How to shrink stretched leather shoes

Written by jennifer hudock
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Leather shoes are an expensive investment you want to preserve and keep as long as possible. Leather is a pliable material and repeated use and wear will eventually stretch out your shoes, making them uncomfortable and too big for your feet. There are ways you can shrink your stretched leather shoes, but immediate conditioning is necessary afterward to make sure your shoes retain their colour and appearance.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Old newspaper
  • Spray bottle
  • Warm water
  • Clothes dryer
  • Leather conditioner
  • Lint-free cotton cloth

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  1. 1

    Spread old newspaper out on the floor and lay out your shoes. You may want to remove the laces to avoid staining the leather beneath them.

  2. 2

    Fill a clean spray bottle with warm water and spritz the leather surface of your shoes. Spritz the inside as well, only dampening the surface. Do not soak your shoes, as this will permanently damage the leather.

  3. 3

    Place your spritzed leather shoes in the dryer on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, allowing the heat to evaporate the water and shrink the leather.

  4. 4

    Remove the shoes from the dryer and allow them to cool.

  5. 5

    Liberally polish your leather shoes with a lint-free cotton cloth once they have dried with leather conditioner. Conditioning will keep the leather from hardening and drying out, which could lead to cracking.

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