So we've all bought that amazing pair of shoes that just ends up living in the back of our closet because they don't fit comfortably.  Whether it's a brand new pair or a lovely vintage pair just waiting to go on those stems, these tricks will give a bit more wiggle room for your feet!  Fortunately I had the pleasure of working with an older German woman who after working selling shoes in three countries learned many useful shoe stretching tips that she happily passed on to me.  I have tried all of them with great results and you should too! 
  These tricks work on synthetic or natural fibers like leather and suede.  Natural fibers are generally easier to stretch and soften much nicer than the synthetics, but these methods will give results for most any type of shoes.  Just be sure to be patient and take time to stretch any pair so you don't tear any fabric or break any stitches!

Stretching with Rubbing Alcohol
Grab a spray bottle and fill it up with some rubbing alcohol.  Spray the inside of your shoes until they are slightly damp and pop them on your bare feet.  Strut around in them until the alcohol dries.  Repeat if your shoes are still a bit snug as many times as needed.  This is my favourite method and works super well on leather and suede shoes as well as many synthetics.  Just make sure to watch for colour bleed in brightly coloured pairs.

Wool Socks Method
Throw on a pair of uber thick socks, like slipper socks or some form of super thick heavy winter ones and put on your shoes.  It may take a bit of effort to slip them on your feet, picture the ugly stepsisters in Cinderella trying to get in the glass slipper...maybe that was a bit exaggerated, but you get the gist!  Romp around the house and if you can, make a few trips up and down a set of stairs.  This method is a bit uncomfortable, but is safe for any pair of shoes.

Freezer Stretching
Grab a plastic bag that seals well and fill it 3/4 full of water.  Plop the sealed bag into the shoes and throw them in the freezer.  Leave them in overnight and the water will expand as it freezes and slowly stretch out your shoes.  Because this works slowly it is a very gentle method and is great for a pair that is just too uncomfortable to wear while stretching.

How to Prevent Blisters
Sometimes shoes just rub you the wrong way even though they are the perfect size.  Stitching in the heel or anywhere in the shoe can irritate feet and cause nasty blisters.  To stop this from happening you can coat them in wax!  Light any candle you have lying around the house and wait for a little pool of wax to melt.  Blow out the candle and use a wooden stick or your fingers to quickly pick up a bit of the melted wax and cover the inside area of the shoe that's causing irritation with a thin coat of wax.  You can also pour a small amount onto the back inside edge of the shoe and move it around to coat the whole inside back, just make sure to keep the layer very thin.

Try out one method at a time or they work well when combined
So now you can break out those ill fitting shoes or buy that fabulous vintage pair that your not so sure of the fit and give these tricks a go!

11/27/2012 11:48:58 pm

Each attempt at Crossfit claims to have proper footwear.

7/8/2013 04:39:08 pm

Hello, the nice post of amazing pair of shoes that just ends up living in the back of our closet because they don't fit comfortably.thanks a lot

8/6/2013 06:02:06 am

hello, i am thrilled to read about another person's passion for the past. i have been collecting vintage handbags & jewels since i was a teenager. i have hundreds of accessories plus a fabulous collection of coats & clothes that i wear & use for vintage fashion shows for charity.... thank you. just bought the best pair of vintage shoes...xo

10/7/2013 01:10:20 am

What a commendable work you have done, with simplest of language. I can’t resist myself to leave a comment and trust me it’s hard to impress me.

10/21/2013 07:33:40 pm

Now is the right time to start wearing leather footwear percent coming colder days

moccasin girl
12/29/2013 07:21:49 am

I love this post! I have scoured the internet looking for great ways to stretch shoes, especially suede shoes. I have a brand new pair of suede moccasins that are just a little bit too small and am hoping these methods work on them. However, I do have one question:

Does it make a difference for any of the stretching methods if the moccasin has fur lining the inside?


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