A well-made pair of leather shoes is a wardrobe staple that everyone should have in his or her closet. But sometimes, the perfect shoe might not have the perfect fit -- a pinch at the toes or squeeze at the heel could put a damper on even the most stylish footwear. However, since leather stretches, with a few tricks, you can give your aching feet some breathing room. Plus, you don't even have to go to the cobbler to do it.
Pull on a pair of thick wool socks. If you would like to stretch the shoes more than one size, use two pairs of socks.
Step into the leather shoes and sit down. Stretch your feet out in front of you and position a blow-dryer 5 inches away from the shoes.
Turn the blow-dryer on to high heat. Point your toes for 5 seconds, and then relax them, repeating this 10-15 times. Aim the blow dryer at areas that need to be stretched while flexing your feet and rotating your ankles.
Turn off the blow-dryer and walk around as the shoes cool down. This will prevent the shoes from shrinking up again.
Remove the shoes when the leather is cool to the touch. Take off the socks and pull on the shoes again, with a regular pair of socks or bare feet, depending on how you would normally wear them. Walk around and note whether they have stretched to the desired size. Repeat the process as many times as necessary to stretch them to your liking.
Celeigh O'Neil has been writing professionally since 2008. She has a Bachelor of fine arts from the University of Ottawa, as well as degrees in fashion illustration/design, digital arts and certification in hair and makeup artistry. O'Neil was a frequent contributor to Toronto's "Dialog" newspaper and has worked as an instructional writer, creating lessons in fashion, art and English for students of all ages.