What is Shoe Stretcher ?

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How to Chose and Select Good  Shoe Stretchers ?

                What are the main Features of a Shoe Stretcher ?
                What are the Different Types of Shoe Stretchers ?

related to an answer for: What is Shoe Horn ?
asked Sep 1, 2020 by Sumant SenGupta

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Types Of Shoe Stretchers

Here are the different types of shoe stretcher you’ll find on your quest for the perfect fitting pair of shoes.

One-Way Stretcher - A shoe widener expands the toe box to give your foot more space in the shoe and make them more comfortable for you to wear. It works with a crank system that spreads the toe of the stretcher outwards, and you can attach spot-stretching plugs to home in on parts of the shoe where there is too much pressure.

Two-Way Stretcher - The best of both worlds, a two-way stretcher can both lengthen and widen the shoe. It uses a two-way crank that work independently of one another through different mechanisms. This is ideal for reducing the break-in period while also widening the toe box for a more comfortable fit.

Like a one-way stretcher, you can attach plugs to fix pressure points to ease discomfort and reduce the risk of bunions, blisters, and other issues.

Boot Stretchers - A boot stretcher is the tool you need to use for boots that are too narrow. They have a long handle but work the same way as the one-way stretcher by widening the toe box. Boot stretchers work on most boots, but not all of them are suitable for Western-style boots. Sorry, cowboy.

High Heel Stretcher - While it’s unlikely you’ll need a high heel stretcher, these are a great gift to treat your partner with and will save any Monica-from-Friends-Bye-Boots scenarios. It also widens the toe box and relieves pressure around the end of the foot. Because high heels come with different heel heights, there are a variety of high heel stretcher styles available.

Toe Box Elevator - If your shoe fits mostly fine but is still too tight at the top, you can use a toe box elevator to raise the toe of the shoe. It prevents chafing and eases the pressure on your toes for easy, comfortable wear.

How To Use A Shoe Stretcher

Before using your shoe stretcher, make sure you know how to use it ensure you don’t accidentally damage your favorite pair of new shoes.

  • Prep your shoe with stretch spray to loosen the material
  • Attach pressure pads to the areas you need relief
  • Make sure the toe block is completely closed and insert shoe stretcher inside your shoe
  • Twist the handle until it feels snug inside and rotate handle to expand the toe block
  • Leave for 6 - 8 hours and check width and/or length
  • Repeat steps if it is not yet suitable
  • Twist the handle back to its normal position and remove from shoe when you are satisfied 


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Using a shoe stretching tool is an effective and inexpensive way to get your shoes fitting right. In essence, a shoe stretcher expander is inserted into your desired footwear and is then safely and quickly stretched to free up space. This is a great solution for those with bunions, corns, hammertoes, or other progressive foot ailments.

Main Features of a Shoe Stretcher 

Before deciding on which shoe stretcher is best for you, consider these important features.

Material - Different materials deliver different effects for your shoes while also contributing to their effectiveness. Cedarwood will better ventilate the shoe and reduce odor and remove moisture. The cedar scent is also a nice bonus to keep your shoes smelling great.


- Different shoe stretchers will do different things. Some can only widen your shoes, while others can both widen and lengthen your shoes. If you are wide-footed, it may be worth it to only purchase a widening shoe.

Also consider what type of shoe you need to stretch, a standard shoe stretcher is typically suitable for use as a sneaker stretcher, too, but may not work with high-top shoes and boots. Likewise, wooden shoe stretchers are arguably better for stretching leather shoes because of their ventilation and odor-stifling capabilities, so if you need to only stretch your leather shoes, this is something to consider.

If you need a boot stretcher, look for a specially designed option for the best results.

Size - Shoe stretchers come in variable sizes to best suit your shoes and it’s easy to find the right size for you when purchasing them. A shoe stretcher that is too large or too small will not be effective in your shoe, so check which size you’re buying.

Extras - You may find stretchers with additional features such as pressure pads to further ease pain around problem areas on your foot. These pads expand the parts of the shoe where you feel the most pain and make them more comfortable to wear besides widening or lengthening the shoe.

Durability - The durability depends on several factors including the material of the stretcher and the mechanisms. A wood and steel construction is more durable than plastic counterparts, although this may cost more. If you buy shoes frequently and need to stretch them every time, it’s important to think about how long the stretcher will last with consistent use.

FootFitter Premium Professional 2-Way Shoe Stretcher    


2 in 1 Adjustable Wooden Shoe Stretcher        



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