How to stretch a shoe half a size

Updated February 21, 2017

Your new shoes may be stylish and seemed to fit perfectly when you tried them on in the store, but, after purchasing, you discovered they're a bit too tight on your feet. Wearing shoes that are too small can lead to pain, calluses, deformed toes, bunions and other serious foot problems. Learn a trick to stretch your shoes half a size for a better fit.

Fill a small, plastic, sandwich bag that has a zipper lock closure 1/3 to 1/2 full of water.

Seal the bag securely using the zipper lock.

Insert the sealed plastic bag inside the shoe you wish to shrink. Add more water to the bag if necessary until it fits snugly inside. The bag should completely fill out the form of the shoe and not be loose.

Place your shoe in the freezer. Leave overnight. As the water freezes, the bag will expand and stretch your shoe.

Remove your shoe from the freezer. Gently remove the plastic bags from inside the shoe. If your shoe still feels snug, repeat the procedure until it has shrunk half a size.


For non-leather shoes, you may have to repeat this procedure a few times.

Things You'll Need

  • Small plastic sandwich bags
  • Water
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