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How to Stretch Shoes with Ice


There is an old-folk remedy floating around on how to stretch with ice. One internet search will retrieve a number of videos demonstrating this feat of nature. The remedy has you fill a tight-sealed storage bag with water, slip them into the shoe, and then freeze them. The general concept is that because water expands as it freezes into ice, this action will stretch the shoe. Here’s how:

  1. Fill food storage bags with a small amount of water and seal tightly. You want just enough water to fill out the toe area, not the entire inside of the shoe.
  2. Place each shoe inside of a food storage bag to prevent them from getting any moisture from the freezer.
  3. Stand the shoe inside the freezer with the toe-side down so that the water in the storage bag fills the toe area only. Freeze.
  4. Remove from the freezer and allow to defrost before removing the ice. Do not attempt to remove the ice immediately as this can cause damage to the shoe.

Precautions about Stretching Shoes with Ice

The ice stretching shoe method does has its drawbacks. For example, if you fill the storage bag with too much water, once the storage bag expands inside of the shoe, it can be nearly impossible to remove depending on the shape of the shoe and the material it is made from. And on the note of material, some materials may not be able to withstand freezing or may become damaged by water if it happens to escape.

Obviously, the safest shoe stretching method is to bring your shoes to a shoe-repair shop. For a low fee, they will be able to safely stretch the shoes.



Cobb, Linda. Talking dirty with the Queen of Clean. New and improved ed. New York: Pocket Books, 2004. Print.

Heloise. “Advice on Stretching Shoes — Heloise Hints – Good Housekeeping.” Diet Plans – Healthy Recipes – Haircut Pictures – Cleaning Tips – Good Housekeeping. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Jan. 2012. .

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