The right way to stretch your leather shoes

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Portia crowe

Sometimes you need to add some space to your leather shoes.

Whether the latest pair of these tall Allen Edmonds are just half a size too small, or your favorite $ 400 Pradas just don’t look the way they used to be, knowing how to stretch them and do it is crucial. correctly.

We have found a few ways to help.

1. Go see a professional.

Business Insider spoke with David Yushuvayev of David Shoe Repair on East 17th Street in Manhattan, and he showed us the great device he uses to stretch customers’ shoes. It stretches lengthwise and crosswise to ensure your shoe stretches in the right places to match your foot.

Yushuvayev recommends going through your local shoemaker to get the job done, rather than investing in the device itself and not using it very often. “Once you stretch it, then 10 years you leave it somewhere,” he said. He charges around US $ 15 for a stretch.

2. Use a good spray.

Whichever method you use to stretch your shoe, it is important to use a good shoe stretcher spray beforehand.

If your shoe doesn’t need too much stretch, you might even get away with it.

Shoe stretcher

Yushuvayev recommends SC Johnson’s Meltonian Shoe Stretch & Softner Spray. (Make sure to use this spray only on genuine leather and suede.)

3. Be smart at home.

If stretching your shoes is a common recurrence for you, then you might want to consider some DIY methods.

Lifehack recommends freezing a water bag inside your shoes, so that as the bag expands it also stretches the leather (repeat as many times as needed).

Alternatively, Lifehack recommends heating your shoes with a hairdryer. Wear the shoes with thick socks and point the hairdryer at specific parts of the shoe that need a bit more wiggle room.

Several blogs, including Shoe Digest, also recommend stuffing shoes with peeled potatoes overnight. So this is also an option, although we don’t know how they will smell the next morning.

David Cordonnier

4. Try to buy shoes that fit.

Finally – or maybe in the first place – you should always aim to buy shoes that fit you.

Mount Sinai Hospital and Belvedere Podiatry Group podiatrist Paul Greenberg says it’s not a good idea to buy uncomfortable shoes with the intention of stretching them later.

“They should be comfortable from the start,” he said.

Keep in mind that your feet will swell as the day progresses, so try to avoid early morning shoe races and head to the stores after work instead.


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