Shopping for shoes is fun-especially if you are looking forward to crazy offers or something so fashionable. Unfortunately, because of sizing errors, you can end up with shoes that are a tad narrow.
In all honesty, it’s not advisable to squeeze your feet in narrow shoes. You will go through excruciating pain and discomfort-particularly during long work shifts. If your shoes are too narrow, you might be wondering, can you stretch to make them wider?
Yes. You can.
Gladly, most of the everyday shoes can be stretched wider or even shrank to become fairly smaller. Let’s go over a few practical tips on how you can create more space in your shoes for your wide feet.
7 tips on how to stretch shoes wider
Here’s how you can get more space in your shoes:
- Wear them
Yes, you got that right. If you want your shoes to expand, break them in by wearing them around the house. Do this for about an hour before taking some breaks so your feet don’t hurt. If they rub or pinch, wear them with thick or thin socks (whichever works).
- Use a professional stretching tool
There are professional shoe stretchers designed to widen boots, sneakers, and even closed heels. These devices feature a turning handle that you adjust so the edges of the shoes are pushed outwards.
Shoe stretchers work best with sprays. The work of spray conditioners is to loosen up fibers so the shoe can expand without cracking. You don’t have a shoe stretcher? Try the next hack then.
- Sock me up!
You definitely got plenty of socks lying around. Guess what, they do come in handy as stuffing items. Just roll them up into balls and push them into the toe box-as many as possible. Let them remain inside the shoes for 24 hours.
While convenient, this method may not work for shoes with inflexible uppers. You could start by applying a conditioner to soften the fabrics first. Majorly, most people use socks together with a blow dryer for quick results. Let’s check out another shoe widening hack.
- Wet newspapers
Works the same way as socks but with wet newspapers. This approach is great because the wetness of newspaper balls seeps through the shoe fabrics loosening them up for expansion.
There are a few pointers worth noting. First, arrange the newspaper balls in such a way that the shape of the shoe will not get distorted. Secondly, too much wetness can damage the inside of your shoes. For this reason, this method may not work for shoes that are averse to moisture.
- Stretch prays and liquids
Professional stretch sprays and liquids are sold on both online and offline markets. You simply wear the shoes, spray the part you want to widen, and start short walks. These products work best with adjustable shoe stretchers as well as other widening methods.
- Visit a shoe pro
Cobblers and some shoe shops offer professional stretching services. Thanks to their years of practice, you will not need to worry about your favorite shoes getting damaged. Besides stretching, professionals can refresh the look of your shoes and fix weak lining and other faults.
- Ziploc bags
Get a few Ziploc bags and fill them with water to a size where they can easily get inside your shoes. You will also need to wrap the shoes in another bag so they don’t stain your freezer counter. Once placed inside, let them stay there overnight. This will allow water to expand due to freezing.
The problem with this method is that every part of your shoes will be stretched.
Shoe shopping tips
Have you ever bought shoes several times and the experience sucked? Well, let these tips help you fix that.
- Check the return policy
The problem with shopping for shoes online is that you can’t try them out. Therefore the chances of getting a small, big, wide, or narrow pair are high. Now, imagine having spent a heck lot of money only to realize that you can’t return them for a different size. That’s a huge loss-especially if you can adjust their fit.
So before you hit that ‘add to cart’ button, ensure the return policy is friendly.
- Does the toe box match your feet?
Most of the time, you can tell if a shoe will fit or not by looking at the toe box design. If the shape looks off, then check out other styles.
- Stick to brands that work for you
One thing you probably don’t know is that shoes can vary in size depending on the brand. An ASICS running shoe number seen won’t fit the same as a New Balance sneaker of the same number. One is going to be wider, narrow, smaller, or bigger.
But let’s say you bought a shoe from a certain brand and it fit perfectly. You should keep buying from them because their sizing is consistent and will arrive in the exact sizing you are hoping for.
- Read shoe reviews
Always read user reviews before making the decision to buy shoes. Feedback from previous buyers not only reveals quality status but any other flaws as well as sizing disparities. This way, you will know whether to size up or down.
- Consider special shoes
You don’t need to widen your shoes to accommodate your bunions or any other foot condition. There are already shoes out there made specifically for issues like plantar fasciitis, neuropathy, Achilles tendonitis, heel spurs, diabetes, swollen feet, etc.
Shoes can be expanded or shrunk to fit properly. However, this process only adjusts by a half size. So if your shoes are bigger or smaller by a whole size, chances are high you could damage them. Extremely bigger or narrow shoes can only be adjusted properly by a cobbler.
This with extra big fit should look into wide feet walking shoes instead of forcing extremely narrow shoes to widen.