I have a pair of leather Vasque St. Elias GTX which are a bit narrow across the toe box and I want to see if I can get some more room there. A local shoe repair place said they could do it (for $6 USD and two days on the stretcher).

Can this be safely done without damaging the Gore-Tex lining? Or any other part of the boot?

I imagine it depends on the amount of stretch. I was going to ask for an extra 1/8 inch of width to start.

1 Answer 1


You're not going to get a definitive answer here because manufacturers take different approaches to attaching the Gore-Tex liner, and that might affect the result you'll get. Your best option would be to ask Vasque directly.

Though it's probably safe to say that you'll end up with a non-optimal result. Even if the membrane isn't torn by the stretching, the micro-pores would presumably end up larger than they should be.

You should be aware that for the great majority of users, Gore-Tex boot liners fail anyway, and sooner rather than later if any real mileage is being covered. In fact, most experienced users tend to avoid Gore-Tex boots.

If the boots aren't comfortable they're not much use to you. So if you can't return them, I can't see that you've anything to lose by trying to stretch them. It may simply mean that the membrane will fail a little earlier than otherwise.


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