What is a Shoe Stretcher?

Article Details
  • Written By: R. Kayne
  • Edited By: L. S. Wynn
  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
The gonorrhea bacterium is the strongest known organism; it can pull the equivalent of 100,000 times its weight.  more...

December 6 ,  1877 :  Edison demonstrated the first sound recording.  more...

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!


You might also Like


Discuss this Article

Post 5

Very nice. I also prefer to use a shoe stretcher. I've heard much more about them from so many people, and they also liked them a lot.

Post 4

They have shoe stretchers that come with bunion and corn pieces to generally stretch the toe and bunion area. If you want to stretch the toe area, go for a toe box stretcher.

The Bunion Shoe Stretcher stretches specific areas of the shoe. If your shoe fits fine but you want that toe or bunion to stretch, this stretcher is for you.

There's also a video online that shows how to use it.

After watching the video, it actually makes sense now.

Post 3

When it comes to shoe and boot stretchers, are there certain things that you should consider? I'm looking into a 2 way shoe stretcher, but I need one that stretches out the toes of my shoes more than any other part.

Do they sell 2 way shoe stretchers with toe extensions, or do I need to get a toe shoe stretcher, if such a thing exists?

I'd really love to get these boots stretched out so I can wear them, so I'd appreciate any input.


Post 2

Do they make shoe stretchers for people particularly with bunions? I saw an advertisement for a bunion shoe stretcher, and I was a little confused as to how you could design a shoe stretcher that would automatically fit people's bunions.

Or perhaps the stretcher is adjustable? I was quite confused by it, to be honest.

So can anybody explain this to me? I don't need one myself, thankfully, but I'm just really curious about it.

Post 1

Did you know they also have shoe stretcher liquid? You just spray the liquid on your shoes, then put them on. The spray loosens the fibers of the shoe while its wet, but dries very quickly, meaning that the shoe then shapes to your foot.

This can be a good option if you need a quick fix (those professional shoe stretchers can take forever!) or you can't find a wooden shoe stretcher that suits your particular needs.

I use it a lot because of an oddly shaped foot that doesn't really work with regular wooden shoe stretchers, but I know many people use shoe stretcher liquid just for convenience.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?