7 Simple Hacks on How to Stretch Tennis Shoes

The excitement of getting to try on your brand new shoes is overshadowed by the annoyance when the shoes just don’t fit right. You love the style, the shape is right, but the way the shoes hug your feet is almost cutting off blood supply from the rest of the body. If you don’t want to buy a new pair or visit a cobbler to get it fixed, below are the simple hacks on how to stretch tennis shoes.

Today, we present a bunch of different ways in which you can stretch out those tennis shoes without breaking a sweat. Blisters and bunions are the last thing on your mind when you’re buying those shoes, so why risk dealing with them?

Ill-fitting tennis shoes are more than enough to ruin your day (and look). Not only that, but these excessively tight shoes can give rise to foot problems like toe deformity, flat feet, inflammation, and instability.

Tips to Stretch Tennis Shoes – Super DIY Friendly 

Interestingly enough, both warmth and coolness can effectively stretch shoes, just as inserting an object inside the sneakers to put a bit of pressure in it. A few of the simple hacks on how to stretch tennis shoes mentioned below are so effective that they can widen the interior of the shoe by half a size.

If you have canvas shoes, check out the following methods. Yes, you can put canvas shoes in your washing machine, but we don’t recommend it. Try these instead:

Wearing New Tennis Shoes Around the House

Good news! Breaking into shoes made quicker, and easier! Speed up the process of adjusting your shoes to the dimensions of your feet by wearing them around the house. This is also a great way to stretch suede shoes.

However, you won’t really feel noticeable results until five to seven days. Try this technique out in the evening after your feet have managed to catch a break from the daily activities, ideally for multiple hours.

Use a Hair Dryer

Sounds funny but definitely works. Put on two pairs of thick socks and then wear your leather or suede shoes. This simple action of wearing a second layer of socks stretches the shoe’s material, but just one pair will still work if that’s all you can put in there.

Use a blow dryer on medium heat the warm the shoe for 30 seconds maximum before moving to the other foot. Carefully move the dryer along the body of the shoe to loosen the leather without causing any damage to any section due to prolonged heat exposure.

While the shoes are on, wiggle your toes to physically stretch it. It will take about two minutes each shoe for this to work.

Use a Shoe Stretcher 

Shoe trees work in stretching the shoe, but stretchers are probably the one you’re looking for. Shoe stretchers fix the width and length of the shoes while shoe trees don’t let any creases form on the leather.

Insert a stretcher into your tennis shoes and crank the handle to expand it by pushing the shoe outward. Leave it like that for several hours. Make sure to rotate the handle once every 8-12 hours. These handy tools are a great option if you want something to stretch the shoes without squeezing your feet in there.

Non Shoe Stretcher Ways

If you can’t afford to spend time or money on a shoe stretcher, you can use rolled-up socks as an alternative. Bundle up a lot of socks and stuff as many as you can inside the shoes’ toy box. This is a gentle yet effective way to get it done.

Your makeshift show stretcher needs to be inside the shoe for as long as possible, overnight at the very least. For non-leather tennis shoes, you can use crumple up newspaper into little balls, dunk them in water, and stuff in such a way that there are no bumps.

Use Freezing Water 

Water expands as it freezes, and it’s one of the best ways to stretch out those tight tennis shows. Get a Ziploc bag and halfway fill it with water. Seal it shut and place it inside another bag for some extra protection.

Insert one bag inside one sneaker, making sure that it gets inside the toe area. Put your shoes inside a big plastic bag, place them on a tray or baking sheet, and place that inside the freezer overnight.

After that, take the bag out and let the shoes just relax and warm up for 30 minutes before putting them on. If you haven’t achieved desirable results yet, repeat the process another night – this time with slightly fuller bags.

Use a Potato

Don’t be skeptical just yet! This veggie is quite effective when it comes to stretching sneakers. As the potato presses against the shoes’ interiors, the firmness plus the moisture loosens the fabric up.

Take a large potato and peel it – two for both shoes. If needed, carve them in a way that they fit inside the toe box perfectly. Remember to dry the potatoes on a sheet of paper towel before putting them in the shoe. Leave it like that overnight. The best part of this hack is that it has double benefits: Shoe stretching on one end, and elimination of stinky odor inside the shoe on another. 

Use Oats

Potato isn’t the only kitchen ingredient that’s an expert in shoe stretching. Any grain that enlarges in volume after making contact with water will press again the walls of the shoes, like rice or oats.

Bring out a Ziploc bag and fill it with grains of your choice and cover with water. Seal the bag and put it inside the sneaker, again, making sure to touch the toe end. Leave the shoe with the bag of grain stuffed in there overnight.


While you may be stressing out over getting a pair of shoes in the wrong fit, there are tons of ways you can fix it! So next time, don’t hyperventilate and try out these simple hacks on how to stretch tennis shoes.

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