How to stretch shoes

When we are going to buy a new pair of shoes, we consider not only the material or design, but also to how comfortable they are. However, sometimes we end up having new shoes that are not as comfortable as they were back in the shop. If it turns out that the new pair is too tight or stiff – no need to put them in the closet or put them up for sale: leather, sports, and suede shoes can easily be stretched.

Everything becomes clear after 30 minutes of wearing new sandals, boots or moccasins. Blisters on your heels, swollen legs or squeezed toes – all these mean that the shoes are too small. However, there is an escape – you can stretch your shoes without unnecessary pain!

Keep in mind, it is important to understand how much the shoe needs to be stretched. It is easier to stretch shoe width: if the shoes are cramped, this can be fixed in a couple of days. However, it is more difficult if you have chosen the wrong size.

Stretching shoes – Precautions

No matter how keen your desire is to put on new shoes, sneakers or ballet flats, take your time and be reasonable. Before you start wearing new shoes, we recommend you take note of the following precautions:

  • You should not put up with the pain. Discomfort while walking affects our feet, spine and the body as a whole.
  • Check to make sure the color or added decorations won’t be ruined.
  • Always wear gloves when applying chemicals.
  • Examine the material: patent leather may crack or lose its gloss after an unsuccessful attempt to increase the size, while cracks and streaks may appear on faux leather.
  • You must not use petroleum jelly or vegetable oils to stretch suede or velour shoes.

How to stretch new shoes at home

Be careful, since not all ways of stretching are safe for shoes. If you overdo stretching, the sole may come off, the seams can fray, and your shoes will be completely ruined. Natural suede or velour are more delicate materials than smooth leather. Use the methods we share in the article to stretch your velour shoes.

How to stretch shoes with a thick sock

The method is suitable only if the discomfort while wearing new sandals, loafers or ankle boots is bearable. Put on thick wool socks and your shoes – you will not get any blisters and break in your new shoes faster.

How to stretch leather shoes with a hairdryer

Leather things become much more elastic when heated. Direct a stream of hot air to the tight places, warm them up for about 10 minutes. This is when our loyal “helpers” – thick socks, come in. Put on socks and shoes and walk around for 15 minutes.

How to make shoes wider with the help of vinegar

Wet the shoes on the inside with vinegar-water solution, where the concentration of vinegar is not more than 9%. The solution will soften the material. Repeat it 3-4 times. Do not worry about the unpleasant smell: it will quickly disappear. Wash your shoes as soon as they reach the right size.

How to expand shoes with alcohol

Wipe your shoes with alcohol or vodka on the inside, put on thick socks and shoes and walk for 10-15 minutes several times a day. This method allows you to control the process and not to overdo the stretching. It is probably the most popular method among women.

Shoes in the freezer – stretching the size of winter shoes

An effective but extreme way of stretching winter shoes. In this case, the boots will proportionally increase in both length and width by a size or more. Directions:

  • Pour water into plastic bags, tie them and put in your boots.
  • Spread the bags so they take up the entire space inside the boots – it will affect the result.
  • Put the shoes in the freezer.
  • Leave them there for a day: the water expands when it freezes, and the boots become larger.
  • Remove the bags after a day. No need to wait until the ice melts.
  • Repeat the procedure if necessary.

How to safely stretch suede shoes using steam and a hair dryer

Warm up the shoes with a hairdryer or hold them over steam. Do not use petroleum jelly or oil, otherwise you will leave permanent stains on them! After heating, walk in the shoes for a while wearing thick socks.

How to stretch rubber shoes

Rubber boots and galoshes can also be stretched! This is when boiling water comes to the rescue. First, put the shoes in the boiling water for a few minutes, then put them on with thick socks and put your feet in cold water.

How to stretch rock-climbing shoes

Breaking in new rock-climbing shoes is a pain for climbers. Usually, new shoes are 2–3 sizes smaller and take the shape of a foot while wearing, a process both uncomfortable and painful. Therefore, it is better to break in the shoes in advance.
Specialized shoes require a specialized approach. To break in new shoes it is recommended to climb many short tracks daily, for at least for an hour. Many people wrongly follow this method by wearing plastic bags on their feet.

This is why it is wrong:

  • Feet in the bags sweat a lot and after a while, it begins to cause discomfort.
  • It is more difficult to break in new shoes if they are dry, so sweat actually helps to stretch the shoes.

Therefore, it is recommended to wear nylon socks. In such socks, your feet will not sweat as much as in plastic bags and at the same time the shoes will soak some moisture, which will help them to stretch to the desired size.

How to stretch denim shoes

Quite often it turns out that the new denim shoes, which were perfect at the first sight, are actually a bit small. If you find yourself in this situation, then you should consider returning the purchase to the store. However, if the shoes are such a must have that you have no alternative, you should try stretching them.

The safest method – water bottle with spray nozzle.

  • Put the shoes on and wet the problem parts.
  • Walk in the wet shoes until they are completely dry.
  • In order to achieve a better result, it is recommended you wear wool socks.


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