Wearing tight shoes can result in painful corns, calluses and bunions. In fact, according to the University of California, San Francisco's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, nine out of 10 women who wear shoes that are too tight will develop bunions on their feet. You can also get hammer toe, deformed claw-shaped toes, from wearing tight shoes. Relieve your foot pain by taking your shoes to a shoe repair shop or by stretching your shoes yourself.
Ball-and-Ring Shoe Stretcher
When you do not want to stretch your entire shoe, a ball-and-ring shoe stretcher allows you to stretch your shoes in a particular spot likely to cause bunions or rub part of your foot raw. Before using one, place a plastic bag over your shoe to protect the outside. Put the ball inside of the shoe, leaving the ring on the outside then press the arms of the ball-and-ring shoe stretcher together to stretch the part of the shoe causing you problems. Your shoe should fit better immediately.
Two-Way Shoe Stretcher
If your entire shoe fits too tightly, place a two-way shoe stretcher in your shoe. Turning the stretcher crank makes your shoe longer and wider. Every eight hours, turn the crank one full turn. Keep your shoes stretched for two days before removing the stretcher.
Boot stretchers come with long handles to fit inside women's boots. You can safely stretch the width of the boot using the stretcher's hinged shaft that follows the shape of the boot. After you place the boot stretcher inside, turn the crank to stretch the width. Every eight hours, turn the crank one full turn. Keep the boot stretched for two days before you remove the boot stretcher.
Some people find success stretching their leather shoes with rubbing alcohol. Rub alcohol into the shoe areas that rub or chafe your feet, then put your shoes on. As the alcohol dries, the leather of your shoes will remain supple, stretching only in the areas with alcohol, without cracking. Using rubbing alcohol only works with leather shoes, not shoes made of other materials.