At one point or another, you may have talked yourself into buying slippers that are too small for your feet, or you splurge on a dashing pair of slippers online, only for them to turn out to be too tight because the size chart was misleading. Typically, slippers loosen up naturally with time as you continue to wear them, but that process could end up taking weeks of walking around with scrunched up toes and blisters. You could always avoid this painful process by returning the slippers or even reselling them, but what if they are too good to pass up or you simply don’t want to go through the potentially lengthy return process? Read on to find out how you can stretch slippers that are too tight.
So, how to stretch slippers?
- 1. You will need your thickest socks and a blow dryer. Put the socks on and wear the tight slippers over them. Blast a hairdryer over the slippers on medium heat for a few minutes.
- 2. You can also try stretching your slippers by simply wearing them around your home. You will want to wear a thick pair of socks for this method as well. Walk around your house for about half an hour, and keep repeating the process until they feel comfortable. This technique can take a few days, and it works best if the slippers are not too tight.
- 3. Another way you can stretch out your slippers is by putting Ziploc bags full of water in them and tossing them in the freezer. Water freezes when it expands, so once it does, allow it to thaw, and then try on your slippers.
- 4. You can also use a shoe stretcher to increase the size of slippers in a precise and pain-free way.
There are several reasons why you may want to stretch your slippers. Maybe you received them as a gift or you want to try them on, but you can’t seem to wiggle your foot inside. Perhaps you plan to wear them to a special event but you don’t see how you would be comfortable wearing them. Or maybe your slippers just don’t fit like they used to.
Tips on how you can stretch your slippers
1. Walk around in them
One of the easiest ways of stretching out your slipper is by wearing them and walking in them around your home. Try them on for about half an hour at a time and try to flex your feet as you move around in them. If you want, you can slip the slippers over a thick pair of socks to provide cushioning to your feet and stretch them even further. As the slippers stretch, leave them on for longer, and once they become comfy enough to wear for extended periods, you can start wearing them outside of the house. This technique should work with almost any type of slipper, but it probably works best if the slippers you are trying on aren’t too tight.
2. Take advantage of shoe stretching tools
As its name suggests, a shoe stretcher is a tool that can be used to increase the size of shoes. Using a shoe stretcher is convenient especially if you want to wear your slippers as soon as possible since it doesn’t take long to see results.
If the slippers that you intend to stretch were expensive or you simply don’t want to risk ruining them, using a shoe stretcher is a great option. While there are several methods you can use, a shoe stretcher is one of the few you can trust to ensure a uniform result. The tightest areas are targeted using spot-stretching plugs which you can insert into the shoe.
There are two types of shoe stretchers that you can use:
- A one-way shoe stretcher – You can use this shoe stretcher to stretch the width of your slippers.
- A two-way shoe stretcher – A two-way shoe stretcher is effective in stretching both the width and the length.
These stretchers can be used in both the left and right shoes.
Here are some tips on how to use a shoe stretcher to increase the size of your slipper:
- Apply a shoe stretch spray to make the fibers more flexible so that can stretch more easily. A shoe stretch spray is also effective in helping your slippers to stretch effectively and speed up the whole process.
- Insert the stretching plugs, ensuring that you target the problem areas that rub against your skin and cause corns and bunions to develop.
- Insert the shoe stretcher into your slipper.
- Turn the handle of the tool until you achieve the level of stretch you desire. Turn the handle fully every 8 hours until you have the ideal size.
- Leave the shoe stretcher in the slipper for about two days, inspecting regularly to confirm that the fit is right.
Always ensure to leave the shoe stretcher in the slipper for at least 6-8 hours to allow enough time for the material to take its new stretched form.
3. Toss them in the freezer
To increase the size of your slippers, you can also fill them up with bags of water and put them in the refrigerator. Water tends to expand when it freezes, thereby increasing stretching your slippers in the process.
Fill a Ziploc bag with water (one-third of the way should be enough) and secure it tightly. If you don’t want to get water all over your treasured slippers, opt to double bag the water. Put the bag into the slippers, ensuring to mold the bag so that it fits into every corner. You want to target the areas where the slippers are particularly tight, like the toe box. You might need to use more than one bag of water to fill your slipper. Place the slipper into the freezer and let it stay them until it freezes.
Once it fully freezes, let it thaw before taking out the Ziploc bags and trying on the slipper. If you are not satisfied with how far it has stretched, repeat the process. With this method, you can stretch the slipper from half a size to almost a full size. If you have slippers that can withstand getting wet, opt to wet the entire slipper before inserting the bags of water and freezing the whole thing.
4. A hairdryer and a thick pair of socks
If you don’t want to freeze your slippers, you can try using a dryer to stretch them. For this technique, you will need a pair of your thickest socks, or for more effectiveness, two pairs. Wear them and step into your slipper. Proceed to blast the hairdryer while it is on medium heat for about half a minute.
Remember to focus on the problematic areas of the slipper, but also ensure that you keep moving the hairdryer to avoid overheating any particular area. As you do this, flex your foot as much as possible to speed up the process of loosening the slipper material. Once you feel like they have stretched enough keep the slippers on as they cool to prevent them from shrinking back to their original size. Repeat this blasting process until you feel comfortable enough to walk in the slippers. If your slippers are made from leather, apply leather conditioner immediately you are done to keep the leather from drying out.
5. Shoe stretch sprays
If your slippers are not too tight, you can simply use a shoe stretch spray on its own. Shoe stretch spray works as a conditioner and moisturizer, consequently softening the material of the slipper and making it easier to stretch. Spray it in the inside of the slipper, targeting the areas that you feel are the tightest. Wear the slippers and walk around your home for about half an hour. Repeat this process as many times as you see fit.
6. Use rubbing alcohol
If you don’t want to use a shoe stretch spray, you can use rubbing alcohol instead. There are three ways you can use this technique:
- Rubbing alcohol and water – Make a solution that consists of equal amounts of rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution in the insides of your slippers and then wear them for about 15-20 minutes.
- Rubbing alcohol on its own – Instead of mixing rubbing alcohol with water, opt to spray it on its own onto the parts of your slipper that you want to stretch and then put them on while they are still wet. The rubbing alcohol will dry quickly, so it won’t be too uncomfortable.
- Alcohol-soaked socks – Another variation involves soaking cotton socks in rubbing alcohol and squeezing out the excess. Put on the socks and then wear the slippers until the alcohol dries completely. Repeat this process as many times as you deem necessary
7. Stuff the slippers
A simple technique of stretching your slippers is by stuffing them. There are two alternatives you can use:
- A couple of socks – Roll several pairs of socks and stuff them into the slippers. Keep stuffing the slipper until it is filled with socks. Leave the socks in overnight and repeat as many times as you see fit for maximum stretching. Keep in mind that this process takes some time to take full effect, so it needs quite a bit of patience.
- Wet newspaper – Alternatively, you can place wet newspaper in your slippers to stretch them a bit faster, ball up a few sheets of damp newspaper and stuff them in the toe box of the slipper. Keep adding newspapers until the slipper is filed. As the paper dries, it will expand, effectively stretching out the slipper. Because this method of stretching tends to form the slipper, ensure that you arrange the newspaper so that it doesn’t ruin the shape of your slipper. Don’t use dripping wet newspaper to avoid damaging the inside of your slipper you might also want to avoid this technique altogether if your slippers are made from leather.
8. Seek the services of a cobbler
If all the techniques mentioned above do not work, take your slippers to the cobbler. A cobbler will have special tools that will (hopefully) stretch your tight slippers without the risk of damaging them. Alternatively, you can take them to professional footwear repair stores that offer breaking in services. Depending on where you purchase your slippers, some shoe stores even offer to break them in for you.
Precautionary steps to take to avoid buying ill-fitting slippers
There are some precautionary steps that you can take to ensure that the slippers that you purchase don’t end up being too tight on your fit. After all, prevention is better than cure.
1. Measure your feet
It is always advisable to measure your feet whenever you plan to purchase any type of footwear. This is because the size of your feet continues to increase even as an adult. Opt to measure your feet later in the day when your feet are slightly swollen.
2. Read reviews
If you are shopping online, read the reviews posted by customers on the slippers you intend to buy to determine if they tend to run big or small. If you see a recurring complaint regarding the fit, chances are you will need to size up or down.
3. Wear socks
When trying on a pair of closed slippers, ensure that you have socks of the same thickness that you will be wearing with the new slippers. The slipper should still fit you without being too snug.
4. Look at the toe box design
Slippers that have a pointy or curved toe box design will have an inevitably tight fit that might require stretching. Opt to go for a square toe box or any other roomy design for a comfortable fit.
5. Walk with both slippers on
When buying slippers from a shoe store, try on both of them in the store and take your time to walk around in them to ensure that they are comfortable.
Slippers that don’t fit properly can end up adversely affecting your health and well-being. Always be careful when making a purchase and ensure that the slippers you intend to buy are a good fit. That being said, if you end up with slippers that are too snug, there are several DIY methods you can use to stretch them out, and if all else fails, take them to a cobbler.