Safe Ways To Stretch Too Small Shoes

If you've ever fallen in love with a pair of shoes even though they're just a bit too small, you've probably looked for ways to stretch shoes without damaging them. I started looking because recently I bought a few pairs of shoes online and one of them fits a bit too snug for my liking. I really love these shoes and the store is all out of any bigger sizes. What's a girl to do?  This pair would have been perfect if it was half-size up but that's not even a possibility so I decided to look into ways to stretch it out a bit so I can enjoy them comfortably. I love shoes but i'm not the type of girl that believes in smiling while I feel like my feet are on fire and is dying a slow painful death. I know plenty of my friends who do this but I just can't. Fashion to me should be an expression of you and your passion not painful. Turns out that  there are lots of safe ways to stretch shoes without changing their shape or structure! Woohoo, now lets get to it.


One of the easiest ways to stretch shoes when they don't quite fit is to wear them around the house. Even if they're not comfortable, wearing them while you're on the computer, running the vacuum, or just lounging on the couch will help stretch them. If possible, you can also put on extra thick socks – or several pairs.


I love this method; it's genius! You take a few Ziploc bags and fill them halfway full with water, check to make sure they don't leak, and then shove them in your shoes. Depending on where they're too small – narrow toes, narrow width, not quite long enough – you can situate the bags so they target those areas. You'll want to keep them in place somehow; rubber bands work best. Then you shove your shoes in the freezer and give the water time to turn into ice. As it does so, it expands – and so the bags expand in your shoes. When it's frozen, you'll either pull out the bags or give them time to thaw. After that, you have to wear the shoes a while. They'll be cold, so make sure that you wear socks.


Most shoe shops, especially cobbler shops, sell stretching solution. You just spray it according to the directions; some go inside, some go outside. You'll still have to wear your shoes around the house, but the solution helps them stretch easily. Now, some sprays can mess with the color of your shoes, so definitely read the directions. If you want to make your own, some footwear fashionistas recommend mixing up a spray bottle containing one part rubbing alcohol with one part water, or rubbing down your shoes with alcohol, and then wearing them. You can even soak your socks in alcohol and wear them with your shoes.


Going back to number one, pull on some thick socks, or several pairs, shove your feet in those pesky shoes, and then get to work with your hairdryer. Use a hot setting but don't put the dryer flush against your shoes; you don't want to scorch them. As they heat up, make sure you wiggle your toes and flex your feet to help the process. As they cool, try them without socks. If they still pinch, just repeat the process.


Peel yourself a potato or two, again depending on the size of the shoe and the areas that need stretching. If the toes pinch, shove that spud just as far into the toe as it will go. If you need to widen the whole shoe, just use more than one potato. Let your potatoes stay in your shoes throughout the night. You can also do this with wet newspapers or a whole lot of oats.


Shoe stretchers are great, and if you find you frequently buy too-small shoes, getting one makes a good investment. You just have to choose one that's the same size as your foot, paying attention to both width and length. Most of them are adjustable, which definitely helps. The only problem is that this method takes several days, but it's also one of the safest ways to stretch shoes.

From one shoe lover to the next I hope these tips help. 

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