How to stretch leather shoes the right and efficient way?
Getting stuff done on my own as a child was always a must-have for my brother and me. With all that learning experience over the years, I now consider myself as a pro or mister fix it, DIY!
How I made my first shoe stretcher?
So, for my birthday at the age of 16 when I got my favorite new loafers slip-on, I was as happy as can be. The shoe felt perfect at first, but after walking around for about 5 minutes that is when the pain starts to set in on my feet. At this point I know I need to find a way on how to stretch my leather shoes.
The first thing I thought of was to use a bottle or can that was big enough to raise the instep of the shoe because that was one of the problem areas. After poking around the kitchen closets and end up with nothing, I went back up to my room and start watching tv holding my loafers. I heard a noise coming from the backyard and when I went to investigate it. It was my dad working on the lawnmower. At first, I did not even see the tool in his hand or what color clothing he had on, my eyes went straight to the beer bottle on the stool. It was nice and fat, I said to my self. Maybe, perfect for what I need it for. So, I sat in the kitchen pretending to do homework, looking through the blinds for the rest of the evening, waiting patiently for him to dispose of the bottle.
Around 7:45 pm he decided to pack things up and make his way in the house. I waited for him to get in the shower before I ran outside looking for the bottle. It was still sitting on the stool but now in the shed. When I pick the bottle up I notice that the beer was only half drank. I started to think if I pour the beer out in the grass he may think one of us drank it and then we would be in big trouble. So, I went looking for a mason jar and store it in. At this point, if he remembered that he left it on the stool and ask one of us what happened to it I now have A good answer.
The shoe stretching process
After making it back up to my room, to my surprise the red stripe beer bottle was perfect. Forcing the bottle inside the shoe was very hard but I did it. I was praying that this process works well, so I went back over to the shoe and give it a few more push to the inside. The next morning while in the shower I remembered that I had my shoe stretching overnight, so I quickly got out and went and check on it. To my surprise, the left foot of shoes that I was stretching was over the heater vent. I was very upset because I did not remember placing it on the vent but maybe next to it. Could it have been when I got up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night I kick the shoe over?
After inspecting it I notice that they were no physical damage to the shoe from the heat. I was happy again, but now the big question is, did my shoe got stretched overnight? It took me like 30 seconds to get the bottle out and at this point, I was thinking that it could not have stretch much because it was just as hard to take it out as it was to place the bottle inside of it.
Putting my foot in the shoe again after stretching it, was a very memorable moment I had to this day. But, WOW! not only it felt bigger but also more comfortable. I went ahead and repeat the process to the right shoe also using the heat from my room vent. I had a smile on my face all week long, I told my brother about what I did but still to this day I did not tell my parents, because they would have said “why did you not let us know so we could return it”, and that was not an option for me. I did not want to risk the chance of having to choose another style of shoe.
So that is how I got started, stretching shoes. There are many expanders on the market for different purposes. If you have issues with corn or bunion there is a bunion stretcher for that. If you have wide feet you can use a one-way shoe widener for that. How about the length and width of your shoe? A two-way expander is designed to expand not only width but also the length. And you ladies there also a stretcher for heels and boot.
They are things you must know before purchasing these devices.
- They are not created equal, if you do not purchase the right brand, they will break in no time. Trust me, I have done it many of times.
- There are different devices for different part of the shoe or boot. A Shoe Instep Stretcher or Vamp Raiser will only stretch that area. There are expanders for boot calf area as well.
- You would think if you find a device that works well, you can go ahead and buy their other products as well. This is not the case with shoe stretchers.
For 1 they are the things is like a hobby to me from footwear, hats, shirt to pants.
Over the past few years, Ihaves stretch many shoes for friends, family and my self.