How to Stretch Your Shoes

Updated November 21, 2016

If you find a great deal on a pair of slightly small shoes, stay happy. With some simple steps, you can easily stretch a shoe about a half size larger right at home. You don't need fancy products or tools, just standard household items. Use this method to widen or lengthen almost any pair of shoes.

Fill two freezer bags half full with water and seal shut. Freezer bags work best because the heavier plastic holds up better in the freezer than standard sandwich bags.

Stuff one freezer bag into each shoe. Make sure to stuff the bag all the way down to the end of the toe. Depending on the shoe, you might want to stuff all the way to the back of the shoe as well. Use extra bags with water when needed. Stuff sneakers all the way for extra length and width.

Freeze the shoes, with the freezer bags inside of them, for at least half a day. Once the water freezes completely, it expands and stretches the shoes. Remove from the freezer at this point and let sit for about 20 minutes. This makes the frozen bags a bit easier to remove.

Place silica gel packs in the shoes to absorb the moisture. Moisture causes shrinkage, so you want to place a lot of gel packs inside the shoe. Shoe stores should be more than happy to give or sell you extra packs.

Place shoe trees inside your shoes once you soak up all the extra moisture. This keeps them stretched and helps them maintain their shape. After several months, you no longer need the shoe trees for the extra size, but you do still need silica gel packs after each use.


Real leather stretches easier than faux leather.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 quart-sized freezer bags
  • Water
  • Freezer
  • Silica gel packs
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