A wardrobe isn’t complete without the right shoes. For corporate meetings, outings, and casual events, shoes are usually the first priority for footwear. Among the myriad of shoe types, leather shoes reign supreme. Known for their durability and appeal, leather shoes are perhaps the most sought-after footwear. However, leather shoes, as appealing as they are, can cause discomfort if they are too tight. Luckily, you can overcome this hassle if you know how to stretch leather shoes.
Stretching can make them comfortable to wear. That said, here is a detailed guide to help you learn how to stretch leather shoes and get the best out of them.
Why do Leather Shoes Need to be Expanded?
Leather shoes are a popular choice because they are durable, stylish, and comfortable. However, even the best shoes made of leather can be uncomfortable if they don’t fit properly. This is where stretching comes in handy. Stretching leather shoes can help you achieve a better fit and make them more comfortable to wear.
There are several reasons why leather shoes might need expansion. Listed below are the most common reasons.
- Shoes are too tight or narrow to wear – This can cause discomfort or even pain. If you know how to stretch leather shoes, it can help you achieve a better fit and prevent discomfort.
- Leather losing its shape and size – Leather, like any other material goes through a process of wear and tear. This can prompt the shoes to lose its fit and shape. Elongating can help restore the original shape and prevent them from becoming too tight or narrow.
Sings Your Shoes Need to be Stretched
Before we learn how to stretch leather shoes, it is important to know when you should do it. The simple way is to look for the following signs.
- Shoes feel tight or narrow, especially around the toes or the sides of your feet.
- You begin to develop blisters or calluses on your feet after wearing them for a short period of time.
- The comfort level has decreased from what it used to be.
How to Stretch Leather Shoes
Below are some of the most effective ways to expand leather shoes effectively.
Use a Shoe Stretcher
Typically, the best way to expand leather shoes is to use a shoe stretcher. A shoe stretcher can help you expand your shoes to the desired width and length. Shoe stretchers are available in multiple sizes and designs.
Moreover, they can be used for different types of shoes apart from leather. To effectively use a shoe stretcher, insert it into your shoes and adjust it to the desired width and length. Then leave it in your shoes for a few hours or overnight.
Use a Sock and a Hairdryer
Learning how to use a sock and hairdryer to expand leather shoes can be a viable option too.. You need to put on a thick sock and wear your leather shoes to use this method. Then use a hair dryer to heat the tight areas of your shoes for a few minutes. The heat will soften the leather, and you can then wiggle your toes and move your feet to stretch the shoes.
Use a Spray Bottle and Rubbing Alcohol
For expanding shoes using this method you need to mix equal parts of water and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. Spray the inside of your leather shoes with the mixture and wear them for a few minutes. The rubbing alcohol will soften the leather, and you can then move your feet to stretch the shoes.
Use Ice to Stretch Shoes
Another effective way to elongate leather shoes is by using ice. Fill a sandwich bag or any similar bag partially with water. Place the bag in the area of the shoes that has shrunken and put the shoes in the freezer, When the water freezes, it will stretch out the shoe .
Stretching Shoes: Wider or Longer?
Expanding leather footwear wider or longer depends on the design of your shoes and your personal preference. If your shoes are too narrow, you can use the aforementioned methods to stretch leather shoes wider.
Conversely, if the shoes are too short, you can use a shoe stretcher to expand them longer. An important part of learning how to stretch leather shoes is to identify how the shoe should be stretched.
Precautions to Take While Stretching Leather Shoes
Stretching leather shoes can be a delicate process, and it’s important to take precautions to avoid damaging your shoes. Let’s go through some precautions
- The first precaution is to use a shoe stretcher or a DIY method that is suitable for your shoes.
- Another precaution is to expand your shoes gradually and test the fit after each stretching session. Don’t rush into things.
- Avoid overstretching as this can damage the leather and alter the shape of your shoes.
Tips for Maintaining Stretched Shoes
Knowing how to stretch leather shoes is one thing, however, it is equally important to know the maintenance tips. Listed below are some effective leather shoe maintenance tips.
- Use shoe trees – One tip is to use shoe trees to maintain the shape of your shoes. Shoe trees are devices that can be inserted into your shoes to maintain their shape and prevent them from becoming too narrow or too wide.
- Use leather conditioners – You can also use leather conditioners to keep your shoes soft and supple. Additionally, leather conditioners can help prevent your shoes from cracking or becoming stiff over time.
These are all the methods to help you learn how to stretch leather shoes. Leather shoes are one of the most popular footwear choices. However, they can experience reshaping with time, or the user may outgrow the shoe.
Either way, you can follow the tips mentioned above to expand leather shoes and get the best out of them. You can also squeeze a few extra years by following the maintenance checklist.
Stay tuned to learn how to stretch leather shoes and much more regarding footwear repair and maintenance.