Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
With online shopping easier than ever, you may readily find yourself in possession of a pair of sandals that simply refuse to fit. If they're too small, how can you go about stretching your sandals out?
The good news is that there are many different methods that you can use to do just that.
- Wear socks with your sandals.
- Use heat to stretch them out.
- Soak your sandals in water.
- Use a shoe stretcher.
- Try using rubbing alcohol.
Whether you want to invest in a shoe stretcher or experiment with at-home solutions, you'll be able to ensure that your sandals fit comfortably in no time at all. That said, you'll still have to choose which method of widening will best suit your needs. Take a gander at some of the different techniques you can use.
How To Stretch Sandals Wide
Whether you're looking for a low-commitment solution or one that delves into high school chemistry, you'll easily be able to make a fashion statement sans uncomfortable blisters.
Wear Socks With Sandals
Let's start with the simplest widening method: wearing socks with your sandals.
Some people may be quick to tell you that wearing socks with sandals is a fashion faux pas. This isn't entirely untrue. However, if you're looking to break in a new pair of sandals in the comfort of your home, there's no harm in wearing socks with sandals. In fact, doing so will make it easier to later mold your sandals to your feet.
Socks, after all, widen your feet. They also protect your feet from the friction leather or other types of sandals may generate against bare skin. By taking walks around the house while wearing socks and sandals, you're widening your shoe without putting the health of your feet at risk.
Wearing socks with sandals won't widen your sandals all that quickly. If you're looking for a faster solution, you'll need to expose your sandals to heat.
First, try your sandals on. Make note of wear the sandal is the tightest. Then, only after removing the sandal, use a hair dryer or space heater to start warming that particular spot. Note that you don't want to start the material on fire! Rather, you want to warm it to the point where it's flexible. Repeat this process once a day for three days, and you'll find that your sandal fits all the more comfortably as a result.
Soak Your Sandals
You can also widen your sandals by exposing them to water. Before you do, though, make note of the material your sandals are made of. Exposure to water works best with leather sandals. When you leave leather sandals to sit in a bucket of cool water, that water will work its way into the leather's pores. Upon the sandal's removal from their watery confinement, you'll find that the water has made them significantly more flexible.
If you're interested in investing in a pair of sturdy, leather sandals, Amazon has several such shoes available, including ones that are readily adjustable.
Note, of course, that the aforementioned tactic won't have the same effectiveness with plastic sandals. If you're looking to widen sandals made out of these materials, you'll need to get a little more creative. Fill a sturdy plastic bag with water, then place your tight sandals inside. Then, place the bag of water into the freezer.
Because the ice will place a significant amount of pressure onto your sandals, you'll find that they loosen fairly quickly. That's what makes it ideal for sandals that aren't readily adjustable, like some of the ones you can find on Amazon.
Use A Shoe Stretcher
If you're not keen on putting your sandals in the freezer, don't fret. You can just as easily invest in a shoe stretcher. If you choose to purchase a shoe stretcher off of Amazon, do note that the stretching method does take a fair amount of time.
You'll need to place the stretcher at the part of your sandal that is the tightest on your foot. From there, you'll need to keep the stretcher in place for between 12 and 24 hours. Keep an eye on your sandal, though, as overexposure to the pressure may damage your sandal.
Try Rubbing Alcohol
If you're interested in experimenting with chemistry, you can also use rubbing alcohol to loosen up your sandals. Place a small amount of rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle. Alternatively, you can dampen a cloth with rubbing alcohol. Once you have your materials at the ready, you can either spray or rub your sandals down. Note that, again, leather sandals or sandals made out of fabrics will respond more readily to this stretching method than plastic sandals.
Once you've dampened the whole of your sandal with alcohol, it's time to take a walk. Walk until the sandals have dried completely. Once they have, you'll find that they're significantly more comfortable to wear.
How Else Can You Make Sandals More Comfortable?
The good news is that you don't always have to DIY modify your sandals to make them comfortable to wear. Keep some of the following in mind when adjusting your sandals so you can avoid losing time to blisters:
Choose Your Sandal Type Wisely
Different types of sandals suit different environments. You don't want to wear a fashion sandal or a huarache if you're going on a hike, for example. Make sure you do your research ahead of time so you don't accidentally leave the store with a sandal you can't comfortably wear.
Prevention is the Best Cure
You should also actively try on and walk around in the pair of sandals you're thinking of taking home with you. Try to buy shoes that are a little on the big side, as your feet expand over the course of the day.
Don't Wear New Sandals For Too Long
The last thing you want to do is wear a pair of brand new shoes for an entire day. While doing so will definitely break your sandal in, it'll also leave you vulnerable to blisters and discomfort.
Take Short Walks in Your New Sandals
Instead of wearing new sandals in the long-term, wear your new shoes on multiple short walks a day. This way you won't overexpose your bare skin to unnecessary friction, but you'll also be able to better shape your sandals to your feet.
Use Heel Grips
Finally, if your sandals are slipping or too big, consider investing in heel grips. This grips provide your heel with a cushion that keeps friction at bay while also ensuring that you can walk down the street without losing a shoe. You'll also be able to find heel grips in a multitude of different colors, as you can see courtesy of this pack of grips from Amazon.
Heel grips are also made from a variety of different materials. Depending on the friction or looseness you're experiencing when wearing your sandals, you can opt for a suede, sponge, or rubber grip, among a litany of others.
This grip, for example, uses super-elastic microfibers to better mold your sandal to your foot. You can find other grips like it on Amazon.
Don't send the sandals you bought online back if they don't fit. Instead, try experimenting with different methods of shoe widening at home. If you do, you'll find that you save time and stress without having to sacrifice your sense of style.