What Are the Best Tips for Shoe Stretching?

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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 14 January 2020
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Shoe stretchers are special tools made for shoe stretching, which are often the most effective way to make tight shoes more comfortable. These tools can be somewhat difficult to find, however, and it may be easier to stretch shoes in other ways. Walking in a pair of tight shoes, for instance, will often stretch them a bit, but this can also lead to blisters. Damp newspaper can also be used to fill shoes, and as it dries it will expand, which may stretch the shoes. Some people also place sealed plastic bags with water in shoes and allow the water to freeze.

Tight shoes are an uncomfortable inconvenience for some people. This problem can occur for a number of reasons. A person's foot may become slightly larger, for instance, or a shoe may shrink over time. As long as shoes are less than a half a size too small, they should be able to be stretched enough to make them comfortable.

A shoe stretcher is a special tool that can be used for stretching shoes. Most shoe stretchers are made from sturdy wood or plastic. These stretchers can be used to make shoes longer or wider. Some stretchers are designed for making more room in the toe area.


Using a shoe stretcher is generally very simple. First, a special liquid for shoe stretching is sprayed on the shoe. The stretcher is then placed inside the shoe, and it is expanded, usually by turning a knob. Today, however, these shoe stretching tools can be a little difficult to obtain, so some people prefer to use simpler shoe stretching methods.

One of the most popular ways to stretch a pair of shoes is simply to wear them. If this method is used, very thick socks should be worn as well. This method of shoe stretching can be very uncomfortable for some, however, and painful blisters will often appear if the tight shoes are worn for too long.

Newspaper pages can also be used to stretch shoes. The pages should be dipped in water and rung out before being packed tightly into the shoes. Once they are in the shoes, there should be no bumps or irregularities on the surfaces of the shoes, since these can be permanent after the newspaper dries. As the paper dries, it will expand a little. This will cause the pages to push on the inside of the shoes and stretch the material.

Sealed plastic bags filled with water can also be used for shoe stretching. These bags should be placed in the shoes, and the shoes should then be placed in a freezer. When the water freezes, it will expand and push on the insides of the shoes, which will stretch them out.


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Post 3

To stretch a pair of shoes just take your hands and bend the shoes. This works particularly well with athletic shoes, but works to some degree with all shoes. Work the shoes back and forth and work your hand around inside the shoes. This should loosen the stitching.

Post 2

@Feryll - I feel your pain. As someone once said, tennis players do not have pretty feet. Blisters and corns are par for the course for people who play the sport regularly.

What I learned long ago is to slowly break in a new pair of shoes on the courts. This article mentions that one of the best ways to break in new shoes is to wear them and walk in them. I agree. Also, before you totally wear out your old tennis shoes, start breaking in a new pair.

You can do this by taking both pairs of shoes to the courts and wearing the new ones while you warm up, in the beginning. Then you can switch

to the old comfortable shoes once you begin a match. If you're just hitting and not playing a match then wear the new shoes until they begin to feel particularly uncomfortable.

If you continue this routine for a week or so then you should have the new shoes is good enough shape to wear them for as long as you need to. You should always try to keep at least a couple pairs broken in.

Post 1

I just started playing tennis again after taking several months off. My old tennis shoes are about worn out. I can go through a pair of tennis shoes in short time. The courts really eat them up. Anyway, I bought a new pair of shoes.

I played in the new shoes for the first time earlier this week. After about an hour on the court, my toes started to hurt, and then it felt like the shoes were cutting off the circulation to my toes. I kept playing until I became worried that I might be doing some real damage to my feet.

When I got home and took off my sock, I had a large blister on the small toe on my right foot. Does anyone else have this problem when they are breaking in new sports shoes?

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