Wearing snugly fitting and comfortable shoes is essential for your foot health. Shoes that are too tight can cause foot pain, blisters, calluses, irreversible nerve damage and decreased quality of life. One common concern people with wide feet have is the narrow toe boxes of some shoes. If you naturally have wide feet or if your feet have widened with age, you may feel that finding the perfect fitting shoes challenging.
You may have limited your options for shoe styles that offer features for your type of feet, yet sometimes, you can’t help but fall in love with a certain pair of shoes. The size is perfect for you, but it is slightly too tight. If only it could be roomier, the shoes would be perfect. Now fret not! You can stretch and widen your shoes and get that perfect fit with these simple do it at home remedies.
Tips to Stretch Shoes for Wide Feet
Wear Them Every Night
The simplest method to stretch any type of shoes is by putting on some thick socks and wearing your shoes for a couple of hours every night for more or less a week. This method takes a lot of effort, but consistently wearing your shoes would eventually make the material organically stretch on its own.
Aside from thick socks, you don’t need any other materials to help you stretch your shoes in this method. You can also make sure that the shoes expand to the exact size you want them. This method is effective for any type of shoes- leather, faux leather, fabric or plastic.
Utilize a Shoe Stretcher
Using a shoe stretcher is another effective way of stretching shoes made with leather, faux leather, and canvas. Though shoe stretchers are a bit costly, they can expand your shoes to as much as half an inch and they can spare you the hassle of wearing your shoes every night just to stretch it.
Shoe stretchers are easy to use. Put the shoe stretcher inside the shoes and adjust the handle to your desired size of stretch. Leave it in the shoes for two days to get the full result. This method works more effectively in leather shoes when paired with a shoe stretch spray.
Blow Dry The Shoes
If you need quick results, try blow drying your shoes. Exposing leather shoes to heat from a blow dryer helps the shoes stretch and expand. Wear some thick padded socks and wear your shoes. Turn the blow dryer on to a low or medium heat setting. Place the nozzle 6 inches away from your shoes and blow dry it for 20 to 30 seconds, moving the dryer back and forth. To prevent scorching, pause for a few seconds and repeat blow drying until you get the perfect fit.
It is crucial that you don’t expose the leather shoes to the heat from the blow dryer over a long period. Too much heat exposure dries and cracks the leather. However, as long as you follow the correct procedure, your shoes are safe. Be sure also that you use a leather conditioner afterwards to help moisturize your shoes.
Freeze Water in Your Shoes
Water expands when frozen, and we can use this principle in stretching shoes. You simply need to take a ziplock bag, fill it with water and put it in your shoes. Wrap the shoes in another plastic bag and put them in your freezer. As the freezes and expands, so do your shoes. Take it out in the morning and let it thaw for twenty to thirty seconds.
Use a Potato
This method works best with leather shoes and is great to use on loafers and Oxfords. What you do is use a potato that looks best for your shoes and the size you want to stretch it. Peel the potato to get that sticky moisture. Plop it inside your shoes and let it dry overnight. The sticky component from the potato gets into the fiber of your shoes, helping it stretch. Using potatoes also reduces the odor of your shoes.
Apply Rubbing Alcohol
There are two ways you can use rubbing alcohol to stretch your shoes. The first method is by spraying alcohol on the shoes or on any area that feels stiff. Wear the shoes until the alcohol dries. You can also walk around to enable the materials to flex more. You can also soak a pair of thick cotton socks in alcohol. Wring the socks to squeeze out any excess alcohol, put it on and wear your shoes until the alcohol dries. You can redo the process to get the size you want.
If you feel uncomfortable wearing wet socks on your shoes, you can do the alternative method. Soak several pieces of cloth in alcohol and stuff it in your shoes. This will also help in expanding the material. However, wearing the shoes will really help the material adapt to the shape and size of your feet.
Wearing a perfectly fitting pair of shoes helps keep your feet healthy and makes you comfortable and happy. If you feel your shoes are a bit tight for you, you can stretch it by using one of the six do it at home remedies mentioned above. The most cost-efficient method is by wearing your shoes with socks every night. This method ensures that the shoe stretches according to the size of your foot. However, this method takes longer than the others suggested, and requires more effort on your part.
You can expedite the stretching process by a shoe stretcher, water, potato and alcohol. Blow drying the shoes also work. However, if you are anxious that doing it yourself may damage your shoes, especially if you own a very expensive pair, the best way is to take them to the cobbler. Professional shoe makers know exactly how to stretch your shoes without damaging it. They have the right tools and materials to do it.