How to Stretch Your Shoes That Are Too Tight

This post was last updated on January 3rd, 2021 at 08:06 am

You have finally found the perfect pair of shoes only to discover that they are too tight on your feet? How to stretch shoes that are too tight, so tight they’re feeling uncomfortable?
If you can’t return the shoes—or don’t want to—there are 7 tricks so you can stretch them out to fit better.
Please bear in mind the best way is to buy shoes that fit perfectly to avoid the above situation.
Check out how to measure your feet here, and the importance of the correct width here.

Pro Tip:
At Size-Charts.com we constantly work to improve the life of our readers. Better then to stretch shoes you paid for is buying the desired pair of shoes of the right brand or directly at the right stores. Read about the size charts, sizing tips, great wide fitting brands, and stores to find them on the post about on size charts and brands for wide women’s shoes.

Shoes too tight: How to stretch your shoes?

One of the most common shoe problems is that the length of the shoes is ok, while the width is way too tight.
This causes hard skin or small blisters but can be resolved by stretching the front upper of your shoes. The width of the shoe can be adjusted, the length can’t be changed due to the fixation of the outsole. Yet adapting the width of your shoes can give you the comfort and space you need and want to feel.

Pro Tip:
Don’t underestimate the consequences of wearing shoes that are too tight. Read about the importance of width and potential injuries as a result of wearing shoes that don’t fit.

Quick Navigation on how to stretch your shoes:

Brief steps to get your shoes stretched, for more info click the links.

  1. Wear your shoes at home

    Do this repeatedly for short periods to and wear thick socks

  2. Wear your shoes in the evening

    Your feet tend to swell during the day

  3. Heat your shoes

    With a hair dryer you might win half a size

  4. Freeze your shoes

    Put a waterproof flexible bag filled with water in your shoes and afterwards in the freezer

  5. Use simple stretching tools

    There are many simple and cheap tools on the market to help stretch your shoes

  6. Stretch sprays and Liquids

    Spray them on the zone that needs stretching before walking with the shoes

  7. Find a shoe repair professional

    There are still real shoe makers with tools and tons of experience to get the job done


1. Wear your shoes at home

You want to wear those shoes for long periods such as all day at work or all evening at a social gathering; you will need to make them as comfortable as possible.
An easy tip is to start wearing the shoes at home for short periods.
This will help loosen the material and stretch out the shoes a little; depending on the material, the shoes are made off.

In a hurry? Wear a thick pair of socks—or several pairs—before you stuff the shoes on your feet. When the shoes hurt your feet, take them off.

2. Wear your shoes in the evening

Our feet tend to swell during the day, so if your shoes are just a little uncomfortable, try wearing them around the house in the evening. Repeating this a couple of evenings, can soften your shoes up to the point they feel good.

A new pair of shoes? Walk as much as possible on rugs or carpeted surfaces, so you can still return the shoes looking brand-new.

3. Heat your shoes

Heating shoes that are too tight is a third option.
First, put on some thick socks and then your shoes.
Secondly, get out the hairdryer, put it on high heat. Focus and point the hairdryer at the shoe in the areas where it is tight.
Thirdly, bend your feet, flex your toes back and forth to move the shoe material as much as possible.

The heating method are known to stretch shoe sizes from a half to a whole size.

4. Freeze your shoes

One of the most know physics rules: Water expands as it freezes, by consequence freezing your shoes also expands them.

All you have to do is fill a waterproof, flexible bag for each foot with water about 1/4th full.
Carefully insert the bags up into your shoes, stick them in the freezer and leave them there until the water freezes.
Be patient, so all the water is frozen. Afterward, allow it to thaw, take out the bags, and try on your shoes. Feel free to try a second time when round 1 one is not sufficient enough.
Make sure the water doesn’t leak when put inside the shoe.

The freezing method are known to stretch shoe sizes from a half to a whole size.

5. Use simple shoe stretching tools

A fourth method to stretch out the shoes is the use of shoe-stretching tools or adjustable shoe trees.
Versions are available for both men’s and women’s shoes.
Shoe stretchers can adjust the length as well as the width of a shoe.
Pay attention not to get the shoe too loose.
Shoe stretchers can work fine but will cost you maybe $20 or so. Find them on Amazon.
Turn the shoe tree’s adjustment handle every 8 to 10 hours and keep stretching until you get the desired comfort feeling…

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This method can be combined with a shoe stretching spray and liquids, which work best for leather shoes and sneakers.

6. Shoe stretch sprays and liquids

A lot of liquids and sprays to stretch leather or synthetic shoes are available. Spray them on the tight areas and then start walking with your shoes.

In combination with adjustable shoe stretchers, your shoes will stretch to the desired comfort feeling.

7. Find a shoe repair professional

We can’t forget the real shoemakers with tons of experience and tools to get the job done. Most professional shoe repair shops provide stretching services.
Not only can a shoemaker stretch your shoes, but they can also repair and refresh the ones you have to make them last longer overall.
Unfortunately, there are fewer shoe repair shops in the malls or high streets…

With above 7 tips and tricks, never again will there be such a thing as shoes that are too tight. Finding the right brand with wide size for men and women can avoid a lot of trouble. Discover them here.


Stretch your Shoes Faq

Do shoe stretchers really work?

Shoe stretchers will certainly size up to half a size (that’s around half an inch of space) in your shoes, but they are not miracle workers. If your shoes are a full size too small, you’re best getting a new pair of shoes. You might combine shoe stretchers with other tips in this article. Shoe stretchers work best on natural materials like leather and canvas.

Can you buy shoe stretchers?

Yes, and they will cost you between $10 and $50.
Depending on the directions you want to stretch your shoes, and the material of the stretcher, the price goes up. The plastic version is the cheapest, Hardwood version the most expensive.

Which shoe stretcher I should buy?

Most shoe stretchers cost between $10 and $50. Check our study here
At $10, shoe stretchers are basic one-way stretchers made from plastic. For $25, you can buy a decent wood stretcher.
If you spend $50, you can buy a top stretcher made from hardwood that includes a lot of stretching plugs.

Picture in this post by Inga Seliverstova via Pexels

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