How to Stretch Ballet Flats

Updated February 21, 2017

Ballet flats are a popular choice among women who enjoy a balance between comfort and style. For some, however, finding a pair of ballet flats that fit properly can be a challenge. Many women have difficulty finding their correct size due to foot width, bunions, hammer toe, or other conditions that cause standard sized shoes to pinch and cause pain. Fortunately, ballet flats can easily be stretched to fit comfortably.

Roll a moistened towel into a ball and stuff it into the toe of the ballet flat for toe areas that are too tight. The towel should be wet but should not be dripping. Leave the towel in until it is dry. As the towel dries, it will expand and stretch the toe of the flats. This technique should not be used on leather or suede ballet flats.

Apply a stretching spray, such as ShuEze, to the inside of leather or suede ballet flats. The spray will allow the leather in the ballet flats to expand and form around your foot. Stretching sprays can be found at most shoe repair stores.

Blow heat on the flats in 15-30 second intervals to stretch patent leather, rubber, or leather ballet flats using a hair dryer. Heating the ballet flats will make them softer. Wear a pair of thick socks and put the flats on while they are still warm. Walk around in the ballet flats until they have stretched and moulded to your feet.

Go to a shoe repair shop. A professional may be necessary if significant stretching is needed. Shoe repair shops have industrial stretching machines that can be customised to stretch by length or width and can stretch a variety of shoe sizes.

Insert a two-way shoe stretcher into the sole of the ballet flat to stretch by width, length, or a combination of both. Adjust the stretcher to your desired size. Leave the stretcher in the flat for a minimum of 48 hours.


Applying water to leather or suede ballet flats may cause damage including tearing, cracking and discolouration.

Things You'll Need

  • Ballet flats
  • Water
  • Hand towel
  • Stretching spray
  • Hair dryer
  • Shoe stretcher
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