Use a bag of water to stretch out your shoes

September 23 2013 | Guest post by Prinny

photo 4I'm the owner of big feet, and desire to wear pretty shoes that are rarely in my size! Here is some info that may be helpful in regards to stretching shoes a little.

Try filling Ziplock bags with water and inserting the entire bag (now ziplocked closed) into the shoe. Then put the shoe with said bag inside it into the freezer.

It sounds crazy but of course water expands when it becomes ice and it stretches shoes nicely without any harm to the shoe at all!

Or alternatively there are a few products available that are made to stretch leather and worth spraying inside the shoe BEFORE you put the shoes on with thick socks. Sadly this only works well on leather shoes.

The ice method works on every shoe!

    • Not really – stretching leather is a slow, steady process & unlikely to crack it. Cracks ususally happen when leather is dried out, often from sun, or from heavy wear.

      3 agree
    • I've never had any problems with that. The only problem with this method is that if your shoes are made of a non-waterproof material (suede for instance), you'll have to be really careful after they've been frozen– the bags of ice will be too hard to remove from your shoes without letting them melt for a bit, and that condensation can really mess with delicate fabrics. Patent leather has no problems, though.

      5 agree
  1. Thank you for sharing this! I'm "blessed" with big feet as well, size 12, and have tried many things to stretch out my shoes with limited success. With cute boot season upon us I can't wait to try this!

    • Size 15 here, and I use this trick on pretty much every pair of shoes I own.

      Disclaimer– it only works on leather shoes, so if you have a really cute pair of canvas flats that are pinchy, you're SOL. Those puppies will never grow.

      Also, check out http://www.barefoottess.com– they carry shoes in sizes 11-15 (i.e. my only option for shoes if I don't want to look like a dude).

      4 agree
  2. My preferred method is wearing the thickest socks you own, blowdrying the shoes (with no feet!) and then cramming socked feet in. If you can, blow dry a bit once your feet are in there too. It hasn't failed me yet!

    • I recently tried this method for the first time. It worked well, though I think my shoes were still tight the first time I wore them after the blow-drying treatment. Now they are stretched out well, though, and I was getting nowhere before the blow dryer.

  3. how well does this work with vinyl shoes, like the ones in the picture. i just got some SUPER CUTE ones that are open toe and they are an eensy bit squeezy

  4. This is not exactly water-in-shoes related, but I had to speak up.

    Prinny– I wish you wouldn't belittle yourself by saying you shouldn't wear heels at 6'1". If YOU can't wear them, I'm probably committing a federal offense by wearing heels when in my bare feet I'm 6'4". The fact of the matter is, I'm already taller than everyone I meet anyway, so if I can somehow manage to find a pair of cute shoes in my size (a rare feat/feet, as you probably know very well), I want to wear them– heels or not! 6'4" in flats or 6'8" in heels– I'm the tallest person in the room 99% (tallest woman 100%) of the time either way. Short people aren't obligated to avoid flats, and we shouldn't feel the societal pressure (and oh yes, societal pressure is the worst thing ever for tall women) to avoid heels.

    I'm hoping that, someday, we tall women can convince enough people that 1) women don't HAVE to be shorter than their male partners and 2) tall women CAN wear heels if they want to. I already have enough trouble with self-esteem and feeling awkward in my own skin, and these are two things that are really quite arbitrary in the grand scheme of things.

    TL;DR: WEAR HEELS ALL THE TIME KTHX 🙂

    18 agree
    • As someone who is only 5'1" when I stand very straight, I say embrace your size! Height is the stupidest thing for people to pressure you into being. Too short or too tall, there's absolutely NOTHING that can be done about that, and I absolutely refuse to think otherwise! : )

      9 agree
  5. Awesome tip! I never thought about stretching shoes since I have smallish feet anyway. But one of my feet is slightly bigger than the other, and while I never feel it in the stretchy/squishy casual shoes I wear most of the time, it's always noticeable in stiffer dressier shoes. Next time I'll buy a pair that fits my smaller foot, and stretch the other.

    1 agrees
  6. Thank you! My recent experience in baby-making caused my feet to expand a bit. So now many of my beautiful shoes are too tight. I'm excited at the thought of saving some of them!

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.