How to stretch leather sandals

I don’t know about you, but I always love wearing a good pair of leather shoes to a party or a meeting.

When you have to wear a suit, or go business casual, nothing beats their class. Whether you prefer brown or black, or even something a little unorthodox, leather shoes have a touch of class to them. That being said, if you don’ take care of them, they will, like all shoes, wear out.

How to stretch leather sandals

Do Leather Shoes Stretch With Wear?

Many want to know the answer to this question – do leather shoes stretch over time when you wear them? Yes, they do.

The worst part about leather shoes is that they require a lot of maintenance. That’s why I always keep mine back in the box when I’m done with them. They are never lying in my room when I’m done wearing them.

Leather is a naturally stretchy material. It won’t stretch like rubber or suede, but it will stretch when you put excessive force on it.

Hence, leather shoes can tear and become larger overtime. For some, that’s a good thing (the growing, not the tearing). Especially if you’re a teenager or a growing child, you can benefit from shoes that stretch a little.

They can stretch for about a ½ size, but after that, they will begin to spoil.

However, there’s a lot more to caring for your leather shoes than putting them away. So in this post, I’ve included a pretty comprehensive leather care guide for your shoes.

If you want to hang on to your leather shoes, treat them right.

How to stretch leather sandals

A Complete Leather Care Guide for Your Shoes

This is a complete guide to caring for your shoes. It will prevent them from not only losing their sheen, but their shape as well. If you do this regularly, you can make a well-constructed pair of shoes last 5-10 years, depending on use.

However, if you neglect them, they may go bad before they’ve even reached the 5-year limit. If the shoes are worn out despite infrequent use and regular maintenance, know that you’ve made a bad purchase.

Polish Your Shoes after Purchase

Make sure you shine your shoes right after you’ve bought them. Repeat this process regularly before you wear them each time. Polish them regularly for as long as you have them. This will preserve their shine and their luster.

Use Cedar Shoe Trees

Cedar shoes trees will draw out the inner moisture and reshape leather. Make sure to use them to preserve the shape of your shoes. Many get cramped or misshapen overtime due to surrounding moisture or improper storage. With cedar trees, at least, you’ll be sure the shape will be preserved.

How to stretch leather sandals

Remove Salt Stains

If you get a salt stain on your leather shoes, you should remove it immediately. Since salt is used for the tanning of leather, salt stains can bring out the moisture within the shoe’s leather. This can cause the shoe to be reshaped and worn out.

To get rid of salt stains quickly, you can mix 2/3 water and 1/3 vinegar and apply the solution with a rag. You should wipe the stain clean with a gentle hand and wipe the area crystal clean. After that, wipe the remaining water off with a towel.

Don’t leave the water to dry under a fan or outside in the heat. Make sure to wipe any moisture off the shoe.

Waterproof Shoes With Mink Oil

Water brings out the salt that is used for tanning a leather shoe. Hence, any exposure to water should be limited.

Mink oil can be used to waterproof your leather shoes, though it can darken the color of your leather shoes. If you have dark colored shoes already, it doesn’t matter. However, if you have light brown shoes, you can use a wax-based polish instead.

Other options include a waterproofing compound that can add a heavier coat of protection to the shoes.

Clean Shoes Regularly

This is a no-brainer. Whether it’s clothes, or jewelry, or silverware, regular cleaning is always important. Hence, whenever you notice a stain, or grime or something stuck beneath the heel, clean it. It will become harder and harder to scrape or wipe away as time goes by.

To regularly clean your shoes, you can use specialty leather cleaner or some saddle soap. Whichever soap or cleaner you go for, you should avoid ones with detergents or acids. They can warp the shoe and bring out the salt within the leather.

Apply Moisturizing Conditioner

To prevent the shoes from completely drying out, you should apply a moisturizing conditioner or buff with petroleum jelly. This will coat the shoes and prevent excess moisture from leaving the shoes. This is especially helpful for people that live in arid climates.

How to stretch leather sandals

Stuff Wet Shoes with Newspapers or Teabags

Newspapers, small teabags or towels are great to draw out excess moisture from wet shoes. If you’ve been to the beach, or have been drenched in the rain, stuff your shoes with newspapers and towels. This is also a great way to rid your shoes of the unpleasant feet smell.

Remember to not place your shoes near a heat source. This can remove the needed moisture inside a shoe and cause them to crack.

Use Non-Gel Toothpaste

Non-Gel toothpaste can be used to remove scuff marks from leather shoes. You should rinse, wipe and let the shoes dry after you’re finished.

Have Old Shoes Repaired or Refurbished

This is a great way to get the most out of your best shoes. You can send them to the manufacturer for refurbishing or resoling. This will save you a lot of money on a new pair of shoes.

How to Stretch Leather Sandals. Leather sandals are usually quite stiff and hard when you first get them. This is a perfect recipe for blisters once you start wearing them. It usually takes days, or even weeks, to stretch leather sandals out enough that they no longer cause blisters. In the meantime, you have to deal with painful, bloody feet. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy ways to stretch leather sandals quickly and safely.

Buy stretching spray from a shoe store. Spray the solution into the insides of your sandals and then put the sandals on and walk around in them for at least 5 minutes. The stretching spray will go to work with the help of the heat from your feet and soon your sandals will be comfortable.

Put on two to three pairs of very thick socks and walk around in your sandals for about 20 minutes to stretch them out to a comfortable fit.

Purchase shoe stretchers from a shoe store. Place the stretchers inside your sandals every night for one week and your sandals will soon feel good on your feet.

Cut a potato up into small chunks and then stuff the chunks into your sandals in the places that need stretching. Leave the potato chunks in the sandals overnight and the starches in the potato will soften the leather. When you put the sandals on the next day, they should stretch out easily to fit your feet.

Take your sandals to a professional shoe-repair shop and ask that they be professionally stretched. Shoe repair shops have stretching machines and commercial leather softeners they can use to stretch your shoes quickly and safely. This usually requires a 24-hour turnaround time.

If you’re using a shoe stretcher, it will take two to three days for your leather sandals to be adequately stretched. In the meantime, you may still be getting blisters if you wear the sandals. Help your feet out by covering up blister-prone areas with adhesive bandages, cotton balls or a square of felt fabric. You can also wear one or more pairs of socks with your sandals to provide a cushion against the blister-inducing rubbing from the sides and edges of your sandals. If your leather sandals are waterproof, soaking the sandals in water and then wearing them until they are dry will often stretch them out adequately.

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How to stretch leather sandals

Western boots require a perfect fit to the foot and leg. And some good wear and tear is the best way to get western boots to fit perfectly. This style of leather boot hits around the middle to upper-middle calf muscle, which might cause a tight fit in this area depending on the style of the boot and the size of the calf muscle. Many boots can feel restrictive on the leg. With a few leather stretching techniques, the tops of these boots can be molded to create more breathing space for that cramped calf muscle.

Fill a spray bottle with 2 parts water to 1 part rubbing alcohol.

Spray a clean cloth with the rubbing alcohol mixture and rub into the top ridge of the boot, generously.

Put the boot on and wear them around for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour. Repeat this process every few days.

Blast the top edge of the boot with a blow dryer set to hot for about 30 seconds to soften the leather fibers.

Pull and stretch the material with your hands and then wear the boots for at least 30 minutes every day for at least two weeks. This process will help the leather fibers mold to your leg more readily.

Leather shoes are gorgeous pieces of footwear, but it can be hard to find the right fit. You may love your new pair of leather pumps, but every time you wear them your feet are left with blisters and sores.

Luckily, if your leather shoes are a little tight there are plenty of methods available to help stretch the leather and make your feet feel more comfortable. Below are the top five methods you can use to stretch your leather shoes at home.

1. Break them in by walking around

This might go without saying, but before you do anything too drastic to your leather shoes, try breaking them in first by wearing them around the house. Walking around the house in your new shoes is perfect for several reasons.

How to stretch leather sandalsWear your new leather shoes around the house for short periods of time to jump-start the break-in process

First, as soon as you feel a blister or sore starting to form, you can take the shoes off. Second, you can put on a pair of socks (or two) and walk around to give the shoe an extra stretch.

If you need to break in some leather pumps or dress shoes, put on a pair of thick wool socks and walk around for a while. The extra cushion will help protect your feet, but the added layer will help the shoe stretch.

How to stretch leather sandalsBreak in your leather shoes with socks that are a little thicker than you normally would wear

Applying heat to the shoe while wearing the socks can also be helpful. Take out a blow dryer and heat up the corner of the shoe that is giving you the most trouble. Be careful not to overheat any one area and leave the shoes on as the material cools back down.

2. Choose a good stretch spray

If you’ve broken your shoes in and they’re still too tight, then try some leather shoe spray. Yes, there is actually a spray available that will help you stretch out your leather shoes.

Professional Boot & Shoe Stretch Spray, $7.97 at Amazon

How to stretch leather sandalsFootMatters’ professional shoe stretch is a leather conditioner that is formulated to soften and stretch tight-fitting shoes or boots, while you walk

The spray works by penetrating the fibers of the shoe and then relaxing them so it’s easier to work with the material.

It’s also a good idea to use a stretch spray with some of the other stretch options as it’ll loosen the material and make it more malleable.

3. Find a shoe stretcher

You might read about people using cans of hairspray or other tube-shaped objects to stretch out their shoes. That might work with some materials but shoving a can of hairspray into your leather shoes isn’t a good idea.

Leather shoes are expensive so if you’re going to stretch the material you want to ensure you’re getting a uniform stretch that will maintain the proper shape of the shoe. That’s where a two-way shoe stretcher comes into play.

Professional 2-Way Shoe Stretcher, $57.95 at Amazon

How to stretch leather sandalsAlters length and width of all flat-soled, fabric, and leather shoes

A two-way stretch can expand both the width and the length of your leather shoes. All you have to do is insert the stretcher, twist the handle a bit, then leave it in the shoe for around 24 hours.

If your feet are just a bit too wide and the shoes are just a smidge too small, then a two-way shoe stretcher will help you get that perfect fit.

4. Stretch with ice

Ice is another option you can use if you want to really DIY it. Fill an air-tight baggie with water and place it in the toe box of your shoe. Then put the shoe in the freezer.

As the water freezes it will expand within the shoe and create a bit more space. You may need to use this method a few times to get the shoe stretched out well enough, but it can work. Just make sure the bag isn’t leaking at all before putting it inside your shoe.

5. Buy the right size

Ultimately, it’s always best to buy shoes that fit right from the start. Stretching leather is difficult and sometimes the leather can be damaged by your attempts to make the material fit your foot.

Not to mention it’s painful wearing around too-tight leather shoes. As a rule of thumb, try to do your shoe shopping in the afternoon or evening.

How to stretch leather sandalsSarah Jessica Parker helps a customer find the right shoe size at the “SJP By Sarah Jessica Parker” store at the Seaport District, Manhattan, on September 24, 2020

Feet swell as the day wears on from walking around and doing various activities so if you buy shoes too early in the day you’ll likely end up with a tight fit.

Of course, the above at-home shoe stretching methods will give you a bit of grace when it comes to the fit of your shoe, and if all else fails you can always visit a local cobbler.

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How to stretch leather sandals

Have you been struggling to fit your recently bought patent leather shoes and looking for stretching those pairs a bit?

If you are looking for the solution to quickly break in your new pair of patent leather footwear, then you are in the right place.

Footwear is an essential part of our style, and there is nothing quite like a pair of patent leather shoes to complete your look.

Despite amazing aesthetics, though, you might soon learn that patent leather is an incredibly stiff material.

As such, breaking it in can be a very uncomfortable or even a costly process.

In most instances, there might be dulling aches that can make you want to throw your brand-new shoes directly in the trash.

Luckily, I now know how to stretch or break in patent leather shoes using the right methods.

So, continue reading further to know my 5 favorite methods to break in all types of patent leather footwear at home.

Can You Really Stretch Patent Leather Shoes or Boots?

The short answer to this question is “Yes”. It is possible to stretch all types of patent leather footwear if you know the right stretching method.

Patent leather is leather coated with a plastic, varnish, or lacquer finish that gives it a shiny look.

While the leather itself is stretchy and flexible, the finish is not.

According to David Mesquita, a leather expert from New York City; patent leather does stretch in a bit, but not as much as a genuine leather or suede material.

How much the patent leather will stretch ultimately depends on the type of finish as well as the lining of the shoe.

Patent leather footwear lined with leather will stretch and break in a little bit, but if the shoe is lined with polyurethane – a type of plastic used as faux leather – it won’t stretch at all.

Other variables include the style of shoe and sole.

If you want to stretch stilettos, for example, you may only stretch them in terms of their width. However, if you overdo it, the entire aspect of the shoe might suffer.

If the shoe sole extends over the upper, it can also be impossible to stretch the shoe.

Sure, it may break in a bit, but don’t expect too much flexibility.

For these reasons, it is important to ​buy patent leather shoes of the right size that need little breaking in, or you might just waste your money.

How to stretch leather sandals

Have you been struggling to fit your recently bought patent leather shoes and looking for stretching those pairs a bit?

If you are looking for the solution to quickly break in your new pair of patent leather footwear, then you are in the right place.

Footwear is an essential part of our style, and there is nothing quite like a pair of patent leather shoes to complete your look.

Despite amazing aesthetics, though, you might soon learn that patent leather is an incredibly stiff material.

As such, breaking it in can be a very uncomfortable or even a costly process.

In most instances, there might be dulling aches that can make you want to throw your brand-new shoes directly in the trash.

Luckily, I now know how to stretch or break in patent leather shoes using the right methods.

So, continue reading further to know my 5 favorite methods to break in all types of patent leather footwear at home.

Can You Really Stretch Patent Leather Shoes or Boots?

The short answer to this question is “Yes”. It is possible to stretch all types of patent leather footwear if you know the right stretching method.

Patent leather is leather coated with a plastic, varnish, or lacquer finish that gives it a shiny look.

While the leather itself is stretchy and flexible, the finish is not.

According to David Mesquita, a leather expert from New York City; patent leather does stretch in a bit, but not as much as a genuine leather or suede material.

How much the patent leather will stretch ultimately depends on the type of finish as well as the lining of the shoe.

Patent leather footwear lined with leather will stretch and break in a little bit, but if the shoe is lined with polyurethane – a type of plastic used as faux leather – it won’t stretch at all.

Other variables include the style of shoe and sole.

If you want to stretch stilettos, for example, you may only stretch them in terms of their width. However, if you overdo it, the entire aspect of the shoe might suffer.

If the shoe sole extends over the upper, it can also be impossible to stretch the shoe.

Sure, it may break in a bit, but don’t expect too much flexibility.

For these reasons, it is important to ​buy patent leather shoes of the right size that need little breaking in, or you might just waste your money.

Buying a sandal that is slightly smaller than your foot is a common problem that almost everyone faces. You might have gone to a shoe shop and bought a shoe that you really liked. When you come back to your home and try them on, they suddenly seem too tight in your feet. Then you need to know how to stretch sandals wide. Although you thought that it was the right fit for your feet. Moreover, you really like those shoe, and you don’t want to return them.

How to Stretch Sandals Wide

There are some easy ways of stretching your sandal wide. You can use socks, hair dryer, ice, etc to extend your sandal. But first of all, choose the right size of sandal in the shop. That will save many of your problems. So let’s see how to stretch the sandals wide.

Try Them at Noon Instead of Morning

Prevention is better than cure. If you had bought the sandal with the right size, you wouldn’t have to go through all this. In the morning, your foot shape and size is smaller than the shape of your foot in the evening or noon. If you try them on in the morning, you might regret them later. To prevent that you need to buy shoe at noon or in the evening. You will be able to purchase sandal with the right size, as the size of your foot remains maximum at noon and evening. Thus it will save you the trouble of pain and other problem easily.

Using Thick Socks

This process is an effective process. But it needs some times to stretch the sandal. First, you will need a pair of thick socks. Socks made of wool or other thick material can be used for this method. Then try walking for a while wearing them. You can try walking in your garden or room if you feel weird walking in public wearing them. After repeating that process for sometimes, your sandal will stretch a little bit.

Socks and Dryer

This is an improved method of the previous one. You will have to do the same thing as the previous method. Wear a thick shoe then put your feet inside them. Then you will need to apply hair dryer on different parts of the shoe. While using a dryer, try to blow them over the tight area. If you need more space, you can use the method again.

Water

You have to be careful that this procedure is only applicable to leather shoes. In the case of other shoes, it might have some side effects. So pour some water in a bowl or bucket. Then sink them into the water. Pull them out after a few seconds. You will see that the sandals got wet. The wetness of the shoes will soften the leather. Then try them on and walk for a little while. It will stretch the soft leather of the sandal.

Using a Water Bag

This is a quick method. All you have to do is to pour some water into the bag and put them inside the sandal. Then put them into the fridge. As water turns into ice, it will expand. It will put pressure on the sandal and expand them very quickly.

Shoe Stretcher

The shoe stretcher can easily stretch your sandal. You can buy them online. Use the shoe stretcher on your sandal. Keep them in that way for a while. Time will depend on the amount of stretching of sandal you require. But be careful while using it. Because some times, too much pressure might damage the shoe.

Rubbing Alcohol

This a chemical solution. You should put a little amount of rubbing alcohol in a bottle. Rub them or spray them on your sandal. Then while they are wet with the alcohol, start walking wearing those shoes. Keep walking until the sandals are dry.

While you try to stretch your shoe, be careful not to overstretch your shoe. Because then your shoe will seem loose in your feet. Also, remember not to put extra force on the shoe. It might damage your sandal. So I hope you have found your answer to your question of how to stretch sandals wide.

No two feet are the same. Some people have long and slim feet, while other people may have wide feet. It can therefore be a bit difficult to find the perfect fit for your shoes. Sometimes stretching your shoes can help give a comfortable and suitable fit.

Are you often having trouble with tight fits? Well, you are in luck. In this guide, we walk you through how to stretch shoes for a better fit with a few tips and tricks.

Learn how to stretch shoes

With shoe stretching, you have multiple options to choose from. Many of them are quite simple and require minimum effort. You can easily experiment with a couple of different methods to find the most effective solution for you.

Wear in the evening

Our feet are swelling throughout the day and tend to be bigger in the evening. You can take advantage of this to stretch your shoes. Try wearing your shoes in the evening for a couple of days. It can help soften your shoes a bit more and make them feel better on your feet, especially if you have just bought a brand-new pair.

Socks and blow dryer

You can also try a more extreme stretching method. First, you will need to put on a pair of thick socks and then your shoes. Use a blow dryer at medium heat for about 30 seconds focusing on ill-fitting areas of the shoe to stretch them.

The heat can remove moisture from the material, so it is a good idea to apply ECCO Leather Lotion or Shoe Moisturizer afterwards. For shoes made in nubuck or suede, use ECCO Nubuck Conditioner.

Other household tricks

You can also use alternative household tricks to stretch your shoes. The first method includes a zip-close bag, some water, and a freezer. Fill the bag about halfway with water and put it close up against the troubling area inside the shoe. Then put your shoes in the freezer overnight for the water to freeze and thereby expand the shoe.

A second method includes a dry and peeled potato that you put inside the shoe. Form the potato after the area of the shoe that needs to be stretched. Let it stay overnight and experience a small stretch. This is great for small size adjustments.

Stay well-fitted with ECCO®

At ECCO®, we create highly comfortable and stylish shoes for men and women that are made to follow the complex and anatomical shapes your feet. Are you also looking for tips and tricks on how to shrink your shoes? Check out our guide on how to shrink shoes.