Did you happen to buy a new pair of shoes, get home and feel some intense pain in problem areas?
Is it the end all be all, and now you’re stuck with walking around in a painful pair of shoes?
No, fortunately that is not the case.
There are a few things we can do to make it right and eliminate the pain, but today I want to talk about the hair dryer.
The hair dryer is a masterpiece when it comes to shoe stretching…if done correctly, of course.
In this article I’m going to show you how to stretch your shoes and break them in in a matter of 4 steps.
Step 1: Put on extra socks
I recommend wearing the socks you’ll normally be wearing with the shoe, and then adding another sock (preferably a thick pair).
So put at least 2 pairs of socks on your feet and then move on to step 2.
Step 2: Wear the shoes and heat them up
Put the shoes on your feet and turn the hair dryer on hot.
Point the hair dryer to the areas causing the most pain or discomfort.
This could be the ankle area, toe box, the pinky toe, big toe, etc.
Move it around the problem area for about 20-30 seconds, no more, as you risk burning the shoe.
Keep in mind that you should only be doing this to one shoe at a time, not both at the same time.
Also do NOT place the hair dryer directly on the shoe.
You’ll need to move it around to avoid burning the material.
Step 3: Get up and walk around until the shoe gets cool
Once the shoe is hot enough after about 30 seconds, get up and walk around.
Doing so will cause it to “break in” much quicker and stretch out those problem areas causing grief.
Walk around until the shoe cools down, and don’t be afraid to throw a couple of squats in there to really ensure they get a good stretch.
Step 4: Remove the thick socks and check the shoe
Sit down, remove the thick socks and leave the first layer on.
Now put the shoes back on and walk around.
The discomfort should be eliminated, do the same with the other side.
However, if it’s not fixed, repeat the process a couple more times.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you do this if your shoes are plastic or synthetic?
No, I highly advice against trying anything like this on plastic or synthetic shoes.
The hair dryer will burn and cause permanent damage to the shoe.
ONLY do this hair drying method on leather shoes or boots as it’s a natural material.
Natural material loosens up and stretches, forming the shape of your foot.
Can you stretch synthetic or plastic shoes another way?
There are lots of different ways to do this.
The most common are:
- Shoe stretcher
- Doubling up your socks (without heat)
- Ice with ziploc bags
- Sock balls
How much bigger can you stretch the shoe?
You should be able to get at least 1/2 to 1 full size of stretch with relative ease.
If you require anymore than that, you’ll probably damage the shoe from heating it too much.
If you think the shoe requires more than 1 size, I highly recommend sending it back to the store and getting a larger pair before touching it with any sort of heating tool!
If they see that you’ve tampered with the shoe, they will not give you a refund.
Can you spot stretch the shoe?
Yes, this technique is all about pointing the shoe around the problem area, heating it up and stretching it out as you walk.
Sometimes with a new pair of leather shoes, we feel areas digging into our toes, or our pinky toes are tight in the toe box, etc.
There are lots of problems that can arise with a new pair of leather shoes but this technique helps eliminate that.
Can you stretch the shoe in width and length?
Yes, you can do this by piling on the socks (about 2 pairs, or 3 pairs for thin socks).
Do everything mentioned above but heat up the entire shoe before getting up and walking around.
Do the same with the other side.
Does stretching the shoe decrease lifespan?
It all depends on the quality, but in this case, the answer is not really.
Leather shoes are made to last a very long time.
Stretching the shoe out one full size is only doing what it’s inevitably going to do anyway, but speeding up the time.
It may decrease lifespan (by a small amount) but will not affect the quality.
If you’re still stuck or don’t know what to do, I have found step-by-step guide on which you can watch below.
Stretching your leather shoes or boots can be done in a matter of minutes.
It’s not technical, does not cost a lot of money and can make your dinner much more comfortable and hassle free.
I have compiled all the steps in an easy-to-read manner and a video tutorial in case you’re still stuck on what to do.
But that wraps up this article.
Do you have any questions or concerns about this article? Please them in the comments below and I’ll get back to you asap.
Cheers for reading and have a great day.