Tips to Get the Perfect Fit

So you’ve found the most beautiful pair of pumps, and you instantly fell in love.  The only problem is the store only has a half size smaller than what your foot can handle.  Don’t worry!  We’ve got you covered here.  We’ve found and tested two options for you to stretch out your new shoes.  Check them out below.

Freezing Method: best for when full toe or heel needs stretching

What you’ll need:

  • Ziploc bag
  • Water
  • Freezer


  1. Fill the plastic bag about a third to half way full. 
  2. Let out as much air as possible from the bag. 
  3. Insert plastic bag of water into problem area of shoe.
  4. Freeze the shoe overnight.
  5. Let ice thaw for about 20 minutes before removing from shoe.
  6. Try on and repeat if necessary.
  7. Enjoy your beautiful, comfy shoes!


Heating Method: best for a quick stretch on leather

What you’ll need:

  • Thick socks
  • Hair dryer
  • Leather conditioner


  1. Put on the shoes while wearing thick socks (this will be a tight fit).
  2. Heat the problem area of the shoe with your hairdryer.
  3. Flex your feet for 30 seconds while heating.
  4. Remove heat from shoes, but continue wearing until they’ve cooled.
  5. Try on and repeat if necessary.
  6. Apply leather conditioner to shoes to replenish the depleted moisture from the heat.

So there you have it.  You can become your own Cinderella with these shoe stretching tips!

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  1. lauren
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    which method would work best on patent leather shoes?

  2. Erin
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lauren!

    I would reccomend using the freezing method for patent leather. Hope this helps :)

  3. Christina
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    What method is best for suede shoes?

  4. Emily
    Posted April 29, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    This is fantastic! Thank you so much for posting this.

  5. Beth Moe
    Posted July 3, 2012 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Another way to stretch a pair of shoes is to use a reversing clamp. (A clamp forces 2 pieces together and a reversing clamp pushes 2 things apart. So i spray the inside of the shoe, insert the clamp and stretch the tight part. The blow dryer works well to speed up the process. works well on tight boot calves as well.

  6. Laura
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I just bought a banging pair of Badgley Miscka’s. They are tight in the front toe and back. Leather insole. Which method before I have to send them back. For the record would make me super sad…

  7. Karen
    Posted July 25, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    It also works to hold the shoe over a steaming kettle until it is nice and warm – then wear with heavy socks until cooled as mentioned above.

  8. Mike
    Posted August 21, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    I bought my wife a pair of size 8 sneakers. Only to find out she’s a 8 in a half. How do I know how much water to put in?

  9. Heather
    Posted September 4, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    I had bunion surgery a year ago and give foot I had the surgery on has a thicker joint under my big toe than the other foot has. I used the heat from a blow dryer and thick socks to stretch the appropriate shoe out and it worked perfectly. I can now comfortably wear my awesome new leather pumps.

  10. Posted September 10, 2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Hi Heather, that’s great to hear! Glad you are able to enjoy your new leather pumps.

  11. Posted September 10, 2013 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Hi Mike,

    We hope you found a good method for stretching the shoes. If you’re still interested in the water stretching method, you’ll want to use enough water to fill the bag 1/2 or 3/4 full (removing the air) while still allowing the frozen bag to fit inside the shoe. Hope this helps. Good luck!

  12. CAM
    Posted September 13, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    i bought a pair of mizuno volleyball shoes and the sides are a little tight only in the left foot but both shoes feel a half size too small… is there anything i could do with those??

  13. Vanessa
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Any suggestions on how to stretch boots, the calfs of leather boots?

  14. Tangela
    Posted September 17, 2014 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I ordered some flats for my business and they fit very snug, so i tried the blow dryer method and it works great! But i wonder does the shoe go back to that tight fit after a while? Has anyone run into that problem, their shoe shrinking back down to a tight fit? Thanks

  15. Val
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Glad stretching your shoes worked! If they shrink back up, I would just try to use the blow dryer method again. Good luck!

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