DIY Projects

How-To: Stretch Out Your Too-Tight Shoes

Alright, so my favorite new shoes? My amazing ones? (I love them.) Well, my amazing favorite new shoes are far less amazing and favorite when they suddenly appear to shrink an entire size overnight, forcing me to hobble around all day in crushing, multiple-Advil-requiring pain.

What I suspect happened is that my feet expanded when I was pregnant, because for the first time in my life I appear to be a solid 8 1/2 rather than an 8, and I think that the fact that the shoes were too small just escaped me in the moments after they arrived because a) I was distracted by the fabulousness, and b) I was doing very little walking that day, because I was on set for Jones New York.

(Also, my mom tells me that her feet expanded a half-size when she was pregnant, and I totally never believed her because that sounds completely weird…but as it turns out, Dr. Oz says it’s true, and what Dr. Oz says is true is probably true, because the man is a genius.)


the big fat activity book for pregnant people

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What to do when one has ordered fabulous shoes off of the Internet and worn them once already, making an exchange unlikely, and then discovered that they are too small?

I’ll tell you!

The other morning, I was performing my New Shoe Hobble Dance at the J. Crew event, and picked up a fantastically useful tidbit from one of the stylists: apparently there is a technique that you can use to stretch out leather shoes a good half-size:

1. Put on a bunch of pairs of socks (I used two thick ones).

2. Stuff your feet into your too-small shoes (this part is no fun, but it’s worth it).

Check out my experiment with the Japanese “Baby Feet” skin-peeling trend (with video!)

3. Blast your shoes with hot air from a blowdryer for a couple of minutes while flexing your toes and bending your feet, concentrating on the tightest areas.

4. Keep the socks and shoes on until the leather cools. Test out the shoes without socks, and repeat if necessary until they’re comfortable.

And the best part? It totally works. 

(That’s what I thought you said.)

Click through to learn how Saran Wrap (yes, Saran Wrap) can save your crazy-dry feet.

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