Whenever you get a new pair of shoes, they are supposed to worn around a bit to 'break them in' as to avoid getting a cramp or whatever. However, I don't want to walk around my house all day in order to do this. I was wondering if there are any quick and easy ways to do it?


When I was in the military a crazy guy wore his into the shower. Swore that you do that and walk them dry and they will be perfect. He was the only one of us not to get blisters. Still not sure how that worked after walking around in soaking wet boots...Might work for other shoes too.

  • 1
    I think this works for two reasons, first when you wet the shoe it expands, contracting as it dries. If you wear them as they dry they conform to your foot. Second, the amount of time it takes them to dry is about the time it takes a shoe to do its initial wear in. Hiking shoes need an additional wear in to be ready for long hikes. Mar 7 '15 at 0:53

There are a few methods that I have heard of and found after looking:

  • Freeze them
    If you put a sandwich bag half filled with water (or enough to fill the shoe) inside the shoe and place in a freezer for a few hours. The water will expand once frozen so will apply pressure to the shoes making them also expand. This would also work with damp balls of newspaper - just make sure the shoes won't get damaged by the water.
  • Apply heat
    If you wear them for about 10 minutes and then give them a good bend (if possible) in order to manually stretch the leather, and then apply heat from a hair dryer or something similar in order to make the shoes more supple (especially if leather) and thus more stretchable. Immediately after heating - put them back on for a further few minutes and allow them to mould to your feet and once they've cooled you should be good to go.
  • Use a stretcher
    There are shoe stretchers commercially available that will stretch your shoes and make them more comfortable, but you can also make your own. For example you can use a large potato and push that into the shoe and this will help to stretch it out.
  • Stretching spray
    As much as I like to avoid product recommendations I thought I would put it here for people who aren't aware of it. You can get sprays that are designed to loosen the leather material and make them stretch and expand so they're more comfortable when you put them on!
  • Call a professional
    If you're not happy with any of these methods you can always just call a professional cobbler and they will be able to offer you a shoe stretching service for a reasonable charge I am sure.

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