There's not a much better new addition to your wardrobe than a pair of brand new shoes. There's also nothing worse than a pair of shoes that are too tight. No matter how good they look, an uncomfortable pair of shoes just won't get worn, and is a waste of money.
Whether you bought the perfect pair online and found them too tight when they arrived, or if you just had to buy them even though they felt a bit snug in the shop, there is hope.
I'm often asked by clients what they can do to make an almost perfect pair fit a bit better, so I've put together my suggestions for stretching shoes at home.
1. Stretch Your Shoes With Socks
This is one of the most well known and widely used methods for stretching shoes. Put on a pair of socks with your new shoes and wear around the house for an hour. Check them, and if they still feel a bit tight, wear them a bit longer or try an even thicker sock. This will get them to stretch, and a great method if you have time to spend in your socks and shoes around the house.
2. Use a Hairdryer to Stretch Your Shoes
This method is effective on leather, but requires some caution. Your new shoes will naturally loosen up over a few weeks of wearing them - but you can end up with blisters and sore feet during this breaking in period. To skip that, as in the method above put on socks and your shoes. Next, blow warm air from a hair dryer onto the shoe, moving the nozzle around your foot. The heat will loosen up the leather and mould it around your foot. Be careful not to get the dryer too close or too hot as it could damage your shoes and dry them out.
3. Use Freezing to Stretch Your Boots
This is a poplular way of stretching boots. Get some heavy duty Ziplock bags, or another small plastic bag, and tie a knot in it. Fill them just over halfway with water. Put the bags into your boots and place them in the freezer. This method will gently stretch your boots as the water freezes because the water expands when it turns to ice. Make sure the bags are strong enough not to leak!
There's no need for you to suffer in shoes that are a bit too tight Any of the above shoe stretching methods are simple ways to get a little extra space in your shoes without waiting weeks and enduring the discomfort.
Lizzie Edwards is a leading London based Personal Stylist and Image Consultant for women over 35.