TOP 7 Easy and Fast Methods on How to Stretch Shoes

Let’s imagine, you see a pair of expensive perfect shoes that shine brightly in your eyes, and you’ve set a goal of saving money for months to get them.

Then, you can’t stop dancing in happiness when seeing them online for a great discounted price. Finally, not to waste any time, you order them.

The delivered day comes! You feel like you are not inferior to any idol or fashionista – ready to master every street and street where you live with the shoes.

But, BOOM! The frustration surrounds you. The shoes become cramped and strangely painful when you put your foot in. This is certainly a common issue for most of us.

Also, there should be many reasons that our shoes don’t fit our feet after buying them.

However, no matter what it is, this situation is still a dilemma, because it would be wasteful to put them away, but if we keep using them, our legs will be very painful, uncomfortable, or even bleeding.

No worries, this Workwear Magazine’s article will guide you on how to stretch shoes easily! 

How to Stretch Shoes

How to Tell a Pair of Shoes Don’t Fit Your Feet?

The tightness can come from a variety of fit problems, including:

  • Toe box too narrow, not high enough, or both.
  • The overall length of the shoes is too short.
  • The shape of the shoes doesn’t conform to your foot.
  • The height of heels puts stress on your toes or other foot parts.

The Harm of Wearing Tight Shoes

An ill-fitting pair of shoes can end up harming your feet and joints over time. Here are some negative effects you might encounter:

  • Shoes that are smaller than foot-size will feel uncomfortable.
  • You can even stumble while moving. That is why your feet will be sore, especially when you move a lot.
  • Wearing tight shoes causes the foot to suffer some injuries, such as aches, sprains, dislocations, numbness, foot pain, blistering, foot inflammation, etc., because the toes being compressed while moving.
  • You will feel less confident and lose focus on working due to the shoes.
  • You also lose the aesthetics of your style.
  • It will lead to the loss of cartilage in the joints of your toes and feet.

Therefore, to avoid these harms, you should choose for yourself a pair of shoes that fit your feet or learn methods on how to stretch shoes to solve the problem.

See also:

7 Methods on How to Stretch Shoes

1. Use a shoe stretcher

 

How to Stretch Shoes 1
Use a stretcher to loosen your shoes

This is a highly efficient and fast way of acting. What you need is to buy a shoe stretcher and then follow the instructions below:

Step 1: Insert stretching plugs to the areas where you feel cramped, like toe, heel counter, etc. If you have a shoe stretch spray on hand, spray a bit on your shoes to relax their fibers for easy stretching.

Step 2: Put the shoe stretcher into the shoe.

Step 3: Adjust the handle to your desired amount of stretch.

Step 4: Next, give the handle another full turn every 8 hours until the size is right.

Step 5: Leave the shoe stretcher in the shoes for a few days. Regularly check to see whether they fit you.

You can repeat the process a few times for the best result.

2. Thick socks and the hairdryer

How to Stretch Shoes 2
A dryer + thick socks = great combination!

Another quick and helpful method is to combine using thick socks and a dryer. Here is the process:

Step 1: Put on thick cotton socks, as much as you can.

Step 2: Then, slip your feet into the shoes.

Step 3: Turn on your hair dryer at medium heat and blast each shoe for about 30 seconds, moving the nozzle around as you do so.

Step 4: As you are drying the shoe, remember to wiggle your toes and bend your foot to stretch the shoe.

Step 5: After that, continue wearing the shoes as they cool down. The heat will soften the shoe, helping it form to your foot.

Heat can soften the material of the shoes, causing the uppers to separate from the sole, so don’t point the hairdryer at a place for too long.

Note: This method doesn’t work for plastic or PVC shoes. There is a chance you could release toxic fumes into the air.

3. Use water

How to Stretch Shoes 3
Use water to change your shoe size

You must be surprised that using water is also one of the great ideas to transform our tight shoes, right? It may sound strange, but water is really effective in making shoes wider. To achieve the desired width, just do the following:

Step 1: Pour water into 2 sturdy bags, then seal them.

Step 2: Put these 2 water bags in the shoes, remember to place them to where you need to extend them.

Step 3: Put your shoes in the freezer for about 1 day, then take the shoes out of the refrigerator and leave for about 20-30 minutes for the ice to melt.

Step 4: Remove the water bag. This frozen part acts like a big mold helping loosen your shoes.

4. The peeled potato trick

How to Stretch Shoes 4
Potato is also helpful to stretch shoes.

Like water, potatoes are also an interesting tool to expand shoes from a variety of types, such as leather, canvas, and sports shoes.

Depending on the size of the section you want to expand, you can use 1-2 potatoes to fix the shoes. This method can provide a modest amount of stretch.

Step 1: Peel off the potatoes.

Step 2: Determine the part that needs to be enlarged, and place a medium-sized piece of potato into it. For example, if the toes are tight, just cut a small or medium-sized piece to put it in. If for the shoe body, you may need a whole larger potato.

Step 3: Leave the potatoes there overnight so that they have time to stretch as desired.

5. Specialized solution

 

How to Stretch Shoes 5
…or using a specialized spray is a great idea.

In most shoe stores, to expand quickly, there must be a dedicated spray to help widen the shoes. However, this way of stretching the shoe has some disadvantages if not used carefully.

In fact, it can cause your shoes to fade the original color because the mixture contains water and alcohol – the factors that discolor the shoes.

Therefore, before buying these spray products, you should carefully read the instructions for use as well as the ingredients of the mixture. 

It’s safe to choose sprays with only 1/2 alcohol and 1/2 water to avoid damaging your shoes. After spraying, you should put on shoes and walk for a while to quickly relax shoes.

6. Paper and alcohol

How to Stretch Shoes 6

Alcohol is a way of making shoes bigger, however, as mentioned above, it’s also a factor to fade the shoe’s color. Hence, you really need to be careful when using them. The safest way is to use alcohol and paper at the same time to loosen your shoes.

Step1: Insert a lot of paper into the part that you want to enlarge. Tightly compress them!

Step 2: Apply the alcohol to the part of the shoe that you need to loosen.

Step 3: Finally, take the shoes out in the sun and dry them for a few hours. After that, try on them again to see if they fit.

7. Find a shoe repair shop

How to Stretch Shoes 7
A cobbler is fixing a shoe size

If none of the above methods works for you, the only and last thing you can do is take the shoes to the store where you bought them. Most of the owners here will fix your shoes for free.

Another way is that you can also resize your shoes by getting help from a professional shoe repair shop. Most cobblers provide stretching services. Indeed, they are trained to alter shoe size with specialized machines.

As a result, they can not only stretch your shoes but also refresh the pairs you want to make them last longer.

Last but not least, remember to put the desiccant pack on your shoes when not in use. These tiny packets work great in absorbing moisture from the shoes and prevent the risk of shrinking.

You can tutorial in this video:

Notes to Avoid Buying Tight Shoes

To avoid using shoes with unexpected sizes, you should note the following points:

Try on shoes in the afternoon:

It’s very important to try on shoes before you buy, especially in the afternoon – the time when our joints and muscles fully stretch most after a long day of moving.

You should try on both feet and do a test move to measure the fit of the shoe. If the shoes are too wide or too tight, your feet will hurt when moving.

Measure the exact foot size:

In addition to direct shoe testing, you also need to pay attention to measure the correct shoe size before buying shoes. Only choose shoes that are foot-sized and comfortable to move.

This is a way to help you avoid buying loose or tight shoes when ordering shoes online.

Note: You should measure both feet because our two feet will not be equal, so you will get the size on which leg is longer and wider.

Here is the procedure to measure your foot size:

Step 1: Put a piece of paper on the floor. You’ll use it to draw your feet on top, so don’t use carpets or any other difficult to draw material!

Step 2: Place your bare feet neatly on top of the paper. Remember to keep your feet fixed and perpendicular to the edge of the paper. Also, make sure the floor as well.

Step 3: Use a pen to draw along the edge of the foot. Make sure that when finished, the foot shape is centered on the rectangular paper.

Step 4: Draw a line next to each foot: next to the toe, heel, and sides.

Step 5: Then, measure the length and width of the square you just drew around the foot shape.

Step 6: After you have all numbers, refer to the international shoe size table to convert your correct shoe size.

 

How to Stretch Shoes 8

How to Preserve Tightness Shoes?

1. Shoe cleaning

If you immediately store dirt-stained shoes without going through cleaning, the quality of the shoes deteriorates over time, which is especially true for leather ones.

Even if the shoes you use daily, you should take good care of them every night.

2. Stuffing the shoes with acid-free rolls of paper

If you plan to store these shoes for a month or more, stuff the rolls of paper inside the shoe to maintain their shape. Do not use acidic paper because it can damage shoe materials. Also, do not use a newsprint as it will discolor your shoes.

3. Find a dark space for storing shoes

Shoes will stay in good condition longer if not exposed to too much sunlight. Meanwhile, the storage temperature should be stable, avoiding constant changes.

The best shoe storage place is in a dark closet that is not hot and stuffy. If your wardrobe doesn’t have enough room, you can keep them under your bed.

4. Do not cover leather shoes in plastic seals

Leather shoes need to breathe during storage. Wrapping them in plastic seals can cause mold or discoloration. Instead, wrap leather shoes with a soft acid-free cloth for storage.

5. Don’t stack shoes on top of each other

There are many people who preserve shoes by stacking one pair on top of another to save space, but this can cause shoes to deform over time. Flip-flops can be preserved this way, but for better shoes, keep them side by side.

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In a nutshell

So, the above are 7 effective methods on how to stretch shoes that many people appreciate. There would be a method that works for the first time trying while there would be some getting you to repeat the process again and again.

However, hopefully, you still find useful information after reading this article.

Marilyn Monroe once said “Good shoes take you good places, therefore, you should always love and treat your feet right by choosing a good shoe that fits and suits you.

Thank you for reading!

Author

  • James Hulk is a lead content creator for Workwear Magazine. He has had several blue-collar jobs which have provided him a wide range of experience with tools and gear. He also has a business degree and has spent time in business casual office settings.

    Email: jameshulk.wwm@gmail.com

    Address: California, United States

    Phone number: +1-202-555-2609