Shoe Care & Comfort

How to Stretch Leather Shoes & Boots at Home Fast

Finding the perfect pair of shoes or boots for work or for play can be a tedious process. But, once you’ve found the right pair, making sure they fit perfectly can be even harder. Thankfully, you don’t have to stress about the feeling of a custom-fit shoe anymore.

With devices like the best shoe stretchers and shoe stretcher sprays, it’s easier than ever to expand leather shoes and boots from the comfort of your own home. Doing this can help you to save money, provide superior comfort, and get the most out of your shoes.

Why would you worry about stretching new shoes in the first place? There are more reasons than just being comfortable (though that can be a big factor!). When your shoes are too tight or too small, it can cause a lot of pain. Unfortunately, it can also lead to other foot conditions. That includes things like bunions, hammer toe, and toenail fungus.

Some people need a little more toe room. Others need to add width so their feet aren’t rubbing against the sides of their shoes and causing irritation. Whether you need to lengthen or widen your leather shoes, it’s possible and much easier than you might think.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the solutions:

Can You Stretch Leather Shoes by a Full Size?

This article will focus on several methods of stretching out leather and patent leather shoes and boots. Some ways are faster than others, and some are more effective. You can either choose to use ‘home remedies’ or certain products to stretch footwear.

It’s not practical to think you’ll be increasing the width or length of your shoes an entire size. While it isn’t impossible with some methods, that’s not the point of shoe stretching products or solutions.

If you do need a size bigger, it’s probably best to simply purchase a size up. But, if you think you have the right size and just need a bit more room and comfort, these methods can work wonders. Not only can they save you from pain, but irritating foot conditions, too.

What Is the Best Product for Expanding Leather Shoes?

When it comes to stretching out leather shoes quickly, it’s necessary to choose the right product for the job. Because tight shoes are a fairly common problem, there are dozens of devices out there that claim to get the job done.

However, the best way to stretch leather shoes and boots at home is with the FootFitter 2-Way Shoe Stretcher. There are a few things you should look for in a quality shoe-stretching device. This one covers the basics, and then some, including features like:

  • Double-expanding capabilities
  • Made of solid materials
  • Includes additional features (like plugs for bunions)
  • Portable and durable

This stretcher is engineered from German beech wood and stainless steel. Unlike its competitors, it’s not made of easily-breakable plastic. While a quality shoe stretcher might seem like an investment, it’ll save you money in the long run. You’ll be able to make new shoes fit like a dream. Plus, you can give new life to old shoes that may have started to feel tight and uncomfortable.

Using the FootFitter device is easy. You insert it into your shoe, adjust as needed for your desired fit, and let it sit overnight. In the morning, you’ll notice a difference in how your shoes feel. Plus, because this is a two-way stretcher, you can adjust both the length and width as needed. It even contains plugs you can insert on either side, to help prevent bunions and pain from the shoes rubbing against the sides of your feet.

To make the FootFitter Premium Professional 2-Way Stretcher even more effective, try using a stretching spray.

How to Get Results with a Leather Shoe Stretching Spray

Even the best shoe stretchers will benefit from a quality stretching spray. Or, you can choose to use a spray on its own. One of the fastest-working shoe stretcher liquid sprays is Kiwi Select Universal Shoe Stretch.

The spray goes on clear and won’t leave a residue behind. You can actually use your own feet to make sure you’re getting a perfect fit. Spray a bit of the liquid into your shoes, slip your feet in, and let the leather soften enough to conform to your feet. You can even be sitting at a desk and you’ll feel the effects.

If you would rather use a device like the FootFitter Stretcher, it is still recommended that you use a spray. It will help the device push the material to the accurate setting faster. Not only is this important for expanding length and width, but for the sides where bunions tend to form.

An additional benefit of the Kiwi Select liquid is that it will also work on other shoe materials. This includes suede and Nu-buck. So, if you have other shoes that need a bit more room, you can adjust them all with just one convenient spray.

A liquid shoe stretching spray like this will allow you to stretch and re-stretch your shoes as needed. It helps to soften the material enough to expand it safely, without overstretching.

If you frequently travel or use leather shoes for work, it’s a good idea to take both stretching spray and a shoe stretcher with you. The good news is that these products are extremely portable. So, no matter where you are, you can always have comfortable shoes!

Which DIY Methods Work Well for Stretching New Shoes?

If you don’t want to invest in a professional shoe stretcher, there are several ways to expand your shoes at home. These DIY methods may take a bit longer to work. But, you can do them with items you probably already have on hand.

If you’re looking to save money while getting a better fit from your shoes, they are great options. We’ll cover the most popular methods so you can start to be more comfortable.

  • Wet newspaper: One of the easiest ways to get a good stretch from leather shoes is to ‘stuff’ them with something. Many people try using wet newspaper for this. You can crumple up the newspaper in a pair of socks beforehand, or simply insert it directly into the shoe. For even better results, spray the paper with a shoe stretcher liquid. This will help to soften the leather and allow the newspaper to work more effectively. Leave the paper overnight and you should notice a significant change in the morning.
  • Freezing: It may sound strange, but freezing your shoes can help to expand them. Water expands when wet, so using it inside your shoes can help them to expand as well. The most important thing to remember is the material itself can’t get wet. Getting water on the outside of the material can cause discoloration or even damage the shoe itself. So, fill sandwich bags with water and make sure they are tightly sealed. Then, place the bags inside your shoes, and stick in the freezer. Once the water freezes, take the shoes out and allow it to thaw. Take out the bags and try on your shoes for their new fit. This method may require more than one ’round’ of freezing to get your shoes where you want them to be.
  • Heat: On the other end of the spectrum, heat can also help to stretch out your shoes. You can practice this method while wearing your shoes. Put on a pair of thick socks and step into your shoes. Take a hair dryer and turn it to its highest heat setting. Blow the dryer over the tightest areas of your shoes. While you’re doing this, try to bend and flex your toes as much as possible. This allows for a more custom fit that works for your feet, specifically.

Leather boots that have been stretched and fit better

Will My Feet Change Size over Time?

At some point in your life, your feet will stop noticeably growing. By the time you’re an adult, you probably won’t need to continue getting bigger shoe sizes like you did when you were growing up. But, that doesn’t mean your feet stop changing.

As we age, our body absorbs more gravity. Unfortunately, feet take the brunt of this weight. That can cause them to change their shape and size. As ligaments and tendons relax with age, feet can become wider or longer. Weight gain can also change the shape of your feet. There are many factors that come into play. Even the slightest changes in how your feet look or feel can make a big difference in your shoes.

Foot pain tends to become more common as we get older, too. One of the culprits of this pain is shoes that don’t fit properly or offer needed support. However, as you can see, you don’t have to live with uncomfortable shoes even if your feet are going through different transformations. Stretching them out safely can make a big difference in how your feet look and feel at any age.

If you’re more concerned about the formation and shape of your feet, we recommend learnings about the Yogatoes toe separator. It’ll help to prevent and cure joint-related problems, so feel free to find out more in our in-depth Yogatoes Gel Toe Stretcher Separator Review.

One of the best things you can do as you get older is to get your feet measured periodically. When you get measured by a professional, you’ll know the exact shoe size that should work for you. But, even if you haven’t taken the time to get properly measured, you can adjust your shoes as needed with the help of some of these stretching methods.

Will Stretching Shoes Reduce Foot Pain?

There are many different reasons people choose to stretch out their shoes. The biggest one is usually because their current pair is uncomfortable and causing pain. That pain can lead to things like blisters or bunions. In some cases, shoes that are too tight (especially in the toe area) can even cause fungal infections. They are also great at trapping moisture. This can lead to an overgrowth of bacteria and smelly feet.

What’s the good news? It’s easier than ever to stretch out leather shoes and boots. Thanks to at-home methods that work, and new devices that are safe to use, you can add more comfort to your shoes practically overnight.

Try some of the methods or products listed above to get results quickly. You don’t have to return those new leather shoes or boots just because they’re a little tight. In fact, you can make them fit better than ever with some of these tried-and-true solutions. When you’re able to find that ‘custom fit,’ you won’t have to deal with pain or a higher risk of foot conditions.

If you want your footwear to look immaculate, find out more about the best shoe shine kits.