A Question I often hear...
Can you stretch shoes?
Yes, we can!!
Now, let's talk about what shoes stretch best and the areas we can stretch.
The material your shoes are made of will result in varying degrees of success.
1. Leather- stretches and holds the stretch the best
2. Fabric- will stretch fairly well, but not as well as leather
3. Man-made materials (vinyl, plastics)- do not stretch well, they are very elastic and want to return to their original shape.
Most people who have tight or snug shoes would just like them loosened up through the width. A Wooden Stretcher with Stretch fluid will do the job. Stretch fluid is sprayed on the leather upper. This opens the pores and allows the leather to relax and take a good stretch. The correct sized stretcher is inserted and then cranked out. As you crank, the two halves of the stretcher spread out. Crank it out until you feel good pressure on each side. There is a little metal piece, which I call a bunyonette, that you can place where needed on the stretcher for a little extra stretch in a specific area.
You can stretch most any area of the shoe: width, vamp, length. If a customer is complaining that their toes are rubbing the end of the shoe, can we give them a half size more length. Not likely. It's much easier to get more width than more length.
Can you stretch steel toed boots?
Sorry, but no. When purchasing steel toed boots always make sure your toes have plenty of wiggle room. That may mean going up a half size or a width. If your toes rub the steel in the beginning of that first day, you will be hurting at the end of the day and you will also be out a pair of boots!
Here at Edgewood Drive Shoe Repair we try to guarantee stretches. If you need more we will re-stretch your shoes at no charge. We will make sure you understand what to expect, and note any specific areas that are troublesome.
We recommend that if you have 3 or more pair of shoes that need some attention, go ahead and invest in your own stretcher and stretch fluid. They are built to last many, many years.