Learning how to stretch shoes made from a particular fabric is simple, but suede is much more finicky. There are multiple ways to stretch suede shoes based on the amount of stretch and your foot. We’ll show you how to stretch suede shoes the right way, depending on your needs.
Soft suede is a luxurious and stylish material. It feels gentle against your feet, but it’s often difficult to break these shoes in without pain. Suede is a stretchy shoe leather, but they also come with a snug fit right out of the box.
You might accidentally buy your suede shoes a size too small as well. Either way, there are many easy fixes for hard-to-wear new shoes. Read on to learn everything about stretching the material, no matter what type of shoes you own.
We’ll have you wearing your suede shoes without discomfort in no time. Thankfully, most options are simple enough for home use.
- Simple Ways to Stretch Suede Shoes
- Learn How to Stretch Suede Boots
- DIY Hacks for How to Stretch Suede Shoes with Heat or Cold
- How to Treat Painful Blisters and Bunions
Simple Ways to Stretch Suede Shoes
Learn how to stretch suede shoes using manageable techniques, from using a stretching spray for a little stretch or a professional-grade stretching tool for tougher jobs or suede boots. Explore the right method for your shoes based on your needs.
To start, clean suede sneakers with household items. Look at the inside of the shoe thoroughly as you clean to determine how much stretch the fabric requires. Be sure to get dirt stains out of suede shoes before expanding them. Check the soles to learn how much they will stretch.
Work boots with thick soles, sturdy plastic or rubber materials, or women’s high heels all face varying limits. Your pair of shoes may only expand by a quarter to a half shoe size.
Make sure also to investigate the width of the shoes. Flats and high heels come with a narrow toe area, which requires special shoe care. A stretcher tool may contort the shape, so spraying and wearing this shoe type is ideal.
Select your stretching process and collect the materials based on your shoes. Both the design of your shoes and your feet alter how to stretch shoes the right way.
Wear Thick Socks with New Shoes
The easiest way to stretch shoes is to wear a thick pair of socks. This method is excellent for new shoes or people with bunions. Thick socks are the best for leather shoes. Repeat as needed.
Walk in the Shoes Often
The most convenient way to naturally stretch suede is to break the shoes in. Walking around in suede shoes at home helps the fabric reshape in a few days and doesn’t cause harm to a new pair of shoes.
Try a Shoe Stretch Spray
Use a stretcher spray when a quick fix is required or when your tight shoes nearly fit. Spraying your shoes is ideal for stretching them up to a half shoe size, and they’re widely affordable at most stores.
This is a great way to stretch out canvas shoes, as they have some extra “give” in the fabric that responds well to dampness and pushing out the fibers to accommodate the feet.
Buy an immediate-use solution for suede shoes, or the spray might cause discoloration and damage. Spray your shoes lightly, coating the inside. Use a cloth for hard to reach areas. Coat the outside of the shoes if your spray says it’s okay.
Wear them for a few hours after spraying the shoes. Movement isn’t required, as the shoes mold to your feet either way. For more stretch, try wearing a couple of pairs of thick socks. Repeat the process as necessary.
Use a Shoe Stretcher Overnight
When a stretch spray isn’t enough, use a stretch tool. Some shoes or some people come with two different sizes, and pregnant women may experience wide feet at random. These issues are best with a stretching tool.
Buy a shoe stretcher made for suede from your local store. Most extend the fabric in length or width, as needed. A professional-grade stretcher even extends the toe box and heels. However, they don’t work for vinyl shoes.
To stretch your shoes up to the full half size, spray them with a store-bought stretching solution. Insert the tool into your shoe and twist the handle a few times to tighten.
When the stretcher feels snug, turn it another three to four times and leave them to sit. Remove the tool after around 24 to 48 hours.
These tools come individually, as well. Make sure to buy two for stretching both shoes simultaneously. Otherwise, the stretching process takes several days.
Stretch Suede Shoes with Rubbing Alcohol
Another simple option is to use rubbing alcohol. Rub the alcohol directly on your shoes with a cotton cloth or create a spray to apply the solution.
Mix equal parts water with rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle to combine well, and spray the mixture on the area of your shoes that require stretching.
Wear your shoes with thick pairs of socks and walk around to stretch them. Run or move in repetitive motions to constrict the material.
Alcohol can also be helpful if you have a stain on your suede jacket, shoes, or boots, as well as your purse. Dab some alcohol on the stain as a suede jacket cleaner, being careful not to spread it outward.
If you’re looking for a more natural suede cleaner, invest in a suede brush. Often, brushing away a dried stain is enough to eliminate it completely.
Heat the Shoes with a Hair Dryer
Lather the shoes in a leather shoe conditioner following the directions on the bottle. Run a blow dryer back and forth across the shoes for a minute or two.
Make sure always to use a leather shoe conditioner, or the heat may cause damage. Too much heat also causes the stitching to weaken.
Buy Adjustable Shoe Trees
Stretch a pair of suede shoes with adjustable shoe trees, which are old-school specialty items in shoe repair stores. Four-way shoe trees are available for sale online for women’s and men’s shoes, expanding the width and length of a shoe.
Turn the handle on the shoe tree for around 8 to 12 hours to stretch the shoes until you reach your goal. Use a stretching spray or rubbing alcohol for sturdy shoes. Special plugs for bunions are also possible that target the toe box.
Ask a Cobbler for Help
A professional shoemaker or cobbler might be able to help if none of the above methods work for you. They have access to professional tools to stretch the shoes easily. Seeking the help of a pro is particularly helpful for expensive or delicate shoes.
Learn How to Stretch Suede Boots
Learning how to stretch suede boots the right way requires different steps than with suede shoes. Boots are sturdier and often need a stretching tool made for them.
If your footwear smells, start by deodorizing them with shoe fresheners to make the stretching process easier. Apply a store-bought suede stretching solution for overnight use following the instructions on the bottle.
Dyo is a popular choice that stretches suede without causing damage. Walk around in the boots as the solution dries. Use carefully on dyed material. Use a boot stretcher if that doesn’t work or if your foot doesn’t fit in the boot.
Shoe stores and department stores sell them in wood or plastic. There are also boot stretchers for wide feet or bunions. Use the boot stretcher following the directions.
Spray a stretching liquid first, insert the tool, and turn the handle clockwise to expand against the boot sides. Once the device is visible, slowly turn the handle three more times. Leave it in your boots to dry and reshape overnight.
The next morning, remove the stretcher from your boots and try them on. Repeat the process a few times for thicker boots or as needed.
A local shoe repair store helps with stretching booties as well. They use professional machines to put pressure on the right location. The result is a comfortable fit each time.
DIY Hacks for How to Stretch Suede Shoes with Heat or Cold
Beware the DIY hacks you see on how to stretch suede shoes using extreme heat or cold. Real suede fabric does not respond well to either temperature. They’re also not great for use with expensive shoes.
Some tips claim to stretch shoes with a hair dryer alone or plastic bags full of water in the shoes before freezing them. They’re not entirely wrong because a blow dryer or wearing a thick pair of socks helps loosen leather shoes.
However, don’t use leather stretch tips for suede since suede is a unique type of shoe leather. A traditional pair of leather shoes won’t stretch as much. The materials also require different care.
Putting suede shoes in the freezer may tear them. Likewise, the heat from a blow dryer might damage the fabric if you don’t use a conditioner.
How to Treat Painful Blisters and Bunions
Whether you got new shoes or suffer from a foot issue like blisters or bunions, stretching shoes wider may help. After the blisters close, clean them with soapy water thoroughly.
Gently dry them, covering them with Band-Aids. Attempt to keep the area clean and covered, especially if your blisters are still open. A topical antibiotic like Neosporin helps.
These are the simplest ways to stretch suede shoes at home. Remember to never try these practices with any material that’s not suede or leather. Avoid using them for expensive shoes or when trying to stretch shoes more than half a size.
Have you ever tried stretching your shoes at home? If you enjoyed learning how to stretch suede shoes, please feel free to share our tips for stretching shoes wider with your friends and family on Pinterest and Facebook.