How To Stretch Shoes For Wide Feet

If you have wide feet, you may have faced the issue of narrow shoes. That is why you are here reading this article on how to stretch shoes for wide feet.

One of the most common questions asked online is: Can shoes be stretched in width? Of course they can.

Most work boots actually run narrow, even when you order the sight width and length. In fact, width is the reason why most people want to find out how to break in boots and shoes.

You see, when shoes run narrow, they pinch on the toe area, edges and heel area. In that case, you are going to find the need to stretch them wider. 

But first …

How wide are your feet?

You can refer to an article we wrote some time back regarding shoe width sizes.

Tips for how to stretch out shoes for wide feet

How to stretch shoes wider will neither be too hard nor too easy. You will need some time or perhaps not if you need to wear the shoes the following day. In a past article, we saw how you can break in cowboy boots overnight.

Even when it comes to stretching shoes for wide feet, you can find it easy or hard depending on your situation. If they fit one notch too tightly, you will take longer. However, if they pinch in certain spots only, you will take just a short time.

Use these tested and proven methods for how to stretch out shoes for wide feet:

Thick socks and hairdryer method

How can I stretch my shoes for wide feet? Well, you do have a hairdryer at home; at least, every home has this item. As it turns out, you can use this tool for much more than drying your hair. You can use it to widen narrow shoes.

First, wear your thick socks, two pairs if you like. Once you have noted where the shoes pinch, direct the medium heat of the hairdryer there, from 7 to 8 inches away. Blow on the part until the leather softens to almost toasty state.

Now, slip your feet with thick socks into the shoes and walk about with them in the house. By the time they get cool, they will have stretched. If not, you can try the process again.

Ice Method – how to stretch shoes wider

Hands down, this is one of the simplest and most effective methods for how to stretch shoes for wide feet.

You need the shoes themselves, a plastic container, plastic bags, water and of course, your fridge.

If the shoes are dirty, you should clean them thoroughly because they will go to the freezer in your fridge, the same place where you keep your food.

Once clean and dry, add water into the plastic bags but do not fill them up completely. You can then insert the bags into the shoes, pushing them until they reach the toe area.

Put the shoes in the freezer and leave them overnight.

As soon as the water turns into ice, it will expand considerably, forcing the leather to stretch. At the end of 8 hours or by morning, your shoes will be wide enough.

If they do not stretch enough the first time, do it again.

Remember to remove the insoles if they are removable. But even if they are not, you should have an easy time with this method.

Use Shoe Stretchers – How to stretch leather shoes wider

A shoe stretcher is shaped like a shoe. It is going to cost you money but you should not pay more than $20 for the same. However, you will get the full worth of your money because this tool is very effective.

This stretcher comes with an adjusting mechanism that is manually adjustable. It expands sideways and the best thing is to leave it in the shoes for a whole night.

Insert the stretcher into the shoes and expand it to the maximum, as far as it will go. You can then leave it overnight and it will do a fine job. Use the shoes stretcher on full grain leather, suede and other types of leather. You can also use it for how to stretch shoes for wide feet not leather.

Just be careful not to overdo it because leather fibers can only stretch so far before they break. After you are done, nourish the leather with a conditioner.

Alcohol Spray

This method is effective, but it is only good for shoes that are not too narrow. For this, you also need a thick pair of socks.

Image of how to stretch leather sneakers

Alcohol makes leather fibers flexible, which also makes them easy to stretch. Just spray or rub the whole shoe with alcohol and then wear them with your thick socks on.

Walk around in the shoes and by the time the alcohol dries, they will have stretched enough to accommodate your wide feet. Alcohol dries fast, so it is not as messy as water.

Stuff The Shoes

This is the last method for how to stretch shoes for wide feet that we are going to discuss here. While it is not as fast as some of the other methods that we have discussed here, it is very simple.

You can use rags or newspapers rolled into balls or you can use many socks. Just stuff them strongly into the toe area.

You can even use a blunt piece of wood to stuff them in strongly. Leave the shoes that way for a few days if you can. By the time you remove the stuffing, the shoes will have stretched enough to accommodate your feet.

This method works for leather as well as non-leather shoes.


When you have wide feet, you may find that almost all the shoes you buy run narrow. However, you don’t need to return them. Just break them in the right way and they will fit you nicely. Try any of the methods for how to stretch sneakers for wide feet that we have discussed here.