5 Easy Methods for How to Stretch Shoes

Shoes are one of those things that you cannot seem to have enough of, and you will always feel like buying a new pair. But what do you do when you find that perfect pair that has everything from the color you have been looking for to a sleek look, but it will not fit?

Well, you did try it at the store, and it seemed okay, but now that you want to wear it the shoe feels a little too snug. You can return it and take the next size, but we all know that that it will end up feeling too large on your feet.

But, before you decide to return your perfect pair of shoes or throw it into the closet and forget about it, you should know that it is possible to stretch shoes. And you will also not need any specialized equipment because everything you need to enlarge footwear is already in the house.

However, before you start stretching your boots, you should remember that every shoe is different. And so how you decide to do it will depend on the material. But here are five methods how to stretch shoes that seem to work for most shoes.

Methods for How to Stretch Shoes

Sock Method

Sock Method

The sock method is what you are likely to turn to when you need to expand your tight shoes. It is also the best method when dealing with delicate and expensive shoes such as the patent leather ones. When using this technique, you will only need to roll some old socks into a ball and place it inside the shoes. Depending on the size and shoe type it might be necessary to have more than one sock ball in each shoe. Also, make sure that you push the balls to the corner and that you get the shoe shape right to prevent distortions. Know more about show lacing, to visit now.

​Heat Method

Heating shoes is another popular method for expanding your footwear. And if you are trying to figure out how to stretch shoes with heat the first and most important thing is to understand that this method will not work for all types and it can cause damages to materials that cannot withstand the heat. All you will need when using this method is a pair of thick socks and a hairdryer.

And to stretch the shoes, you should start by wearing thick socks and squeeze the feet into the footwear. Next, take a hairdryer and begin heating the parts of the shoes that feel tight or painful. Doing this will soften the leather, and all you will need to do is to move the feet back and forth for at least 20 seconds. Leave the shoes on until they cool or as long as possible and then try them with your regular socks. If they have not stretched enough, you can repeat the process for as long as it takes.

This method works best for leather shoes, but after using it, you should apply some leather shoe conditioner to restore the moisture that the footwear loses to the heat. The last thing to note is that this method can weaken the glue bonds and so you should take extra caution when using it in your footwear.

Freezing Method

It is common knowledge that water will expand when you freeze it as it is one of its properties. But what many people might not know is that you can use this water property to stretch your tight shoes. All you will need to do is to fill a plastic or sandwich bag with water and place it in the boots before putting them in the freezer.

And when you are doing this you should make sure that the water reaches the areas that hurt the most when you wear the footwear. Also, if you are stretching leather shoes, you should make sure that they remain dry because freezing can damage them. After at least 24 hours in the freezer, you can take out the shoes and leave them to thaw after which they should feel larger than before.

Newspaper Method

Newspaper Method

The newspaper method is similar to the sock method because it will entail rolling the newspaper into a ball and placing it into the footwear. But, you will also need to get the papers wet to make them easy to fold and more useful in stretching the shoes. This method works great when you do not want to heat or freeze your delicate and expensive footwear.

Newspaper shoe stretch technique will be perfect when you are stretching trainers and similar footwear. But, just like with the sock method it is critical to ensure that your shoes maintain their shape as you will not want to distort the toes and give your footwear a less attractive look.

The Grain Method

Another simple method that you can use to stretch your shoes will entail filling them with grains that swell. Oats are one of the best grain options for this, and if your footwear is very snug, you should fill it with the grains.

The next step is to add as much water as the oats can take without flowing out of the shoes and leave them in the footwear overnight. As the oats soak up the water and expand, they will also stretch the shoes.

But, this method will work best when you only need to do a little stretch on shoes that are not too snug. And a good idea would be to wear the wet shoes for a few days as they dry so that they can stretch further and adjust to the shape of your feet.

Additional Methods of Stretching Shoes

Rubbing Alcohol

Mix rubbing alcohol with water at a ratio of 1:1 and spray the mixture inside the shoes before wearing them for at least 20 minutes. You can also soak cotton socks in rubbing alcohol, squeeze the excess out and wear them until the alcohol dries.

Potato Stretching

Potato Stretching

Peel a large potato and push it into the tight shoes and leave it overnight. It should help to stretch the footwear, and the best thing about it is that it will also trap odors and will not make your shoes smell bad.

Shoe Stretcher

A shoe stretcher is very useful when it comes to stretching leather shoes, and if all the other techniques or methods do not seem to work it will be worth buying.

Professional Stretching

If you do not have the time to stretch your shoes at home or if the methods do not seem to work it might be necessary to take the footwear to a professional cobbler for stretching.


There are many methods and countless things that you can use to stretch your shoes. But the right technique to use will depend on shoe material, called perhaps good shoes for standing all day, and how much you want to extend it. However, the simple rule is always to make sure that whatever method you use does not damage or distort your footwear. And so if you have a shoe that is pinching or feeling too snug you should know that there is a way to solve the problem.