There was once a time when even I didn’t understand how to stretch shoes for wide feet. There are hundreds and thousands of gorgeous pairs of shoes in the market.
But you only have two feet. It is essential to make sure that the shoes do not hurt your feet.
Wearing shoes too narrow for your feet can hurt your feet, but also cause hundreds of problems for you. Stretching narrow shoes to fit your wide feet is not that hard, but it is also not that easy.
This ultimate guide will familiarize you with the best and the most popular methods for stretching your shoes to suit your feet.
How to Stretch Your Narrow Shoes Easily?
1. Wear the Shoes In-House
This is something that I recommend. I have tried this several times, and trust me; it always works. If the shoes are only a little comfortable around your wide feet, wear them inside the house at night or when you are free.
Wearing the shoes a few times will soften them up and make them more suitable for your feet.
Let your feet rest a little and try the new shoes inside the house. Try to wear them on clean surfaces, such as carpets, rugs, or wooden floors.
This will help you if you want to return the shoes later on. Wearing the narrow pair inside the house will slowly make them broader and softer than their original state.
2. Wear Thick Socks and Use a Blow Dryer
This method is also quite common and easy to try. Wear some thick socks with a new pair of shoes. This will add temporary padding around your feet so that the shoes offer a little more stretch and comfort to your feet. Take a look at this:
- Wear a thick pair of socks (preferably winter socks)
- Fasten the shoelaces around your feet comfortable and not too tight
- Turn on your hairdryer to warm and heat the tight areas around your shoes
- Spend 20-30 seconds on every tight spot and let it heat up properly
- Make sure to keep the dryer in motion so that you don’t burn the leather
- Optional: Apply some moisturizer or leather conditioner after you have used the blow-drier
3. Stretch the Shoes by Freezing
This method only works on non-leather shoes, such as regular sneakers, joggers and casual wear shoes, etc.
I have tried this method more than four times so far, and it worked on my sneakers. Cold does wonders when it comes to stretching the material of your shoes.
Just fill a quarter of a zip-close bag with water and leave it inside your shoes. Remember to ensure that it covers the tight spots. Place the shoes inside the freezer and leave them to freeze overnight.
The zip-close bag will freeze, and the ice will expand to give you a comfortable stretch in your narrow shoes.
4. Modern Adjustable Shoe Trees and Stretchers
With the advancements in every field, the footwear industry also sought out to create several methods to stretch the shoes for wide feet. Shoes trees and stretchers are the top methods in the market right now.
Shoe trees and stretchers are available in the market at low prices. These devices help stretch the length and the width of the shoes to suit the feet’ shape and size.
Moreover, the unique design of bunion plugs can also help expand the top area of the shoes.
The shoe stretchers are made of wood and rubber on each side. Shoe stretchers have been in use since the last century.
You have to place the shoe stretcher inside the shoes, and it will slowly extend the width and the length of the shoes. These devices are also used by professional shoemakers to adjust the size for different consumers.
If you want the best results, you can use shoe stretching spray and liquids. Moreover, these devices work best for leather shoes and sneakers alike.
5. Shoe Stretch Sprays and Liquids
This may be a rather modern addition to the industry, but these sprays work. I have personally used the shoe stretching sprays on my new Oxford pattern shoes, and it worked like a charm.
The new shoe stretch sprays and liquids can expand the shoe material, such as leather, vinyl, or classic fabric. Here is a walkthrough to efficiently use these sprays:
- Apply the spray to tight areas all over the shoes
- Wear the shoes and gently tighten the laces around your feet
- Make sure to leave a little padding between your feet and the laces
- Walk around the house for a little while before taking off the shoes
It will not take more than three attempts to stretch the narrow shoes for wide feet. Moreover, you can also apply a combination of the available sprays to get the best results.
6. Use A Peeled Potato
This may sound absurd, but it works. If you feel uncomfortable with modern solutions, you can try the DIY potato solution to stretch your shoes.
Peel a potato and leave it inside the shoes overnight. The peeled potato will expand the width overnight, and you can have stretched shoes for a comfortable experience
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Will the shoe stretch sprays harm the leather?
Not at all. These sprays are designed by professionals with extensive knowledge of the materials used in footwear.
The sprays are intended to only extend the tight spots without harming the integrity of the materials used.
So, do not worry. The sprays will not impact your shoes, but stretch them to fit comfortably around your feet.
Will freezing my shoes also weaken the fabric?
No. Technically, you are using the ice inside to stretch the shoes. What happens is that as the water contracts and turns into ice, it expands.
The slow and gentle expansion stretches the shoes without actually tearing the fabric or harming them. It is entirely safe as long as you don’t fill up the zip-close bag to the full. Make sure to fill it in only partially.
Wouldn’t walking around in tight shoes to stretch them hurt my feet?
Yes. It will only hurt your feet if you wear them for a long time. I would recommend that you alone walk around in new shoes for 20-30 minutes and take a rest.
Try them again after half an hour. This should offer you ample time to rest your feet and stretch your shoes without hurting yourself.
How accurate are shoe stretchers and shoe trees?
Shoemakers and sellers use these devices at a professional level. You must have seen a shoe salesman using a shoe stretcher to expand the shoes for a consumer.
This should tell you that these devices are not only accurate but safe and powerful enough to be used by professionals in the industry.
However, I would suggest that you look up the proper technique to use every device before experimenting with your brand-new shoes.
What if I over-extend my shoes?
Well, that surely is a problem. Personally, I would say that if your shoes are clean and intact, return them to the shop.
If you do over-extend your shoes, there isn’t much you can do to contract the fabric and bring the shoes back to their original state.
Your only choices are wearing thick socks or some soft padding inside the shoes to keep them from falling off. This is why I recommend that you expand the shoes one inch at a time.
What Do We Have to Say?
In conclusion, I would recommend that you try the methods mentioned above in order before reaching out to a professional for help.
These DIY home techniques have not only helped me but hundreds and thousands of people around the world. So, try these techniques carefully at home and learn how to stretch shoes for wide feet by yourself.
No one has ever truly bought a comfortable pair of shoes. It is all about adjusting to the shoes and adjusting the shoes for your wide feet.
The best thing about the online community is that it is filled with successful tips to stretch the shoes to suit your needs. Try the methods mentioned above, and you will be able to stretch and enjoy your narrow shoes in no time effortlessly.