Learning how to stretch shoes constructed from a particular fabric is simple, but suede is a tad more finicky. While we are not saying that suede is an impossible material to stretch, there are many ways to stretch suede shoes depending on your foot and amount of stretch.
Perhaps the most annoying thing about buying shoes is that unlucky moment when you buy a pair that’s way too small. Soft suede is a luxurious and stylish fabric. It feels gentle against your skin. However, it’s often difficult to break these shoes in without pain. Suede leather shoes are stretchy, but they also come with a snug fit right out of the box.
Through this post, we’ll have you wearing your suede shoes without skimping on comfort. Luckily, most options are simple enough for DIYs. We’ll show you how to stretch suede shoes properly, depending on your needs.
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How to Stretch Suede Boots
Stretching Suede Shoes with Socks
You most likely have socks lying around, so put on a few pairs and slide shove your feet into the suede shoes. The socks will increase the width and length of your feet, which will force the suede to adapt to the altered measurements. When you take the socks off, the shoes will feel significantly roomier than they were before.
This can be an excellent hack especially if you have a quick stretch before a night out. Just make sure the socks are thick enough to stretch the suede fabric, yet thin enough to keep your feet safe. You don’t want to cut off circulation or possibly sprain your toes with an intense combination of socks and tight suede shoes.
Wear the shoes with socks for a few hours around the house. Take off the socks after hours to see if the suede has stretched to your desired amount. If the shoes are still too tight, put the socks and shoes back on and repeat the process until you’re satisfied.
Shoes and socks are generally considered the safer option for stretching, especially in comparison to sprays and stretching devices. You’ll hardly stain your shoes with this method unless the socks themselves are poorly dyed.
Besides, socks only add moderate thickness and width to your feet, so there is less chance of tearing shoes. Be sure to take off your shoes though if you sense numbness or pain while wearing socks with tight suede shoes.
Using Stretch Spray
Stretch sprays contain chemicals that effectively expand the shoe material, thereby stretching them. Some of these products are purposely designed for leather but some leather stretch sprays are also ideal for suede. We recommend that you read the instructions provided carefully as some brands are made for the shoe’s exterior while others are meant for the inside of the shoe.
Generously apply the spray to the shoes. Wear a thick pair of socks and walk around outside for a while. The added thickness, plus the movement from walking will help the spray stretch shoes.
Note that the spray needs movement to expand the suede material, and that’s the main role of socks while wearing the shoes. If you’re not willing to walk, moving your feet and toes while sitting also works. Even when you’re sited, be sure to maintain constant foot and toe movement while wearing the sprayed suede shoes.
With constant foot movement, you should realize the material stretch after thirty minutes to an hour. In case you don’t feel a change, take the shoes off and reapply the spray to the suede’s exterior and interior. Repeat the process until you’re satisfied with the roominess in the shoes. If you do it correctly, the stretching spray should expand the shoe ¼ to half a size.
Using Shoe Stretcher
Gone are the days when people stuffed their shoes to the brim with newspaper or socks. There are shoe stretchers available on the market, designed to fit the length of the shoe and properly adjust the fabric into a new length or width.
There are shoe stretchers for boots, high heels, boots, sneakers, and other types of shoes. Be sure to buy the right type of shoe stretcher for the shoes you’re planning to expand. Also, check that you choose a shoe stretcher that’s around your natural-sized foot.
A shoe stretcher can be used on its own: Simply put the stretcher into the shoe and use the manual crank to expand it. Note that some stretchers are designed to only expand the toe area of the foot, others the length while others have a combination of widening and lengthening to deliver the most accommodative shoe stretching results.
For best results, spray the shoes with stretching spray before using the stretcher. You might want to leave the stretcher in the suede shoes overnight to ensure long-lasting results. However, be sure to check the shoes frequently at the beginning of the stretching process as you could accidentally set the stretcher for too wide or too long, which might rip the shoes.
Using the Freezer
Tossing your suede shoes into the freezer is a bit counter in comparison to other stretching methods, but it still works. Most experts say that this is a tricky method probably due to the inability to control the expansion of the water in the plastic bags.
We also recommend that you don’t use extreme cold because it may crack the leather and ruin your shoes. The shoes should be stretched after a few hours or overnight. Again, avoid taking the process too far so you don’t end up ruining your shoes. If done correctly, this method can help[ wear your shoes without pain.
Using a Hair Dryer
A hairdryer can also help facilitate the stretching process. This option is also tricky as some experts also claim that extreme heat does not work well with suede shoes. But similar to freezing, a hair drier can help expand your shoes. First, you need to spray some stretchers onto the areas that you want to make bigger.
Next, place your feet inside and start wiggling your feet and toes. Then, turn on your hairdryer and heat the suede for two minutes. The combination of all practices involved should expand the shoes.