Ways & How

How to Stretch Leather Shoes

How to Stretch Leather Shoes

Whether you have accidentally bought shoes that are half a size too small or you need to break in newly bought shoes to mould them to your feet, or may be your feet have expanded due to pregnancy, learning how to stretch leather shoes is crucial for your comfort.

  1. Moisturize

    Before any leather shoe is stretched, it’s best to apply a high-quality leather moisturizer to its outside. This is because the stretching method may dry out the shoes and result in the leather cracking or splitting.

  2. Freeze

    Half fill two plastic bags with water. Let the air out of the bags and make sure that they don’t leak. Place them inside the shoes and make sure that they are in the areas that feel tight (usually the toe area of each shoe). Place the shoes with the water-bags in a plastic bag then place them inside the freezer overnight. When the water turns to ice, the bags will expand and will stretch the leather. Remove the shoes from the freezer, take out the bags, then put the shoes on immediately and wear them for several hours.



    ou might need to let the ice thaw for around 20 minutes before you can remove the bags from the shoes. The shoes will be cold, but after a while the leather will mould to the feet as the shoes warm up and constrict.

  3. Heat

    If freezing doesn’t work, heat might do the trick. Blast hot air into the insides of the shoes using a blow dryer for two to five minutes. Put on a pair or two of thick socks then squeeze your feet into the shoes. Blow dry the shoes externally for several more minutes while flexing your toes and bending your feet, concentrating on the tight areas. Keep the shoes on for several hours until they cool down. Try the shoes on without socks and repeat as needed.

  4. Clamp

    A clamp forces two things together. Conversely, a reversing clamp will push two items apart. Insert the reversing clamp into the problem areas of the shoe to stretch the tight parts. You can blow dry the inside of the shoe for a bit to help the process along.

    Similarly, shoe stretchers are sold for the purpose of expanding the shoes. There are different types of shoe stretchers, depending on the type of shoe to be stretched. Sometimes, they come with shoe stretching fluid that you can apply before using them.

  5. Spray

    Mix isopropyl rubbing alcohol and water in a 1:3 ratio and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Lightly spray the interior of the shoes in the tight areas, especially the seams. If you cannot locate the tight sites, you can spray the exteriors of the shoes entirely with the alcohol mixture. Wear the shoes for several hours until the mixture dries completely. You can wear plastic over your feet to prevent irritation from the alcohol.

    For those who do not like the smell of alcohol, a cheap cologne or scented body spray will work as well since its main ingredient is alcohol. Note that too much alcohol might ruin the leather.

  6. Lubricate

    Since lotion or body butter helps the foot go into the shoe easily, it will also help soften the leather and mould it to your feet. Apply a liberal amount of lotion or body butter to the insides of the problem areas of the shoes then wear the shoes for several hours.

Since leather is pliable, the shoes might constrict again. If that happens, follow the above tips on how to stretch leather shoes again as needed.

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