How to Stretch Suede Shoes and Boots
Do Suede Shoes Stretch Out?
Soft suede shoes can feel luxurious against your feet and make quite the style statement. Suede is unique among shoe leathers in that it has quite a bit of stretch in the material.
However, this stretchiness can also make suede shoes and boots overly snug against your feet when you first buy them, which can make them hard to wear for extended periods without discomfort.
Thankfully, it is easy to stretch out the suede with just a little effort.
This article will teach you everything you need to know about how to stretch suede shoes and boots.
What You Will Need
To stretch suede shoes without damaging the leather, it is best to use several different methods in combination.
Therefore, you will want to have shoe spray designed specifically for stretching out suede leather, a shoe stretcher, and thick socks.
When choosing a shoe stretcher, consider whether you need to stretch out just the foot area or the calf as well in the case of high-top boots.
The first method to use when stretching out suede is to use a leather stretch spray that is designed specifically for suede.
Typically, these sprays are applied to either or both the inside and outside of the shoes.
Immediately after spraying, put on a thick pair of socks and wear the shoes around for a few hours.
While walking is the best thing to do during this time to flex the shoes, even just sitting with the shoes on will force the suede to expand around your foot.
If the shoes are not stretched enough after a few hours, you can repeat this process.
However, if spraying and wearing the shoes twice does not provide the stretch you need, you will likely need to try using a shoe stretcher.
A shoe stretcher is helpful when you need to stretch stretch suede shoes and boots more than about one-half size up.
Before putting the stretcher into the shoe, spray the shoe once again with stretch spray. Then insert the stretcher into the shoe and turn the handle in order to expand it to fill the shoe’s length.
After the stretcher is tight, turn it another three to four times in order to put pressure on the suede – you should feel resistance from the shoe as you turn, but should not feel as if you will rip through the shoe.
Once the stretcher is set, allow it to remain in the shoe for 24-48 hours before loosening it and removing it from the shoe.
Try the shoe on to see how the stretched fit feels against your foot.
If it is still not stretched out enough, you can repeat this process starting with adding more stretch spray.
Note that if you only have one shoe stretcher, you will need to perform this process on one shoe at a time and so it may take several days to complete.
When working with suede, although it may be tempting to heat the shoes to get them to expand, do not.
Extreme heat or cold can damage the suede, so you should stick to using stretch spray specifically intended for suede leather and shoe stretchers.
In addition, note that suede shoes with thick rubber soles will be limited in how far these can stretch by the sole itself – typically, these types of suede boots will stretch only one-quarter to one-half of a shoe size outward.
It is easy to try on suede leather shoes and boots in the store, only to find that they are too snug when you get home since they tend to compress against your feet.
Thankfully, it is easy to stretch out suede using a combination of leather spray and shoe stretching devices.
However, note that this process does take some time so as to avoid damaging the shoes in the stretching process, so you will be without your shoes for up to several days.
We would love to know how the suede stretching process described in this article worked for your shoes or boots in the comments below.
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