How to Widen Shoes

Do you want to know how to widen shoes? Have you ever stumbled across the most fantastic pair of shoes that were available in your size, but they are narrow and that makes it uncomfortable to wear every day?  Some of us stumble across beautiful pair of shoes and don’t find them in your size. However, if you have really liked a pair, then go ahead and buy them, because there are various ways to widen the shoes.

Here are some simple steps on how to widen shoes.

Things Required:

  • Shoe polish
  • Conditioner
  • Other items mentioned in the article


  • You can start with trying some home-grown traditional methods for shoe stretching. There are a few things that you can easily do for stretching your shoes. Start wearing your shoes at home. Put on the shoes and move around wearing those for a few days. However, if it is painful, do not wear them, and try this method only if you need minor stretching. Within a few days your shoes will stretch and do not force yourself to walk in the shoes if they are very uncomfortable.
  • Freeze your shoes. Take a hole free sealable sandwich bag or any other plastic bag and fill it with water one third or half, seal the bags and place one bag in each shoe. Keep the bag inside the shoe and push them ahead in place so that it completely fits the inner area of shoe. Now, keep your shoes inside the freezer and allow them to sit until the water freezes. The water will turn into ice and expand inside your shoes. Remove the shoes from the freezer and allow them sit outside for 20 minutes before you remove the bags. Try the shoes and see if it fits properly now. You can repeat the process if you want. However, avoid using this method with your expensive shoes.
  • Another method you can try is heat and thick socks. Put on a pair of socks and squeeze your feet inside the shoes (only for leather). Take a hairdryer and heat the tight area of your shoe and try bending your feet back and forth as many times as you can for 20-30 seconds. After this, remove the heat source, but keep the shoes on until it has cooled. Now, you can try the shoes with normal socks or even stockings. Keep repeating this process until you feel that your shoes have stretched. Once they are stretched, then you can apply leather shoe conditioner for restoring the moisture, which will make up for the depleted heat.
  • The next method will be damp newspaper method. Take a newspaper and scrunch it wet and start stuffing it inside the shoes. Stuff as much paper as you can, but make sure that you do not distort the shape. If you notice that the shoe is looking distorted then immediately remove the paper until it starts looking the normal shape again. You can try substituting the paper with wet socks.
  • Grains or oats. This is one of the old cowboy tricks used for leather boots. Start filling your boots with oats or any other grain that will swell when wet. Pour enough water for covering the grain and the grain will start swelling overnight. After this, allow the boots to dry and then you can start wearing them again.
  • Rub some alcohol spray. You can spray of 50 percent water and 50 percent rubbing alcohol. Spray this mixture on the inside of the shoes and wear them for the next 20 minutes. An alternative option for this method is to rub alcohol directly on the parts of the shoes that need stretching. Try another variation, take a pair of cotton socks, soak them for sometime in rubbing alcohol and squeeze out the excess. Now, wear these socks inside the shoes until the alcohol from the socks dries completely. 
  • The potato method. Take a potato, peel it and push it inside your shoes, leave it overnight. You will have to make sure that the potato is large enough to create a little bulge in your shoes. Potatoes do not have a foul odor and you can easily wipe off the potato residue left in your shoes.
  • Be patient and go slowly. Remember that you must always stretch the shoes a little bit and then try them and continue to stretch if you wish to widen them more. Always keep in mind that just like clothes, shoes are made with a certain size and shape. The most effective method for widening shoes is wearing it over and over again for more space.

Tips and Warnings:

  • If you are trying to stretch your shoes for the first time, then you must start with a less-costly pair of shoes, while you get to know the whole process. In this way, even if you overdo the process and ruin your shoes, it will not cost you much.
  • Always remember that you must try on shoes when you are buying them to ensure that they are your size and fit properly.
  • If you see a brand that says won’t stretch out, opt for a different size. It is not written for the pride of the manufacturer, but it is the reality!
  • If you are planning to use shoe stretching spray for your shoes, then wear old socks because the fluid in that spray can cause your feet to bleed.
  • Always remember that you must never freeze the vintage shoes or it will be the last time you see them.

Related Content:

  1. How to Make Shoes
  2. How to Take Care of Leather Shoes
  3. How to Prevent Creases
  4. How to Prevent Bunions
  5. How to Prevent Foot Odor
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