High on the list of what no one wants on their feet are bunions, hammertoes and ingrown toenails -- all of which can begin under the harmful grip of too-tight shoes. While shoes made from man-made, or synthetic, leather can help you to avoid wearing animal products, they can add to the problem, as the material is less breathable and pliable than genuine leather. Luckily, it only takes a little effort for you to stretch out tight synthetic shoes and avoid many of these foot dangers.
Put one or two pairs of thick socks on your feet, depending on the thickness of the socks and the amount of stretching your shoes need. Squeeze your feet into your shoes.
Set the hairdryer on hot and blast the shoes for several moments while you flex and stretch your feet. Stretches that will help loosen shoes include standing on your toes, squatting and calf stretches -- placing your hands against a wall and leaning your body forward as you push the heel of your foot down into the floor.
Walk and run around in the still-warm shoes to stretch them further.
Replace the thick socks with your normal socks to test the shoes out. If the shoes are still tight, repeat the process, focusing the hairdryer and your stretches on especially tight areas of the shoes.
- To help your synthetic leather shoes heal from the heat of the hairdryer, treat them with one teaspoon of mild leather shampoo diluted in two cups of water. Once dry, apply a thin coat of conditioner or gel made for synthetic leather.
Candice Mancini has always loved matching people with career paths. After earning her master's degree in education from the University at Albany, she spent a decade teaching and writing before becoming a full-time writer. Mancini has published articles and books on education, careers, social issues, the environment and more.
George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images