Ballet slippers are a staple in virtually any woman’s closet thanks to their chic yet comfortable appearance. However, since they come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, finding one that fits you perfectly can be a bit of a challenge. Unfortunately, this means that you might end up with slippers that are too tight on your feet. So how do you break in ballet slippers in a manner that won’t compromise the integrity of the design?
Do ballet slippers stretch? Ballet slippers should be able to stretch and mold to your feet when you wear them. There are several techniques you can use to speed up the process and effectively increase the size of your ballet slippers without ruining its construction.
The easiest way to stretch your ballet slippers is to wear them within your house to get your feet accustomed to the fit. Keep them on for about half an hour at a time, and continue to do this for a few days until you are satisfied with the fit. Another technique you can use to stretch your ballet slippers involves using shoe stretching tools. A shoe stretcher is a tool specifically intended to increase the size of any type of shoe, including ballet slippers. Alternatively, you can also stretch your ballet slippers by filling them with bags of water and tossing them in the freezer. As the water in the bags expands, the slippers will stretch.
When your slippers are too tight on your feet, you can either return them or stretch them. However, returning does not always work, especially if you fail to return the purchased item on time or there is no return policy at all. Ballet slippers, just like other footwear types, can be stretched when they turn out to be too tight upon purchase. Fortunately, there are several ways you can stretch your ballet slippers to make them more comfortable.
How to break in your ballet slippers
1. Wear them at home
The most common way that ballet slippers stretch is through frequent wear. When they are new and still stiff or they are simply too tight on your feet, try wearing them and walking around in your home. You can wear them for half an hour at a time or longer if they are not too uncomfortable. Flex your feet as much as possible to help the process. You can also wear socks to stretch them even further. With time and consistency, your ballet slipper should stretch.
2. The freezing technique
If stretching your ballet slippers by wearing them does not work, another technique you can use involves stuffing them with bags of water and putting them in the freezer. For a ballet slipper to stretch this way, you will need to fill a Ziploc bag with water about halfway and secure it. Stuff the bag into the slipper, ensuring that it reaches all the tight corners. Put the slipper into the freezer and allow it to freeze. Once it does, let it thaw and then remove the Ziploc bag and wear the ballet slipper. If you feel like the ballet slipper has not stretched enough, you can repeat the whole process. Ballet slippers can stretch this way due to the expansion of water when it freezes.
3. Use a shoe stretcher
Another way you can speed up the stretching process of ballet slippers is by using a shoe stretcher. This is a tool that can be inserted in the tight spots of the ballet slippers to stretch them. For this process, you will need to use a shoe stretch spray to expand the fibers of the ballet slippers and make them more flexible. Insert stretching plugs in the tightest spots before inserting the shoe stretcher. Turn the handle until the slippers expand to the desired level. Keep turning the handle every 8 hours until you achieve the size you want. For the best results, leave the shoe stretcher in for two days, remembering to inspect your slippers regularly.
4. Hairdryer and socks
Ballet slippers can also stretch when you blast a hairdryer on the tightest spots. Wear a thick pair of socks and step into the slippers before using the hairdryer. Make sure that you don’t focus the hairdryer on one particular point for too long since you might end up overheating that part of the slipper. As the slippers cool, keep them on to maintain the new stretched size. Keep blasting the slippers until they have stretched to a comfortable size.
5. Stuff them
You can also help with the stretching process by stuffing your ballet slippers with either socks or wet newspaper.
If you opt to use socks, you will need several pairs to stuff each slipper until they are full. Allow your slippers to stretch overnight, and depending on the results the next morning, repeat the process as much as you need to.
When using wet newspaper, you will need to ball up sheets of paper and insert them into the toe box of the baller slipper to the maximum capacity. Ballet slippers tend to stretch this way due to the expanding motion of damp newspaper as it dries up.
It is worth noting that both of these techniques are slow ineffectiveness, so if you might want to use any of the other recommended techniques if you want your ballet slippers stretched as soon as possible.
6. Take them to a cobbler
You can have your ballet slippers stretched by a cobbler if they fail to expand on their own or the aforementioned techniques fail to work. A good cobbler should be able to increase the size of your ballet slippers without causing damage to their construction. You should be able to find one online or through the recommendation of family and friends.
Ballet slippers should stretch as a result of being worn frequently. However, if they turn out to be too tight or they take too long to stretch on their own, there are several techniques you can use to speed up the process. If these techniques do not work for you or you don’t want to risk ruining your slippers, you can take them to a reliable cobbler for stretching services.