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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The toe box on my Patagonia/Danner boots has considerably shrunk after sitting out to dry after days on the water.
These boots were great at the beginning but this is killing my toes now.
Has this happened to anyone else. And does anyone have any tips to fix this? I’m pretty familiar with leather boot care. So thinking I can get some leather stretch and try to find a cheap toe box stretcher but would hate to have to constantly do this

You can see in the photos the difference in the toe boxes of mine vs a new pair

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I had the problem on a pair of leather Simms boots. I just soaked them for a while before wearing- they were fine once they were soaked.

I haven’t had the problem with the tractors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I had the problem on a pair of leather Simms boots. I just soaked them for a while before wearing- they were fine once they were soaked.

I haven’t had the problem with the tractors.
Normally they loosen up a bit but I did 10solid hrs of wading yesterday and they never let up. Thought my toes were gonna fall off
 

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Winston Trout Rods, Sage and Burkie Steelhead Rods, Abel, Orvis, Tibor and Islander reels.
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We
The toe box on my Patagonia/Danner boots has considerably shrunk after sitting out to dry after days on the water.
These boots were great at the beginning but this is killing my toes now.
Has this happened to anyone else. And does anyone have any tips to fix this? I’m pretty familiar with leather boot care. So thinking I can get some leather stretch and try to find a cheap toe box stretcher but would hate to have to constantly do this

You can see in the photos the difference in the toe boxes of mine vs a new pair

View attachment 386533 View attachment 386534
Get them wet and put a tight shoe tree in. Or get them to a good shoemaker who can stretch it for you.
 

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I'd contact Patagonia if it were me. I think this is a prime example of a need for customer service, and Patagonia is about as good as it gets in terms of service/repair/warranty issues. That seems odd that they would shrink that much, and sounds almost completely useless as is. I bet they will help solve the issue one way or another though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I had heard after already putting a season into these that Patagonia doesn’t actually repair the boots. They send them to danner to be repaired and the cost and shipping is on the customer. This photo from the Patagonia site seems to confirm that. So not sure contact Patagonia is even worth it.
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Winston Trout Rods, Sage and Burkie Steelhead Rods, Abel, Orvis, Tibor and Islander reels.
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I had heard after already putting a season into these that Patagonia doesn’t actually repair the boots. They send them to danner to be repaired and the cost and shipping is on the customer. This photo from the Patagonia site seems to confirm that. So not sure contact Patagonia is even worth it. View attachment 386543
Danner is great! They’ll take care of it. Give them a call at 1 (503) 251-1100.
 

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The toe box on my Patagonia/Danner boots has considerably shrunk after sitting out to dry after days on the water.
These boots were great at the beginning but this is killing my toes now.
Has this happened to anyone else. And does anyone have any tips to fix this? I’m pretty familiar with leather boot care. So thinking I can get some leather stretch and try to find a cheap toe box stretcher but would hate to have to constantly do this
Ouch!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ya in hindsight I probably should have done more preventative work knowing these are leather and conditioned them here and there.
After a warm soak. Some mink oil. And elbow grease with the end of my 4lb Mallet I was able to work the toe box out. Then slowly dry with a hair dryer to control shrinkage and rework when needed. Should last me a little while now if I keep up with conditioning the leather to avoid drying out. I guess kind of a bummer to have a booth need maintenance though at the price point.
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If you’re unhappy, I wouldn’t hesitate to contact Patagonia. I’ve had the best warranty response from them from any company I’ve ever dealt with.
Definitely going to reach out. This will just keep me fishing in the meantime
 

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Absolutely call Patagonia. It's not about having Danner repair or work on them. This is a failure of some sort, and on a "lifetime" boot that costs what these cost, Patagonia will replace them. Unless this is a known issue, in which case I'd raise a stink.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Not trying to beat a dead horse but feel like my photo earlier didn’t show just how bad the shrinkage was and this photo I found from last weekend really shows it

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Um, yeah! As you figured out. .. and from the pictures seems clear what the problem there is/was. I don’t have these boots, but I do have other custom made wading boots with mostly leather parts. For leather wading boots you MUST take care of them by regular application of waterproofing to the leather parts. The water is not supposed to actually permeate the leather parts - ever! When it does you will always get shrinkage and degradation. Call it the “OJ’s glove effect” - that was mostly water with, ah, “some other stuff” in there. So unless I’m missing something my guess is you never renewed the waterproofing, and what was on there when new wore off as it always does naturally, and then the inevitable happened. :(

Regular waterproofing is required for any leather boots intended to get a lot of exposure to water, let alone for boots intended to be fully immersed in water for a long time. It’s amazing that it works so well underwater and totally preserves the shape and suppleness of the leather with the abuse they get wading, but it really does. But they don’t, and never did, do this all by themselves. The best stuff for this comes in a variety of consistencies and brands and goes by “Dubbin”, and other more modern names. It basically different formulations of wax. Here is the stuff I use - it was recommended to me by the guy who made my boots: Obenauf's Heavy Duty LP Leather Conditioner Natural Oil Beeswax Formula. You can get it on Amazon.

You can try using a hair blower (not an industrial heat gun) to warm the area to help the liquid wax soak in. You will probably want to try to fully saturate the leather and let it dry/cool, and only then buff away off any excess. When in doubt too much is far better than too little. Also, keep inspecting them and treating them regularly. It’s cheap and easy, but does require attention. Hopefully they were not damaged too much.

When you think about it, leather is an old technology, and it was in cumulative use for many times the number of years that cheaper, modern and semi disposable materials have been around. I think over the last 100 or so years we have really been dumbed down in our understanding of how the old stuff worked, and how to care for it. We have kind of been trained by mass production to simply expect everything to work out of the box and continue to work - care free - at least until we buy another cheap replacement. Hard to imagine anyone from the 19th century, for example, having to scratch their head longer than a second over this particular issue. Possibly a boot maker like Danner might have considered this type of regular care “obvious” but sounds like either you missed the fine print, or there was no fine print.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Um, yeah! As you figured out. .. and from the pictures seems clear what the problem there is/was. I don’t have these boots, but I do have other custom made wading boots with mostly leather parts. For leather wading boots you MUST take care of them by regular application of waterproofing to the leather parts. The water is not suppose to actually permeate the leather parts - ever! When it does you will always get shrinkage and degradation. Call it the “OJ’s glove effect” - that was mostly water with, ah, “some other stuff” in there. So unless I’m missing something my guess is you never renewed the waterproofing, and what was on there when new wore off as it always does naturally, and then the inevitable happened. :(

Regular waterproofing is required for any leather boots intended to get a lot of exposure to water, let alone for boots intended to be fully immersed in water for a long time. It’s amazing that it works so well underwater and totally preserves the shape and suppleness of the leather with the abuse they get wading, but it really does. But they don’t, and never did, do this all by themselves. The best stuff for this comes in a variety of consistencies and brands and goes by “Dubbin”, and other more modern names. It basically different formulations of wax. Here is the stuff I use - it was recommended to me by the guy who made my boots: Obenauf's Heavy Duty LP Leather Conditioner Natural Oil Beeswax Formula. You can get it on Amazon.

You can try using a hair blower (not an industrial heat gun) to warm the area to help the liquid wax soak in. You will probably want to try to fully saturate the leather and let it dry/cool, and only then buff away off any excess. When in doubt too much is far better than too little. Also, keep inspecting them and treating them regularly. It’s cheap and easy, but does require attention. Hopefully they were not damaged too much.

When you think about it, leather is an old technology, and it was in cumulative use for many times the number of years that cheaper, modern and semi disposable materials have been around. I think over the last 100 or so years we have really been dumbed down in our understanding of how the old stuff worked, and how to care for it. We have kind of been trained by mass production to simply expect everything to work out of the box and continue to work - care free - at least until we buy another cheap replacement. Hard to imagine anyone from the 19th century, for example, having to scratch their head longer than a second over this particular issue. Possibly a boot maker like Danner might have considered this type of regular care “obvious” but sounds like either you missed the fine print, or there was no fine print.
I'd be interested to see if the box or packaging includes any kind of care instructions for the leather. I dont remember since i got them awhile ago

I really should have known though. years ago i worked at a store that sold a lot of red wings and mens boots and remember telling a customer who asked about boot care that you got to remember its skin and skin needs to be moisturized and taken care of. lol. I also learned that you shouldnt refer to leather as skin if you dont want to sound like a total creep.
 
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