How To Stretch Patent Leather Shoes

How To Stretch Patent Leather Shoes

When buying a pair of patent leather shoes it is better to buy the right size because this type of material does not stretch easily. Fortunately, they do stretch a bit so you can still break in your new shoes for a more comfortable fit on your feet.

There are several tools that you can use to easily stretch your patent leather shoes as well as some tried and tested older methods. We’ll go into them all in this guide so you’ll find the best solution for you and your shoes.

Can you stretch patent leather shoes?

There are a few methods you can use to stretch patent leather shoes, but as mentioned before, not that much. For your own convenience, the best way to save your feet the pain is to buy a pair that fits comfortably.

This way you only need to stretch the shoes in the problem areas, which is normally the broadest part of the feet. If you’re pressed for time there is, for starters, a professional shoe repair person that can help you.

The following sections will show you a few methods on how to stretch your patent leather shoes to fit on your own.

The Easy Way

You can easily break the shoes in, or rather stretch them to fit more comfortably on your feet, by simply wearing them. This way may take a bit longer, but it is quite effective and will gradually stretch the shoes to fit your feet.

Start by putting on a pair of thick socks and wear the shoes for about 10 to 15 minutes at a time. This needs to be done on a daily basis for the same amount of time for the first two or three days.

Gradually increase the daily wear time until you reach an hour of wear time, by this time the shoes should fit comfortably. As soon as you get to one hour you can wear normal thickness socks with the shoes as you would normally.

For the best results, this method will take a week or more but your shoes will easily and comfortably on your feet. Some people will just start wearing shoes for two to three hours a day and simply wear thick socks with them.

The thick socks will help to protect your feet against pinching and scuffing to prevent unnecessary pain and discomfort for your feet.

Use Hot Air

This method is best if you are pressed for time and need to use the shoes soon after buying them. Put on a pair of thick socks and squeeze your feet into the shoe that needs to be stretched for a better fit.

Now blow hot air over the problem area for about 20 seconds with a hair blower set at medium heat. Remember not to heat the shoe for more than 20 seconds or the heat will damage the finish as well as the leather.

You can let the shoes cool off a bit and repeat the 20 seconds heating process. Repeat it for two to three minutes. While you are heating the shoes you should move your feet around inside the shoes to stretch the leather of the shoes.

When you are done with the heating process do not take the shoes off but walk around inside them while they are cooling off. This method will have to be done two to three times for the shoes to fit comfortably and perfectly on your feet.

You let the shoes cool off on your feet so the leather can mold to the shape and size of your feet. When the shoes are completely cooled off, put on normal size socks you would normally wear with the shoes.

Feel if it fits better. If not, do all the steps from the beginning until the shoes fit perfectly.

Using Tools To Stretch Your Patent Leather Shoes

There are certain specialized tools you can use to stretch the leather so you do not need to go through the pains.

Ball-And-Ring Shoe Stretcher

This tool looks like a pair of pliers with a small ring on the one tip and a ball on the other tip with a screw at the back end. You simply put this tool over the problem part and tighten it to leave it overnight to do the stretching.

Because patent leather is difficult to stretch you will have to repeat the process several times until you are satisfied. By using this tool a bump will be left on the leather but it will settle down when you wear the shoe.

To protect the finish on the shoe, put it in a plastic bag before using the tool for stretching. These specialized tools can be pricey and might not be worth the money if you’re going to fix just one pair of shoes.

Two-Way Shoe Stretcher

This tool comes with a screw included that will lengthen or widen with the opening and closing of the screw. This allows you to easily stretch the shoe in the length and the width at the same time, but be careful.

This process can be damaging to the leather if you stretch too quickly and too much at the first attempt. 

To use, insert the tool inside the shoe and turn the nut to lengthen to the back and widen at the front, slowly.

You can gradually add more strength by turning the crank of the tool every eight hours. It should be left for 24 to 48 hours. Also, keep in mind that this tool will not be cheap and it can easily damage your shoes if not used correctly.

Other Methods To Stretch Your Patent Leather Shoes

If the above options don’t appeal to you, don’t despair. There are a few tried and tested methods to stretch your shoes that were used by many people with great results.

Some people use a tightly rolled-up sock and leave it in the shoe overnight or longer until preferred results are reached.

Others use the newspaper method where it is made into a tight ball and pressed into the shoes to help stretch it.

You can also use shoe-stretching spray to help in the stretching process but these chemicals need to be used in the proper way.

Another method is to put a large potato inside the shoe to do the same job the rolled-up sock or newspaper do.


That’s it! You should be able to easily and effectively stretch your patent leather shoes and start showing off with them soon.

Last Updated on November 25, 2020 by Nicholas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *