Sneakers are the casual shoe of choice for many individuals because of their durability and comfort. Just as with all new shoes, however, sneakers require a breaking-in period while they adjust to the contours of your feet. Sneaker wearers may experience discomfort during this break-in period thanks to the shoe's tightness. Although all new sneakers will be tight, there are ways to break them in more quickly and to reduce discomfort.
Pick up the left sneaker and hold the toe in one hand and the heel in your other hand. Push your hands together, bending the toe and heel toward each other. Continue pushing until the ends of the sneaker will go no further. Repeat the process two to three more times. Repeat the procedure on the right sneaker.
Put on a pair of thick athletic socks and put on the sneakers. Walk around the inside of your home as much as possible to stretch out the sneakers. The key to this technique is wearing socks that are much thicker than what you would normally wear with the shoe.
Spray the leather portions of the sneaker with a shoe stretch spray. Ensure the leather is damp with the spray but not soaking.
Insert a shoe stretcher into each sneaker before you go to bed. Insert the toe of the stretcher into the toe of one sneaker as far as it will go. Grasp the center screw in the stretcher and turn it clockwise until it feels snug. Turn it three to four more times to begin the stretching process. Repeat the process on the other shoe. Depending on how tight the shoes are, you may need to stretch them for two to three nights.
- Shoe stretchers come in both men’s and women’s styles, so get the one appropriate for your needs.
- Consider wearing the sneakers every other day if they are still uncomfortable after stretching. In between, wear a pair of old sneakers and ensure that the shoe stretchers are inside the new ones.
Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.