You are wondering if there are any solutions for shoes with nug fit? Read on this to find out if shoe stretchers really work.
Have you been upset with your favorite shoes having too small sizes? They may be a present from a beloved with the wrong size bought online, but you must keep them for memory in the wardrobe. In other cases, you try shoes when your feet tend to have bunions, calluses happening at a particular time. Some pairs of shoes may need so much time for breaking in that your feet can’t stand the pain.
For this or that reason, you can make an instant decision not to wear them anymore. However, shoe stretchers are designed to save those situations to a certain extent. You can find them effective to adjust shoes’ size up to about half size. They work for both the length and width of shoes that you want to increase their size.
It depends on what type of materials that shoes are made to value exactly if shoe stretchers really work or not. To the below points, you will find out the best answer for the burning above question.
What are Shoe Stretchers?
As shown in the name, the shoe stretchers are tools used to stretch shoes and shaped like natural feet. In detail, they function to expand the width and length of your work shoes as you expected for fit. Besides, you can use them to add more space for specific places where you have bunions or calluses for relief when wearing shoes.
As a result, shoe stretchers save you from tight shoes that can make your feet annoyed by pain. Also, they are convenient tools for making shoes break in faster for comfort. Not only are they applied for shoes, but also for boots to expand their calves or instep area (related: how to stretch calf boots?). Shoe stretchers are made of wood or heavy-duty plastic and metal. Some come with singles for both feet, while others are created as a pair for right and left feet correspondingly.
Why do you need Shoe Stretchers?
Shoe stretchers are made for solving some problems relating to your footwear. Basically, they are used when your shoes are too tight for your feet to be bearable. This can come from your wrong choice of size or your feet’ conditions. Selecting the shoe size requires your understanding of your feet. It would help if you tried them before buying or reading carefully how the shoemakers identify shoe sizes.
It is recommended that we should try shoes at the end of the day for the most fixed size of feet. Otherwise, you can find them smaller when wearing them at that time. When it comes to feet conditions, some people can suffer from bunions or calluses that make their feet bigger than average conditions. Pregnant women’s feet are also bigger due to the change in their physical condition.
A tight pair of shoes can do harm to your feet, so you may have to throw them away. However, shoe stretchers can save your feet, wallet, and liking by adjusting the size of shoes. That is the reason for their generation and why people need them.
Different Types of Shoe Stretchers
Based on a variety of different purposes, there are some types of shoe stretchers popularly used at present. You can easily find them in the current market. Understanding all of them helps you to select the suitable shoe stretchers for solving your specific demands.
One way shoe stretchers: As the name says, one way, shoe stretchers are those which used to expand a specific area, such as the instep, the width, or the toe box. In this way, you can find that type for focusing on fixing one of these areas for quicker effectiveness.
Two-way shoe stretchers: Two-way shoe stretchers function to expand the entire shoe for both length and width. Thus, they are applied for having a perfect-fitting pair of shoes.
High heel stretchers: High heel stretchers are only used for women to expand their high heel shoes. While the fashion of high heel shoes can appeal to the ladies, they need that tool for your feet to be able to resist in those shoes.
Boot stretchers: Boot stretchers can solve the narrow size of hiking boots, knee-high boots, or cowboy boots. You can use them to expand the calf and foot width for fit.
How to Use Shoe Stretchers?
For the first time, you can be confused about how to use shoe stretchers when holding them in your hands. Though there are different types of shoe stretchers mentioned above, they have the same guide of use. What you need to use with them is shoes and shoe stretching spray. For easier understanding, follow how to stretch the width and length in separate parts below.
Stretching the width
- Spray the entire shoes with suitable stretching spray before making shoe stretchers work. Keep in mind that the kind of stretching spray that you are using doesn’t cause any problem for your shoes for any reason. In that way, you should test on a particular small area that can not affect too much the appearance of shoes in a case stretching spray can change their color.
- If you have any specific areas that you want to focus on stretching more, insert the plugs in the right holes.
- The stretcher should be placed into the shoe after fully closed and touch the end of the toe box.
- Turn the metal bar of the stretcher clockwise until it is snug.
- Leave the stretcher working for the shoes from six to eight hours.
- After that time, turn the metal bar counter-clockwise to remove it from the shoes with ease.
- Check for fit, repeat the above steps if an adjustment is needed.
Stretching the length
- Pray the entire shoe with suitable stretching spray to prepare for easier adjustment.
- Insert the stretcher into the shoe and make sure that it is fully closed and touches at the end of the toe box
- Check the back of the stretcher closest to the heel block
- Turn the wheel clockwise until the back of the stretcher move towards the heel counter of shoes to a certain extend
- Leave the stretcher working for about six or eight hours
- After that time, remove the stretcher from the shoe by turning the wheel counter-clockwise
- Repeat the above steps if you need more adjustment
- When you use stretching spray, focus on the area that needs expanding more
- The stretcher is not a miracle worker for functioning at the first time, so you have to repeat the above steps several times. Just be patient for the best result.
- In some cases, you should not leave the stretcher working for a long time. Overstretching can loosen your shoes more than you expect.
- You can use the shoe trees to retain the size achieved by using the stretcher.
- Be slow and gentle when removing the stretcher from the shoes so that you can protect the condition of your shoes after they are forced to be wider.
How Do Shoe Stretchers Work on Different Materials?
Natural fabric is considered the best candidate for shoe stretchers for the easier capacity to stretch out, and leather is an example. However, shoe stretchers can not expand more than one size. There are different types of leather, giving different levels of stretching. Soft types of leather such as suede, calf, and ostrich leather stretch out to a full-size number.
With this in mind, you can spray leather shoes with a leather softer and leave them to absorb overnight for better results. However, there are kinds of stretching spray to make leather shoes softer, the leather softer functions better than them. It depends on the quality of leather used in shoes, expensive ones made by real leather can be stretched out without affecting their appearance like cheap pairs.
In contrast with leather shoes, expensive synthetic shoes tend to be stretched out less than the cheap ones. While most shoes are composed of layers like the leather exterior and the synthetic interior, you can have to use two types of stretching spray for each material. Remember that both of them can make the process of stretching easier but can also affect their waterproof capacity.
Rubber features elasticity that makes it easy to be stretched out, but it will soon come back to its original form. As a result, the shoe stretcher can be effective in a very short time and useless if you intend to use it to adjust the rubber shoes for a bigger size in a long time. Regardless of what kind of stretching spray is used for those shoes, changing their size is impossible.
Some people can give up fixing rubber shoes due to the helplessness of shoe stretchers. It is a fact that they can change the shape by contacting the heat. You can put them in the sun to a level that the heat can not melt them. Don’t forget to keep a close eye on rubber shoes heated if you don’t want to damage them.
Alternatives to shoe stretchers
Wearing shoes in the evening: This way is applied for a bit tight shoes that cause your feet a little uncomfortable, or they need a break-in period when they are completely new. Because your feet can be the biggest at the end of the day, try wearing them several times at night for more comfort. However, you shouldn’t force your feet to try that method if they can’t stand.
A blow dryer and thick socks: If you want to focus on stretching a specific area, you can try using the medium heat of a blow dryer to stretch your shoes. First of all, put on a pair of thick socks and make sure for comfort. Then, apply the blow dryer to the tight area for about 20 to 30 seconds. Be careful with the heat by keeping the device in motion. It is a good suggestion for you to use a leather conditioner or moisturizer to keep the shoes soft for comfort and a good appearance.
Using a frozen zip-close bag: This method can be applied best on nonleather shoes. Firstly, fill a frozen zip-close bag with water. Then, put it into the shoes, especially the tight area. Finally, put those shoes in the freezer overnight. The water-turning ice will increase the size of the bag for custom stretching.
Using a peeled potato: This can surprise you, but it just helps you with a modest amount of stretch for your shoes, especially the size of the toe box. Peel a potato, dry it with a paper towel, then insert it into your shoes overnight.
Adjustable shoe trees: This tool works like shoe stretchers and best for leather shoes and sneakers. While shoe trees are equipped with multiple features for the closest fit, shoe stretchers are supposed to be less effective. They can be used with shoe stretchers to retain the achieved size.
How can I stretch my shoes fast?
Shoe stretchers and stretching spray or shoe trees can help you to stretch your shoes. Besides, you can refer to other methods like wearing in the evening if your shoes are just a bit tight or considering heating with a hairdryer after wearing thick socks. Otherwise, putting a frozen zip-close bag into tight shoes can also stretch them out.
Can you stretch the length of a shoe?
Yes, by turning the wheel of shoe stretchers clockwise after putting the heel clock closest to the heel area of the shoes and the stretchers touch the end of the toe box, you can leave it for about 6 or 8 hours to wait for the change.
Do shoe stretchers work on sneakers?
Yes, two-way shoe stretchers can work well on sneakers for stretching their length and width. They contribute to reducing the break-in period of sneakers. For how to use shoe stretchers, scroll up for more detail.
How do you stretch shoes with a hairdryer?
First of all, you need to wear thick socks and set your feet into tight shoes. Then, you use a hairdryer to heat the area that gives too little space for your feet. Be careful with the heating level of the device to prevent damaging the shoes.
How long should I leave a shoe stretcher in?
Leaving a shoe stretcher in about 6 to 8 hours is reasonable so that it can not damage the shoes by overwatching. If you need more adjustment for the perfect size, repeat the process of stretching by shoe stretchers in another 6 or 8 hours.
Can you stretch leather shoes a half-size?
In general, you can stretch leather shoes a half-size by applying shoe stretchers combining with the leather softer. However, shoes made of soft leather such as suede, calf, and ostrich leather can achieve an easier result.
Shoe stretchers can solve your tight shoes to a certain extent. They can be saviors for you when you invest a lot of money into your favorite shoes in the wrong sizes. However, it is not a miracle tool for instant effectiveness. It depends on what kind of materials that your shoes are made, stretching spray, and how patient you are in the process of stretching. Bear in mind that overstretching can damage shoes, so you should follow how to use them with some tips mentioned above.