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8 Tips on How to Expand Tight Shoes

Some days ago, I went shoe shopping and my eyes met a particular pair that struck me. It was as though the shoes beckoned to me to come to them and I did just that. They were too beautiful to be ignored. But when I tried them on, I almost wept — the shoes were too tight! What worsened it was that I had no idea about how to expand tight shoes.

So, I kept trying to fit my feet in, regardless. And when they finally got in, I decided I’d endure the pains for a while before giving the shoes out. That decision was the best I made up until I decided to take a walk in the shoes right there in the store. The pain hurt so badly that I thought my toes would break.

I had no other option than to take them off and look for something else for my feet.

Ever experienced that? I’m guessing you either left the tight shoes at the store like I did or you bought them despite how tight they were just so you could exude style.

But being stylish doesn’t have to come with pains. Whoever told you so must have lied to you.

Style is an effortless endeavor. It shouldn’t make you shed tears of pain or regret. Neither does it mean you should abandon something that looks nice just because it’s a tad tight.

That’s not what we preach about marrying comfort with style. You can’t sacrifice one for the other at all. You learn to merge both and give your style sense an epic lift.

So, what do you do when you need that footwear but don’t know how to expand tight shoes?

It’s simple: learn how to expand tight shoes.

It’s a fashion hack that’ll always come in handy. Use them when next you get a pair of uncomfortable shoes. They’ll help you say goodbye to foot pain or having to abandon nice shoes because they’re a bit small for your legs. 

Shall we?

How to Expand Tight Shoes

lady rocking tight boots with socks

Sometimes, the shoes may feel perfect when at the store, Even when you take a walk around with them, it feels so comfortable. But when you get home and decide to wear them out throughout the day, your toes begin to send signals to your brain. 

What would you do in that situation? Return the shoes? Of course, you know the store won’t get them back. You have to live with them for the time being up until you’re ready to give them out.

But to ensure you have a peaceful relationship with those tight shoes, use these hacks to stretch them out.

Once you do so consistently, you can be sure the shoes will expand to accommodate your feet without any inconvenience.

1. Wear the Shoes Around for an Hour or More

walking around in your tight shoes

Simply wearing tight shoes and walking around helps to stretch them. This works if the shoes are only a bit tight. 

If you can’t wear them like that for long, wear a pair of socks to avoid blisters on your feet. 

Do this repeatedly until you’re sure you can wear the shoes out for long hours without feeling uncomfortable.

2. Use a Blow-Dryer

blow drying tight shoes to expand it

If you don’t wanna wear the shoes to walk around, use this hack on how to stretch tight shoes.

Simply wear a pair of thick socks and turn on your blow-dryer at medium heat. Let it blow each shoe for about 30 seconds. But while at this, don’t let the hairdryer focus on one particular part of the shoe for long. Move the nozzle around so the heat touches different places.

This is because heat can soften the glue used on shoes. And when this happens, the uppers will separate from the sole. Therefore, don’t leave the hairdryer nozzle in one place for too long. 

Furthermore, as you move the nozzle of the blow-dryer around your shoes, move your feet and wriggle your toes. This will help to expand the shoes some more.

There’s an exception to this hack, though: this doesn’t apply to plastic or PVC shoes. If you heat them, instead of stretching they could release toxic fumes into the air.

3. Freeze Your Shoes

expanding shoes with the freeze technique

Another tip on how to expand tight shoes is to freeze your shoes. For this to be effective, fill a Ziploc bag halfway with water and put them in each shoe. Then put the shoe together with the water bags in the freezer.

Once they’re frozen, bring them out and allow the ice to thaw a bit before removing the Ziploc bag from the shoes. If this doesn’t stretch the shoes, repeat the process one more time.

However, while at this, be careful lest the water should leak and soak up your shoes.

Watch this video to see how it’s done.

4. Use a Shoe Spray

man spraying shoes

You can also get a good shoe spray and spritz your footwear before you wear them and walk around. These sprays help to loosen the fibres of your footwear. When this happens, the shoe stretches slightly.

You can get shoe sprays for leather, suede, or any material of shoes. Just read the product description before buying anyone of them.

5. Use a Shoe Stretcher

man using shoe stretcher to stretch a shoe

A shoe stretcher as the name implies is used for widening shoes up to a half-size larger. It has a knob/ lever that widens or lengthens the shoe stretcher when you turn it. 

For better results, use the stretcher with a shoe spray.

6. Stuff the Shoes with Wet Newspaper

stuffing wet paper in tight shoes to expand it

Soak some sheets of newspaper in water then roll them into balls and stuff them into the toe box ( part of your shoes where your toes sit). Keep adding balls of damp newspaper into your shoes until they fill up your footwear. Then leave them to dry.

As the paper gets dry, it will harden and stretch out your shoes. But while at this, avoid spreading the papers all over your shoes so it doesn’t damage them. Arrange them instead. Also, don’t use this hack for leather shoes.

7. Stuff the Shoes with Wet Grains

grains gif

Got rice, garri, oatmeal, or any other grain that swells up when wet? Great. Put any of them in water and fill them into a resealable bag. Afterward, stuff the bag into your shoes and leave them overnight.

As the grains swell, they’ll apply pressure on your shoes to expand too.

8. Go to a Professional Shoe Mender

cobbler mending shoes in a shop

If you don’t wanna use any of these hacks, you can take the shoes to a professional cobbler. 

Most times, they have equipment such as shoe spray, shoe stretcher, and every other machine that can stretch your shoes without ruining them.

Rock Those Tight Shoes With  a Smile

smiling lady posing in her beautiful dress and fine shoes

Now that you know how to expand tight shoes, go ahead and rock them with a smile. Nothing can mar your style game anymore, right? But don’t buy an extremely undersized pair of shoes and expect these hacks to work. They’re for shoes that are a bit small for your feet.

In addition, sometimes, the problem may not be your shoes but your toes. Have you tried stretching your toes too? You can do that by wiggling your toes or using your hand to stretch each one of them.

And finally, if your toes are wide, try to go for toe boxes that have the shape of your foot and avoid anyone with an irregular shape.

Never forget these hacks for stretching tight shoes. You want that footwear to expand to accommodate your beautiful feet in no time, isn’t it? Great. So, use these tips always.

But when you start rocking those erstwhile tight shoes and you notice they have an odour, don’t turn up your nose at it. Instead, read up our guide on how to stop stinky shoes and thank us later.


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Victoria B. Willie

Writing has always been a part of me. From writing stories as a young child to studying Communication Arts in the university, it has always been more than a medium of expression to me.

And then one day, I found myself toeing the path of an entrepreneur and becoming a fashion enthusiast. This made me develop an interest in content marketing and copywriting which I've been chasing alongside my fashion career.

That aside, when I'm not sharing style articles, selling with stories, or creating fashion-forward pieces for Ria Kosher, you'll find me telling wild stories that always come with a twist.

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