How To Stretch Trainers

Written by Dan | 21/03/2023



How To Stretch Trainers

Gone are the days of breaking in your trainers! Whether you’re looking to ease foot pain, maximise performance, or get more mileage out of your kicks, stretching your trainers is a great way to ensure comfort and longevity. In this post, we’ll explore why properly fitting shoes are essential.

We’ll detail how and when to do it properly so you can benefit from maximum support while avoiding damage. So, what are you waiting for? Don’t let uncomfortable or ill-fitting footwear ruin a good training sesh. Read on and unlock the ultimate guide to stretching sneakers, leather shoes or canvas shoes.


Grey and black trainers


What Shoes Can Be Stretched?

Most casual and formal shoes can be stretched, including leather, canvas, and synthetic materials. Most dress shoes are made of smooth leather that readily accepts stretching with minimal effort.

However, some other sole materials such as rubber may require more aggressive techniques to ensure success. Running shoes should respond well to any of the tips below. In short, if your feet don’t fit in your shoes comfortably, don’t be scared. Give them a stretch…


When Should You Stretch Your Shoes?

The best results will come from stretching new shoes. This way you can ensure that the shoes conform to the shape of your foot and give you maximum comfort. However, if you have bought a pair of shoes that are too tight in the toe area, then it makes sense to do some stretching even after use.


Can You Stretch Leather Shoes?

Yes, you can. The best way to stretch leather shoes is to use a shoe-stretching liquid or spray. These products work by softening the leather fibres, making them more pliable and easier to mould around your foot shape.

You can also use a shoe tree, which applies gentle pressure on the leather for a long period of time. Both of these techniques should be done on a regular basis. This will make sure the leather won’t become too tight again. Read on to find out more.


Can You Stretch Canvas Shoes?

Yes, you can stretch canvas shoes as well! The best method for this is to fill a bucket with warm water and submerge the canvas shoes in it. Leave them in for about 10-15 minutes, then remove them and wear them as you normally would for a few hours. This should help to stretch the canvas material and make it more comfortable on your feet.


Blue EA7 trainers


Can You Stretch Trainers at Home?

There are several ways to stretch your new pair of trainers at home, depending on the shoe material and style. We’ve outlined some methods you can use to get the best results:


Wear Your Shoes in the Evening

Of course, the easiest way to stretch shoes into shape is to simply wear them. To help them conform to your feet, you can wear them into the evening after your daily activities are finished.

This is especially helpful for those with wider feet, as it gives the shoes a chance to mould to the shape of your foot while still being slightly damp and warm from walking around all day. Wear a couple of pairs of thick socks to give you even more control over the process.


Dampen Your Shoes

Using a spray bottle, lightly dampen the shoes with water or a dedicated shoe stretching spray. Be careful not to saturate them. Then fill up a couple of plastic bags with warm water and insert one bag into each shoe.

Allow the shoes to sit like this for 30 minutes before you remove the bags. The leather will have become more supple after being exposed to moisture, making it more malleable and allowing you to shape it. If you’re thinking of putting your trainers in the washing machine, check out our guide first.


Stretch with a Shoe Tree

Adjustable shoe trees are a great tool for stretching shoes into shape and can be used to help widen the toe box of your trainers. To use, simply insert the shoe tree into your shoe and leave it there overnight. This will help create more room in the toe box while also helping support the shape of your shoes.

Don’t be afraid to add more pressure as needed. You can also use a shoe horn if available to help push the shoe tree in and create an even better fit.


Stretch with a Hair Dryer

Using heat to stretch your shoes is another effective way to make them fit better. Start by dampening the area of the shoe you want to stretch using a spray bottle, then use a blow dryer on only medium heat setting to warm up that same area for two minutes before taking off your shoes and allowing them to cool.

This process will cause the shoe’s toe box to expand, creating roomier shoes that fit better. Be sure not to overheat them as this can damage the material or cause it to shrink back down when cooled!


Use a Shoe Stretcher

For those with particularly wide feet, using a shoe stretcher can be a great way to get the perfect fit. This tool is designed specifically for stretching shoes, and with its adjustable pegs and levers it can provide customised stretching in different areas of the shoe.

Simply insert the shoe stretchers, adjust the pegs and levers to create more room where needed, and then leave it overnight for the best results.


Classic leather trainers in brown and cream


Use a Professional Cobbler

If your shoes are still too tight and you’re struggling to get them into shape, a shoe repair professional may be the answer. While it may seem expensive, having an experienced cobbler stretch your shoes will ensure they’re altered safely and correctly, giving you peace of mind that no damage has been done in the process.

Professional shoe repair shops have the tools and resources to properly stretch and mould your shoes without damaging them, allowing you to get the perfect fit.



Stretching tight shoes is not only essential for achieving a comfortable and well-fitted shoe, but it can also help protect your feet from pain and discomfort.

With the right techniques and tools, you can easily stretch your favourite kicks into shape and give them a longer life! So don’t let tight shoes hold you back any longer – follow these tips and unlock the ultimate guide to stretching your favourite sneakers, leather shoes or canvas shoes. Happy stretching!



Shop the footwear collection at Mainline Menswear





What did you think of this post?


Thumbs up review image


Average review image

Not for me!

Thumbs down review image