Do Wellies Stretch
Wellies, also known as rain boots and Wellington boots, are a popular type of waterproof footwear that are commonly worn outside during cold and wet weather. One question that many people have about wellies is whether or not they will stretch over time.
The answer is that wellies can stretch, but the amount of stretching is minimal and will vary depending on several factors.
Why Do Wellies Stretch
The material the wellies are made from – Wellies are primarily made from either rubber, PVC or a mixture of the two. Most cheaper wellies are made from PVC, and they will not stretch at all. Because PVC boots are unable to stretch, they are generally less comfortable and supportive compared to boots made of rubber.
More expensive wellies are made from rubber or a mixture of rubber and PVC. Boots made from rubber will stretch. It should be noted that the amount they will stretch is actually very small. There are a number of factors that will determine how much rubber boots stretch
The thickness of the rubber – It probably goes without saying that boots made from thick rubber are far less prone to stretching than boots made from thin rubber.
Wellie boot lining – Many wellies have some type of lining on the inside. This can be a very thin synthetic material that reduces friction, making it easier to put the boots on. Or the lining can be a thick insulating lining (e.g. neoprene) to keep feet warm in cold conditions. Whatever the lining, it will to some degree, prevent the rubber from stretching.
Temperature – When rubber is exposed to heat it will soften, it doesn’t actually stretch as might be expected. However, because the boots have softened, there is more give, and the boots will feel as though they have stretched. When the boots are cooled, the rubber will stiffen and be less flexible.
It ‘s not a good idea to expose rubber to high temperatures as it can damage the rubber causing it to deform and lose strength.
How much are the wellies worn – When wellies are new, they will often be quite tight and uncomfortable to wear. However, as the boots are worn, the rubber will begin to soften and conform to the shape of the wearer’s feet. This process can take several weeks or even months, depending on the frequency of wear and the conditions under which the boots are worn. However, even if the boots are worn permanently the amount they will stretch is very small.
People often believe their rubber boots have stretched, when it is actually the lining (e.g. fur, neoprene) of the boots that has compacted \ flattened out, making the boots feel as though have stretched.
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How To Stop Rubber Wellies From Stretching
Wellies stretching is not really a problem, as they stretch very little. But there are some things you can do to minimise the amount they stretch.
- Store boots in a cool environment
- Don’t leave boots exposed to direct heat sources, like the sun or a radiator
- Don’t clean rubber boots with solvents or strong detergents. They can damage and weaken the rubber
If you are looking to permanently stretch you wellies, we have written an article explaining how to stretch rubber rain boots. Using the methods in the article can potentially damage rubber boots!
Overall, rubber wellie boots may naturally stretch over time, but the amount they stretch is very small and it should not be considered a problem.