While I am traveling this week, I thought that I might share something that I find VERY useful. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE shoes. One of my biggest struggles with buying shoes, is to find a comfortable fit in certain styles. Winter boot/booties shopping is one of my biggest challenges. I going to share one of my secrets to making your shoes fit comfortably…
If you have had kids, you may have experienced a permanent increase of your foot size. If you don’t know what I am talking about there is a hormone that is called relaxin that loosens the joints in the birth canal for child birth. That same hormone goes to other joints in your body like your feet and hands…forcing the joints/ligaments in your feet to spread as well. But enough of the technical stuff… My youngest is almost 4 years old and I have had to either give away or sell shoes that I had prior to having kids. Before I had kids I was about a 8 1/2 – 9 medium width. Now I am about a 9-9 1/2 medium width (but some shoes (like booties and boots) I need more width for comfort. I sometimes struggle with finding shoes that fit my now slightly wider width foot. On top of all of that I have a host of other issues with my feet…lol! So getting into booties and boots is usually a process for me. But being the shoe lover that I am, I don’t let that stop me!! The below image shows where I started with these booties…
My suggestions are find a good shoe repairman. I am pretty serious about my shoes. I have one shoe repair guy whose shop is about 30 minutes from my house. But he is WELL WORTH the trip. I have tried others, but I don’t trust any other person with my shoes but him! When I need my shoes repaired or stretched, I mark the boxes with post it notes to make one trip to get all of my shoes repaired at one time!
Nevertheless, since my shoe repairman is not close by, I have a few tricks that I use for a quick shoe repair solution.
Here is the supply list:
- Large based wine bottles (cylindrical shaped only).
- 1 part rubbing alcohol + 1 part water in a spray (or) a stretching spray like KIWI
- Your tight shoes (I recommend using this ONLY on shoes with leather uppers and ideally leather lining. Synthetic leathers don’t stretch well and might be damaged if you try any of the steps that I am about to mention.
Here are the steps for stretching using wine bottles:
- Let’s start with your solution…if you don’t have the stretching spray. Use a spray bottle to add 1 part water and 1 part rubbing alcohol (white preferably). My shoe guy gave me this tip! I had a bit of stretching spray left in my bottle so you will see the spray. The alcohol works equally well (if not better).
- Using either the stretching spray or the rubbing alcohol combo, coat the interior of the shoe generously. Be careful not to spray the shell (especially if you are working with suede shoes).
- Next is place your wine bottles in the shoes. I pushed my wine through the shoes partially zipped as far as I could zip them.
- Let your wine bottles chill for at least 24 hours.
- Try on your shoes to see if the fit is better. If not, do the steps again…perhaps using a wider bottles.
- I have also applied either of the spray solutions prior to wearing my shoes to help stretch them even further.
I will be wearing them in a post shortly…stay tuned!
Make sure that you are comfortable testing this process. I will always recommend a shoe repairmen first…this is just a suggestion for my personal semi-quick fix. I would not use this process on your most expensive, luxury shoes if you have never done it before. I have another great tip that involves the freezer, old socks, and stretching solution….if you like this tip and want to see more…let me know what you think!!!