narrower

Photos of boots are aplenty on the internet. A quick Google search for “boot shaft narrowing” pulls up dozens of results showing DIY methods for how to make boot shafts narrower. Most of these tutorials recommend using tools like scissors, a hacksaw, or a belt sander to trim away excess material from the boot shaft. While this may be an effective way to tighten up a too-large boot shaft, it can also result in irreversible damage if not done correctly. In this article, we’ll explore some safer methods how to make boot shaft narrower without causing any damage. Stay safe and have fun while customizing your boots!

How to Make Boot Shaft Narrower

Boots are often too wide for our feet, especially when we wear them with skinny jeans or leggings. This can cause a lot of bunching and bulging around the calf area, which is unflattering and uncomfortable. To avoid this issue, many people choose to narrow their boot shafts. This can be done several ways, but some methods are more effective than others.

Summary: Start by measuring and marking the area to be narrowed. Then, carefully cut away excess material using a knife or scissors. Once the desired width is achieved, use adhesive tape to secure the cut edges together. With a bit of patience and attention to detail, you can easily make your boots fit more comfortably.

A Detailed Guide on How to Make Boot Shaft Narrower

Method 1: Using a Scissor or Rotary Tool

The most common method used to narrow boot shafts is simply using a scissor or rotary tool to trim excess material from the boot. This can usually be done by following the existing stitching on the outer side of the boot and cutting along that line. However, it’s essential to be careful when doing this, as you could easily cut through the fabric and cause irreversible damage to your boots.

Some people recommend using a rotary tool with a narrow attachment instead of scissors for a more controlled approach. This will allow you to carefully trim away material in smaller increments, which gives you more control over how much you remove at any given time.

What You’ll Need?

  • Scissors or rotary tool
  • Narrow attachment (if using a rotary tool)
  • Pencil or marker
  • Tape measure

Step 1: Determine How Much Material You Need to Remove

The first step is to determine how much material you need to remove from the boot shaft to make it narrower. This will vary depending on your specific boots, but a good rule of thumb is to remove about 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) from each side of the boot.

If you’re unsure of how much material to remove, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and take off less than you think you need. Of course, you can always trim away more material if needed, but you can’t put it back once it’s been cut off.

You Can Always Trim Away More Material

Step 2: Mark the Excess Material with a Pencil or Marker

Once you know how much material needs to be removed, use a pencil or marker to mark the excess material on the boot shaft. This will give you a clear guide to follow when trimming away the material.

Step 3: Cut Away the Excess Material

Carefully cut away the excess material along the pencil or marker line. If you’re using scissors, be sure to follow the existing stitching on the outer side of the boot, so you don’t accidentally cut through the fabric.

If using a rotary tool, attach a narrow attachment and slowly trim away the marked material. Take your time and be careful not to remove too much at once, as this could damage your boots.

Step 4: Measure the New Boot Shaft Width

Once you’ve trimmed away the excess material, use a tape measure to measure the new width of your boot shaft. This will help you determine if you need to make any additional modifications or if your boots are now the right size for you.

Whether you’re using scissors, a rotary tool, or another method entirely, knowing how to narrow a boot shaft is essential for anyone who loves wearing boots. By following these simple steps and taking care when trimming away excess material, you can ensure that your boots fit comfortably and look great every time you wear them!

Ensure That Your Boots Fit Comfortably

Method 2: Heat Shrinking

Another method to narrow boot shafts is to use heat shrink tubing. This typically involves wrapping the shaft with a very thin layer of heat-shrinking tubing, which will tighten up and conform to the shape of your leg. Again, it’s essential to get a small enough tube for this method, as using too much tubing can worsen by allowing excess fabric into the narrow space where it doesn’t belong.

What You’ll Need?

  • Heat shrink tubing
  • Scissors or a sharp knife
  • Hairdryer or heat gun

Step 1: Choose the Right Heat Shrink Tubing

There are two main types of heat shrink tubing- polyolefin and PVC. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, so choosing the right type for your needs is essential. Polyolefin is more expensive but shrinks at a lower temperature, making it less likely to damage delicate materials. PVC is cheaper but shrinks at a higher temperature, making it more likely to damage delicate materials.

Step 2: Cut the Tubing to Size

Cut the heat shrink tubing to the desired length using scissors or a sharp knife. Make sure that the piece is long enough to go around the entire circumference of the boot shaft.

Step 3: Apply Heat to the Tubing

Use a hairdryer or heat gun to shrink the tubing around the boot shaft. Keep the dryer or gun moving constantly, and focus on applying even heat over the entire surface of the tubing.

Step 4: Let the Boot Cool Completely

Once you have shrunk the tubing down to size, allow it to cool completely before wearing your boots. This can take several hours, so make sure that you can leave them undisturbed for some time.

If you’re having trouble narrowing your boot shafts using traditional methods like cutting and sewing, try using heat shrink tubing instead. With this simple technique, you can quickly and easily tighten up your boots without damaging their fabric or causing other problems. So next time you’re having trouble getting your shoes to fit, give heat shrink tubing a try!

Boot Shafts Using Traditional Methods

Method 3: Use a Lathe

If you need to make your boot shaft narrower, one of the best ways to do this is by using a lathe. This tool allows you to quickly and accurately cut material away from the shaft, resulting in a narrow overall fit.

What You’ll Need?

  1. A boot that fits you properly
  2. A pair of safety goggles and gloves
  3. An adjustable lathe or a set of calipers
  4. Sandpaper or other material for reshaping the boot shaft as needed

Step 1: Before You Start

Before you begin working on your boot shaft, it’s essential to take some measurements. This will help you understand how much material needs to be removed to achieve the desired fit.

First, put on the boot that currently fits you the best. Then, ensure that it is laced up properly and snug against your foot and ankle.

Then, use a measuring tape or a set of calipers to measure the circumference of your leg at the widest part of the calf. Please write down this measurement so that you can refer back to it later.

Step 2: Secure the Boot in the Lathe

Once you have your measurements, it’s time to shape the boot shaft. Begin by securing the boot in the lathe so that you can work on it safely and accurately.

For a traditional lathe, place the boot on one of the spindles and secure it using the clamp or set screws. Then turn on the tool to begin removing material from your boot shaft.

If you don’t have access to an actual lathe, you can use calipers instead. Measure out a piece of material equal to the circumference of your leg at the widest part, then begin cutting off small pieces until you reach your desired fit.

Step 3: Finish Shaping Your Boot

Once you’ve removed all of the excess material from your boot shaft, use sandpaper or other smoothing materials to finish shaping it as needed. Be careful not to remove too much material, or the boot will no longer fit properly.

When you’re finished, try on the boot to ensure that it fits well and provides adequate support for your calf and ankle. If necessary, continue shaping the boot shaft until you’re satisfied with the results.

Try on Boot to Ensure It Fits Well

If you’re looking for a more narrow and comfortable fit in your boots, using a lathe is one of the best ways to achieve this. It allows you to remove precise amounts of material from your shaft, but it also gives you full control over how much is removed and leaves your boots looking as good as new. So give it a try today and see how easy it can be to get the perfect fit!

Method 4: Get Help From Professional Bootmakers

If you’re having trouble narrowing your boot shafts on your own, there’s no shame in getting some help from professional bootmakers. These experts precisely know how to make your boots fit better and can often provide custom solutions tailored to your needs.

If you’re interested in finding a professional bootmaker in your area, start by doing a quick search online. You can also check with local shoe stores or ask for recommendations from friends or family members who experience this type of thing.

Once you’ve found a few bootmakers that you’re interested in working with, give them a call or send them an email to discuss your needs. Be sure to explain exactly what you’re looking for and ask about their experience with narrowing boot shafts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Make a Boot Shaft Smaller?

You’ll need to remove material from around the shaft. You can use a belt sander, jigsaw, or even a chainsaw to remove the material. Be sure to wear safety gear and take precautions while you’re working – a small mistake could lead to serious injury.

Can a Shoe Cobbler Make a Boot Shaft Smaller?

A cobbler can’t magically make a boot shaft smaller, but there are several steps that he or she can take to help resolve the issue. Some of these include reinforcing the toe area with fiberglass and Kevlar, replacing high-pressure rubber soles with flexible soles made from EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate), and using special adhesives to hold everything together while it dries.

Cobblers also typically use an oven that is specially designed for leatherwork, which helps in reducing moisture levels so that the glue doesn’t cause further shrinkage. In most cases, however, a Cobbler won’t be able to make a Boot Shaftsmaller than what you would get from your average shoe store; this is because boots are usually built on custom templates rather than being cut as individual pieces like shoes are.

What Happens if Shoes Are Too Wide?

If your shoes are too wide, they can cause discomfort and even foot pain. The extra space between your toes causes the ball of your feet to rub against each other, which can lead to blisters or worse. Additionally, excessive toe splay increases arch collapse and leads to pronation (widespread rolling inward), both of which can impact the biomechanics of the ankle and hindfoot joints.

If you have wider feet than average, it is important to find a pair of shoes that fit well without being too tight or narrow in width. You may also want to consider getting custom-made footwear, if possible so that you get an accurate fit for your unique foot shape and size.

How Do You Know if Your Boots Are Too Big?

You need to measure your feet and compare them to the size chart provided by the manufacturer. If you are between sizes or if you have wide feet, then go for the larger shoe. Similarly, if your ankles tend to swell up in cold weather conditions, go for a boot that has good ankle support.

When choosing boots, be sure not only to look at their aesthetic appeal but also consider how they will fit over time and whether they will provide effective insulation against harsh weather conditions. Last but not least, make sure that the soles of your shoes are made from durable materials that can withstand wear and tear.


If you are looking to make your boot shaft narrower, there are a few things that you can try. One of the most effective methods is to use corsets or other types of waist-trimming clothing, which can help reduce the width and volume of your legs. You may also want to consider using shoe stretchers to stretch out the material of your boots and reduce their overall size. Finally, you can try trimming down the thickness of your soles with a pair of sharp scissors or a specialized tool. With these tips in mind, you can quickly narrow down your boot shaft and create a comfortable and flattering look for yourself. We hope you find this article on how to make boot shaft narrower helpful.

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Jennifer Branett

I am Jennifer, a passionate blogger since 2016. I like to write informative articles to help peoples in my free time. I am a family person. I have two kids who keep me busy all the time. I always try to give importance to my family. Sometimes it becomes challenging for me to maintain the time along with my family. But I never lose hope. I hope my articles are helping you in some way. If so, You can give me a thumbs up to my inbox, which means a lot to me. Thank you. You can email me at

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