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The Best Way to Stretch Patent Leather Shoes

Updated April 17, 2017

Patent leather can be made from leather treated with a synthetic material or entirely made from synthetic. Stretching patent leather shoes may be less effective than calfskin but can be done at home or at a shoe repair shop.

Stretching Patent Leather Using Heat Method

The most efficient method for stretching patent leather is heat, according to Randy Lipson of Cobblestone Shoe Repair in St. Louis, Missouri. Heat stretching is best done at a shoe repair facility. Shoes should not be overstretched as the patent finish may crack.

Shoe Stretching Spray

Shoe stretching sprays are sold at shoe repair shops or online. Solutions such as Fiebing's Shoe Stretch list the primary active ingredient as IPA or alcohol. Saturate the area of shoe that needs to be stretched. Slip on shoes with a pair of thick socks. Sprays can also be used in conjunction with a shoe stretcher.

Shoe Stretching Devices

Shoe stretching devices including the two-way shoe stretcher, the vamp, and the toe stretcher, which can be used alone or with the spray. The most effective two-way stretchers are made of wood and metal hardware and can be used to slightly expand the width and slightly lengthen the shoe. Additional corn and bunion pieces can be used to expand the shoe. Vamp and toe stretchers expand the front part of the shoe.

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About the Author

Beth Cone is a Los Angeles-based writer and was the style and health, beauty, and fitness columnist for "On The Boulevard Magazine" in the San Fernando Valley-based magazine from 1990 through 1992. She is a publicist and artists representative with clients in Northern and Southern California. A graduate from Vanderbilt University, Cone has a degree in Spanish and fine arts.