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A shoe stretcher was once considered a luxury. Some even assume it’s a tool for cobblers. However, in recent times that notion has started to change; many now use shoe stretchers. People stretch their shoes immediately after purchase to break it in- that is, to avoid the initial tightness of a new shoe. At times, stretching a shoe could be to expand its toe area for people suffering from bunions. Some who have wide feet or suffer from calluses value the importance shoe stretcher to provide comfort for their feet.
A health article mentioned blisters, toe deformation, and unstable feet as problems associated with wearing tight shoes. Nonetheless, to avoid these problems and enjoy your shoes maximally, a shoe stretcher is an excellent way to give shoes an appropriate expansion.
There are shoe stretchers of different materials and quality. And you can get lost trying to get the best. Carefully read through the best ones outlined below.
The 10 Best Shoe Stretchers Reviewed
Miserwe Shoe Stretcher
Miserwe shoe stretcher expands the inner compartment of shoes, sandals, canvas, and sneakers. All tight edges, the toe area, and overly snug fit upper parts of a shoe become less tight. Within 24 hours of insertion, it expands the targeted points of the shoe, making it easy to wear. Most new shoes, even the right sizes, still hurt in the first few times of use. One good way to break a shoe in is by using shoe a stretcher to broaden it before the first wear. In instances of individuals battling with bunions, this shoe stretcher comes with bunions plugs. Bunions plug, when attached to the toe area of the stretcher, gives enough room to the toes.
People with wide feet also enjoy the use of this stretcher, utilizing the two-pad high plug to broaden a shoe along the width for increased firmness. The shoe stretcher isn’t too heavy or difficult to use. The primary area is of sturdy plastic with a steel rod attached to control the expansion and contraction.
It’s durable and may not require servicing over a long period. Buying this product requires following the size guide. It doesn’t fit all sizes of shoes, so ensure to purchase based on shoe size for maximum benefit. In its use, it functions for both sides of the shoe , and it perfectly broadens points in the shoe causing blisters. It comes with a bag to carry it alongside other accessories; it’s one of the best shoe stretchers for sneakers.
- Eight bunions pads
- Two pads for wide feet
- Tough plastic body
- Brand: Miserwe
- Model: Adjustable shoe stretcher
- Color: Yellow/ Black
- Gender : Unisex
- Easy to use
- 24 hours expansion time
- Doesn’t work for boots
Houndsbay Bulldog Shoe Stretcher
Many users know the “bulldog” to be a strong shoe stretcher made of beech wood and well-carved steel as the control rod. It works a lot faster than many other types of wooden shoe stretchers available in the market. Within eight hours, the tight corners of a shoe expand to the desired state. Well, while many stretchers work one side at a time, houndsbay bulldog shoe stretcher broadens both the length and width simultaneously to ease stress and give fast turnaround.
It functions as an expander for both new and old tight shoes. Several persons have shoes they either bought, or we’re gifted, but due to tight fit are unable to use them. While this is a problem, using the bulldog stretcher solves the problem and enables a user to enjoy such shoes. The stretcher broadens the points in the shoe, sandal, or sneaker, causing pain or discomfort of any kind. It’s a perfect tool for individuals suffering bunions and wide feet.
Individuals suffering from bunions can use the six plugs attached to expand the toe area of the shot to create more room. Plugs are available for use at the sides to create extra space for wide feet.
Overall, the product is durable and lasts over a long period. It’s easy to use and fit in into shoes—a perfect tool for a reasonable price. Ensure to purchase the right size for shoes and sneakers using the size chart- this is essential to see a good result.
- Bunions plug
- German beech hardwood
- Steel handle
- Brand: Houndsbay
- Model: Bulldog Shoe Stretcher
- Color : Tan/ silver
- Gender: Unisex
- Two-way stretch
- Fast result
- Sizing errors
The original shoe tree company-Cedar wood for men
Cedar Wood stretcher does a lot more than broadening a shoe. It’s an excellent wooden shoe stretcher. The composition of its wood absorbs smells and moisture- the aroma of the wood fills the shoe, this can be combined with at home shoe deodorizers and you would be set for life! The design allows ventilation during use, such that the shoe doesn’t accumulate moisture. A major problem when using a shoe is wrinkles. A lot of factors are responsible for wrinkles in shoes- sweaty feet, water, and constant use. To eradicate the wrinkles and get a smooth surface, using this stretcher is an ideal option.
Expanding the right shoes and breaking in new ones is a lot easy. It fills the shoes inwardly to broaden the entire area both lengthwise and in terms of the width. When used with the best shoe stretcher sprays, it works excellently. In other to get equal expansion at the same time, it comes in a pair. The pair has a left foot and right foot with distinguishing markings to differentiate. It comes with a lightly textured bag to carry it along on journeys.
Shoes sometimes lose shape; the curved parts start to look less firm, and the beauty diminishes. Cedarwood stretcher returns a shoe to its fanciful shape.
- Aromatic smell to eradicate odor
- Cross ventilation design
- Adjustable hinge
- Brand: The original shoe tree company
- Model: Cedarwood
- Color: Golden brown
- Gender: Men
- Easy to insert
- Easy to carry around
- Absence of shaft to control the expansion to the desired state.
Eachway shoe stretcher
A major problem in the purchase of shoes online is sizing. Many shoes do not conform to feet; in most cases, they are too tight. Eachway shoe stretcher allows a user to expand shoes instead of getting rid of it. It expands a shoe both along the length and width. Additionally, the Upper part of the stretcher comes with a cap to extend the upper part of a shoe conveniently. These heightening pads are present on the pair. The pair has a right and left design to allow for simultaneous use.
The material is of strong plastic coupled with a steel shaft to control the movement of the stretchers. The pair stretches tight shoes at the exact point that causes pain. The same also happens for shoes deforming the feet; it gets extra broadening to accommodate the feet adequately.
It’s a perfect tool for individuals with bunions and wide feet. There are several bunions plugs and side plugs to expand the toe area as well as the sides. All attached accessories make the stretcher easy to use. It can stretch in four ways; in length, in width, in-step, and some specific spot at the sides.
- 4 four ways stretch
- Strong plastic material
- Bunions pads
- Multi steel control for width and length control
- Brand: Eachway
- Model: Shoe tree
- color: Golden Yellow/ Black/ silver
- Gender : Unisex
- Easy to use
- Better handle control
- The bunions plug are quite small
XYH high heel stretcher
The ergonomic build of the shoe stretcher makes it a must-have tool, especially for women who find it hard to get an accurate shoe size. At times, even with the right size, some shoes like high heels and wedges can still cause discomfort to the last toes and the upper part of the heel. The use of this stretcher provides a broadening that gives room for the feet to be comfortable. Within a day, the stretcher can expand the shoe to the desired state.
Its shape emulates the design of high heel shoes such that expansion is easy. Many suffer from bunions, corns, and wide feet. For a fact, these foot conditions can be more painful when a shoe is tight. For such ones to enjoy the use of high heels despite the circumstances of their feet, the stretcher comes with eight bunions plug to expand the toe area and give more room for the toes. The plugs are also effective at the sides to widen the sides to accommodate the feet comfortably.
Xyh high heel stretcher has a polyurethane foot shape head that functions as the expander. Additionally, to easily control it, a steel shaft handle comes with it. The control is not difficult; it allows the dual widening of a shoe. It has two knobs of steel that won’t break easily. One of the knobs controls the expansion of the shoe lengthwise while the other controls sideways. Also, the stretcher expands the heel of a shoe using a heel enlarger attached to the shaft.
- Bunion plugs
- Carry bag
- Tough plastic material
- Brand: XYH
- Model: High heel stretcher
- Color: Golden Yellow \ Gray
- Gender: Female
- Sturdy plastic head
- Effective broadening in a day
- Doesn’t fit all high heel
Foot fitter professional shoe stretcher
Foot fitter shoe stretcher is a one-piece expander that works for both right and left shoes. The design utilizes a strong spring nested between the German beechwood head that fits into shoes to broaden the tight angles. It’s easy to use with the long handle attached to it to give the user full control.
It uses metal bunion plugs to widen the toe areas and side of feet. The plugs are big and strong to expand the areas that cause discomfort or pain adequately. It’s a good toe shoe stretcher.
Hiking boot, fabric material shoes, suede, leather, and military boots can stretch well using the stretcher. In twenty-four hours, the stretcher ensures that the width is enough to fit the feet. Overall, the stretcher is durable and lasts longer, but it works doesn’t on the high heel or steel toe boot. It expands both male and female shoes and has a lightweight in comparison to most shoe stretchers.
- Stainless steel bunion plugs
- German beechwood design
- Steel handle
- Brand: Footfitter
- Model: Professional shoe stretcher
- color: Silver / Wood Brown
- Gender: Unisex
- Easy to use
- Single piece fit any shoe
- Expand only along the width
Nanny mcphew steel shoe extender
The use of Nanny McPhee makes shoe stretching easy without causing damage to any part of the shoe. Its smooth surface doesn’t induce friction that ruins the tread line in the shoe. As one of the best shoe stretchers, it moves both clockwise and anti-clockwise to expand the corners of a shoe.
The entire surface, including the handle, is of good steel; it’s long lasting and easy to clean using a piece of cloth to rid it of dust and stains. With its universal fit, it works for both left and right shoes and broadens to prevent blisters and pains. It comes with a set of metal plugs to precisely create extra space in the toe area for individuals suffering bunions. For persons with wide feet, the plugs stretch the sides to accommodate the feet.
For the heel area, there is a heel extender to broaden that part of the shoe to eradicate the tightness around the heel. As this stretcher enlarges the width, it also stretches the length to give an all-around expansion. It best for shoes, sandals, and sneakers. It’s one best shoe stretcher for sneakers in the market. For best the result, leaving the stretcher in the shoe for more than a day does the trick.
- Complete steel body
- Heel extender
- Steel plugs for bunion
- Brand: Nanny Mcphee
- Model: Steel extender
- Color: Silver
- Gender: Unisex
- Double expansion ways
- One piece fits all
- It won’t work in boots
Marz shoe stretcher
Marz stretcher works for various shoes except for boots and steel toe. It’s best for breaking in new shoes and abandoned footwear due to tightness. Stretching corners causing blisters and bruises is possible using the strong polyurethane foot shaped head of the stretcher.
Expanding the toe areas of the shoe using the plugs attached to the package is similar to many shoe stretchers’ way of creating comfort for persons suffering from bunions. The plugs also function to expand the sides of the shoe to enable individuals with wide feet to enjoy their shoes. It’s durable and robust enough to last long term use.
Since this stretcher comes in pair, it’s possible to enlarge a pair of shoe simultaneously within a day. Be it loafers, sneakers, and official footwear. Marz broadens both the length and width.
- Bunion plug
- Strong material
- dual control
- Brand: Marz
- Model: Shoe stretcher
- Color: Yellow
- Gender: Unisex
- A pair for simultaneous expansion
- Multi-directional stretching
- Easy to handle
- Average durability
A unique design that sets it apart from the common shoe stretchers is the handle. The handle gets a closed curve that gives better handling during use. The shaft functioning as the handle is strong, and attached is the wheel-shaped knob making it easy to control the broadening lengthwise.
It’s an excellent tool that relieves pain caused by tight shoes and allows the feet to enjoy comfort. With big bunion plug, it’s one the best shoe toe stretchers for women, since the plugs are big, they enlarge the toe area to create adequate space. The plugs also function to expand the sides for individuals with wide feet.
It works in two ways; stretching the length and the width. With the use of sturdy plastic material, this stretcher can continue to function for a long time. For preciseness, while expanding, the shape of the stretcher is similar to a foot to touch every side.
- Carrying bag
- Better handle
- Plugs to precise stretching
- Brand: KevenAnna
- Model: Shoe stretcher
- Color: Pink / Black
- Easy to use
- Smooth adjustable knob
- Natural foot shape
- Not suitable for big steel toe boot
Stratton Cedar wood stretcher
Made in the USA, the Stratton shoe stretcher is of trusted cedarwood designed to fit into shoes based on the size chart. It broadens the width and length of any shoe, be it sneakers, Oxford, brogues, and sandals. The shape and design make it simple to use.
Most professional cobblers give a positive review regarding it and recommend it for personal use. The cedarwood that forms the entire surface of the stretcher is durable and lasts for many years without the need for replacement.
Most shoes are tight but with good structure and build. Disposing shoes this kind need not happen with the use of Stratton stretchers. It broadens the width of shoes as it does the Length. For easy mobility, it comes with a small bag.
An excellent shoe shaper with pleasant aromatic wood scent to eliminate odor added to that is an ample space that gives breathability while expanding. It’s a unique wooden shoe stretcher.
- Quality wood build
- Shoe shaping structure
- Muti- directional expansion
- Brand: Stratton
- Model: Cedarwood men shoe stretcher
- Color: Brown
- Gender: Men
- Eliminates odor
- A bit costly
Buying Guide Questions
The various shoe stretchers above are no doubt the best in the market. Carefully read through this buyer’s guide to get an answer to possible questions you may have and a direction on how to use these stretchers effectively. The shoe stretchers above were carefully selected to ensure you get the quality you deserve.
How do shoe stretchers work? Do shoe stretchers really work?
Shoe stretchers have been around for some time now. Many might have heard about it, how it stretches tight shoes that cause pain to the feet. However, before you purchase from the analyzed best shoe stretchers above, knowing how this tool work is crucial.
How to use a shoe stretcher?
Get a shoe stretcher for the right side of the shoe (left or right foot)
Insert the stretcher into the shoe. This part splits into two;
For stretchers with handle- Turn the knob on the handle to increase the size of shoe stretcher within the shoe
For stretchers without handle – Put in the full foot shape stretcher into the shoe gently.
After inserting the shoe stretcher, leave it for about a day for the best result.
After a day, release the knob or simply remove the stretcher depending on the type you use.
Try your shoes on to feel the difference.
Watch this video if the process still seems complicated.
They come in varieties of shape, length, and design. Each design, although achieving the same purpose, they work in different ways. To fully comprehend how shoe stretchers work, a break down of how each part functions gives a clear understanding.
The foot area
The foot area is common to all shoe stretchers. It can be of wood, strong plastic or steel. This part of the shoe stretcher is usually in the shape of a normal human foot. It takes the form of a foot such that it could reach the corners of a shoe. When a stretcher is in a shoe, it expands the sides of the shoe, broadening it to the taste of the user. While the outsole can not be extended in most cases when using a shoe stretcher, a leather, rubber, or canvas of the upper covering can, however, expand. It broadens the top or the body material of the shoe, and this increases the width and length.
Plugs are button-shaped instruments that come with the most shoe stretcher. For specific expansion, perhaps around the toe area or the sides of a shoe. There are holes on the stretcher to attach each before putting the stretcher in a shoe.
The heel extender
While many wooden shoe stretchers come in a full-foot design, some stop halfway and have an attached heel extender. Despite the position and design, the heel extender stretches the heel of the shoe to expand it and create more room.
Insider Tip: if you are suffering from achilles tendonitis, don’t let that discourage you from using shoe stretchers, and these are some picks that would help bring comfort to your feet
Do stretchers really work?
Yes, stretchers work wonderfully well in expanding tight shoes. Many users attest to its shoe broadening capability. Besides stretching shoes, it smoothens leather shoes. Wrinkles are common to most shoes after years of use. However, based on tests and comments of people who use shoe stretchers regularly, it keeps shoes in their natural shape and curbs the ugly appearance of wrinkles or folds.
The degree to which a stretcher works also depends on the material of the shoe. Sturdy leather won’t stretch like rubber or vinyl. Simply put, the tougher the content, the less it stretches, this is very common with military boots or construction boots. Some footwears that have an overlapping outsole also expand more lengthwise. For these shoes, the outsole spread to the front, making it possible for a stretcher to enlarge it.
How do you widen shoes that are too narrow?
Widening a narrow shoe is essential to your health. Tight shoes affect not only the feet but extend painfully to the knees and back. Bad knees and pain in the lower back are discomforts that are difficult to live with.
Widening a narrow shoe is possible in many ways. Let’s look at each process.
Using a shoe stretcher
A shoe stretcher is perhaps the safest way of widening a shoe. It doesn’t involve using any damaging material like water, oil, and heat, which is common to other methods.
Simply insert a shoe stretcher in your footwear and leave it for some hours to expands. After about a day, the shoe would have been stretched and spacious enough to accommodate the feet.
Using a shoe stretcher spray
In this method, the use of the best shoe stretcher sprays makes a world of difference. These sprays work on shoes by expanding areas where the user applies them. Simply spray the tight points and leave overnight. Such points will start to expand. The expansion becomes more pronounce by walking around in the shoe or putting a shoe stretcher.
Using ice zip bag
As effective as this method is, not all shoes can withstand moisture. Given this, based on the water-resistant capacity of the shoe, put water in a zip lock bag and put the bag in the boot. After that, put it in the freezer for the water to turn ice and stretch the shoe.
The heat method
The method requires extra care to avoid damaging your footwear. Put on the shoe and use a hairdryer to generate heat to tight points. Then walk around briefly to give a good stretch.
Related: if you damage your shoes accidentally with this method, then you can use simple shoe glues to fix them
Just walk in them
Although this method won’t give fast results, it works well if done continuously for weeks. Simply put on the tight shoe and walk around the in it for about 10 minutes every evening for about a week or two.
Try any of these methods to widen a narrow shoe or a combination to get fast results.
How long does it take to stretch shoes with a shoe stretcher?
Stretching a shoe with a shoe stretcher takes between eight hours to thirty-six hours, depending on the type of stretcher used. Also, the extent to which a shoe needs to expand is another factor that dictates the length of time the stretcher spends to achieve the job.
If you intend to expand your shoe just a little, then you can expect it not to take more than a day.
However, for individuals suffering from bunions, corns, and wide feet, it’s quite different. The shoe stretcher may need to stay for long in this type of situation. Plugs usually come with many shoe stretchers in a round design. These plugs, when attached to the holes on the shoe stretcher, expand some specific points in a shoe. The plugs expand the toe area to make it spacious, and similarly, the plugs broaden the sides to avail more space for wide feet.
Another factor is the use of shoe stretcher spray. Good shoe stretcher spray softens the material of a shoe. When a shoe stretcher is used after a spray makes a shoe surface tender, it speeds up the time required to expand a shoe. It may take a few hours between six to eight hours.
Will shoe stretchers work on sneakers?
Yes, shoe stretchers work on sneakers. There are many shoe stretchers for sneakers in the market. Stretching sneakers is possible due to the responsive materials used to produce them. Majorly, most sneakers are of foam or rubber materials. These materials are not as tough as leather, so expanding them to give more room in a shoe is very much possible.
Naturally, at times, when you purchase a sneaker, it can be very firm in the first few weeks of wearing it, but as time goes by, the firmness reduces because of stretching. Your feet stretches the material of the pair of shoes. The shoe stretchers for sneakers work similarly by putting pressure on the material to cause expansion along the width and length.
You have to be careful when trying to use a shoe stretcher to avoid over-stretching. While it’s not wrong to stretch for long periods, the time a shoe stretcher spends in a sneaker should be different from a leather shoe. For sneakers, a break down of time is necessary to get the accurate fit. After inserting a stretcher, leave it in the shoe for about six hours. Then put it on to test the widening, if it’s okay. If you still feel tightness, insert the stretcher again and leave for some hours. Keep repeating this process until you feel it’s comfortable.
As we have seen earlier, it’s essential to monitor the use of a shoe stretcher in sneakers. But added to that is the use of shoe stretcher spray. Using the best shoe stretcher Spray indeed can simplify the process of shoe widening. However, a word of caution here is to be careful such that stretching sprays do not damage your sneaker. Even if you get the best shoe stretcher spray like-” foot matters shoe stretch spray” and “footfitter shoe spray,” always remember to use them in little quantity to avoid any damage.
Most shoe stretching sprays soften thick leathers. You must understand why it’s essential not to use too much on your sneakers. If strong leather can become soft, how much less rubber or foam material of a sneaker, you certainly do not want a very light upper for your sneaker, so endeavor to use just a little spray on your sneakers and let the shoe stretcher complete the broadening.
Can you stretch shoes to a size bigger?
Yes, you can stretch your shoe to about 0.5 inches ( half an inch) or a bit more but not bigger than one inch. Most shoes may stretch to half an inch. For most leather shoes, however, the expansion is within 0.5 increase due to the material. While for sneakers made of foam or rubber, the increase in size may exceed 0.5 inches and extend to one inch.
While it’s true that stretching to a bigger size is possible, do not expect a huge increase. For example, let’s say you bought a pair of shoes of size eight, and you feel uncomfortable after testing them. Although the shoe is your size, the tightness reduces after a stretch of about half an inch. But on the other hand, if you wear a size nine and you purchased a size eight, do not expect a full one-inch increase. Even if you get an inch increase, the shoe will allow your foot in but will remain a little tight. Always endeavor to get your size.
A rare situation that may require an increase in size is when a foot is bigger than the other. While some may recommend a bigger pair and filling the side of the smaller foot with wool or pad, you can, however, buy a smaller size that fits one foot and expand the other. Perhaps the right foot is half an inch bigger than the left. In such an instance, an increase is possible. Simply insert a shoe stretcher in the bigger foot side to get an expansion that would make it comfortable to wear, this is commonly asked by boxers as they need to constantly shift left and right in their shoes while boxing or training.
How can I stretch my shoes for wide feet without shoe stretchers?
Wide feet is a condition that makes the feet bigger than normal shoe size. It means if you purchase a shoe of size 9, your feet will find it hard to fit in along the width. Stretching your shoe is necessary to give the feet a comfortable fit.
A shoe stretcher is not the only instrument or method of widening a shoe if you have wide feet.
You can use the ice method to increase the width of the shoe. Get a bag or nylon container that can hold water, then fill it with water and put it in the shoe. Ensure it touches both sides of the shoe then place it in a freezer. When the water freezes, it stretches the width of the fabric and creates more space for the feet to fit in nicely.
Another method is walking in the shoe. Although it will feel tight, nonetheless, try to walk in it for about ten minutes for some evenings. Do this for some weeks to get a considerable widening.
You can try the heat method. You’ll need a blow dryer for this. Wear thick socks and put your feet in the shoes. Then apply heat from the dryer to the tight sides of the shoes for the material to soften and expand to the size of the feet.
You can employ the use of shoe spray. This technique is similar to the heat method. The spray, when applied to the sides of the shoe, will loosen the material of the footwear and cause it to expand. Subsequently, walking in it will prove more effective.
The old potato trick can also do magic. Peel some potato and mold it into the tight points of the shoe then leave it overnight. This method also broadens the places targeted while molding the potato and allows individuals with wide feet to wear shoes comfortably.
With all these methods, you can stretch your shoes without purchasing or using a shoe stretcher. They are “do it yourself” methods that work well.
Shoe stretchers are easy to use. In fact, amongst all methods of shoe widening, it’s the easiest. They come in different designs and are built to ease tightness and prevent blister and pinch.
The shoe toe stretcher has a combined job of not just widening a tight shoe but increasing the toe area of the shoe for individuals suffering bunions or plantar fasciitis and want to avoid extra pressure on the base of their feet. Overall, besides stretching a shoe, shoe stretchers are very much useful in getting a shoe back to shape. When wrinkles start to appear on a leather shoe, especially wooden shoe stretchers, they are helpful in this situation. It smoothens the wrinkles of the shoe and gives it a new look.
Remember also that to hasten the process of widening your shoe, the use of shoe stretcher spray is vital. The spray on its own softens the covering of a shoe, be it leather, rubber, vinyl, or foam. However, when the action of a spray stretcher is backed by the use of a shoe stretcher, it gives a faster result. So, as you contemplate purchasing a shoe stretcher for sneakers or corporate leather, use the above buying guide to get the best shoe stretchers in the market.