Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media
You can make liquid shoe stretch solution at home using items you may already have in your medicine cabinet. Leather shoes respond well to stretching with a liquid shoe stretch solution. Plastic or wooden shoe stretchers can also be inserted into shoes that have been treated with the solution to help stretch the material of the shoe.l/Demand Media
Apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to the inside of the shoe in an inconspicuous area. Allow the alcohol to fully dry and check the surface of the shoe to make sure that the alcohol has not damaged the shoe.Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media
Mix equal parts water and alcohol in a bowl. Diluting the alcohol with water makes the solution gentle for shoes.Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media
Pour the shoe stretch solution into a spray bottle or keep it in the bowl.Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media
Spray the shoe stretch solution on the inside surface of the shoes where they need to be stretched. If a spray bottle is unavailable, apply the solution using a cotton ball. The solution can be used on specific areas, such as around the heel, or it can be applied all over the interior surface for an all over stretch.Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media
Place your foot into the shoe. Wearing the shoe after applying the solution forces the material of the shoe to stretch. Wear the shoes until the solution has dried.Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media
Repeat the process if additional stretching is necessary.
As I am traveling along the Norwegian coast down to Oslo to attend this summer’s second mandatory wedding, I look down at my shoes and realize just how comfortable they have become.https://c0212967c451b5ea57cb8a6e8cedd8bc.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.htmlI bought them for the first wedding I attended earlier this spring and they were so uncomfortable that, when we left, I took them off and drove for about 2 hours with just my socks on.
In the meanwhile, I’ve tried and tested some of the best shoe stretcher sprays and here is what my experience has been.
What Is the Best Shoe Stretcher Spray?
The best shoe stretcher spray on the market today has got to be the FootMatters Professional Boot & Shoe Stretcher Spray. It is actually a conditioner that nourishes and protects the leather, it can be used on anything from leather to canvas, and more than 700 Amazon users have given it a 5-star rating.
What Differentiates a Good Shoe Stretcher Spray from a Bad One
There are several features of a shoe stretcher spray that you need to look at before you make a purchase.
The most important aspect for me is to check if the stretcher spray contains alcohol or not. The basic formula of a shoe stretcher can be alcohol based or conditioner based.https://c0212967c451b5ea57cb8a6e8cedd8bc.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.htmlAlcohol tends to dry out leather, not so badly as to damage it after a single use, but why stress out the leather when there are alternatives. Also, I personally do not like a company that puts out a product I could whip up myself with stuff I have around the house.
A conditioner-based shoe stretcher will feed the leather instead of drying it out, so it will even get rid of some of the creases that naturally appear when the shoes do not perfectly fit. The problem with a conditioner-based shoe stretcher spray is that, unless the formula is perfectly calibrated, it may leave stains on shoes, particularly on nubuck and suede.
Finally, the size and presentation of the shoe stretcher spray are also of significant importance if you plan to have it with you on trips.
It may not sound like an all-important tool but most ladies, my wife included, will only realize how uncomfortable their shoes are only when they get to the party.
So, because I had the spray in the glovebox of the car, I was able to perform a quick fix on my wife’s shoes while we were at a party. Naturally, any spray would have worked, but it certainly felt a lot better to pull out a discreet, classy looking FootMatters spray, rather than a brightly colored tin can like some of the products on the market today.
Do Shoe Stretchers Work on Leather, Suede and Canvas?
A fourth point that I thought about when choosing my favorite shoe stretcher spray was if it would work on different types of shoes like leather or canvas.
Turns out that most of the products on the market, including all the ones I will be talking about bellow, do work on almost any type of shoe material. However, alcohol-based shoe stretcher sprays are a better solution for non-leather products because their more aggressive formula softens the artificial fibers better.
There is also something to be said about saving the better product for the shoes that will be able to make full use of the formula.
Top 10 Best Shoe Stretcher Sprays Reviewed
Although I have only tried personally 4 of the 10 products on this list, I think I have gained enough experience to have an informed opinion on the other products just by considering their ingredients and by looking at the reviews actual users have left. I will point out the products that I have personally tested so you can use your personal judgement on the rest.