How to Break in a New Pair of Shoes Fast

Enlarge and soften spick-and-span shoes with stretchers.
... Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

Running right out in a pair of brand-new shoes can be so hard to resist -- but an unspoiled shoe's stiff, uncomfortable texture can leave you hobbling instead of happening. You might not have time to gradually wear in your current new kicks, but you also don't have to resign yourself to blisters and bruising. Save your toes the torture and speed up the break-in process by stretching out your shoes' unyielding material with more than just your feet.

  • Shoe stretcher
  • Shoe-stretcher attachments (optional)
  • Shoe-stretching spray
  • Socks
  • Hair dryer
  • Plastic zip-lock bag
  • Freezer
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton swab

1 Stretch It, Don't Sweat It

2 Select a professional shoe stretcher

Select a professional shoe stretcher appropriate for your shoe size and shoe style. If necessary, also select stretcher attachments -- like bunion padding -- for areas of your feet that are larger than average.

3 Coat the inside of the shoe

Coat the inside of the shoe with a shoe-stretching spray to soften it.

4 Adjust the knob

Adjust the knob at the back of the shoe stretcher to match your shoe size.

5 Slide the stretcher

Slide the stretcher into the shoe and then twist the knob until you feel resistance.

6 Leave the stretcher inside the shoe

Leave the stretcher inside the shoe overnight. Enlarge the stretcher and repeat the process as many times as needed until the shoe is comfortable.

7 Stretch Your Shoes, Not Your Wallet

8 Soak rubber shoes in water

Soak rubber shoes in water, then wear them until they dry to force them to conform to your feet.

9 Put on multiple layers of socks

Put on multiple layers of socks. Direct the nozzle of a hair dryer set to high heat toward rubber or leather shoes to temporarily soften the material. Wear the shoes until they cool.

10 Fill a plastic zip-lock bag with water and stuff

Fill a plastic zip-lock bag with water and stuff it inside any type of shoe. Place the shoe into a paper bag and place the bag into the freezer, leaving it overnight so that the ice expands and stretches the shoe slowly.

11 Locate any tight spots

Locate any tight spots in the shoe and swab the inside of those areas with rubbing alcohol. Wear the shoe immediately to help loosen the material in that area.

  • Spot test rubbing alcohol or stretching spray on the shoe first to see if it affects the color.
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A writer with a Bachelor of Science in English and secondary education, but also an interest in all things beautiful, Melissa J. Bell has handed out beauty and fashion advice since she could talk -- and for the last six years, write for online publications like Daily Glow and SheBudgets.