Most of us have convinced ourselves to buy a pair of too-tight shoes before. Whether it was the price or the prettiness that twisted your arm, you'll find shoes that are too small completely redundant once you've tried wearing them for a day.
You could try reselling them, or, you could learn how to stretch shoes, say goodbye to blisters and hello to gorgeous feet instead.
There's a super easy, failsafe way to make shoes bigger, and today we're sharing it with you.
So pull off those painful pumps or blister-causing brogues, and listen up.
Editor's Note: This post was originally posted in January 2018 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in January 2019.
How to stretch shoes - #1 method for tight shoes!
This method should work for leather shoes, canvas shoes and even synthetic shoes. From boots to trainers, you really can get all of your shoes fitting perfectly.
No matter how tight they may be, give our method a try...
1. Grab your thickest pair of socks and pop them on
2. Pull your shoes on over your socks
They'll be tight, and may be uncomfortable at first. This is good - snugness is needed to achieve the desired stretching effect.
3. Use a hairdryer
Now it's time to put that hairdryer to work. Blast the hairdryer over your shoes on medium heat for 4 or so minutes - this will soften the leather and make it inclined to stretch. Be sure to wiggle your toes whilst you do this so that enough pressure is applied to the leather.
If you don't have a hairdryer, skip to the next step.
TOP TIP: Don't overdo it! Check the temperature of the shoe frequently to ensure it doesn't become too hot as this may damage the material.
4. Wear them all day long
Keep your shoes and socks on for as long as possible. Ideally, you will start during the morning, and wear them all day whilst doing the laundry, washing up and even watching the TV.
TOP TIP: Keep on your feet as much as possible. The more you move, the more stretch you'll be able to achieve.
5. Check the fit
Take off your socks, and check the fit of your shoes.
Do the shoes still need a bit more stretching? Repeat the steps with your second, thicker pair of socks. These should, as with the first pair, be snug enough to cause significant pressure.
Whilst stretching shoes shouldn't be relied upon as a method of making all your shoes fit, it certainly does come in handy. Ill-fitting shoes can be extremely uncomfortable and also damage the feet. If you see blisters, calluses and corns appearing on your feet, chances are your shoes are too small.
Other ways to make shoes bigger
How to stretch shoes with wet newspaper
Another easy way to make those tight shoes roomier is with wet newspaper. Scrunch wet newspaper into your shoes and leave to dry. The paper will expand as it does, and your shoes should have more give.
How to stretch shoes with ice
The final method you can try at home is using ice. Fill a resealable bag with water (1/4 full for the toe area, 1/2 full for the toe and instep and 1/2-1/3 of the way for the entire shoe including ankle area) then put it inside your shoe. Freeze for around 8 hours before removing.
Similarly to wet newspaper, the water will expand as it solidifies, stretching the shoe slightly.
Have they got a bit damp in the process? Take a look at our article on how to dry shoes next.
How much does it cost to stretch your shoes?
Shoe stretchers cost around £20 and can be used again and again. If you stretch your shoes using a home remedy, it can usually be done for free.
How long does it take to stretch shoes with a shoe stretcher?
Stretching your shoes with shoe stretchers can take anywhere from one night to 48 hours to complete.
Can you stretch shoes a size bigger?
Normally shoes can be stretched by around a half size.
Can I stretch my running shoes?
Running shoes can be stretched using the methods above. It is, however, not advised as it's important running shoes are professionally fitted to ensure your foot has enough support.
Have you had any experience sretching shoes? Share your tales with us in the comments below!