There are several cheap and easy methods of stretching cloth shoes using household items. To stretch out cloth shoes, you can use oats, rubbing alcohol, water, a freezer, special shoe stretchers or special shoe-stretching spray. All you need to do is pick out the method that works best for you.
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This method involves pouring water over oats so that the oats expand, thereby stretching out your shoes. Place a plastic bag in the shoe so that the wet oats are easier to clean up. Next, fill the plastic bag with oats, making sure that you don't put too many oats in the shoes, because you don't want your shoes to stretch too far.
Next, pour enough water over the oats so that they expand to the point where they're stretching the shoes. Leave overnight, and enjoy stretched out shoes in the morning!
green spray bottle image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com
This method involves spraying your shoes with a 50/50 solution of rubbing alcohol and water. This makes the shoes more pliable, and easier to stretch. To provide the stretch need for this method, you can put your foot inside the shoe, or use a shoe stretcher if you have extra-sensitive skin.
Make your solution in a spray bottle and shake to mix well. Spray the shoes all over, inside and out, and then insert your foot or shoe stretcher. Leave on until the shoes are completely dry.
ice image by Pali A from Fotolia.com
This method is an old standby, and only requires a bag, some water and a freezer.
Fill the bag with enough water to fill the shoe. Seal the bag, and place it inside the shoe. Place the shoe in the freezer and leave overnight As the water in the bag freezes, it expands, thereby stretching out your shoe..
old shoehorn #2 image by Richard J Thompson from Fotolia.com
Shoe stretchers are devices specifically made to stretch out shoes. They are typically made out of wood or plastic, and are shaped like a foot with screws and adjusters attached. When buying a shoe stretcher, you must know the size of the shoes to be stretched, and approximately how much stretch you will need.
Shoe stretchers can be purchased at most department stores, and often turn up at garage sales and thrift stores.
Shoe Stretching Spray
This method is very similar to the rubbing alcohol method in that it is a spray used specifically to stretch out shoes. It is recommended, however, that this spray be used only in conjunction with a shoe stretcher and not with your own feet, the chemicals in the spray may be harmful until dry. This method has advantages over the rubbing alcohol method in that the stretch of the shoe may be more even, and the smell of the spray is potentially less powerful than that of the rubbing alcohol.
Shoe stretching sprays can be purchased at most shoes stores and cobblers' shops.