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What To Do If Your Shoes Are Way Too Tight?






There are billions and billions of shoe pairs on the market. But you only have 2 feet, and they are one-of-a-kind. Take the time to make absolutely sure that the shoes you purchase are appropriate for your feet.

Here are some tips on how to change your existing shoes if they are way too tight, as well as how to avoid narrow shoes and the issues they can cause your feet.

Methods for Stretching Your Shoes

Footwear stretching

Shoes, as you might know, typically stretch on their own when you wear them. Generally speaking, leather shoes, no matter if they are women’s heels or men’s dress shoes, will stretch with use. However, if they are too small and painful to wear, try some of these simple hacks to stretch out your shoes up to a 1/2 size or so to facilitate your feet.

There are methods for stretching your shoes so that you don’t have to walk on eggshells around them and cope with rubbing and blisters. If you are literally unable or just unwilling to return your shoes, you can use some of these methods to stretch them to fit your feet.

Put them on in the evening

Wearing your shoes around your house at night is one of the simplest and most convenient ways to start stretching your narrow shoes. Wear thick socks or multiple layers of socks and walk around the house until your feet hurt. After several days, you will notice a significant distinction in how your feet will feel in your shoes. Basically, the shape of your feet, combined with the pressure of walking, will do wonderful things to stretch out your narrow shoes.

If you intend to return your tight shoes if they don’t feel right, walk on bathroom rugs, mats, carpets, and rugs to avoid leaving any wear on the outsole of the shoes.

When purchasing shoes, consider what you will use them for and what sock types you will wear with them. For instance, if you are purchasing winter snow boots or hiking boots, you are more likely to be wearing thicker socks instead of thin dress socks.

When we purchase a pair of shoes to wear with thicker socks, we occasionally forget to buy them a size larger. As you might know, walking around in thicker socks will definitely help you stretch out your tight shoes to the size that feels far more comfortable for you before taking them out on the trails.

Hairdryer and Thick Socks

wear Thick Socks

A blow dryer and several thick socks are required for another method of stretching your shoes at home. Simply put on some pairs of thick socks. You can also wear men’s socks or a few pairs of thinner socks to achieve the same result if you don’t have any pair of thick socks. Wear your socks, and then squeeze into your sneakers. After that, blow-dry the zones of the shoe that feel narrow for around 20-30 seconds each time, using a hairdryer to add heat.

We suggest using only moderate heat while moving the hairdryer to avoid potential overheating, drying out, or burning the leather. After that, we suggest implementing a moisturizer or a leather conditioner to the shoes to rehydrate the leather after it has been stressed by dryness and heat.

Zip-Close Frozen Bag

Apart from using heat, you could completely use cold to stretch out leather. Although this approach is effective for leather shoes, it is most effective for non-leather shoes. Rather than leather, we suggest using the heating alternative. Non-leather shoes, such as slippers or sneakers, can be softly stretched in the refrigerator using a zip-close bag full of water.

Before putting your frozen zip-close bag inside your shoes, make sure it doesn’t have any holes that might drip, as you don’t really want your shoes to be wet. When you are sure your bags won’t leak, simply fill them around a quarter of the way with water and then put them inside your shoes, so they fit tightly. Place the shoes in the refrigerator and wait for the water to freeze. Eliminate it from the freezer and set it aside to thaw. If the shoes do not fit after one session, repeat the process.

Water shoes and canvas shoes, for example, can be straightforwardly refrigerated. Simply wet your shoes with water and place them in the refrigerator to freeze. Take them out of the freezer, and then allow them to thaw. They should fit perfectly after they’ve been in the freezer for a while.

Insert Newspapers

If you are just exhausted from stomping around your house in tight shoes trying to make them stretch out, you can completely use other items to stretch them rather than your feet. For instance, an old-fashioned method is to simply insert your shoes with paper or newspapers. The force and form of the firmly packaged paper will gradually and softly stretch out your narrow shoes. 

However, if you don’t have any scrunched-up newspaper left, try trying to stuff your tight shoes with a few pairs of socks to achieve the same result. In the next few days, your shoes should feel significantly more spacious.

Make use of the peeled potato hack

This could sound like delusion, but it is actually a hilariously effective method for stretching narrow shoes. Simply peel a potato and form it into the contour of the front of your new shoes, where your toes will be. After that, dry the potato with a clean towel before stuffing it into your shoes for the evening. This approach may appear ridiculous, but you can assume to get a little bit of additional space in your shoes the next morning.

Flexible Shoe Trees

Extendable shoe trees tend to be a swankier, more specialized way to extend your shoes. Customizable shoe trees are popularly kept in the closet with both men’s and women’s shoes. In addition, these movable shoe trees are frequently used to keep multiple kinds of fantasy dress shoes in good condition. Besides, shoe trees are intended to smooth out the inner layer of your shoes and keep any wrinkles or scuffs at bay, thereby preserving the shoe’s appearance and style. While shoe trees are not intended to stretch shoes, they can help.

Shoe trees, which come in a variety of materials such as stainless steel, cedarwood, and plastic, are ideal for stretching leather shoes and shoes in general. These convenient gadgets can increase both the width and length of a shoe, which is especially useful for those with bunions or broader feet. To use the extendable shoe tree, turn the tree’s extendable handle each 8 to 12 hours to extend the shoes until they are the wanted width and length.

Liquids and Sprays for Shoe Stretching

Liquids and Sprays for Shoe Stretching

In reality, extendable shoe trees could also be combined with a shoe stretching liquids and sprays for a more efficient final outcome. There are many sprays and liquids available for stretching shoes, vinyl, fabric, and leather. Generally speaking, these types of stretch sprays can really be applied to areas of the shoe that are uncomfortable.

Spray the affected areas, then take a stroll around in your tight shoes to make them stretch. Put it another way, stretch your narrow shoes after applying the stretching liquids and sprays with extendable shoe trees or a shoe stretcher.

Look for a Professional Shoe Repairer

Professional Shoe Repairer

Actually, there is literally no need to worry if you don’t want to tackle this project on your own. Taking your tight shoes to highly qualified shoe repair shops, also known as cobblers, is a flawless alternative for those who are short on time or simply do not want to go through the distress of stretching out your shoes at home.

Cobblers are less common now than they ever were, but they could still be discovered in almost all urban centers as well as some more semi-rural areas. Shoe stretching services are typically provided by shoe experts, who use machines and training to modify shoes. This is also an excellent choice for both men’s and women’s shoes. A shoe repair expert or a cobbler will have all of the equipment and tools necessary to stretch even the most complicated or subtle shoes.

Taking your worn-out shoes to an expert or a cobbler is also a good way to have them freshened up, reshaped, and even resoled, making them look more elegant and even last for longer.

Scrubbing Alcohol

As you might know, scrubbing alcohol is another regular household thing that can really be used to stretch out narrow shoes. If your new shoes are hurting your feet, scrubbing alcohol can really help you break them in as well as stretch them out. Make a scrubbing alcohol mixture in a spray bottle by combining 50 percent water and 50 percent scrubbing alcohol. Then spray the internal side of your shoes and wear them for around half an hour.

Optionally, you can gently wipe the scrubbing alcohol onto the areas of the shoes that need to be extended or that feel particularly tight or narrow. After scrubbing the tighter areas of the shoes with alcohol, you can put them on while they are still wet and then wear them. Finally, soak a pair of socks in the scrubbing alcohol, place them on, and wear them with your tight shoes until the alcohol gets completely dry. You can completely do this as many times as you like to get the desired fit.

Purchase a Shoe Stretcher

Shoe Stretcher

A shoe stretcher is another easy method to stretch out tight shoes. Shoe stretchers, like an extendable shoe tree, are a kind of inserts specially crafted to stretch a narrow shoe from the inside and stimulate it to maintain its shape. Dress and leather shoes will benefit greatly from shoe stretchers.

Even if you don’t really need to stretch your new shoes, having a shoe stretcher on hand to keep your dress or leather shoes in shape will make you look even far classier in your women’s business outfit or men’s suit. In addition, stretch spray can be used to prepare your shoe for stretching out by spraying the inner surface and outer surface of the shoe.

Alternatively, simply insert the stretcher into your shoe and then use the elongating wheel to modify it to the proper size. Allow the stretcher to stay in place for six to eight hours. However, remember not to leave it in for too long; otherwise, your shoe will become too extended and end up loosing.

When you are having trouble breaking in a new pair of shoes, purchased a size way too small, or otherwise ended up with shoes that feel excessively tight, try one of these simple ways to provide your toes with a little more space for wiggling and make your feet feel more at ease as well.

Just definitely be trying on shoes with the appropriate sock size and spend a little time strolling around in them before making a purchase. Or else, try some of these simple hacks to improve the fit of your new shoes.

You can buy my recommend shoe stretcher in here

How To Tell if Your Shoes Are Not A Good Fit?

Beware shoe not fit

According to studies, two-thirds of people are wearing shoes that are way too small for their feet.

The narrowing can arise from a combination of fit issues, such as a toe box that is not high enough, too tight, or even both, and a total length of the shoe that is too short. Besides, the form of the shoe does not comply with your foot, and the height of the heels causes pressure on your toes as well as other parts of your feet.

So, if you have any doubts about the fit and comfort of your shoes, it is always best to avoid them. A poor-fitting pair of shoes can really cause long-term damage to your feet and joints as well. Fortunately, you can always find a more comfortable pair elsewhere.

You can buy my recommend walking shoes for men in this post

Your Toes Require Stretching As Well

So, if you find your toes pressed together in your shoes, they are too small. Apart from stretching your shoes, you should assist your toes in returning to their natural form of detachment. And here are some ideas:

  • Grasp your toes in your hands and softly pull them apart.
  • Wiggle your toes after separating them
  • Wiggle your toes every single day
  • Remove your shoes, stockings, and socks, and expose your toes to air and sunlight.

Pro Tips For Shoe Shopping 

Shoe shopping at store
  • Allow yourself plenty of time. Never buy shoes on a whim. While you are in the shoe store, try on the shoes to see if they fit. Before you decide to buy, make absolutely sure you understand the return policy.
  • Look for the return or refund policy. Check these policies before making an online purchase. Some vendors offer free return shipping on all of their shoes.
  • Speak with someone who has prior experience. Several shoe stores employ experienced fitters as salesmen. They will be knowledgeable about shoes in the shop or even on the market, will be able to measure your feet, and will be able to recommend appropriate shoes for you.
  • Look into shops. If you have some foot issues, such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, etc., search for specialty shoe shops that offer orthopedic and other special shoe styles.
  • Search for toe boxes that mimic the shape of your foot. Avoid any type of curved, pointy, or oddly shaped shoes for the right fit. Instead, search for a toe box that is spacious.
  • Determine which brands work best for you. Because various brands are known for the shapes, width, and styles of their shoes, you may be able to depend on specific brands more effectively.
  • Purchase men’s shoes. Consider purchasing men’s athletic shoes if you have wide feet. These have a wider cut and a larger toe box.
  • Afterward, go shoe shopping. In the later afternoon or evening, your feet may swell and become slightly larger than they were at the beginning of the day.

Foot Issues Caused By Tight Shoes 

Foot Issues Caused By Tight Shoes

Limit the amount of distance and time you wear heels. Although they might appear to be flattering on you, your feet tend to pay the price in the long run. Please be gentle to yourself and restrict your use of them.

Your shoes may be too big or too small. Blisters might also form where the shoes squeeze against your skin if they are too loose.

Tight shoes can exacerbate the situation. They are able to:

  • cause you to be unsteady on your feet
  • change the shape of your toes, cause a burning sensation between your toes, and exacerbate structural issues such as bone spurs, mallet toe, and hammertoe.
  • Foot conditions such as inflammation, numbness, flat feet, bunions, and pain in the ball of your foot or heel area (metatarsalgia) can lead to long-term joint damage in your toes as well as your feet’s joints.

Final Thoughts

Shoes that fit properly are exceptionally crucial for your health. So, never buy shoes on a whim. Take some time to ensure that the shoes you purchase are a great fit for your feet.

If you end up getting new shoes that are a little too tight, there are some ways you can completely do them at home or with the help of a cobbler to make them fit properly.

Steven Ta
Steven Ta
I am a professional photographer and shoe-lover. With a deep-rooted passion for all things footwear and years of hands-on experience, I am your go-to guide in the awesome world of shoes
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