How To Stretch Tennis Shoes
Sneakers are comfortable to wear, but sometimes you need to know how to stretch tennis shoes for a better fit. A professional shoe repair shop, or even the retail store where you purchased the shoes, can often stretch your sneakers for you. But there is a simple, low-cost method that you can try at home to do the job yourself.
- Start with shoe-stretching liquid. Purchase a bottle of shoe-stretching liquid (or spray) from a shoe repair shop or online retailer. The wrong shoe-stretching liquid can discolor your tennis shoes, so read the label carefully to purchase the right product. If you cannot find shoe-stretching liquid, or do not want to spend the money, you can use tap water with a little rubbing alcohol mixed in.
- Prepare your shoes for stretching. Once you have determined the right shoe-stretching liquid for your tennis shoes, liberally apply the liquid on the inside of your shoes by spraying or rubbing it into the material. Depending on your shoe’s brand and material, you may have to apply the liquid to the outside of your sneakers, too.
- Stretch your tennis shoes. Use a shoe-stretcher to widen your tennis shoes. You can find shoe-stretchers at shoe stores, medical supply stores and online. If you do not have a shoe stretcher, pull on a pair of socks and wear your sneakers around the house until they stretch to a comfortable width. Always wear socks during this process to protect your feet from contact with the shoe-stretching liquid, and check periodically to see that your shoes do not become overstretched or unraveled at the seams.
- Repeat the process, if necessary. Tennis shoes that are covered in shoe-stretching liquid should be worn or stretched for just a few minutes to reach a comfortable width. If the process is taking longer than a few minutes, reapply the shoe-stretching liquid and try stretching your sneakers again. If this does not work, the shoe material may not be stretchable.
- Another shoe-stretching idea. Another way to stretch tennis shoes involves crumpled newspapers. Wet a bunch of crumpled newspaper with water, stuff the wads into your shoes, and place the shoes in the freezer. When the wet newspaper is frozen, remove your shoes from the freezer and thaw and remove the newspaper. This method can be somewhat successful in stretching your sneakers.