Tips for Stretching Leather Shoes

If you have just purchased a new pair of leather shoes, only to find out that they are a bit too tight, there is no need to panic. It’s possible to either break these in through regular use, or follow a few simple steps for stretching leather shoes. By choosing to stretch them, you will have the same style but in a size that conforms more easily to your feet, in very little time. The first step is to take a look at the shoe and see if there are any areas where it is tighter than in others. These areas may need some special attention.

You don’t need to go to a cobbler to go about stretching leather shoes. Common household products like alcohol can be extremely useful for this purpose. Before putting on your shoes, rub in a bit of alcohol to areas that need to be stretched, such as the heels, toes, and sides of the shoe. Because alcohol dries faster than water, it won’t get your feet wet when you put your shoes on right after rubbing it in. The alcohol makes the leather more pliable, so that when you are wearing shoes that have been rubbed with it, the leather will gently stretch to accommodate the shape of your feet, naturally.

Unlike water or some other materials, the alcohol will not dry out the leather so you don’t have to worry about any cracking or creasing. It’s best to leave the shoes on for a couple of minutes after you have put the alcohol on, and repeat this process for a few days until the shoes fit better. Another trick for stretching leather shoes is to fill up plastic bags with water, and then stuff these inside of your shoes. Put them in the freezer overnight. As the water freezes, it will expand slightly, gently stretching the shoes without the need for rubbing any other substances into them.

Some experts also recommend stuffing your shoes with common household items such as banana peels or peeled potatoes. While there is no one trick that will work for stretching leather shoes every time, you can experiment with the techniques that work the best for you. Perhaps the simplest method is to wear thick socks and take short walks for a few days wearing your tight shoes. The socks will protect your feet from blistering, while stretching out the leather easily.