How to Widen Tennis Shoes

Having the rightly fitted tennis shoes on your feet can make a whole lot of difference for your overall gameplay once you are on the court. So, how to widen tennis shoes for getting superior performance? From providing better mobility to letting your feet bounce off the ground without exerting too much pressure, the right shoes can be responsible for your victory in the end. 

However, like all shoes, it is necessary for your tennis footwear to also be properly broken in before you get to work with the pair on. Breaking in the shoes will help widen the pair (as most tennis shoes come a size smaller than necessary), therefore allowing your feet to feel more comfy and snug throughout the day. 

If you don’t know to how to widen tennis shoes, then worry no more! In this article, we will talk about all the stuff you need to know to widen your brand new tennis shoes by following a few simple steps!

Step 1: Using Different Temperatures to Widen Tennis Shoes

You can actually widen your tennis shoes by putting your shoes through different temperatures at times. 

Ice Water

The first temperature level that you can use to widen your tennis shoes is to incorporate cold, ice water into the mix. 

For this, you will need two sealable bags which you will fill with cold water. You can use any kind of plastic bag for this, as long as they are sealable. The size of the bags should accommodate about 3.8 liters of water in total. However, you will only want to fill the bags about ½ full with the cold water. 

Pop the Shoes in the Freezer

Next, place the sealable bags inside each shoe, and make sure the shoes are properly laced up in the way you would wear them later. 

Take both shoes (now with the water bags) and place them inside a freezer. You will want to keep the shoes inside for about an entire day, or at least 12 hours minimum. If you have the time, you can even keep the shoes inside the freezer overnight. 

This method is highly effective in widening tennis shoes as the cold water bags will start to freeze and form into huge blocks of ice. As a result, the ice bags will push against the internal walls of the shoes, and therefore stretch them out. 

The next morning, take the shoes out and let the pair sit under the sun for about 15 to 20 minutes to completely warm them up. We suggest you put them directly under the sun as that will help defrost the inside the shoes, or else you can freeze your feet and catch a cold. 

Repeat the Process

Put the warmed up shoes on your feet and see if they are wide enough to feel comfortable or not. If you think the shoes are still not wide enough, we would suggest you to repeat the entire ice-water/freezing session, but not for overnight this time. 

8-10 hours of freezing time will let the shoes widen up just a bit more, therefore feeling snug and easy on your feet later. 

Using Heat to Widen

As hinted previously, you can also use heat to stretch and widen tennis shoes to some extent. However, do not put your shoes in the oven as that will only roast them!

To widen tennis shoes with heat, the user will also have to play a part here. 

Put on Socks

The easiest way to widen tennis shoes with heat is to put on at least 2-3 layers of warm, snug socks on. Put on a couple of thick socks and then wear the shoes on your feet. 

Afterwards, all you will want to do is use a blow-dryer to heat up the upper of the shoes. You should heat each shoe for about 30-45 seconds only. Remember to not only blow-dry on one area, as you will want to keep your hand moving to cover, heat and widen all parts of the tennis shoes. 

If the shoes are too tight and you can’t even get your feet in with three, thick socks on, you can alternate by wearing only two thick socks only. While this might take a bit more time to widen the shoes, it will still work out eventually. 

Start Wiggling

If simply heating the shoes does not work in widening the pair, we suggest you to wiggle your toes inside while you keep blow-drying the entire pair from place to place. 

Flexing or moving your toes around the tight space will force the upper to loosen up, therefore widening the core area of the shoes properly. 

Step 2: Walk Around With the Shoes On to Widen Tennis Shoes

If nothing else works, simply opt for walking around the house with the tight tennis shoes on for an entire day. There is no better way to widen tennis shoes than wearing it yourself and walking around with the pair on for days on end. 

It would be even better if you can wear the shoes on while going for a jog outside, as that will help speed up the process even more. 

Step 3: Get Help from a Cobbler 

You can also take the tennis shoes to a professional cobbler as they usually have the best understanding about how to widen tennis shoes with only a few simple tricks and techniques. 

However, do make sure to explain and note down the size and width you want your tennis shoes to be in the end, so that the cobbler does not ruin it instead. Getting a cobbler might be a tad bit more expensive than widening tennis shoes by yourself at home, however, it is much faster and definitely more professional. 

Final Words

By the end of the day, you probably know how to widen tennis shoes by incorporating a few simple steps that you can attempt on right from the comfort of your home. However, do opt for a professional cobbler if nothing else works out, as that will be the best route to quickly widening tight shoes before a big match! 

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