How to Stretch New Shoes Wider?

Having a new pair of shoes is always a good thing. It doesn’t matter significantly where they came from like from your paycheck or received as a gift from a good friend or family. New shoes always mean that they’re new additions to one’s closet. But, they may also be tight or hard to wear without feeling discomfort. So, the question begins with: how to stretch new shoes wider?

Why The Need to Break In?

Breaking into a new pair of shoes may take weeks. Not everyone has the time to wait for that especially if they are going to use it later. This is especially true for an individualwho has recently bought a new pair of boots or sneakers and has to wear them for an event.

Another reason why people want to break into their new shoes faster is that they don’t want to develop annoying blisters. Blisters occur on the sides and top of the toes. They are due to the friction between the foot and the shoe.

Methods in Widening Your Shoes

In learning how to stretch new shoes, several options are available that you can use to apply on whatever the particular footwear you just recently bought. The good part is that you don’t need to spend money to take your shoes to a professional. These techniques can be done right inside your home.

  • Use socks

Wear socks with the new shoes and walk them around the house first. It’s imperative that the thicker the shocks, the better. Also, wear them a little at a time for the first few days. This method is the most time-consuming but efficient in accomplishing the task if you can spare a few days extra.

  • Use a shoe stretcher spray

You may have to pay a few bucks but that’s that. Getting a valued shoe stretcher spray speeds up the process of stretching and applies to real leather and suede. This an effective method when you don’t need too much widening especially for your expensive leather shoes.

  • Use the freezing method

From your elementary science, you were taught that water expands in its frozen state. The same trick shall be applied in stretching leather shoes and sneakers.

First, fill two plastic bags with water and tie them carefully. Place them inside your shoes especially on the parts that you want to be stretched. Next step is to protect the shoes from frost by placing them in a plastic bag. Throw the shoes into your freezer and wait a day or two. By then, the shoes will be stretched and they’re good to go. Remember to thaw the shoes before you wear them!

Another alternative is to freeze the plastic bags with water and place them inside the shoes. If the shoe still needs some stretching, just freeze the bags again. You may have to be careful with this one as there are shoes that you don’t want to get wet (like suede shoes)

  • Apply heating method

You’ve also learned in your physics class about thermal expansion. It’s pretty simple and applies to a wide range of materials. For your shoes, stick a few socks into a shoe untilfull. With a hair dryer or blower, heat the shoes in the areas that you need some stretching. Expose them to a medium heat for about 30 seconds to avoid overheating the area. Repeat the technique until you get the perfect fit!

If you’re wondering how to stretch leather shoes, then the method is still the same. Just don’t do it continuously as the leather material may dry out. Afterward, apply some leather conditioner onto the shoes to add moisture.

  • Use rubbing alcohol

You can break in your new pair a little quicker with a bit of rubbing alcohol. The technique in this method is to create a 1:1 ratio of both rubbing alcohol and water and put them in a spray bottle. Spray the inside of the shoes and immediately wear them. Do not take off until after 20 minutes. Another alternative is to dab the areas that require stretching with cotton balls. You can use only the rubbing alcohol this time. Put a lot into the material and wear the shoes with your socks on. You may repeat for several times until you think it’s necessary.

  • Use newspapers

This is the same with the filling of socks into your shoes but a little different. Crumple a newspaper and wet it a little bit. Then, place them inside the shoe. Do this with the other one. You can use this method on your boots and casual shoes.

  • Use shoe trees

This is the most natural method if you want to know how to stretch your leather shoes or suede shoes. Shoe trees are available in the shop where you bought your expensive leather. They are fairly adjustable and can keep the leather in shape. Of course, the heat of the foot while wearing transfers to the sides of the shoe. You can make this to your advantage and insert a shoe tree and adjust it until it encompasses the entire shoe.

  • Use potatoes

This method is similar to the newspaper method. The trick starts with peeling the potato until it has no skin and ensure that it fits into your shoe. Do the same with the other shoe. Be careful not to put the potato onto shoe with fabric as the potato’s juices may stain it! Leave the potatoes overnight or until the potatoes are dried out.

  • Complete soaking

If you don’t want to be bothered with stretching new shoes, you can just wear them on and dip them into a tub of water. Then, pat the shoes with a towel but leave them a little damp. Walk around in your wet shoes for some time around an hour or so. This method is not applicable to suede shoes because the coloring will surely be discolored or faded.


There are a lot of methods that you can try in learning how to stretch new shoes wider. They just depend on your preference, what are the materials available at hand, and how much time you’re willing to indulge in this task.

Pamela Couch

I am a designer, shoe-obsessed lifestyle expert, and founder of, a shoe boutique located in Downtown Atlanta. I love shoes and I love being able to share my passion for them with others.