It’s easy to ignore our feet until we experience discomfort or a foot condition develops. Getting foot problems like bunions, hammer toes, rough heels, and toenail fungus cause us to take notice.
Paying attention to your feet is vital. This includes the comfort of the shoes that you wear. If your shoes are causing pain, you need the best shoe stretcher to make your footwear roomier.
The shape of our feet can change throughout the day, and the dimensions of shoes can change over time. Feet can swell for various reasons, or shoes can start to shrink. If you develop a condition, like bunions or corns, you’ll want to wear shoes that aren’t constricting and allow your feet to breathe.
For these reasons, you will want to expand the width and/or length of your shoes with ease. So, the next time you put on your favorite footwear, you won’t have to experience any discomfort.
Whether you have new shoes that need to be broken in or want to expand your shoes for a bit of extra comfort, a shoe stretcher device is ideally suited to do the job.
Table of Contents:
- 1 Top 5 Shoe Stretcher Picks for 2019
- 1.1 1) FootFitter Premium Professional 1-Way Shoe Stretcher
- 1.2 2) FootFitter Premium Professional 2-Way Shoe Stretcher
- 1.3 3) KevenAnna High Heel Adjustable Shoe Trees
- 1.4 4) FootFitter Premium Professional Boot Stretcher
- 1.5 5) Houseables Expander for Shoes
- 2 What is the Best Shoe Stretch Spray?
- 3 Do Shoe Stretchers Work on Sneakers?
- 4 What Are the Benefits of Shoe Stretchers?
Top 5 Shoe Stretcher Picks for 2019
What should you look for in a quality shoe stretcher?
- Made from durable and long-lasting materials like wood, hard plastic, and metal
- Extra features, such as bunion plugs, for a specialized custom fit
- Portability or hanging options
- Can work on either the left or right shoe
If your shoes are painful to wear, or you’re experiencing discomfort when you wear them, it may be time to explore the benefits of a shoe stretcher.
1) FootFitter Premium Professional 1-Way Shoe Stretcher
Professional shoe stretchers are often used to expand high heels and dress shoes. They are perfect for both men and women.
This FootFitter stretcher has multiple features that are not only ideal for your shoes but will provide extra comfort to your favorite pair. It can take new shoes and make them feel as though you’ve been wearing them for years, or revitalize old shoes that don’t fit the way they should.
- They are made of real beechwood.
- Three bunion plugs are included, that will help to stretch specific areas where you’re experiencing pain. They are adjustable, so you can move them around as needed.
- They only stretch the width of the shoe, so they’re better suited to fit your needs.
- It is designed to fit both the left and right shoe perfectly, so you can focus on stretching one shoe at a time for a custom fit.
The product is designed with durability and comfort in mind, using durable materials like stainless steel and German-harvested Beechwood.
It works for both men and women’s shoes in various sizes, and allows you full control when slipping it into your shoe, thanks to a threaded center rod.
This one-way stretcher looks and feels sleek and stylish on its own. It’s also compact and lightweight so that you can take it with you on business trips. You won’t have to worry about tight, uncomfortable shoes again.
Check the Price of the FootFitter Premium Professional 1-Way Shoe Stretcher on Amazon!
2) FootFitter Premium Professional 2-Way Shoe Stretcher
With many of the same features as the one-way stretcher, this professional expander is designed to stretch your shoe’s width and length. If your shoes are poorly-fitting all around, being able to stretch them both ways can provide additional comfort.
Much like the one-way stretcher, the FootFitter Premium Professional 2-Way Shoe Stretcher is made from German Beechwood and stainless steel. It is designed to be strong, yet compact.
- Stainless steel washers around the heel block to allow you to achieve your desired length. These washers make it easy to make even the slightest length adjustments for enhanced comfort.
- The wooden part of the expander contains 14 plug holes (seven on each side) and comes with three bunion plugs.
- Easy customizable stretching experience
- Works perfectly for elongating the shoe, or increasing the width
FootFitter has taken their one-way design and made it more practical for people who need more room all over. It is a quality product that is perfect for business and dress shoes of all sizes.
It is recommended with any FootFitter product that you use a stretching spray before inserting the expanding device into your shoe. This will provide more noticeable results and extra comfort
Check the Price of the FootFitter Premium Pro 2-Way Shoe Stretcher on Amazon!
3) KevenAnna High Heel Adjustable Shoe Trees
Finding a stretcher that works on high heels can be a lifesaver for many women. Pumps and heels look great, whether you’re wearing them for professional or casual purposes.
However, Heels can often rub against the heels, causing painful blisters. Or, they can pinch the toes. When your toes are crammed into a small, tight space, it can create bunions, blisters, or put you at risk for toenail fungus. Your feet need room to breathe.
- Sold as a pair for extra value
- Design allows you to stretch the length and width of your heels
- Made from polyurethane plastic and steel for durability and strength
- Includes a pack of 12 bunion plugs
The holes within the KevenAnna stretchers are designed for pressure point relief, so you can wear high heels all day long without feeling any pain.
You’ll also give your toes the opportunity to breathe and move around. They are not suitable for wide-width shoes. However, they do work on larger sizes, up to a women’s 9.5.
The design allows you to hang them up when they aren’t in use, so you don’t have to worry about extra clutter. The sleek design makes them ideal for your favorite high heels.
If you have suede high heels, you may need to spray them with a shoe-stretching spray before using the expander. This will help to soften the material even more, so the expander can sink into the toe area of the heel.
Leave in the stretcher(s) overnight for best results. Your heels may feel too loose the next day, but keep wearing them, and they will begin to conform to the natural contours of your foot quickly.
Check the Price of the KevenAnna High Heel Adjustable Shoe Trees on Amazon!
4) FootFitter Premium Professional Boot Stretcher
Whether you’re an avid hiker or you use work boots every day for your job, nothing is worse than being active and working hard in boots that cause you pain.
Boots that fit are a necessity to anyone who uses them regularly. Because work boots and hiking boots often are worn when we are very active, they can collect moisture inside. If your toes don’t have enough room, this could potentially lead to toenail fungus.
The FootFitter Boot Stretcher is designed for even the toughest boot materials. Boots are made to withstand harsh environments, such as hiking or outdoor work. It is made from Beechwood and has three bunion plugs. You can reduce the stress at the pressure points.
- An extra-long shaft for deep boots.
- A long handle for easy insertion and removal.
- Reaches the toe box of both tall and short boots.
This boot stretcher is available in six different sizes and works on either the left or right boot. While it does work for fashion boots, it’s not suitable for western-style boots. Please note that only one stretcher is included, not a pair.
Check the Price of the FootFitter Premium Professional Boot Stretcher on Amazon!
5) Houseables Expander for Shoes
With the Houseables Two-Way Shoe Stretcher, you can expand almost any pair of shoes to your perfect fit. They work on new shoes to break them in, or old shoes that need to be adjusted. No matter how you use them, they can help to create a custom fit, each time.
This expander comes in a set, and both fit either the left or right shoe.
- A compact, ergonomic design to reach tight-fitting areas
- Eight pressure point pads for easy customization
- Made from 100% pine wood
- Easy-to-use and adjustable knob for the perfect fit
- Stretches out both the length and width of the shoe
Houseables recommends leaving the stretchers in your shoes overnight, or anywhere between 24-48 hours. These expanders work on loafers, wedges, sandals, flats, and more.
With one simple rotating knob, you can adjust both the length and width of your shoes in seconds. These easy-to-use expanders can put a stop to painful blisters and uncomfortable tightness in nearly every pair of shoes you own, making it one of the most versatile solutions on this list.
Check the Price of the Houseables Two-Way Shoe Stretcher on Amazon!
What is the Best Shoe Stretch Spray?
While shoe stretchers work without any further support, you can accelerate the process with a top quality shoe stretch spray. A shoe-stretching liquid works by softening the material of the shoe, making it easier to expand.
One of the best shoe stretching sprays is Kiwi SELECT Universal Shoe Stretch. It is designed to instantly soften the material of your shoes so they can expand to fit perfectly.
You don’t even need to use a shoe tree with this spray, you can slide your feet in after applying it, and your own feet will create a custom fit for you, so you’ll be comfortable all day.
This special stretching spray is for leather, suede, Nu-buck, or reptile skin materials, and it works on all different colors. It won’t stain or tarnish your shoes in any way.
Spray a small amount directly on the inside of your shoes, wherever you need a little extra room. For most people, this is either on the sides or in the toe area. Then, slip your feet into your shoes.
They will conform to your feet better than ever before. Whether you need it for professional dress shoes or work boots, this spray can provide a sense of comfort to almost any new, or ill-fitted pair.
Do Shoe Stretchers Work on Sneakers?
Shoe stretchers work best with leather, suede and other natural materials. Do they work on sneakers or synthetic shoes? Yes, to an extent. However, more effort is required.
To use a shoe stretcher for synthetic shoes, we’d recommend that you use a stretching spray (see above). Leave the device in the shoe for at least eight hours. You shouldn’t expect a big difference in size, but it will likely create just enough of a push to make your sneakers feel more comfortable.
Sneakers are made from soft, synthetic materials. They should be relatively comfortable unless you bought the wrong size, but an expander can be used to break them in faster. Keep in mind that sneakers may not keep their shape as well as shoes made from tougher materials.
If you’re expecting to radically change the size of a synthetic shoe or a sneaker, it’s not going to happen by using a shoe expanding device. For example, you’re trying to turn a size eight into a size ten.
How to Expand Synthetic Shoes
We touched briefly on the fact that shoe stretchers can work on synthetic materials, but they are designed for natural materials like leather. To make the most of stretching out a sneaker or synthetic-type shoe, use the following steps.
- Use your favorite type of shoe-stretching liquid to start. Cover a flat surface with newspaper, and put your shoes in the center.
- Spray one shoe evenly with the liquid. You don’t want the spray to run down the shoes, but you do want to get a thick coat consistently across the material.
- Before the liquid dries, insert a shoe expander, and adjust it to your desired fit.
- Repeat with the other shoe.
- Leave the expanders in the shoes for 24-48 hours for best results.
Keep in mind that synthetic materials are usually softer and pliable. This is particularly the case for sneakers. They may not hold their shape as well as leather shoes, even after they have been adjusted. You may need to repeat this process periodically if the material begins to lose its form or tighten up again.
For best results, put shoe stretchers in the shoes whenever you are not wearing them. This will help them to hold the desired shape longer, and you won’t need to spray them each time.
What Are the Benefits of Shoe Stretchers?
Aside from making your feet more comfortable, there are other benefits of shoe trees and expanders. Here are the benefits:
1) Resize Shoes
While they won’t stretch out your shoes by two additional sizes, shoe stretchers can provide enough room to make it feel as though any pair of shoes were custom made for you.
Whether you have a new pair of shoes that you can’t return, or an old pair that doesn’t fit as well anymore, using an expander can add comfort.
2) Breathable Footwear
Whether you’re sitting at a desk all day, or you’re very active, your feet will sweat a lot. When moisture gets trapped in a confined space due to ill-fitting shoes, it can allow fungal spores to grow.
Additional wiggle room for your toes is crucial as it will keep air circulating properly and will help to avoid a buildup of excess moisture. Also, wearing antifungal socks will soak up excess moisture.
3) Strong and Sturdy Design
They are an inexpensive investment that you can use multiple times on different pairs of shoes. You can choose whether you want a hard, durable plastic expander, or a solid wooden stretcher.
With the right care and storage, almost any pair of shoes that you own can fit optimally for many years thanks to the same shoe expander device.
4) Save Money
It’s cheaper to create extra space in existing shoes than it is to buy new footwear. If you have many pairs of shoes that you haven’t been able to wear in years, you could save hundreds of dollars. To maintain the optimal size and dimensions, you can leave the shoe stretcher in place.
Alternatively, you can buy a shoe tree in the correct size. A shoe tree won’t expand the shoe, but it will maintain the shape of your shoes when they aren’t being worn.
Whether you need more comfort while sitting at your desk all day, or relief from tight boots on long hikes, using a shoe stretcher can make your current footwear feel as though it was tailor-made for your feet. Find out about our top pick, the FootFitter Premium Professional 1-Way Shoe Stretcher.