Are those favorite shoes just a little snug? Is a bunion or corn preventing you from wearing the shoes you'd like to be wearing? Do you let new shoes sit in the closet because you hate breaking them in? If you've answered yes to any of these questions, a shoe-stretcher (also known as shoe-expanders) may be precisely what you need.
Shoe-stretchers are made for both ladies and men's shoes. They are normally constructed of cedar or maple and resemble an actual-sized foot. Shoe-stretchers typically have a steel bar running through the wooden foot which is constructed in two halves that can be rotated apart by cranking the steel rod handle, thereby stretching the shoe.
Some shoe-stretchers come with small holes for inserting bunion and corn protectors, sometimes called Ortho plugs. These little knobs protrude from the rest of the shoe-stretcher so that extra stretching is administered in the specific areas that need it most.
A two-way shoe stretcher not only stretches the width of a shoe, but also its length. This type of shoe-stretcher has a separate heel that rolls independently from the forward portion of wooden foot. If your shoes are too short rather than too narrow, this type of shoe-stretcher might work best for you.
A shoe-stretcher can be used in both the left and right shoe. When purchased in pairs they can eliminate break-in time or maintain the fit you want of your favorite shoes by being left inside the shoes when they are not being worn. Shoe-stretchers are normally used on leather shoes and special shoe-stretching oil can be applied beforehand to soften the leather to help facilitate stretching.
If you're looking to stretch women's high-heeled shoes, you'll want a stretcher made especially for that style. Cowboy boots and other high top shoes also have special stretchers with extended handles made to reach deep into the boot. There are even calf-expanders if it's the top of the boot that requires the expanding.
Uncomfortable shoes can be painful but there's no reason to live with the pain with a shoe-expander handy!