Sneakers are probably the most comfortable footwear around now. With brands like Nike, Sketchers, etc, churning out better and better-running shoes, more artistically designed sneakers are finding their ways into the market, though some would cost you an arm and a leg, fair warning.
For some people, buying these sneakers is as easy as 1, 2, 3, because when they go to the footwear stores, they go safe in the knowledge that the sizes for their running shoes will be readily available across multiple brands. But if you’re like me with wide feet, getting sneakers your size might be a bit difficult. Most sneakers are too small, and the ones that might just fit gracefully on your feet are sometimes out of reach money-wise, so how you can stretch sneakers for wide feet?
It gets even more rampant with the online purchase of sneakers. You order and wait excitedly for a couple of days or weeks, then the sneakers arrive, and they are too small. I know how that feels but don’t worry so much, it’s not all doom and gloom. The materials used to make sneakers can be stretched, if you know how. Allow me to show you how to make your sneakers bigger and more comfortable for you.
How to Stretch Shoes for Wide Feet
I’ll give you a few science lessons in this section so get ready to stretch your running shoes or sneakers for wide feet.
Method One: Simply Wear it
The first way to stretch your running shoes is to wear your sneakers at home in the evening. And the method is the cheapest too!
It has been scientifically proven that the feet get bigger in the evening because they carry your weight all day, especially if you were mostly standing during the day. So, it is advisable to wear your sneakers at home in the evening for about four or five hours so you can break them in.
To do this, get yourself a pair of thick socks, or even two, and put them on before you wear your sneakers. It’ll be uncomfortable at first, but the heat and swell from your feet will make the sneakers stretch and mold to your wide feet, giving you the comfort you desire, especially if you intend to use your sneakers as running shoes.
Take note that it would take about 6 to 8 days to make your sneakers bigger this way, so if you’re planning to use it soon, it might not be an advisable way of making your sneakers stretch.
The good news is you don’t have to walk around so much, just sitting down is enough. Actually, since you’ve mostly been on your feet all day, I’d suggest you sit and let your feet rest as they are helping you stretch your running shoes. And try to keep your sneakers on the carpet so the sole stays intact.
Method Two: Use The Ice Pack Method
Another way to stretch your sneakers is by stretching them overnight with ice.
Quick science lesson; water molecules expand when they are frozen, and this is the fact you will take advantage of it. Except your running shoes can get wet, you wouldn’t want to pour water inside them, and that’s fine. Instead, get two sealable bags and fill them with water. But take care not to fill them more than halfway, or a little more than half, so that the ice overstretches your running shoes.
Now, after sealing the bags to avoid any leakage, carefully place the water bags inside your shoes, and you can also use your hands to make sure the water bag settles in your shoe like a foot. You wouldn’t want to stretch your sneakers in the back alone and leave the front tight, would you? So be very careful and fit the tip of the water bag into the front of your shoe.
Put your sneakers containing the water bags into the freezer and leave them there for 9-10 hours. This can be done either at night or during the day, anyone that suits you.
When you take the sneakers out later, the ice should have stretched them well enough for you, and you could try them on. Though, you should probably wait for some time to allow the sneakers to warm up. Peradventure the shoes are still too small, repeat the process but this time, make the water in the sealable bag around three-quarters of the size of the bag. This should stretch out your sneakers very well and make it fit for your wide feet.
Method Three: Heat them up.
No, not with a stove. Let me explain.
Another quick science lesson; heat expands things, regardless of material. So to stretch your sneakers, you would need a blow dryer and two pairs of very thick socks. Put on both pairs of socks and wear your sneakers.
Using your dryer on medium heat, blast the sneakers for about two to three minutes, depending on the thickness of the material and the tightness of the shoe. As the material becomes heated up, wiggle your toes in the shoe and bend your feet too, so as to make the material loosen and mold to your feet. Keep doing this till you feel comfortable in your sneakers, but remember that if you stay for too long on one spot, you run the risk of ruining your sneakers, and we don’t want that.
Once you’re done with heating, remember that you must keep your sneakers on for them to cool. The reason is that just like heating expands things, cooling contracts it, so if you’re not wearing your sneakers when they are cooling off, they would shrink and make life even more difficult for you as the owner.
Method Four: Use the Good Old Shoe Stretchers
Another way you can make your sneakers bigger and stretched enough to fit your wide feet is to use a shoe stretcher. They always work! Shoes stretchers are usually used for brogues, but they are also useful for vinyl-based sneakers, and basically any kind of sneakers or running shoes. They are generally an easier way to achieve an even stretch for your sneakers, especially if you don’t have much time.
All you need to do is get a shoe stretcher spray and a shoe stretcher. By the way, there are two types of shoe stretchers; one-way stretchers and two-way stretchers. One way stretchers are basically used to increase the width of your shoe, whilst a two-way stretcher increases both the width and the length.
So, once you’ve gotten your stretcher, all you need to do is insert it into your sneakers and leave it in for about 7-9 hours so the material of the sneakers can stretch and set and be ready for use.
Before inserting the stretcher, you need to spray your sneakers with shoe stretch spray so as to relax the material and get it in ample condition for stretching.
You may turn the stretcher once or twice when you’ve left it in, it’s all to try and achieve an equal stretch in the sneakers.
Method Five: Choke the Shoe
Yes, literarily. Looking for a quick way to make your sneakers stretch for wide feet? Simply get 7-10 pairs of very thick socks, depending on the size of your sneakers.
Roll the socks into balls and stuff them into your sneakers till they can’t take any more, then leave the sneakers to stretch for about 10 hours. You can keep repeating the process until you achieve the level of stretch you want in your sneakers. Just make sure that you fit the sock balls into your sneakers very well so that you have as even a stretch in your sneakers as possible.
When you’ve achieved the stretch you want, be sure to store your shoes in places where air would readily circulate in them, as socks staying in the shoes for that long may cause them to start smelling. I mean, your sneakers may just want to get back at you for choking them.
Method Six: Spray Some Alcohol
I would have said get the sneakers drunk but no, just spray alcohol.
It turns out that spraying alcohol on your sneakers when you’re wearing them makes them stretch to the size of your feet, even if you have wide feet.
All you have to do is soak a pair of thick socks in alcohol and put some in a spray bottle. Put the pair of socks on and then wear your sneakers as the alcohol dries. However, this method is not advisable for your sneakers if they have leather or suede materials.
Method Seven: Feed them some Potatoes
Can you stretch shoes by stuffing them with potatoes? Well, what can I say? Potatoes remind me of chips. And they can also be used to stretch your sneakers for wide feet. How? Easy.
Peel a potato, and if you can resist using it for chips, stuff it in your sneakers and mold it to fit the shape of your running shoes. Leave it inside the sneakers for about 8 hours.
The potato would stretch your running shoes and as a bonus make sure your shoes won’t smell. Sort of like getting a 2 for 1 deal really.
But whether you can eat the potato again after this is another story entirely.
Will these Methods Really Stretch My Shoes?
You bet! Seven answers to your question of how to stretch running shoes for wide feet. Making your sneakers bigger isn’t so difficult after all. And if perhaps you don’t want to go through any of these processes yourself, you can just take your sneakers to a cobbler and have him professionally stretch your running shoes for you.
Shoes that fit properly are important for health and well-being, so please do not rush to buy shoes, rather, always make sure that the shoes you buy are the right size for you.
If your shoes arrive tight, the methods above will help you stretch them to fit you. Also, it is worth remembering that you can’t stretch a shoe one or two sizes bigger. In that case, what you need is a new, snugly fitting shoe for your wide feet. Leave us comments to let us know how things go. Ciao!