Best Shoe Stretcher

For the first time in a long while, I took a break from work and went on a proper vacation. No calls, no e-mails, and more carbs than I usually permitted myself to have. Of course, I gained a few extra pounds. Lol! And guess whose Oxfords couldn’t fit.

At that point, I was torn between getting a new pair of shoes or coming back with sore feet every day (because I was sentimentally attached to my Oxfords to replace them). Guess what I did eventually.

I got shoe stretchers instead and that solved the problem. I didn’t have to buy new shoes, neither did I have to worry about having sore feet and blisters.

Just in case you’re wondering how long it took the shoe stretcher to stretch the shoes, you’ll want to read further. This article also reviews 10 shoe stretchers. While reading the reviews, you’ll find out that all stretchers don’t work the same way.

First, though, let’s consider…

How Long Does It Take to Stretch Shoes with A Shoe Stretcher?

The answer to this question is subjective because two things are usually involved. The type of shoe stretcher in question and the type of shoe to be stretched.

In addition to these, you also want to consider the part of your shoe you want to stretch. If you are stretching a specific spot, as the case with bunions might be, for example, you may need to leave the shoe stretcher for a shorter time than when you are stretching the entire length or width of your shoes.

Another reason the answer to this question is subjective is because the extent you want the shoes to be stretched will be determined by you. If you leave the shoe stretcher for some time in your shoes and you are not yet satisfied with the result you have when you take it out, it is up to you to reinsert it.

However, most shoe stretchers provide the desired result within 6-8 hours. Most shoe experts also recommend that if you want the result to last a long time, you should leave the shoe stretcher inserted in the shoes over-night.

Whatever decision you make, be sure not to leave the shoe stretcher for too long to avoid over-stretching the shoe.

Taking all of that into consideration, you can see how there are different types of shoe stretchers for different needs. That is why the reviews below cover three categories of shoe stretchers- the regular stretchers, boot stretcher, and heel stretchers.

1. Eachway Shoe stretcher

Sof Sole Men's 7-8.5 Insoles Athlete, Blue

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This is what you may call a 4-way stretcher because it stretches the length, width, height and specific spots of your shoes.

This stretcher comes with bunion plugs which makes it highly economical for people who have a bunion and want to stretch the length and/or width of their shoes. In case you’re not conversant with bunion plugs, they are used to create allowance in shoes for people who have bunions. Using the bunion plugs with this stretcher is, of course, optional.

Even if you do not have a bunion but want to stretch specific spots on the shoe, you can always use this stretcher. There are specific holes in the stretcher where you can insert the bunion plug for the desired result you need.

There’s also a pad high plug.

The stretcher features a knob and hook which makes using the stretcher quite easy. It can be used on both flat shoes and heel. And oh, let’s not forget Eachway promises 10 years guarantee for this stretcher. To assure this, the stretcher is made of ABS plastic material with a strong steel shaft.

How to use this stretcher

  • Attach the plug pieces you may need before inserting the shoe stretcher into your shoe. If you don’t need any skip this phase
  • Insert the shoe stretcher into the shoe with the back piece facing down
  • To adjust the length of the shoe, rotate the stretcher’s knob clockwise
  • If it’s the width you wish to adjust, rotate the stretcher’s hook clockwise
  • If you need to adjust both length and width, rotate both the knob and hook clockwise
  • Leave the shoe stretcher inserted in the shoes for about 24 hours

2. Cheranti Shoe Stretcher

CHERAINTI Shoe Stretcher Women 4 ways Adjustable Width Length Shoe Trees Expander Widener

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This stretcher is very similar to the previously reviewed stretcher but differs in a few key points.

Cheranti shoe stretcher is made of a polyurethane plastic with premium steel shaft. It claims to be more durable and smoother than the conventional wooden shoe stretcher made of wood and we buy into this because the chances of this stretcher becoming cracked, rough, moldy or flimsy are lower considering the materials it is made of.

Its smooth surface also ensures there’ll be no friction with the lining of the shoes while in use.

It comes with 8 removable bunion plugs, 4 for each stretcher- as the stretcher is sold as a pair; and 2 heightening pads to stretch the height of the shoes.

The features of the stretcher further include toe block, threaded shaft, a comfortable handle, wheel-shaped knob, bunion plug holes, and heel block. Each feature works collaboratively to ensure the shoe stretcher serves its purpose.

The toe block functions to stretch the width of the shoes while the heel block stretches the length of the shoes. Should you need to use the bunion plugs, insert them in the bunion plug holes.

To further ensure the durability of the stretcher, the handle is made of anti-rust metal and the threaded shaft, of strong plastic. To lengthen or widen your shoes, turn the heel block and toe block respectively just as with the previously reviewed stretcher.

3. Miserwe Shoe Stretcher

MISERWE Shoe Stretcher with Carrying Bag Adjustable Unisex Shoes Stretcher with 2 Air Purifying Bag

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Miserwe guarantees that with this stretcher, you’ll wear your shoes with no problems. The stretcher comes with two complimentary gifts- a shoehorn and a carrying bag – and is suitable for stretching both male and female shoes.

Depending on how long you leave the stretcher inserted in your shoes, your shoes could be stretched by half an inch or a full inch.

This shoe stretcher solves the problem of small shoes which force you to squeeze your feet in the shoes. Apart from the discomfort that comes with squeezing your feet to fit into your shoes, the process could result in foot disorders, sores, and blisters. It also alters your walking style. Therefore, getting Miserwe shoe stretcher would be a good investment to make to prevent any of the following from happening.

It can be used for sandals, flats, casual shoes, canvas shoes, sports shoes, high heels, and peep shoes. You are however advised against using it to stretch your boots. We’ll soon discuss stretchers that have been specifically made for stretching boots.

Miserwe shapes its stretcher to look like a foot. This is important so that while stretching the shoes, they do not stretch out of shape. This stretcher is made from tough polyurethane plastic and premium steel shaft to ensure it serves its user for a long time.

It follows the same usage guideline as the previously reviewed shoe stretchers. Remember to turn the knob and/or handle anti-clockwise before removing the stretcher from the shoes.

4. Footfitter Premium Wooden Shoe Stretcher

FootFitter Heavy Duty Premium Professional 2-Way Shoe Stretcher, Stretches Length & Width, Strong & Durable Construction - Men's L (US 11.5-13.5)

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Let’s start with the features of this stretcher.

The stretcher features a widening handle, a heel block, toe block, metal spot stretching plugs, and a lengthening wheel. Of course, each feature has a specific function.

The widening handle controls the toe block and is turned to the left or right to open or close the toe block. Opening the toe block causes it to stretch the width of the shoes. To increase the length of the shoe, you’ll have to turn the lengthening wheel which in turn will cause the heel block to stretch out and lengthen the shoes.

That’s not all yet.

The toe block has multiple spot stretching plug slots where you can insert the metal spot stretching plugs. This feature makes this stretcher profitable for corns, bunion, hammertoes and other foot disorders that could cause pressure points on your shoes.

Another benefit of having this stretcher is that you do not have to buy two of it as it stretches both left and right shoes appropriately. It has been specially designed to fit both.

This stretcher is made of only premium materials. If you browsed on beech wood- which is what it is made of, you’d better appreciate the considerations put into making this stretcher. Even the bunion plugs and other metal parts of the stretcher are made of stainless steel. So when we say the stretcher is durable, you understand that this has been made possible by the carefully selected materials it is made of.

One more thing, the stretcher has 16 holes for plug insertion. This is nice because you may need to stretch specific spots on your shoe.

5. Houndsbay “Bulldog” Wooden Shoe Stretcher

HOUNDSBAY Bulldog Premium Professional 2-way Wooden Shoe Stretcher for Men, Shoe Widener & Stretcher for Men with Wide Feet

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As the name implies, the stretcher is as tough as a bulldog. So, if you’ve been looking for an indestructible shoe stretcher, it is safe to say: search no more. This shoe stretcher offers fast result. Within 8 hours, you get the result you desire. As with other stretchers we have reviewed, it stretches the shoes length- and width-wise.

It also stretches specific spots on the shoe. This is made possible with bunion plugs and there are 6 of these. Do you have bunions, corns, hammertoes, or anything that causes pressure points on specific parts of your shoes? Do you need to widen your shoes’ toe box? Then this stretcher is for you.

If you need to stretch both the left and right legs of your shoe at the same time, you’ll have to get two stretchers as it doesn’t come in pairs. But if you’re ok with stretching one leg at a time then there’ll be no need for an additional stretcher as one can stretch either leg of the shoe.

Guideline for use

  • Fully close the stretcher by wheeling-in the lengthening drum
  • Insert the stretcher all the way into the shoe
  • To stretch the length, wheel back the lengthening drum. Don’t do this too hard
  • To stretch the width, turn the metal handle anti-clockwise to open the toe block
  • Leave the stretcher inserted in the shoes for 8 hours at most
  • Let the leather relax. Repeat the process if necessary.

6. Plixio Wooden Shoe Stretcher

Plixio Shoe Stretcher Women and Men's Shoe Widener - Wooden Expander for Wide Feet, Bunions or Calluses (2 Pack)

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You’ll get a custom fit shoe after using this stretcher just once, that’s what Plixio promises and that’s why you should choose this stretcher over a shoe stretching spray.

Each of the stretcher’s ends are thin enough to fit into narrow shoes, but also expands to work on broad shoes. This makes the stretcher suitable for both narrow and broad shoes. Not many stretchers offer this advantage as they are usually broad and cannot fit into narrow shoes. It also makes it a perfect fit for women’s shoes just as it is for men’s shoes.

Chances are high that when you get a new pair of shoes, they’ll hurt your feet because they have not stretched to fit your feet. A lot of persons tend to break-in the shoes by wearing them, but that’s wrong not only because it’s uncomfortable but also because it could lead to sores, blisters, and in worse cases foot disorder, leg and back pain.

This is where this stretcher comes in.

It makes breaking-in your shoes painless. It comes with 4 pressure relieve pods for local or precise relief, especially on the toes and heel. The pressure pods can be inserted in any of the 10 small holes thoughtfully placed in areas people mostly experience discomfort. It alleviates pressure from bunions, corns, bone spurs, and other common foot pain.

Works well to stretch most types of shoes, but it’s not recommended for use in high heels.

Plixio offers 3 years warranty against damage or defect for this stretcher.

7. Footfitter Premium Boot Stretcher

FootFitter Heavy Duty Premium Professional Boot Width Stretcher - Stretching Hiking & Work Boots, Loosens Tight Toe Box - Women's Medium (US 6.5-9)

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You’ve got work boots that need to be stretched or hiking boots? This is the stretcher you need.

There’s something different about this stretcher when compared to the other stretchers. Unlike other stretchers, it stretches only the width of the boots. Not the entire width though, just the toe box to relieve pressure from tight boots.

One stretcher can serve both the left and right leg of the shoe. This saves you money you would have used in getting a second stretcher if you do not need to expand both legs of the shoe at the same time.

Considering that the stretcher stretches in only one direction- width wise- it doesn’t have all the features two-way stretchers have. It only features a widening handle and toe block. The widening handle controls the toe block which expands the width of the boot. It also features an extra-long shaft to make stretching the boots easy.

It comes with three metal spot stretching plugs of different sizes. They can be inserted in any of the holes on the body of the stretcher designed for this.

You would be right to say Footfitter has a thing for beechwood and stainless steel because just like the previously reviewed Footfitter stretcher, its toe box is crafted from polished German beech wood while the shaft and metal spot stretching plugs are stainless steel. 

Kindly note that this stretcher is not to be used in Western-style boots.

8. Houndsbay Boot Stretcher

HOUNDSBAY Boxer Professional Boot Stretcher for Women, Boot Expander Boot Shoe Stretchers For Wide Feet Shoe Boot Stretcher

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Boots are not designed the same way shoes are. That’s why most boots require a different stretcher. To meet this unique need, stretchers specifically for boots were made. This is one such stretcher. Quite often other stretchers can conveniently stretch different kinds of shoes but may damage boots if used on them. One if often advised against using other stretchers not specifically made for boots on boots.

This is the latest and improved model of boot stretcher from Houndsbay which features thicker knuckle, toe box, extra-long shaft for tall boots, and 6 bunion plugs.

It is made of German beechwood and thick steel

How to use

  • Insert bunion plugs in spots you need stretched. If you don’t want to spot-stretch any part skip this phase
  • Ensure the stretcher isn’t open before inserting into your shoes. Turn the handle anti-clockwise to ensure this
  • Insert the stretcher into your boot and gently push all the way forward
  • Crank the metal handle clockwise to open the toe block. Do this gently
  • Leave the stretcher inserted in the shoes for at least 8 hours
  • You could use a stretcher spray if you wish

9. XYH High Heel Shoe Stretcher

Sof Sole Men's 7-8.5 Insoles Athlete, Blue

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Stretching heels could be dicey because if stretched wrongly, there’s little to nothing you can do apart from disposing of them or dash them out if. While walking on heels, your focus should be on maintaining your balance.

It becomes uncomfortable when you try to also keep your feet from slipping out of the shoe because they have been wrongly stretched. Heels do not afford you the same flexibility flat shoes do.

Therefore, you need to get your heels a stretcher specifically made for it, and this could be that stretcher.

It is used to adjust the width, height and specific spots on the shoe. It comes with a pad high plug and bunion plug to facilitate this and is sold as a pair.

The stretcher has a smooth surface to guarantee the lining of the shoe is not altered while using the stretcher. It is made of plastic, and unlike wooden stretchers it will not corrode or deform with time.

It follows the same guideline for use as with the previously reviewed stretcher, only that with this you are advised to leave the stretcher for at least 12 hours or more.

10. West Light Women High Heel Shoe Stretcher

4 Way Women High Heel Shoe Stretcher,Women Lady Adjustable Length and Width Plastic Professional Shoe Stretcher for USA Women's Size 4.5-9.5

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What happens when you need to stretch the length of your heels, not just the width? This stretcher happens! West Light’s heel stretcher would seem better than the other heel stretcher we reviewed because, in addition to being able to stretch the width of your heels, you can also stretch its length.

It features premium ABS plastic parts, heavy-duty metal shaft, and screws and has been meticulously crafted to serve your shoe-stretching needs.

Not only does this stretcher work on the width and length of your shoes, but it also heightens the instep. It comes as a pair, with 8 bunion plugs, 3 heightening pads, and 1 shoehorn. Insert the heightening pad if you want to raise the shoe vamp. It makes no exception to the kind of high heel it stretches. The stretcher is fit for all kinds of high heel shoes.

This stretcher is convenient for traveling with because its parts can be disassembled by unscrewing and re-assembled when need be. It also makes it easy to store when not in use.

West Light is so confident of its product that it guarantees a lifetime of use and 30-day money-back guarantee without questions.