Do Shoes Stretch Over Time?

Do Shoes Stretch Over Time

Shoes aren’t like other articles of clothing. There’s a lot of risks if they’re ill-fitting. If they’re too tight and small, they’ll be very uncomfortable. You can get blisters or even trip and fall. It’s important to know: Do shoes stretch over time?

The answer is in certain cases yes. It really depends on the material. Some, like leather, will always stretch. But what’s even better is that there are techniques you can use that can stretch shoes half a size or more easily. Some of these require special equipment but other methods just require everyday household items.

Leather Stretches Over Time

It’s interesting to note that as you wear them, they’ll stretch. However, that means if you’re in the store and the leather shoes you’re looking at are already loose, the shoes will not be a good choice. Always keep this is in mind as leather can be very expensive.

2. Wear with Multiple Socks

This method is great because it doesn’t require any special equipment. Put on thick socks or multiple layers of socks and put on your shoes. Your feet might hurt but only walk around the house for a short period. Repeat every so often. This will stretch the shoe.

3. Hair dryer with Socks

Most people have a hair dryer lying around the house. Wear a few pairs of thick socks and put on the shoes. Apply heat with a hair dryer with medium power. Do it in just 30 second bursts. You can apply leather conditioner or moisturizer afterwards.

4. Ziploc bags with water

This one might seem a bit hairbrained but it works well. It works best with non-leather shoes. Sneakers and slippers can be great candidates. Take a few plastic ziploc bags and make sure they don’t have holes. Fill the bags a quarter of the way and put them inside the shoes. Put them in the freezer and leave them there until it freezes.

5. Adjustable shoe trees can stretch shoes

Adjustable shoe trees can be a great way to stretch shoes. Their original purpose is not to stretch but they can stretch very well. Both length and width can be expanded. This is great for those with bunions or wide feet. Just keep rotating the adjustable handle of the tree every 8 hours.

6. Shoe stretching sprays and liquids can come in handy.

These definitely work. See if you can borrow some from a friend though because you’ll end up buying a whole bottle and only use a few sprays. Be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle as some of them contain strong chemicals. These can be great at stretching out various materials such as vinyl, leather and fabric. Apply them to the parts you would like stretched.

7. Shoe Stretcher

These are simple inserts which stretch the shoe from the inside and will force it to hold its shape. This is good for leather and dress shoes. Spray both the outside and inside with a stretching spray and put the stretcher into the shoe for 6-8 hours.

8. Cobbler: an excellent option

This is old-school but it’s a surefire method. Simply hire a professional. Shoe repair professions AKA cobblers are not as widespread as several decades ago. You can still find them in most cities. You can bring along your worn shoes for them to fix up.

All these methods can be great if your shoes are too small. On the other hand, they might make things worse if they’re too big.