How to Stretch Sneakers for Wide Feet?

Are you also struggling to find comfortable shoes because you have wide feet? In this article, I will explain how to stretch sneakers for wide feet.

Many of us can’t find shoes of our size because most companies make only those size shoes which are fit to the majority of people.

People like me and you feel disappointed and hopeless. But thank god there is one way to solve this problem. There are multiple methods to stretch shoes according to your feet size.

You can use a blow dryer or a shoe stretcher for this purpose. Keep reading this article to know all the methods fully.

how to stretch sneakers for wide feet

How to Stretch Sneakers for Wide Feet?

  • Use a blow dryer for stretching your sneakers and don’t heat any part for more than 25 to 30 seconds.
  • Insert a shoe stretcher in your boots and expand it according to your wide feet.
  • Remove the insoles and replace them with thinner ones.
  • Stuff your sneakers with newspaper or socks to expand them.
  • Spray alcohol or stretch spray on your wonderful sneakers.

Can You Stretch Sneakers to Make Them Wider?

Stretching sneakers is also a technique to prevent them from wearing out. If you wear sneakers regularly then you have to take proper care of them to increase their durability.

It is quite difficult to find wide-fit sneakers especially if you are picky about their designs and style. To solve this problem, you can stretch sneakers for wide feet.

Methods to Stretch Sneakers

There are tons of techniques for stretching sneakers but I have selected the easiest one that I tried on my shoes.

  • By using a blow dryer
  • Use of shoe stretcher
  • Replacing insoles
  • Using newspaper
  • By stuffing socks
  • Use of alcohol
  • By using stretch spray
  • By Freezing
  • Use of Potato

Method 1. Using a Blow Dryer

It may sound weird but a blow dryer is beneficial in expanding your boots. Plus point about it is that this method works.

Firstly I wore 3 pairs of thin socks on my feet. If your socks are already thick then you don’t have to wear triple layers just put one pair of socks on your feet.

After setting the medium heat, I turned on the blow dryer. Direct the dryer toward tight areas for at least 20 seconds. In this way, hot air will stretch the shoe material. You will feel comfortable after heating them.

After heating, I went for a walk to enable my sneakers to mold into my feet shape. If your sneakers are still tight then consider repeating this procedure.

I kept my dryer a little Away From My charming boots and moved the heating device in a circular motion. The blow dryer method also works great for suede shoes, leather boots, and even crocs.

In the case of Suede shoes, make sure to apply leather conditioner after heating.

Method 2. Use of Shoe Stretcher

The shoe structure is significantly designed for expanding the length of sneaker boots. These stretchers are available in many tiles and sizes. To get a better result, I placed the shoe stretcher on the inner side of the shoes for at least 11 hours.

Keep in mind to wear your running shoes immediately after placing the stretcher out of them. It is also ideal for stretching athletic and Leather shoes.

Some people prefer using shoe trees instead of shoe stretchers. In that case, you have to leave them for almost one or two days.

Method 3. Replacing Insoles

This method is only applicable to those boots which have removable insoles. If you are finding your shoes hard to fit in then try replacing the insoles with slimmer ones. You will be Amazed after seeing so much space in your sneakers.

Method 4. Using a Newspaper

Wondering how newspapers help in stretching the sneakers?

Firstly I made balls of newspaper and put them all together inside boots. After stuffing them, I leave the newspapers for one day. Make sure that pressure is enough on the toe box of the shoes.

These rolled newspapers are effective in stretching the shoe material gradually. You can also apply this method with a cloth or paper towel.

Method 5. Stuffing Socks

Putting socks in footwear is also an acceptable method to expand shoes for wide feet. I took 8 pairs of my thick socks and rolled them to fit into shoes.

After putting socks balls in boots, I tried to push them so no space was left. Then I left my shoes undisturbed for 11 hours. If it is necessary then stuff your socks in your boots again.

Method 6. Use of Alcohol

Another effective way to stretch shoes for wide feet is by using alcohol. Shoe fibers loosen when we rub them with alcohol. Remember to not apply this method on suede or leather boots.

There are two ways of applying alcohol to the sneakers:

  • Spray the alcohol for little tight shoes
  • Wear alcohol-soaked socks for very tight boots

1. Spraying the Alcohol

I added the same amount of alcohol and water in a spray bottle and sprayed them equally on tight spaces. Then I waited for 7 minutes to settle the alcohol on the sneakers. After drying, I went on a walk to expand them.

2. Rubbing the Alcohol Solution

Once I made an alcohol solution, I dipped my thick socks in it. Then I took them out and squeezed extra alcohol solution from them.

Lastly, I walked wearing these wet socks with wide-fitting shoes. To make comfortable shoes for wide feet, I suggest wearing thick socks to get more effective results.

Method 7. Using a Stretch Spray

It is the quickest method to expand running shoes for wide feet. Stretch spray is made up of chemicals that make sneakers’ material flexible.

I applied an adequate amount of stretch spray on my entire sneaker. Before wearing my boots, I also put my socks on to get amazing results.

Method 8. Freezing

How freezing shoes can expand them? I know this is what you are thinking. The point is that freezing water expands your gorgeous boots.

Before placing my shoes in a freezer, I took two Ziploc bags and filled them with water. Then I placed these bags in my shoes. After one night, I took bags out of my sneakers and let them dry. I enjoyed walking on them because they were stretched enough then.

Reminder: Use this method only for water-resistant sneakers otherwise it will ruin your charming boots.

Method 9. Use of Potato

Isn’t it crazy to stretch sneakers by using a potato? It sounds unreal but truth is that it is the simplest technique to stretch your footwear. When I tried this method, it was also difficult for me to believe. But it worked!

Once I washed the larger potato, I placed it on the opening of my shoe. Remember to place not a very large potato on them because it can damage the toe side.

After one night, I took the potato out and removed the potato residues from the shoe insole by using cleaning detergent. Then I gave my boots some air and put them on. Note: This method is a little slow but it works.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

How to Stretch Sneakers a Half Size?

  • Pour 3.8 liters of water into sealed bags and put sealed bagged shoes in a freezer
  • The next morning, take your sneakers and go for a long walk
  • If your boots are still difficult to fit in then repeat the entire process again

How Long Does It Take to Stretch out Sneakers?

If you are using the shoe stretcher method then it will take almost 8 to 24 hours to expand wide-toe running shoes.  The blow dryer might take 2 to 3 hours to expand.

It depends on how much you want to stretch your sneakers. Stuffing newspaper or socks can take two days in stretching boots.

Do Shoe Stretchers Work on Sneakers?

Yes, shoe stretchers are also famous to expand comfortable shoes for wide feet. The manufacturing material of sneakers is elastic and flexible so it is easy to stretch them. If you follow the method carefully then shoe size will increase.

Is There a Home Remedy to Stretch Shoes?

The simplest home remedy for stretching shoes is by using crumpled newspaper. Stuff your sneakers with newspaper balls until the entire shoe is filled with them.

Leave them for one night and take balls out from them the next morning. It will stretch sneakers for wide feet.


I have given multiple tips on stretching sneakers for wide feet. Select which is most appropriate for you.  All of them are effective and can be performed at home so you don’t have to visit the cobbler for this issue.

Having wide feet can be a little frustrating sometimes but applying these techniques can reduce your stress.

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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