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Streching Shoe Widths

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by lockey2k, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. lockey2k

    lockey2k Senior member

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    I purchased some shoes recently which are a tad tight. What is the best way to stretch a shoe's width?

    Lockey2k
     
  2. a tailor

    a tailor Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    get one of those shoe strechers, it will last a lifetime.
     
  3. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    Yeah, if you want to do it yourself, either use a stretcher or shoe trees that barely fit in the width (be sure they're not the kind that end halfway up the forefoot and make a line where they stop). You can spray the insides with a water/alcohol solution first to promote stretching. IMO it's better to do this than just wear them because your foot can stretch them in an ugly way, usually by making an "outdent" where your little toe is. A stretcher or tree will do a cleaner job of it.

    Or take them in and have them stretched by a pro.
     
  4. billiebob

    billiebob Senior member

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    I have one of those shoe stretcher thingies (width only). It's the very sturdy german oak and steel model around $40. It applies much more force than any shoe tree. I did them over a week. It wasn't working for a while until I got the leather quite wet. Once the leather got soaked, they stretched out quickly. I'd start slowly.

    Stretching shoes isn't something I'd plan to do if the toebox was the problem. The width of the midsole doesn't change, and my toes didn't and still don't fit on it so well. The shoes just aren't as comfortable as they should be.

    On a pair of boots (polo holland), the stretchers worked to increase the volume under the vamp very well. This operation was well worth the price alone. So if you have loafers or something with midfoot volume issue, this is the ticket.
     
  5. lockey2k

    lockey2k Senior member

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    The shoe fits snug without socks and super snug with thin socks. I'd like to stretch it to be comfortable with thin socks. Is that doable?

    How much does a cobbler charge to stretch a pair of shoes?
     
  6. johnnyblazini

    johnnyblazini Senior member

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    Go to a cobbler. This is not an expensive operation...
     
  7. mr chorizo

    mr chorizo Senior member

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    I went to cobbler to stretch a pair of cordovan longwings, but I was concerned to see that he sprayed a light film of alcohol ON the shoe (as opposed to inside it) to promote stretching. the finish definitely looks different now....did this guy ruin my shoes?
     
  8. NAMOR

    NAMOR Senior member

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    I went to cobbler to stretch a pair of cordovan longwings, but I was concerned to see that he sprayed a light film of alcohol ON the shoe (as opposed to inside it) to promote stretching. the finish definitely looks different now....did this guy ruin my shoes?
    interesting. I have tried the alchohol spray on a pair of calfskin but not on cordovan. I didnt see any changes in color, etc. Could the different look be attributed to the cordovan stretching and not the alchohol itself? I would presume that its now a lighter color. Post pics!
     
  9. mr chorizo

    mr chorizo Senior member

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    for me, the changes were more in the luster and finish of the leather...they started out as very shiny and you could really see the color changes in the creases. now they are more matte and less "mirror like." Will try and post pics tonight; I mean the shoes don't look horrific but definitely different from when I dropped them off.
     
  10. Patrologia

    Patrologia Senior member

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    I'd bet that some serious time brushing them would bring back most of the luster.



    Unless you've already done that. [​IMG]
     
  11. Icehawk

    Icehawk Senior member

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    I purchased some shoes recently which are a tad tight. What is the best way to stretch a shoe's width?

    Lockey2k


    I'd be careful, I had a pair of suede loafers stretched by a cobbler and they went from looking brand new to looking worn even though the leather itself wasn't visibly damaged. It's hard to describe but you can just tell the shoes have been stretched out and it doesn't look so good to me.
     
  12. Storm33

    Storm33 Senior member

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    ^^ That's good to know; I had a pair of suede bals stretched by my cobbler this week. They look great, but still fit snugly so I was wanting to stretch them more. I may just live with them as is since they still look as good as new.
     
  13. w.o.e.is.me.

    w.o.e.is.me. Senior member

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    I don't put a whole lot of stocking in stretching.
    While it does work, to a degree, Ive never seen a drastic difference that suddenly made the shoes more than marginally more comfortable.

    sometimes, you just have to accept that a certain last or shoe is not for you (see: C&Js 360 last)
     
  14. Zapasman

    Zapasman Senior member

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    My "professional" Streching method.

    1.-Find a shoe tree from your wardrobe wich has more girth/volume at the ball.
    2.-Stick firmly some tape/pads adhesive at the points to be streched.
    3.-If needed, put in a thin leather insole to push the leather.
    4.-Wet the whole shoe (specially the inside area to be streched) with a streching fluid (I used this product in order not to buy more stuff and mixed it with some warm water).
    5.-Use a medium thick shock.
    6.-Let it rest for 12 hours.
    7.-Put on your shoes for 2-3 hours and then...to the streching room again.
    8.-Add some more tape if needed and let it rest overnight.
    9.-Wear the shoes for 3-4 hours.
    10.-Strech them with more pads if needed.

    Be patient and do it little by little.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  15. bdavro23

    bdavro23 Senior member

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    I will echo some others: I've had very mixed results with shoe stretching. Your best bet is to find a last that fits better. Absent that, take them to a pro. Good luck!
     
  16. Salad

    Salad Senior member

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    Buy a decent stretcher. One with metal parts. Don't bother w/ anything made of plastic if you really want to crank down on it. Get stretch spray too. I got my stretcher from shoecaresupplies.com. It's super heavy duty. I'm using it right now on a pair of loafers that I thought fit but it turns out are too snug. With nothing to lose (I couldn't return them), I've really cranked down on them and they do fit better but it's a work in progress.
    Really, though, stretching is a last resort. Return the shoes if you can.
     

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