Five years ago, I wrote about the unexpected, tried-and-true method I learned to stretch too-tight shoes a good half size. I continue to get grateful emails from people thanking me for saving their shoes —and their feet —, a testament, perhaps, to how rampant shoe purchase mistakes are, and how bogus the usual shoe-stretching routines (which I tried).
Figuring that you may have a pair or two of shoes that are too painful to wear languishing in your closet, I’m reposting the method. After all, shoes that make us feel good are essential to our well-being. Wasting things is not.
This method will stretch leather shoes a good half-size:
1. Put on several pairs of socks, or a really thick pair topped with an second pair.
2. Stuff your feet into your shoes.
3. Blast your shoes with hot air from a hair dryer for about two minutes while flexing your toes and feet to stretch the tight areas.
4. Keep the socks and shoes on until the leather cools. Test out the shoes without socks, and repeat if necessary until they’re comfortable.
Note: I’ve since learned an additional trick from a friend (who learned it from a fashion stylist): wet the inside of the shoe with rubbing alcohol.