Most of us have had the inconvenience of experiencing pain, blistering and unpleasant forming of bunions from breaking into new shoes. Patent leather shoes are leather shoes with a glossy exterior (think men’s work shoes). The gloss comes from a plastic layer on top of the leather which makes the shoe stiffer than regular leather shoes which can make them even harder to break into.
Hence it is beneficial to know how to stretch patent leather shoes-
Before you consider shoe is stretching, you can take preventative steps to minimize the need for stretching your patent leather shoes. You could buy shoes that leave some small space between your foot and the shoe (about a centimeter from your toes) and try the shoes on with the type of socks you frequently wear. Also, try hitting the shoe stores towards the end of the day. Interestingly, our feet are slightly bigger in the evening.
It is not that surprising that so many people have trouble breaking into new shoes because even if you buy shoes of the correct size, people have differently proportioned feet. Two people may have the same shoe size, but their feet may vary in width or have ankles of different sizes and musculature. So even if you took all preventative steps to ensure the correct shoe size, you might still have to stretch your patent leather shoes.
How to stretch patent leather shoes
While you are trying to break into the new shoes, you can try covering sensitive areas with protective padding (such as heel pads) or lotion to avoid bunions and blisters. Below are some useful tips for breaking into your patent leather shoes.
Use thick socks
Practice walking around in your patent leather shoes with thick sports socks. Do this for a couple of days, and you will notice your patent leather shoes stretching. Keep repeating until you have stretched them to the point that it doesn’t hurt when you wear regular socks.
You could try this method using a hair dryer with a high heat setting to speed up the stretching. Direct the nozzle to where the shoes feel the tightest. While you’re doing this, make sure to flex and stretch your feet to optimize the shoe stretching. Alternatively, you can also try it in a hot environment so that the heat will expand the leather.
Patent leather shoe stretching is similar in some ways to synthetic shoes, thanks to their glossy plastic outer coating. So, you can try stuffing the patent leather shoes with newspapers. Keep stuffing the shoes until they’ve stretched to the level you want. Let the stuffed shoes be for a couple of days, and the shoes will retain their stretched shape.
You can try this method with various things, newspapers, rags, plastic bags and even potatoes!
Freezing isn’t just for meat…
This hack is so clever it sounds like it’s straight out of a science book. Fill the shoes with a plastic bag. Add water to the plastic bag and tie it well. Keep the shoes in the freezer overnight. As water freezes, it will expand and deform the shoe.
You could try freezing with the previous hack as well. Stuff shoes with newspapers and keep them in the freezer.
Buy a shoe stretcher.
There are two types of shoe stretchers in the market, ball-and-ring stretchers, and two-way stretchers. The latter is quite convenient as it can expand both widths wise and lengthwise. Two-stretchers have a two-part mold that expands when you turn the leadscrew.
Leather Shoe Sprays
Leather shoe sprays are designed for regular leather, so they might not be that effective for patent leather shoes. You could, however, use them for the inner leather lining and use a shoe stretcher for better results.
I hope this guide on how to stretch patent leather shoes have been useful to you and you get to enjoy your shoes free from those horrible bunions and blisters. However, if you are not feeling very experimental or don’t want to risk damaging expensive shoes, you could get your patent leather shoes stretched at a professional shoe-fitting service.