How to Stretch Shoes for Wide Feet (8 Fantastic Techniques!)

DATE: August 9, 2022

Author: Jimmy Lewis


You occasionally end up with shoes that are smaller or bigger. But, let’s get this straight, it’s a common scenario for people with wide feet. Are you someone with wide feet? Then you must have a valid understanding of how to stretch shoes for wide. 

You can use a blow dryer to safely heat the shoes while you’re wearing them to stretch them to a certain extent. Besides this, there are tons of other techniques. 

In our guide, we’ll talk about the different methods broadly, so you get to comprehend the techniques better. 

How to Stretch Shoes for Wide Feet?

Let’s quickly skim through the genius approaches that can be used to get the shoes in shape. We’ll mention each step and set forth the entire process so everyone can grasp it easily without much confusion! 

Blow Dryer Method 

Blow Dryer Method 

As mentioned, you’d put on your shoes (even if it’s a bit snug) and use a blow dryer to gradually heat them to get them stretched. 

First, get the pair that has fitting issues. 

Then try to make space using your hand inside the shoes. Because you’d have to wear this tight shoe with a thick sock, it can get a bit difficult to put the feet inside the shoes completely. 

Wear thick socks and put your feet inside the shoes. Now, use the blow dryer to slowly apply heat to the areas where it feels snug. 

Make sure the heating period stays within the 23-30 seconds limit. Another important consideration is to try moving the dryer and not concentrate the heat at one spot at a stretch; it can burn your leather. 

Because of the heat and the pressure from the thick sock altogether, the shoes will stretch to a certain degree. 

Use Shoe Stretcher 

Shoe Stretcher for wide feet

You can stretch out the shoes for wide feet using specially constructed shoe stretchers. Usually, this equipment is used by professional cobblers. But if you have wide feet, you can have one as you may need to use them a bit too often. 

But here is something you should never forget. Shoe stretchers come in different types, and for each type of shoe, different stretchers work best. 

You’ll find some stretchers that can add length to the shoes (which won’t be necessary). And some stretchers increase the width of the shoe, which would be the best sort you can go as an individual with wide feet. 

You don’t need to perform complicated tasks, just insert the stretcher and expand it. Remember, you’d have to keep them in the expanded position for 8 hours or more. 

It’d be better if you use them before going to bed and leave them overnight. 

Time to Replace the Insoles 

You can also replace thicker insoles with thinner ones and make space inside the shoes. Many shoes come with removable insoles. They provide brilliant customizability and exceptional convenience, especially for the folks with wide feet issues. 

If you’re finding it hard to get your feet inside the shoes, try removing the insoles and find specially constructed insoles that are slimmer yet offer the required comfort. 

Even a slight space in the toe box can help your wide feet to get some breathing space. 

Using Newspapers Can Help 

Stuffing the shoes with wet newspapers can help stretch up the shoes. How do you do it? It’s pretty simple, just roll up some wet newspaper and try to put them inside the shoe. 

Make sure you have a large amount, so the narrow areas face some sort of pressure. 

When you’re done with stuffing the shoes. Leave them overnight so they can expand. One slight issue with this technique is the increased wetness. It can damage your leather shoes, so it’s better to not keep shoes like this for more than 7-8 hours. 

Stuffing Socks 

Similarly, stuffing in socks can relax the shoes. The number of socks can vary based on the size of the shoe. Generally, you can get 7 to 12 socks and make a ball of socks by rolling them. 

Put the socks ball inside the shoe. Try to stuff as many as you possibly can for the best results. 

When you’re done, leave the socks inside your shoes for 10 hours more. Get the socks out when you’ve got the stretch necessary for a better fitting. 

Alcohol Therapy 

Yes, spraying alcohol can also give you better results. How does it work? Spraying this substance can work, but they’d have to be stretched to a certain extent to achieve the effect. 

So, if you can put the shoes on somehow, only then can the application be done. 

Alcohol will relax the shoe compound to an extent, so you get a better chance of expanding them by wearing the right side. 

When you wear shoes with wide feet, the alcohol will break the shoe to fit your feet size. 

As a result, you’d get a custom fitting using this.  

Using Stretch Spray 

Using Stretch Spray 

Using stretching sprays on the inside of the shoes and walking while wearing the shoes will give you easy stretching. 

So, the method is pretty straightforward. Just wear some thick socks, gently spray on the inner areas of the shoe. Put the shoes on like this and walk inside the house for a couple of hours. 

The spray should do its job by now. 

Don’t Hesitate to Put a Potato Inside 

Stuffing a potato inside and leaving it for some time can also help relax the shoes for people with wide feet. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? 

Well, despite the utter strangeness, this idea can do the job pretty well. 

First, get a large potato that can fit the shoe and put some pressure sideways. Then gently peel it and remove the outer skin. Apply slight pressure and put the peeled potato inside the shoe. 

You should leave potatoes inside the shoes overnight. By this time, the potato should do its job. The potatoes inside your shoes will expand to a certain point and help stretch out the shoe for you. 

Do Shoe Stretchers Work for Wide Feet?

Yes, shoe stretchers work for wide feet. Shoe stretchers are smartly designed tools that can stretch out the shoe both ways, lengthwise or sidewise, whichever you like. 

So, even if you have wide feet, you can use shoe stretchers to widen the shoes.

Can a Cobbler Stretch Shoes?

Cobblers are experts in stretching shorter shoes. Skilled cobblers will use numerous techniques to widen up your shoes so you can put them on easily and walk or run comfortably. 

Usually, cobblers use a stretching machine to do the job. 

Bottom Line 

In our tremendously comprehensive guide, we brought to light numerous ways you can stretch out shoes. Having wide feet is no joke, and it can certainly get highly frustrating trying out new shoes every week.

That’s why you should have a sound understanding of how to stretch for wide feet. When you can learn the techniques and apply them in real-life conditions, the issue of fitting should be resolved. 

So, don’t worry if you have got shoes that are too tight. Apply the mentioned techniques and make shoes wearable right now!

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Jimmy Lewis

Travel & Shoe Fashion Enthusiast
This is Jimmy Lewis, a travel enthusiast with professionalism and a hobbyist who goes around the world, leads an enjoyable life with remarkable comfort. I’m one of the men with expertise in traveling, hiking, trekking, and jumping over 5 years of experience in living a remarkable life to be happy! That’s what, about shoes, I built an amazing website named to express my gathering knowledge over decades.

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