How to Stretch Shoes With and Without a Shoe Stretcher

by Andrea

If you are like me you have bought a pair of shoes that you loved or have been on sale for an awesome price with hopes of being able to stretch the shoes wider at home.

When it comes to learning how to stretch out shoes you need to first realize that shoes will only stretch so much. The shoes should be very close to what your size is, usually no more than 1 size (1/2 size is even better) smaller and you should be able to fit your foot into the shoe if you are trying to stretch the width out.

There are actually several ways that you can stretch your shoes.

Use a Shoe Stretcher for Stretching Out Shoes

how to stretch shoes

Best Shoe Stretcher

You can use a shoe stretcher for stretching your shoes as well as keeping the shape of leather shoes without having them crack. A shoe stretcher is a tool that is the shape of the foot and is usually made from metal and wood. There are screws that you can tighten and loosen to help put pressure in certain spots on the shoe to help the shoe expand.

Most shoe stretchers can expand both the length and the width of a shoe. A shoe stretching spray should be used along with the tool in order to get maximum results and help prevent the shoe from cracking or being damaged.

Click Here for a good shoe stretcher that comes with a spray as well.

Once you have your shoe stretcher all you have to do is follow the directions and expand the tool in the places you need the shoe stretched. In fact I know some women who buy a few shoe stretchers for their good shoes so that they can help their shoes keep their shape. They simply place the tool in the shoe and then store the shoes away in shoe storage boxes and they don’t have to worry about the shoes getting misshaped or ruined.

How to Stretch Shoes without a Shoe Stretcher

If you don’t have a shoe stretcher there are some other ways that you can stretch shoes wider and longer but it may take more time and may not work quite as well.

Ice Method

Fill up two plastic zip bags (make sure they seal well) about half way with water. Place the plastic bags all the way into the shoes.

Place the shoes with the bags in them into your freezer.  As the water freezes it expands, so it will start expanding the shoe along with it. With this method you can spot stretch your shoes as the whole shoe will just stretch all over.

Take the shoes out of the freezer and allow the water to melt somewhat so that you can easily remove the bags. Place your shoes on your feet and try to wear them around the house for some time to see if you can stretch them even more.

If you notice that your shoes are still too tight, repeat the process over again. Be aware that if your shoes were really expensive this method for stretching your shoes may not be right for you as you don’t want to ruin your shoes with water leakage or frost burn.

Rubbing Alcohol Method

This method for how to stretch shoes is basically making your own shoe stretching spray.

Mix equal parts rubbing alcohol with water and place it in a spray bottle. Spray the insides part of your shoe with the mixture and then wear your shoes around the house for at least 30 minutes.

how to stretch shoes with a shoe stretcher

Leather Shoes Respond Best to Stretching

You can also just spray the parts of the shoe wear you need it to be stretched if you don’t need the whole shoe to expand. Just make sure you place the shoe on your foot when it is wet or this won’t work at all.

How to Stretch Leather Shoes

If you are looking for ways to stretch leather shoes you can follow the above home methods but in reality a shoe stretcher is your best bet.

The nice thing about leather though, is that it is more plyable than a cheaper synthetic material, so leather shoes tend to stretch out more.  If you have to buy shoes that need to be stretched to fit you comfortably I would make sure that they are leather rather than plastic or any other material that won’t stretch naturally.

How to Stretch Shoes Wider

If you have a wide foot and you need to stretch shoes wider, you can follow the same steps above but realize that the ones without an actual shoe stretcher will stretch out the whole shoe instead of just making it wider.

If you have a wider foot, I definitely recommend you buying a shoe stretcher kit with the tool and the spray so that you can use it on most of your shoes and not have to deal with the discomfort of too small shoes or have to find shoes in wide width all the time.


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