Stretching a Pair of Men's Shoes to Widen Them

Avoid unnecessary foot pain by stretching your shoes.
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Narrow shoes may look attractive, but they can wreak havoc on your feet. Besides chafing and discomfort, tight-fitting shoes can potentially cause a host of other foot health issues. You can avoid the problems associated with wearing shoes that are too tight by stretching them. Use a two-way shoe stretching kit to leave foot pain behind and start enjoying the luxury of properly fitting shoes.

Spray the inner sides of the shoes with a shoe-stretch spray to soften the leather.

Read the manufacturer's instructions for using the shoe stretchers. Make a mental note of the instructions for the two adjusting mechanisms. One mechanism adjusts width, and the other adjusts length.

Twist the knob or hook for length adjustments counterclockwise to bring the rear and front sections close together.

Insert the pods -- the small, bullet-shaped pieces -- into the stretcher holes that correspond to the tight-fitting areas of the shoes.

Insert the stretchers into the shoes, then adjust the length to make them fit snugly, but not too tight. Discontinue length adjustments as soon as you feel resistance.

Turn the adjustable shoe-width mechanism clockwise, until the leather begins to resist. Avoid over-stretching the leather, which can permanently damage the material.

Allow the shoes to stretch for no less than 48 hours, twisting the width mechanism one full, clockwise turn every eight hours.

Turn both adjustable width and length mechanisms counterclockwise to loosen, then remove them from the shoes.

Try on the shoes to test the size. Repeat the process if the shoes are still too tight.

  • Over-stretching leather will permanently damage the material.
  • Store the newly stretched shoes with shoe trees to help retain their shape.
  • Shoes that are too small to be stretched at home can be re-sized by a professional cobbler.

Chance Henson earned a B.A. in English literature and a writing minor from Lamar University. While interning at the "University Press" newspaper and "UP Beat" magazine he received an award for news feature writing from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. Henson went on to serve as content editor for "CUSH Magazine," eventually leaving to pursue the development of an online secular humanist educational publication.