Everyone has their own method when it comes to stretching discomforting boots. It isn’t easy to walk when parts of your foot don’t fit or your ankles feel tight, but our techniques will help you because we use them ourselves. The process will not be easy but extending your boot one full size is possible if you are patient when using the proper shoe stretchers and shoe stretching spray. While using any of these methods, remember to keep your expectations in check and understand that you may need to repeat the steps multiple times to deal with your tight shoes problem.
1. Use a Blow Dryer (Best Method for Tight Shoes)
If you follow the instructions below with your blow dryer, you won’t need a shoe repair professional to widen your boots.
- Wear thick socks with your boots: You can stretch shoes wider with time by wearing two socks over the other to increase thickness. The pain and discomfort will be minimal when walking since you are wearing two pairs, but you won’t have to do it for longer than 20 minutes.
- Flip the switch on your hair dryer – Point the device at your leather shoes but only in the areas that feel tight. To avoid damaging your boots, keep the dryer at a 10-centimeter distance and move around, not staying for longer than 15 seconds in one place. While the appliance is on, don’t keep your feet stationary. Instead, wiggle your toes and stretch your feet to increase the effectiveness of this technique.
- Keep leather shoes on until cool– At this point, tight areas will start to feel better as you are walking to cool your boots down. If you can’t walk because of the pain, a great way to stretch is by sitting on a chair and moving your toes and foot for 20 minutes.
- Try to wear shoes with regular thin socks – If your boots still feel uncomfortable at this point, repeat the steps above.
- Apply leather conditioner ointment -Unlike fabric shoes, boots start to dry and crack when exposed to heat which is why we recommend using this cream as the last step. You can find these creams in all the professional shoe repair shops.
2. Stretching Shoes Using Ice (Ideal For Leather Shoes)
This technique is simple and works fast if you want to stretch shoes but don’t want to wear thick socks. It’s ideal for minor adjustments, so don’t expect the shoe material to extend fully. The science behind this method is that water expands if left in a cold place like a fridge to freeze.
- Start by pouring two ziplock bags with water – Make sure you use quality bags, so they don’t break and damage your new pair of boots with water. Before putting the ziplock bags in, each one must be 1/3 filled, and always inspect each for air bubbles before sealing.
- Push 1 plastic bag into each boot – When putting a water-filled bag into each boot, be sure it’s deep into the toe area until you can’t go further. One shoe stretcher tip to consider is to stuff the shoe with crumpled newspaper so the bags can’t move.
- Put Your boots in the freezer for 8 to 10 hours – When you leave both shoes overnight in the icebox, the Ziploc bags inside will expand, resulting in properly fitting shoes. The surface of your freezer must be flat, so the bags don’t slip out or move around.
- Let Boots Unfreeze for 15 to 30 minutes – Take the boots out of the freezer in the morning and give time for the bags to melt. You will now see how well-frozen ice can stretch leather but when the ice becomes water again, remove the bags slowly, so you don’t damage your new shoes.
- Test the boots by wearing them – Your wide feet should feel like they have more space when you try them on again and start walking. If this shoe stretcher technique didn’t work the first time, we recommend you repeat the steps for another 3 to 5 days to see better results.
3. Use Shoe stretcher Liquids
- Make a DIY Shoe stretching liquid – You will need to start with rubbing alcohol and water. When combining these solutions, they stretch leather shoes wider fast, which also works for boots. Start by putting 4 ounces of water and 4 ounces of rubbing alcohol in a bowl. Before moving on to the next step, please note this mixture will not stretch boots made with patent leather or other synthetic materials. If you want to skip this step, there are many shoe stretching sprays online you can buy that work on canvas shoes and boots.
- Plan to have a clean and flat surface available – Open a few old newspaper pages and lie them flat on the surface so any excess liquids are absorbed into them. Ensure the newspapers are not colored, or the ink will stain your brand-new shoes and boots.
- Test On a Small Part of the Boot – We always use the shoe stretch spray on the back area of the boot for testing since it’s not easy to see. To start, squeeze the handle only 1 to 2 times and give it 5 minutes to dry. If you don’t see any visible stains, continue using this rubbing alcohol solution on dress shoes and your boots.
- Spray all the areas that feel tight – After you finish applying the solution with your small spray bottle, your boots should feel damp. If they are non-leather shoes, then you can see the wet spots. Some extra tips you should remember are not to forget to spray on the inside of the shoe also and always keep shoe stretch sprays 5 inches from your boots as you spray.
- Put on at least one pair of thick socks – To stretch your shoes further, thick socks are beneficial. Usually, one pair is enough, but you can wear two if you want.
- Take a walk around your home while your boots are still moist – Doing this helps you widen your shoes while they are still flexible. If they still hurt your flat feet, stop walking and move on to the next step.
- Use adjustable shoe trees – You can purchase these online or in stores like Target and Walmart. Before choosing one, make sure it targets the exact areas of your shoe that you want to widen.