Shoes can be a source of pleasure and of pain. Beautiful and smart looking shoes can make or break an outfit. However, looking good does come with a price if you purchase shoes that aren't comfortable. Ill-fitting shoes are a source bunions, corns, calluses, and hammertoes.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, in the United States alone, one-sixth of the population have foot problems, and a third of this number require medical treatment. As it is often repeated, prevention is better than a cure. The best way to prevent foot problems is to wear shoes that do not cramp your toes. Here are four methods on how to stretch your leather shoes properly in order to ensure this.
The Hairdryer Technique
This is an easy way to stretch new shoes and skip the painful break-in period. All you have to do is wear your new shoes while wearing thick socks. Continually stretch and flex your feet while directing a hairdryer on the stiff parts of the shoe. Do not remove the shoes until they have cooled down completely. This will stretch out the leather effectively.
Purchasing a pair of shoe stretchers is another easy way to stretch out your new shoes. All you have to do is place the stretchers inside your shoes for an extended period.
Some leather and shoe care manufacturers produce shoe stretching sprays that make the leather more pliable and easier to wear.
In cases where home remedies prove ineffective, there are professionals available to stretch your shoes. Shoe repair shops or shops that specialize in making custom made shoes have machines that can make your shoes roomier and easier to wear.