I was busy shopping when I came across a beautiful pair of shoes on sale, only to find that they fitted pretty snug. The color of the shoes was perfectly suited to match the many outfits in my cupboard. I was determined not to let a good bargain go to waste. I did some research on Do Shoes Stretch Out.
Shoes will typically stretch on their own as you wear them. However, there are no quick fix methods with an immediate response. There are techniques that, over time, can be just as effective.
Suppose you are in a predicament where your shoes are too tight. Find out what you can do to stretch out your shoes. How to ascertain the tell-tale signs when your shoes do not fit effectively? And just as important, what will be the long-term effects of wearing tight shoes?
What Can I Do to Stretch Out My Shoes?
Shoes may need some extra coaching to get them to stretch out to how you need them. Here are a few great ideas on what to do:
1 – Wear Them Around The House
The easiest and fastest ways to stretch out your shoe is to wear them as often as possible around the house. Put on some socks to avoid getting blisters, and keep walking around the house. The pressure of the walking combined with the socks does wonders in stretching out tight shoes.
It might feel uncomfortable initially, but if you persist and wear them an hour at a time, you will start to see the difference within a few days. If you are worried about getting the shoe’s soles dirty, you can stick to walking on rugs or carpets. You will know once it has stretched out when the shoe becomes comfortable enough to wear again.
2 – Stuff Shoes with Newspapers
If you find that it is too uncomfortable to wear the right shoes, then the old-fashioned way of stretching it out would be to wet some newspaper, drain out excess water, and stuff them towards the front of the shoe. Continue adding balls of newspaper filling the whole shoe.
Ensure that you arrange the newspaper in a manner that will preserve the shape of the shoe. The moisture from the crumpled, wet newspaper will positively affect the stretching of the shoe. Avoid use on leather shoes.
3 – Socks and a Blow Dryer
You can either wear a few pairs of thin socks or some thick socks. The idea is to ensure that there are several layers of socks. Once you have the socks on, squeeze your feet into the shoe. Set your hairdryer to medium heat and blow-dry parts of the shoe, focussing on areas of the shoe that feel tight.
Action for about 20-30 seconds at a time as you continue to move the nozzle around. Wiggle your toes as you bend your foot; this movement will help stretch out the shoe. Continue wearing the shoe as it cools down. Heat can soften the glue used on some shoes and cause the uppers to separate from the soul; as a precaution, apply a leather moisturizer.
Do not use PVC or plastic shoes.
4 – Frozen Bags
The use of frozen bags can be just as effective as heat. This process works best on non-leather shoes. Not advisable for use on shoes with a narrow toe box.
Below is the method to follow.
- Partially fill a plastic bag with water; a zip lock bag will work best to avoid spillage. If you are concerned about bag breaking, you can use two bags.
- Place the bag inside your shoe wherever there are tight spots.
- Lay on a tray and place the shoe and the bag in the freezer overnight.
- Once you have taken the bag out of the freezer, leave it at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes until the ice melts.
- Wiggle the bag back and forth until you remove it from the shoe.
5 – The Use of Potato Peels
It is amazing how versatile some household items can be. Potato peels fit that profile. Peel a potato and create a mold by mimicking the shape of the front of the shoe. Wipe the potato dry with a paper towel and stuff the front of the shoe. Leave overnight and by the morning, expect some extra shoe room.
6 – Shoe Stretcher
Adjustable shoe trees are available for both men and women. Purchase on eBay or Amazon for around $25. These devices will help expand the length and width of the shoe.
For the best results, turn the shoe tree handle every 8 to 10 hours to keep stretching until you get the desired results. Works best when combined with shoe stretching sprays and liquids. Effective on leather shoes and sneakers.
7 – Sprays and Liquids
Shoe stretching sprays help loosen the fibers around leather. Ensure that you read the instructions carefully before spraying. Wear the shoe as you spray on the liquid, focussing on tight areas of your shoe. Keep the shoe on until the liquid dries as the leather stretches out around the foot. Best used on leather, vinyl, and fabric.
8 – Shoe Repair Specialists
There are shoe repair specialists that provide shoe stretching services—having the necessary equipment, be assured that they will provide a professional service.
9 – Wet Oats, Rice or Grains
This method is very effective:
- Fill up a plastic bag with either oat, rice, or any grain that swells up when wet.
- Add enough water to cover the grain.
- Seal the bag and place it into the toe box.
- Leave overnight and see the effects in the morning. As the oats expand, this pressure will help expand the material of the shoe.
Signs That Your Shoes Do Not Fit
If your shoes are uncomfortable, then chances are they probably do not fit.
Below are the tell-tale signs.
- Your toes do not face straight ahead.
- Your toes seem cramped together as there is no space between each toe.
- Your toes are overlapping each other due to a lack of space.
Long Term Effects of Wearing Tight Shoes
There are indeed potentially severe effects of wearing ill-fitting shoes.
These are some of the effects.
- Tight shoes can make you unstable on your feet.
- They can deform your toes by producing blisters.
- They can aggravate structural problems like flat feet, bunions, and bone spurs.
- It can cause inflammation, numbness, and pain in the heel and ball of the foot.
Is It Better for Shoes to Be Tight or Loose?
Both tight and loose shoes can cause problems. The best way to ascertain if you have the correct fitting shoes would be to consider the following.
- Ensure that you have some wiggle room.
- Make sure that your foot fits comfortably in the widest part of the shoe.
- At the heel, you should have some room for slight heel slippage.
Often in our pursuit of style and cost-saving, we lose sight of the effects of wearing tight shoes. However, there are no quick-fix solutions to stretch out tight shoes. Some methods can help alleviate the discomfort.
So if you have landed up with a pair of tight shoes, do not despair; there is no need to discard them. Since there are so many effective methods to stretch the shoes out, be assured that at least one of these techniques will work for you. Happy stretching!
I have two Associate’s degrees, one in Medical Assisting and the other in Computer Technician, and I am roughly five classes from a bachelor’s degree. Though I never ended up working in the medical field, I have five and a half years of experience in IT. I recently became a stay-at-home mom to my two young boys, and I’m so excited to start this adventure with them! In my spare time, I love to bake and read pretty much anything I can get my hands on.