boot stretching

I've had a search for this topic, but can't find it on here so I'll start a new thread (first time, please be gentle).

I just ebay-ed myself a second hand pair of issue French combat boots, "rangers". They are in a pretty bad state, all scuffed and knackered (I paid £11) and, oddly, they seem too small for me.

Obviously I bought them in the correct size (FR 47 = uk 12, right?), so I assume they must have shrunk due to the ill treatment they have received. My guess is that the previous owner never bothered to polish them or do any kind of maintainance, and when they stopped being remotely waterproof he chucked them into some store where they lay gathering dust for months (they were covered with dust too) until they went to the guy who sold them to me (who was honest about their condition and sent me photos).

My question, finally, is do you think that I can return them to their original size? They are too short, and while I can get them on, my toes push against the end. I have liberally smeared them with 'lederbalsam' leather treatment wax stuff and slapped a pair of wooden shoe-stretching things into them (like spring-loaded wooden feet). I was told I should try wearing them in the bath. Any ideas?

PS I bought them because I like them, I won't be wearing them with my uniform because the big buckles on the side are just crying for unwelcome RSM attention.
Doesn't matter if the boots are welted or injected sole the shape of the boot and leather was formed under high heat and massive pressure on an industrial press.

The leather was pre-treated, stretched and placed over a mould, heated up and then wrapped around the last where a footbed made of wood, plastic or sometimes even kevlar was glued to the bottom to make sure the shape stays. The sole unit was the glued on and the boot was finished over another 15 odd process. At that point the last is pulled out, again by machine as its wedged in; at this point the boot has cooled down. Its then of to the lace, box and stick some labels on department before it gets shipped.

It could be possible that there is some very slight shrinkage in the boot upper but the basic measurements will not change.

Therefore, in summary, the chance of your toes making any difference to the length of the boot is zero. Sorry £11 wasted unless you can sell them!
Thanks for replying. While I know that the sole wasn't going to shrink, I thought the leather upper might, especially as the boots are a bit curved. However I absolutely agree with you, and the only solution is going to the chiropodist to have a bit trimmed off my toes.

I had a look at all the shoes I own, and while some claim to be Euro size 47, others claim to be 48. Clearly it varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and sadly the Froggie boot-makers are on the small side.

Thanks again for your help.
Probably neglected as they were taken from a POW.

I think your best bet is to cut a hole in the toes and have peep toe boots. Alternatively stick a piece of leather over the hole and they will resemble DMS toe caps :)
eBay them as genuine Legion boots. French that is, not Frontierspersons. I've never worn Frog 'Ranger' boots, but I've not heard much good about them.
Rockhopperst4 said:
Decent shoe shops have stretching machines.
They also have decent shoes/boots - try some of them, not 11 quid e-blag specials?

I still think you may be able to save them as the sole is curved - a sure sign that the uppers have shrunk to my feeble engineering based brain.......
They are issue boots, and the guy cold them for £11 because they were in pretty parlous state. I'll go to a shoe place and see what they say, but I am fairly resigned to flogging them on as "100% genuine french SAS boots, para" and getting myslef a pair one size bigger.

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