How to Stretch a Shoe Overnight: What are the Natural and Safe Methods to Expand Footwear?

by Snezhana Besarabova

Everybody has experienced the disappointment to buy the perfect pair of footwear, and then find they’re just too tight. Perhaps they were the last pair in stock, or you couldn’t resist buying them? Whatever the reason, you now have shoes that need a bit of expanding to become your favorite pair. What are the approaches to do this, and how to stretch a shoe overnight naturally?

What Shoe Materials Can Be Stretched?

how to stretch leather shoes overnight

Good knowledge of the material, from which the footwear is made, is essential when considering techniques of how to stretch a shoe overnight. Leather, as a natural and porous material, is the most appropriate for stretching. This could be said for full-grain, patent, and suede leather. When talking about canvas, which is commonly found in sneakers, it is possible to stretch it to a certain degree. Synthetic leather like vinyl and other man-made materials can be stretched, although they might not be as much flexible as their natural equivalents. Fabrics from cotton, polyester and silk are not so good at stretching as leather, although they can still be loosened a little with the proper approach. Artificial materials like rubber or the greater part of the plastics, commonly used in making some sandals or waterproof shoes, are less able to be stretched.

How to Stretch a Shoe Overnight?

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  • Expand by freezing: It’s well known that water expands when being frozen. To use this capability to your advantage, fill two plastic bags with water, seal them tightly, and place them inside the shoes, only check to be sure that they fill all the tight spots. Then put the shoes in the freezer and keep them there overnight. While water turns into ice, it expands and draws out the shoe. When the morning comes, remove the shoes and let them come to room temperature before taking out the bags.
  • Steaming sneakers: With the help of a kettle or steamer, produce steam and direct it towards the tight areas of your shoes for about 20–30 seconds. Immediately after that, wear the shoes with thick socks and walk around. Thus, the heat will soften the material, making it to expand. Keep the footwear on as they cool down. This approach is especially beneficial for expanding sneakers.

Can You Use Alcohol to Stretch Shoes Overnight?

how to stretch a shoe overnight with isopropyl alchohol spray

Rubbing alcohol can be an efficient substance to help in expanding shoes:

  • Rubbing alcohol-water mixture: Add equal parts water and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle, and mist the inside of your footwear until they become slightly damp. To reach an expanding effect, wear them with socks for several hours or till they dry.
  • Wiping the inside with alcohol: Dip a soft cloth in rubbing alcohol, remove the excess liquid, and wipe the inside of the footwear, focusing on the tight areas. Like in the previous method, wear the shoes with socks until they dry completely.

While alcohol can help to expand the footwear, it’s important to note that it might not be suitable for all kinds of materials, especially delicate ones. Always test on a small, invisible area before applying to the whole shoe.

How Can I Stretch Leather Naturally Overnight?

how to stretch tight shoes overnight

As leather is also a native material, it reacts well to natural expanding methods. There are a few ways how to stretch leather shoes overnight:

  1. Wear them at home: The most easy method is to simply wear your leather shoes indoors with thick socks. Your body heat and the pressure from walking will naturally expand them.
  2. How to stretch a shoe overnight with oil: There are certain oils, like coconut oil, which can soften leather, making it easier to expand. Apply a small amount of oil to the inside of the footwear, wear it with socks, and when the evening come, let it sit overnight.
  3. Leather expanding sprays: There are commercial sprays that could be found on the market, which are specially designed for expanding leather. They can be sprayed onto the inside of the footwear, then wearing the shoe with socks till they dry completely.

Can You Use Newspaper to Stretch Shoes Overnight?

how to stretch a shoe longer place crumpled wet newspapers inside

Newspapers can indeed be a useful tool for shoe expanding in length and width:

  1. Dampen and fill the inside: The first step is to dampen some newspapers with water. Crease them in balls and stuff tightly into your shoes. Be diligent, as paper should fill all corners and tight areas.
  2. Let the paper dry: Leave the stuffed with newspaper shoes in a well-ventilated spot overnight. As the paper dries, it expands, simultaneously stretching the footwear.
  3. Repeat, if needed: The next morning, take out the newspaper, and try on the footwear. If they’re still a bit tight-fitted, repeat the procedure.

how to stretch a shoe overnight wear the footwear at home

Read also: How to Store Leather Shoes Properly? 6 Easy Tips to Follow

And: 2023 shoe trends: What shoes will be popular among the fashionistas this year?

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