How to Stretch Running Shoes That Aren’t Wide Enough

How to Stretch Running Shoes

Sometimes, you get a perfect and excellent pair of running shoes to find out later that shoes did feel fit when you first tried them have become too tight for you after running on them for several hours. You experience the sneakers are very uncomfortable as they are very tight. Well, this is a widespread issue that occurs to most runners.

Mismatched sizing problem is a not uncommon phenomenon when considering new running shoes. Your feet could be swollen, or your bunions could be badly injured as you put on very tight sneakers and never take any actions towards stretching them to have the desired size.

So, how to Stretch Running Shoes?

Luckily, you can do some effective methods to increase your running shoe’s overall width and length and provide you with more room to reduce the pressure on your feet.

How to Stretch Running Shoes

In the market, you can usually buy the running shoes of your choice that fit your size. But Nowadays we tend to buy everything online.

You can buy the shoes you want online, but you might find that the shoe is too tight. If you like the shoes and don’t want to return it back, you will have to find a way to stretch them to your exact size.

In this article, We suggest reliable solutions to this common problem. There are many ways for this, but some of the solutions might misshape or damage your shoes. It sounds challenging that how we can stretch our running sneakers without damaging them. Here are some easy and effective ideas & solutions for you to stretch running shoes!

Wearing Your Shoes Around The House

If you want to put on your sneakers for a long time without feeling that they are tight or get any discomfort, you need to widen them to make them more comfortable. Put your tight sneakers on for a short while around the house every day.

Walking in your shoes for just a couple of minutes at a time, in the beginning, Gradually put them on for a longer time. After some time, you will start to feel that your shoe fits great.

Stretch Your Running Shoe With Oatmeal

The method might seem funny, but it is useful. This is an old technique, specifically for running shoes with leather parts. In this technique, you can use oat or any such grains which enlarge after getting wet. All you want to do is fill a bag with oat and then pour some water into it.

After that, put the bag with oatmeal inside your running shoes overnight. When the oatmeal stretches overnight, it will expand the sneaker. Oatmeal is an effective way to stretch your shoes without needing to keep an eye on them. Just ensure the bag has enough oatmeal for the procedure to work correctly.

Stretch Your Running Sneaker With Oatmeal

By doing that, you are breaking the material in and also stretching out the running shoe. If you wear shoes frequently in the house, the sneaker will take your feet’ size and shape and gradually feel comfortable running in it.

Place Them Inside the Freezer

It is one of the most valuable methods to expand your footwear at home without needing to put them on while they’re too tight.

Freezing running shoes is a widespread technique to get rid of odor or take out sticky substances like chewing gum, but it is a robust approach for stretching them too. Here is how to freeze running shoes to increase the width of the toe box and heel.

One more excellent method of breaking into your shoes is the use of a freezer. All you need is to take a bag or a thick balloon, fill it with water, put it inside your shoes, and place them into the freezer for eight hours. Once the water freezes, you will see some extra room in the shoe as the frezzed water attempts to create more space. Next, get the shoes out of the freezer when water expands inside your sneakers, let them air dry for half an hour, then try them and check if they fit. You can usually repeat the procedure to stretch them to the wanted level.

Take the Insoles Out

If your running shoe is a little bit snug around your toes or heel area and they are not just comfortable, you can try to take out the insoles (If they are removable). You can also loosen the laces. This simple trick can do the magic for you. A lot of runners apply this simple technique to get more space for their feet.

Wear Thick Socks

This method is excellent for runners with Bunions. One of the easiest ways to stretch your running shoe is to put on thick socks. Nevertheless, this works best for leather sneakers. Put on very thick socks and then wear your new pair of shoes. You might have used a lot of force to squeeze your feet into the sneakers with the thick socks on, wiggle your feet, move them back and forth within the shoe, and walk around in them; repeat this process until the shoes have stretched to the desired size.

Stretch Shoes by Using Potato

Yes! You can stretch the sneakers by using potatoes. It sounds funny, but it truly works. For this technique, you need to peel a potato. Ensure that the Potato you are using is big enough to fit in your footwear. And insert that Potato into your sneaker and keep it for several hours. This technique doesn’t just help stretch your shoes but also gets rid of the running shoe’s stinking odor.

Stretch Shoes by Using Potato

Use Shoe Stretcher

If you prefer not to depend on home solutions, specialized tools are engineered to stretch out your athletic shoes. There are various stretches you can purchase which are efficient for this purpose. They are made from wood and have rubbers on each side. Shoe stretchers often come as a package, with a wedge-shaped plug and a specialized spray.

Spray inside the sneaker, ensuring to cover the interior; then insert the plug into the sneaker.

It is the technique that shoe manufacturers and professionals most suggest because the tool has been made for the specific purpose of stretching your shoes.

You can stretch your toe box and heel of the shoe by using a professionally engineered shoe stretcher. Unfortunately, a lot of people make the mistake of getting just one. But it is essential to purchase at least two shoe stretchers simultaneously to stretch both sneakers.

This method usually works, but some runners prefer not to pay for a tool they’ll probably use once or twice.

Stuff a Handful of Clean Cloths into Your Running Sneakers

This technique works perfectly for sneakers or other athletic shoes, often made from flexible, light materials. This method is a great solution to stretch the toe box and the ankle of your running shoes. Stuff a handful of clean cloths into your running shoes firmly; don’t leave any space unfilled, and ensure that the toe box is filled.

Keep them overnight. In the morning, you will see that your running shoes have stretched enough to fit in your wide feet.

Note** this way is most useful for lighter shoes designed for running or other athletics, as the softer fabric will stretch easier.

Use Iced Bags

Another technique to stretch the toe box of your new running shoes is to insert a plastic bag of water inside your shoes. First, ensure it fills your shoe. Then place them in your freezer for one night. The water inside the bag freezes and expands, which softly stretches your running shoes.

Take the ice bag out of your shoe and let them dry for about 20-30 minutes. Try them after to check if they fit on your feet. If you want more stretching, repeat this way again until you get the desired size.

Use Alcohol Spray

This technique is also fundamental, which you can apply at home. Get a bottle and fill it with 50 percent water and 50 percent alcohol. Mix it very well, and spray this mix on the part of the footwear where you want to stretch. And keep gently stretching while spraying. It helps the mixture to settle down. Once you apply alcohol, w the sneaker quickly, walk or run in it for the next half hour, which will get you desired stretching. This technique extends the footwear and would make the treads strong of running shoes.

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is an excellent idea for stretching your sneakers. You have to use alcohol like you are cleaning something. Soak a cotton ball with alcohol and use it on the tight areas until you wet the fabric. Once you do that, wear the sneakers and walk around as soon as possible as rubbing alcohol dries up in a short time. Keep in mind that the alcohol will work if the footwear is wet! So, ensure you have to be very fast when wearing the sneaker after using the rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol is very effective. Just ensure you use it well, and you will get the size you desire.

Use a Hairdryer

It is well-known that heat spreads things, and this trick is also suitable for sneakers. You need to heat the shoes with a dryer for only one to two minutes. And before it cools off, wear it and walk around. Repeat this procedure two to three-time. You’ll get a great result in no time.

Stretch Running Sneakers with a Hair Dryer

Using a hairdryer on your running sneakers could be a great method to stretch them.

It’s a great approach, but it works quickly. The hairdryer’s heat expands the material enough to let your foot stretch it and soften it quicker than it would otherwise.

You have to remember that running shoes have some rubber in them, so you want to avoid using excessive heat as an approach to stretching the shoe. While heat expands fabrics, it might break rubber, plastic, and other materials in your running shoes. Nevertheless, using a hair dryer for only a couple of minutes is an effective method and will help you run with your favorite running sneakers without any discomfort.

Fill Your Shoes with Wet Newspaper

It is one of the funniest but most effective techniques you can try at your home. Use the wet newspaper. Get a large newspaper piece and soak it with water stuff. Fit it inside your sneaker but ensure you do not distort your sneaker. Keep your sneakers in the same condition for a couple of hours. And then take the newspaper out and let your sneakers dry. It can make your new sneakers large enough to fit your feet comfortably.

These experts know very well about shoe stretching methods and can give you the desired results without breaking your running sneakers. So it is definitely worth your investment if you do not want to consider any risks with your new running shoes.

Ask For A Help from a Shoemaker Specialist

If you have tested all of the above solutions and still do not get the needed results, then the last choice is to get the help of a shoemaker specialist in your area. These specialists have the required tools and skills that can stretch your new running shoes. If you get new sneakers, getting a professional cobbler’s help is a smart decision.

Read more: creative ideas to use your old running shoes

Final Thought

If you thought about how to stretch running shoes, any of the ways we’ve mentioned here would work. The greatest thing here is that you can apply most of those techniques at home with no need to pay for specialized tools.

Test them out, and do not worry about running footwear that is too tight again. Most of these ways also work in a short time, so you won’t even need to wait long. Just make sure to stick to the guidance carefully to ensure that it works.

If you have non-stretchable running shoes, We’ll advise you not to try any of the above tricks on those types of shoes, as forcefully stretching might damage them.

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