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Shoe Stretcher

"Ease the Pain of Tights Shoes and Boots with a Shoe Stretcher"

Wide calf boots David Tate
Shoe Stretcher/ Amazon
You've found the perfect pair of shoes - they look great and you just have to have them. But one problem, they're a bit too tight! People would tell you to 'just stretch them out!'. So okay, you're thinking: 'That's sounds genius, but how exactly do you do that??'

They are many free and cheap shoe stretching remedies that can do this but they usually require time and a bit of effort. One example would be to wear the shoes at home, several hours a day over a few days. The downside is that you have to force yourself to walk in them even though they're tight and it can be painful. Other methods require putting your shoes in the freezer, putting grains mixed with water in them, etc. These stretching techniques are just inconvenient -- and that's when a stretcher tool will come in handy!

Let's take a look at some of the things you should know about shoes stretchers before you run out and get one:

Shoe Stretchers to the Rescue – Why Use Them

There are many reasons why you can find them practical:
  • The perfect shoes that you can't find elsewhere might be a tad too small (especially if your calves and/or feet are on the wider side or you land between 2 sizes)
  • Feet can swell (you know, when it's the time of month. You might be experiencing swelling during pregnancy)
  • Bunions and other foot imperfections can make our feet hurt

Our feet alone can make our life miserable to say the least. But a stretcher can help alleviate those problems and make walking in shoes much comfortable.

Feet hurts, use a shoe stretcher!

So what does it exactly do?

It can expand the width and the length of a pair of shoes or boots. If you need something for both benefits then be sure to purchase a 'two-way' stretcher, which I will talk more about further down this page.

One Downside: Shoe Stretchers are Meant for...

Wide calf boots Fitzwell
Wide calf boots
Now the downside to most shoe and boot stretchers is that they will work best for suede, leather and other natural materials. Why? Because most imitations materials such as vinyl don't have much give.

Also they're best for widening shoes that are barely too tight which is often contributed to falling between two sizes, minor feet swelling, etc. So basically, if you're looking to stretch a size 6 to a size 8 then you'd want a new shoe not a shoe stretcher!

This applies to women's boots as well. If the shaft is just tad too tight then a boot stretcher will solve the problem, but if you have wide calves then I suggest that you look into the boots at online stores such as WideWidth and Duoboots

Different Types of Shoe Stretchers

They're usually bought in singles and will stretch both the left and right shoe but not at the same time. You can also find various stretchers made for different shoe types such as flats, high heels and boots. So make sure that you are buying the right one for your needs.


A two-way stretcher is recommended if you want to widen both the length and width of a shoe.

This one has a separate heel that rolls independently from the forward portion of wooden foot.

If your shoes are too short rather than too narrow, this option might work best for you.

Boot Stretchers

You can find boot stretchers that expand the shaft of the boot and others that are designed to easily swoop in the feet of a pair of boots.

Boot shaft stretcher are best for you who have wider calves (14" and up) and difficulties squeezing your legs in a pair of fashion boots.


These are specially designed for high heels, shaped to slide into them.

Some have also reported that they work on flats. Fits rounded toe heels best, you can otherwise sand down the stretcher to make it fit.

How to Use It

You'll need to apply liquid shoe stretcher to the area first, then insert it inside the feet of the shoe. If you're stretching for the sake of bunion relief, use the bunion attachment. If you just need a wider shoe overall, you don't need to use the attachments. Slowly turn the handle of the stretcher and let it set overnight. And when you want to remove the stretcher, turn the handle the opposite direction.

Related Content:

Go Back to Style & Shopping Guide to Womens Shoes
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