How to Soften the Back of New Shoes? – 11 Helpful Tips

Do you feel uncomfortable in too-tight shoes and want to loosen the back of the shoes?

Shoes are necessary items and are available in multiple styles and sizes. Whether you like heel, flip flop or laces shoes, you must buy those which offer you comfort.

I know it is annoying to purchase those shoes which do not fit you properly. You have two options either you can buy new pair or stretch them.

In this post, I will discuss the most suitable and easiest tricks to soften the back of shoes.

Let’s go!

how to soften the back of new shoes

How to Soften the Back of New Shoes?

  • Use the hairdryer to soften the back of the shoes and fill the Ziploc bag to stretch them.
  • Insert a two-way stretcher or wear thick padded socks.
  • Use damped newspaper or shoe stretcher spray to expand the shoe back.
  • Rub soap or alcohol on the tight area of shoes
  • Apply oil or kerosene to stretch out new shoes.

Things Required

  • Hair dryer
  • Ziploc bag
  • Two-way stretcher
  • Thick padded socks
  • Wet newspaper
  • Shoe stretcher spray
  • Soap
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Oil
  • Kerosene oil
  • Vaseline petroleum jelly

Methods to Soften the Back of New Shoes

When you have bought new shoes, the next thing is to break them in. it is necessary because your feet keep changing their shape with time.

Here are the 11 methods to soften the new footwear:

1. Hairdryer

The first and foremost method is using the hairdryer to stretch new tennis shoes. This technique is only acceptable for leather and suede shoes to fit them perfectly.

All you have to do is to give the backside heat and mold the shoes according to your feet size, making them more comfortable. If you apply this method to any other shoe material, you will damage them.

2. Ziploc Bags

Ziploc bags are effective in softening the back of your new shoes. For this purpose, I bought a few Ziploc bags and filled them with water. After freezing them, I placed these bags inside the shoes to expand the leather.

Ice is beneficial in making the back of the shoes softer. This technique takes less effort because you need Ziploc bags and a freezer to perform this hack at home.

3. Two-Way Shoe Stretcher

Use a high-quality shoe stretcher to expand your gorgeous shoes. It is built with rubber and metal, allowing the shoes to stretch in the desired direction.

Furthermore, it fits the toe very well, provides enough room for the heels, and softens them in no time. You can buy a foot fitter professional stretcher for expanding shoes.

It is constructed with reliable material and is long-lasting. You can use this item easily, and it offers the best results. I used this trick to soften the leather shoes, and the good thing is that it expands shoes up to 0.5 inches.

Don’t use this method on canvas shoes because they wear out quickly by inserting the stretcher.

4. Wear Thick Padded Socks

It is a simple but time-consuming process. Before trying the new shoes for the first time, wear thick socks to stretch the footwear.

Go for a walk and keep wearing them for a few days to stretch them quickly. This will eventually break in your shoes, and you will no longer be uncomfortable.

5. Wet Newspaper

Another way to soften your shoes is to stuff them with a damp newspaper. I think newspapers are available in everyone’s home and they are less expensive than other items.

First, I wet the newspaper and squeezed it to get the extra water out. Then I stuffed shoes with newspaper until it was full. Afterward, I waited for one day before wearing those shoes. Repeat this process a few times to break in quickly.

6. Shoe Stretcher Spray

Many claim that shoe spray is also beneficial in stretching the shoes out. If you want to get good results, then you must buy high-quality shoe spray.

It is a well-known shoe spray for breaking into new pairs of shoes. You just have to apply it generously and soften the shoes back in no time. Thankfully this procedure works on all kinds of shoe materials, whether leather suede or canvas.

7. Soap

The next method on my list is rubbing the soap. So, I took a bar of soap and began to rub on the shoes. This technique is convenient for expanding the shoe size.

I rubbed the backside of the shoe with a bar of soap and realized the tightness was gone. Thankfully, I felt comfortable in my new pair of shoes.

Remember to wear the shoes immediately after finishing the soap rubbing. It helped my shoes to stretch out, and you just have to walk for a few days to make it work.

8. Rubbing Alcohol

Alcohol is another simple way to soften the shoe back. I bought a rubbing alcohol spray bottle from the nearby store and began to spray on tight spots on my shoes. Then I realized that my feet fit comfortably and no longer felt tight.

Note: keep in mind to place the spray bottle away from the heat source because alcohol is flammable.

9. Oil

I have seen many people applying the oil to soften the back of their shoes, so I thought I should also try it. One of the best oils for stretching shoes are castor and glycerin oil. Their flat surface keeps the shoes comfortable.

Next, I applied some drops of oil on the clean cloth using my fingers and ensured that it spread well on the backside of the footwear. Don’t apply a very thick layer of oil because the thin surface reaches the inner part of the shoes easily.

10. Kerosene Oil

Why not apply kerosene oil to soften the shoes? Some drops of kerosene oil can solve the issue right away. I simply applied the few drops of kerosene oil on the back of the shoes and waited 8 hours to sit.

Before trying the kerosene oil, I also used a vinegar solution. The results were surprisingly good after wearing them for two days.

11. Vaseline Petroleum Jelly

Vaseline petroleum jelly is another easy trick to break the shoes in. When I cleaned my shoes with wet fabric, I used Vaseline petroleum in a generous amount.

However, I kept rubbing it until all the oil was absorbed. If your shoes are still tight, apply Vaseline again to get the desired results.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Fastest Way to Break in New Shoes?

The fastest way to break in the shoes is to use the hair dryer. Hold the dryer a little away to safeguard the shoe material from direct heat. Wear your shoes after using the dryer and walk a little to fit in the new shoes.

How Do You Soften New Shoes to Prevent Blisters?

  • Wear your shoes for a few days and apply the moisturizer to your skin for quick results.
  • Use a blow dryer and keep rotating your old and new shoes
  • Wear thick anti-blister socks before wearing shoes for the first time

How Long Does It Take to Break in New Shoes?

It almost takes two to three weeks to break in shoes. The duration limit also depends on how frequently you wear them.

How to Soften the Back of New Leather Shoes?

Take Ziploc bags and pour some water into them. Place them in shoes after freezing them. Wait for one night to soften the back of new leather shoes.

How Can I Stretch My Shoes ASAP?

There are different ways to stretch shoes. Either put the shoe stretcher inside them or stuff them with newspaper. Some people prefer wearing thick socks to expand the shoe material.

Final Thoughts

I can’t wait to hear about your experience to soften the back of new shoes. These techniques eliminate the pain and make your experience more exciting. When your foot is relaxed, you will feel more confident while walking.

It is crucial to learn the tricks and hacks to stretch the new footwear and keep all these precautions in your mind.

Daniel Robert is a shoe lover who enjoys writing about all kinds of footwear, including sneakers, Crocs, Vans, and more. He shares his vast knowledge on, a website dedicated to helping people find the perfect pair of shoes. With years of experience and a passion for all things shoe-related, Daniel's easy-to-understand advice has helped countless people make confident and stylish choices.

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