The subject of stretching shoes has been featured several times here on the blog, it’s really the only way to make small shoes larger. Here’s a tip on how to take care of the shoe stretching yourself.

 

As most people know the common way to stretch shoes is to have a cobbler put the shoes in a stretching machine pushing out the shoes in the places where they are too small. The stretching lasts are increased gradually, and the leather is treated with moisturizing agents to handle the stress better. However, in some cases when it comes to shoes that are a bit too small at only one or a few specific places, a DIY shoe stretching can be a good alternative.

 

- IMG_6686

These shoes from Gaziano & Girling squeezed a little bump in the big toe on the right foot. It was resolved with its own variant of loading only at that particular point.

 

If you look closely at the picture you see to the right shoe (left in the picture is) bulges slightly at the inner part of the vamp, compared to the left shoe. The following describes how I went about it.
This is something I came up with myself and tried on a pair of shoes with successful results, and since then I do it every now and then on shoes that needs slight modifications to fit. Here I will show the procedur for two pairs of shoes that were too tight over the right foot’s big toe lump, a place I’m extra sensitive to since I have a so-called juvenile hallux valgus, and a pair where it squeezed a bit on the pinky toes. In other words the fit was okay at the time, and the very fact that it has only been a minor correction that had to be made was why I tried this own way to stretch the shoes. In addition, the cobblers stretching machine can be somewhat limited when it comes to stretching only at a specific location, then this kind of homemade solution offers a bit more precision.

What’s needed for this procedure is a pair of shoe trees that fits well in the shoe to be stretched (especially important is that they sit tight in the specific area that you want to stretch), Compeed or similar plasters made for sore feet (you have different sizes to choose from), and any so-called felt rings (which are used to reduce pressure on corns). The latter two are available at any pharmacy at the podiatry shelf. It can also be useful to moisture the area to be stretched, both inside and outside, either with a leather lotion or with stretching spray, which softens the leather a bit, before you insert the modified shoe trees

 

At the pharmacy you will find felt rings and plasters, which then works great if you want to modify a pair of shoe trees a little bit to push out the shoes in a certain place.

At the pharmacy you will find felt rings and plasters, which works great if you want to modify a pair of shoe trees a little bit to push out the shoes in a certain place.

And this shows how I made such an extension on skoblocken to the shoes that pushed towards the little toes.

And this shows how I made such an extension on the shoe trees for the shoes that where tight against the little toes.

 

What you do is simply to build up a bulge at the point to be stretched out. You can use the felt rings and its smaller central parts in the bottom if it’s a greater size to be built, and then put plasters on top of it, or just build with plasters. If you want to stretch them quite a bit, it may be an idea to start a bit smaller, and then expand it over time once the leather already has been stretched a bit. In contrast to the stronger stretching method made by a cobbler, this is a method that requires a bit more time. You simply let the shoes sit with the trees with this self-developed distance attached, and over time the leather will give. For me, it has taken a few of days before you noticed a difference, but I have since kept the bulges on for several months and finally the shoe is pretty settled at the critical place, and they fit quite comfortably without pressing any longer. That said, this is, something that should only be used for minor corrections of the fit at some individual places. If the shoes more clearly are too small a visit to the cobbler will always be the best option.

 

Here, I thought, in order to show off the shoes that I have done this kind of its own variant of unloading on. This is Skoaktiebolagets own trees, which is very good and tight in Gaziano & Girling-shoes on MH71-load, and thus works well for this method. I have only used a few blister plasters to expand.

S0me more pictures to show how I have done this. Here’s the store Skoaktiebolaget’s own trees, which fits very good and tight in Gaziano & Girling’s shoes, and thus works well for this method. Here I’ve only used a few blister plasters for the build-up..

Another angle than the image shown at the top, where you can also see that the bulging part of the shoe to the left at the place where the big toe bump ends up in the shoe.

Another angle than the image shown at the top, where you can also see that the bulging part of the shoe to the left at the outside ball area.

A pair of Vass on the F last, where I've had the same problem as with the shoes from G&G, which pressed against the inner ball. Here I used a felt ring, two small central parts felt rings that work well for this purpose, as well as a thicker plasters. In the picture, they just turned on, when put in the shoes and been there awhile pressed felt rings together and the bulge will not be quite as strong as it looks here.

A pair of Vass on the F last, where I’ve had the same problem as with the shoes from G&G, which pressed against the inner ball. Here I used a felt ring, two small central parts felt rings that work well for this purpose, as well as a thicker plasters. In the picture, they just turned on, when put in the shoes and been there awhile pressed felt rings together and the bulge will not be quite as strong as it looks here.

A couple Vass F-last, I have had the same problem as with the shoes from G & G, which is then pressed a little against the big toe bump. Here I used a felt ring, two small central parts felt rings that work well for this purpose, as well as a thicker plasters. In the picture, they just turned on, when put in the shoes and been there awhile pressed felt rings together and the bulge will not be quite as strong as it looks here.

A picture of the shoes too, where you also can see the little bulge on the right shoe on the inside.

Finally, when loaded skoblocken to my Vass double Monks on U-last, where after I sat in a plösdistans to prevent hälglapp (which can be read about here) as his feet slid forward slightly and pressed a little towards the little toes. It was fixed excellent with its own loading.

Finally the rumble with my Vass double Monks on the U-last, here’s the lasted shoe trees after I’ve put on felt pieces and plasters at the pinky toe area.

A top view where you can sense that it just below the toe on the outside of the shoe, where the little toes ports, pushed out a little bit of bulge on skoblocken. When you do this kind of development on the blocks so they become a little trickier to get out, then chafing patches of rubber material allows the friction becomes greater. Wiggling it a bit on the blocks tends to be dropping pretty easy, and I have not had any major problems with this.

A top view where you can see if you look closely that it just below the toe cap on the outside of the shoe, it’s pushed out a little bit of bulge from the shoe trees. When you do this kind of attachments on the trees they become a bit trickier to get out, since chafing patches of rubber material means increased friction. Wiggling it a bit and the shoe trees usually comes out pretty easy though, and I have not had any major problems with this.