How To Stretch Running Shoes? Some Useful Tips You Should Know


Running in comfortable shoes is one of the ways to prevent foot injuries. But sometimes you may buy the wrong size running shoes and they are too tight. You can use the following methods to make your running shoes wider.

  • Widen your shoes with ice bags
  • Try the peeled potato hack
  • Stretch your shoes using oats and grains
  • Use adjustable shoe trees
  • Make your shoes wider with thick socks and a hairdryer
  • Take advantage of alcohol
  • Wear your running shoes overnight
  • Visit a professional shoe repair shop

Let’s refer to all the interesting info below!how-to-stretch-running-shoes-1

Effective Methods To Stretch Your Running Shoes

1. Widen your shoes with ice bags

If your running shoes are non-leather shoes, this stretching method will be very effective. To do this method, first, you have to find some ziplock bags. Then, partially fill these bags with water.

After that, inside each shoe, you will place one of these water bags. The final step is to put shoes along with bags into the freezer overnight. The low temperature will make water freeze and expand. In that way, your running shoes will also expand.

2. Try the peeled potato hack

If your running shoes are too tight on the toe boxes, a potato can make it wider. You need to peel a potato and shape it like your shoe’s toe box. Then, use a paper towel to wipe it dry and wrap it with plastic wrap. After that, insert this potato into the toe box of the shoe and leave it overnight.


3. Stretch your shoes using oats and grains

Other cooking materials you can use as shoe stretchers are oats and grains. When you combine them with water, they will increase their size.

First, you have to fill oats and grains in a plastic bag. Then, pour water into the bag until the water submerges the oats and grains. Next, seal the bag and stuff it into your tight running shoes overnight. When the oats and grains expand, they will widen your shoes a bit.

4. Use adjustable shoe trees

If you don’t want to make shoe stretchers yourself, you can buy adjustable shoe trees. These tools can stretch both the length and width of your running shoes.

To use these effective shoe stretchers, you place them inside your running shoes. Then, adjust the tree to your desired width and length. Every 10-12 hours, you should re-adjust the handle until the shoes are large enough.

Adjustable shoe trees work best with leather running shoes. You can find these tools in every shoe repair shop or buy them online.

Adjustable shoe trees

5. Make your shoes wider with thick socks and a hairdryer

Another way to stretch your tight running shoes is using thick socks and a hairdryer. This method can make your shoes larger a little bit.

To begin with, you need to wear thick socks, then put on your running shoes. Next, turn on a hair dryer at medium heat and blow at the tight area. Move the hairdryer around during blowing to avoid damaging your shoes.

After blowing for 30 seconds, you should stop and walk around. If the shoes are still tight, repeat the process until you feel comfortable.

6. Take advantage of alcohol

Alcohol is a liquid that can make your shoe material softer and more elastic. So, you can use alcohol to stretch your running shoes.

To do this method, mix alcohol with water in a ratio of 1:1. Then, pour this solution into a sprayer and spray it on your shoes. You can apply more in tight areas. After that, wear thick socks, followed by the sprayed shoes, and walk around.

You can also combine the alcohol with adjustable shoe trees to get a better result.

7. Wear your running shoes overnight

Materials used to make running shoes are usually elastic. So, if your shoes are only a bit tight, you can wear them overnight. After several nights, the shoes will stretch to conform to your feet.

8. Visit a professional shoe repair shop

If none of the above methods works with your tight shoes, you should visit a cobbler. Every shoe repair shop offers shoe stretching services.

This method will cost you more than the others. But your shoes will fit your feet perfectly.

Every shoe repair shop offers shoe stretching services

Some Tips To Choose The Fitting Running Shoes

To avoid wasting time and money on stretching your shoes, you should choose shoes that fit well. Here are some tips to pick your right size shoes.

It's better to buy your running shoes in person

  • Most of the wrong size shoes are shoes bought online. So, it’s better to buy your running shoes in person. When going to the shoe store, you can try and feel the shoes to know if it fits you or not.
  • You should go shopping for your running shoes in the afternoon. At that time of day, your feet are at their largest size. Thus, you can pick fitting shoes more easily.
  • Running shoes should be a little bit looser than other shoes. When you wear the shoes, your longest toe needs to be about 1cm from the tip. Moreover, you should be able to move your toes comfortably inside the shoes.
  • If you must buy your running shoes online, you should choose your familiar brand. Because the shoe sizes may vary depending on each brand. Besides, you can buy shoes half a size larger.



We have provided you with some effective methods to stretch your running shoes. There are some methods you can try at home with easy-to-find tools. You can also bring your tight shoes to a shoe repair shop to get them stretched.

If you know other tips to widen running shoes, let us know by leaving a comment. Thank you for reading!