How to Stretch Leather Shoes at Home?

How to stretch leather shoes on your own? You need a comfy pair of shoes when you are on your foot for the most portion of the day. In case you have mistakenly bought a pair that is a size smaller or unfits, you can use a shoe stretcher to stretch them out to the desired to stretch shoes

Shoe stretchers can stretch your shoes up to the desired size overnight while easing the right pressure points. When you know how to stretch shoes, you are saved from half of the health problems genuinely. There are numerous types of shoe stretchers available on the market. However, each shoe stretcher is made for specific types of shoes and the pressure points you need.

Before going to the various types of shoe stretchers, let us tell you how to stretch shoes with a stretcher.

Methods on how to stretch a leather shoe at home

You can stretch shoes using the following methods;

Using a shoe stretcher

A shoe stretcher is a pain-free way to stretch your shoes on the desired point. You need to invest in a good pair of a stretcher which you can buy from any online store. If you have got a limited time, you can conveniently stretch your shoes with a shoe stretcher. Shoe stretchers are available in two typical styles; one-way stretcher and two-way stretcher. You can use either one of them to increase the size of the shoes with a few inches. However, always remember to use a shoe spray before clamping them overnight. Excess stretching may spoil the leather of your shoes.

Wear your shoes around the house

It’s the easiest and money-saving method to increase your shoe size. However, you need some good time to invest in this method. Wear a pair of thick socks and slip in the shoes. Keep it wearing the whole day and roam around the house. Soon you will lose the shoes according to a convenient size.

Fill your shoes with a bag of water and freeze

Technically it’s effective to increase the size of the shoe when you do not own a shoe stretcher. But who keeps a pair of shoes in the refrigerator! By the way here is how you can carry out this process. Fill a ziplock with water and seal them properly. Stuff the shoes with water filed zip lock in areas where you want it to increase. It is the length, with or the toe block space. Stuff them tightly and put your shoes in the freezer for at least overnight. Once the water freezes bring out the ziplock and try wearing the shoes. If not satisfied, you may repeat the process again.

To void the shoes from getting wet, always cover them with plastic before freezing.

Stuff your shoes with sock balls

Sock balls are also one convenient method to increase the step size of the shoe. Roll several pairs of socks into a ball and stuff them inside the shoe. Keep it overnight or until the space within these increases.

Wear thick socks and blow-dry

If you are running out of time and do not want to try all the above ideas that require you to keep your shoe overnight to expand, then you can try this unique idea. Although, this process is temporary but will help you at the point in time. You just wear the shoes with thick socks and blast them with a heavy blow dry. Once done, bend the shoes to loosen the fabric. Remember to keep it on since once the shoes cool down, it will shrink to its original size.

Always apply leather conditioner on the shoes to prevent any physical damage to the material of the shoes.

Use foot fitter shoe spray

Foot fitter shoe spray is a boon for people who really want to walk ahead of time.  You just need to spray the inside of the shoe with the spray and wear it for a half-hour at a stretch. Repeat the process for some more times and your shoe will be ready.

Visit your local cobbler

When all the DIY techniques fail, or you do not have time to try any of the above methods, just visit the local cobbler and get it done for a few bucks. Your cobbler has all the necessary machines and equipment to treat the shoes. However, you just need to spare some time for the visit.

How to Stretch Shoes?

  • Prepare your boots for stretching by spraying a shoe stretch spray to loosen up the stiff material.
  • Insert the spot stretching plugs into the area where you need pressure point relief.
  • Place the shoe stretcher inside ensuring that it covers the end of the toe box.
  • Rotate the handle of the stretcher clockwise to win the shoes.
  • Leave the stretcher for 6-7 hours inside the shoe and check for the fit.
  • In case you need additional stretching, you can repeat the process for 8 hours.
  • In order to remove the stretcher, you just need to turn the stretcher anticlockwise.

However, before knowing how to stretch shoes, you must know that overstretching may losen your shoes unnecessarily.

Here is a review on some of the shoe stretchers that are the most talked about in the market due to the beneficial characteristics they have;

  1. One-way shoe stretcher

The foot fitter one-way shoe stretcher frees up space in the toe area and is best designed for shoes with narrow fits. The premium one-way show stretcher reduces your foot troubles and gives the desired widening to your boots.

Main features

  • Made of German beechwood
  • Reduces foot pain
  • Stretches the Width of shoes
  • Suitable for basically flat or belly type shoes.
  • Accompanied with 2 adjustable bunions for right pressure.


  • Gives you a break for foot pain
  • Transforms tight shoes into perfectly fitted ones.
  • The adjustable bunions ensure perfect pressure points
  • The product is made of both wood and metal which gives softness t your boots while stretching them.
  • Works best for both shoes.


  • Does not give results alone. You must use shoe spray before working with the stretcher.
  • Stretches the width only.
  • Suitable only for narrow or flat shoes.
  1. Two-way Shoe Stretcher

On knowing how to stretch shoes with a shoe stretcher, you can try different products available in the market. One of the premium stretchers is the two way she stretchers which not only increase the width but also the length. Sometimes you get stuck with a size smaller when you order online. This two-way stretcher is a boon for the shoppers.

Main features

  • Mechanical parts are made of sturdy steel
  • The stretcher body is made of polished German beechwood.
  • Toe block fits both the left and right shoes.
  • Features 14 plug holes for adequate inserting bunion plugs


  • Widens the length and the width as well.
  • Suitable for both the pair of shes
  • Adequate heel blocks and toe block for symmetrical stretching.
  • Smooth operating center rods


  • Suitable only for narrow shoes with some heels
  • Does not work well in high boots.
  1. Boot Stretcher

Boots strapped to your feet is your biggest companion since you wear it to work for half of the day. Whether you are wearing hiking boots or work boots, they must be comfortable enough to give your feet a break from the pain. You must know how to stretch shoes when you are investing for a boot stretcher first.

Main features

  • Made of German beechwood and sturdy metal rod.
  • Designed with an extra-long shaft for the boots
  • 3 bunion plug holes for pressure points


  • A single stretcher works best for both left and right boots.
  • The bunion plug gives great spot relief from pain and corns
  • Helpful in increasing the length and breadth of the boots.
  • Available in different sizes for both men and women boots.
  • The wooden clasp is soft so that your boots don’t get torn while stretching


  • Works best only for western-style boots
  • The stretcher brings wrinkles to the leather shoes
  • You need to use a shoe spray before using the boot stretcher.
  1. High Heel Shoe Stretcher

The heeled shoes add confidence to your steps. However, you cannot risk your confidence with the painful pair of shoes. The foot-fitter high heel shoe stretchers are made to customize the fittings of your heels and give adequate space on the toe box. They also help in relieving pains from pressure points and relieves from excess friction between your feet and the shoes.

Main features

  • Mechanical parts are made of sturdy steel
  • The threaded rod allows the smooth operation of the stretcher
  • Features 4 holes for customized pressure points.
  • Made of genuine hardwood


  • There is different foot fitter high heel foot stretcher for different heel sizes.
  • Fits both left and right shoes
  • The arch reaches the toe cover with ease to widen it all through
  • Available in multiple sizes for women’s high heels


  • You have to buy different stretchers for varied heels. There are stretches for 3”, 5” and more respectively
  • Not suitable for boot style shoes
  1. Cast Iron Ball and Ring Shoe Stretcher

The foot fitter cast iron ball and ring shoe stretcher is a perfect stretcher for people suffering from bunion problems. People who want pressure at one particular point can use this stretcher.

Main features

  • Bunion stretching
  • Highly durable
  • Made f heavy duty cast iron
  • The clamps can be adjusted for any size


  • Designed to tackle bunions at a particular point
  • The clamps are adjustable
  • Great stretcher for curing bunions, corns, foot related pressure points.
  • Frees up space in your shoes
  • Ideal for those who suffer from a foot problem


  • The heavyweight stretcher cannot be handled with ease.
  • Needs clamping overnight that may ruin the leather shoes
  • You need to moisturize the shoes before using the clamps.
  1. Toe Box Raiser

When you do not have subsequent space in shoes, you may face pain on your toe and find trouble in walking all day. With toe box raiser, you get extra space between the toes and the shoes. It also stretches the specific toe spot to give relief to the shoe wearer.

Main features

  • comes in one size
  • made of heavy-duty metal for durability
  • for proper stretching, the toe box raiser comes with the built-in lock mechanism
  • Lifts up to 2.”


  • stretches the hard to reach toe box
  • alleviates pressure from the top of your foot
  • made of sturdy metal to give adequate durability to the tool
  • includes locks for overnight clamping
  • ideal for people suffering from corn, calluses, and hammertoes
  • it reaches up to 5” inside the shoes
  • One size of all shoes


  • The locks sometimes spoil the leather shoes
  • The product is expensive compared to other shoe stretchers
  • Despite the lock mechanism, it does not stay on the particular point


  1. Vamp and Instep Raiser

The shoe instep stretcher is ideal to increase the height of the shoes. The specially designed stretcher goes inside the shoe and helps to raise the heigh and increase the space in the shoe. The instep raiser is excellent for boots and comes in a single size.

Main features

  • Professional shoe stretcher that increases the vamp
  • Made of hardwood
  • Comes in one size


  • Extremely useful to increase in step size
  • Helps in avoiding friction between shoe and feet
  • Made of durable material
  • Uses a screw to increase the height, thus avoiding any destructions to the leather boots


  • Not suitable for women boots
  • The screw handle is difficult to adjust

Few tips to consider before knowing how to stretch leather shoes at home

  • A basic boot stretcher works well with both the shoes; left and right
  • Boot stretchers only stretch shoes. It can increase only up to half or 1 inch of the size. However, if you want at least 2”, you must buy a new pair.
  • Boot stretchers work well with leather and canvas shoes.
  • They do not work with synthetic materials as they keep on shrinking back to the size.

When you know how to stretch shoes on your own, you just need to spare some time on the favorite pairs of shoes. A simple trick while trying to stretch the shoes or boots is to invest in equipment wisely so that you do not damage the shoes.