How to Shrink Stretched Leather Shoes

by Michael Briggs
Leather is durable, but it is still prone to stretching over time.

Leather is durable, but it is still prone to stretching over time.

Stretched leather shoes aren't just a pain on your feet, they're also quite an eyesore as they can make you slip and slide instead of walk with confidence. Instead of tossing your shoes away or shuffling along in them, there are simple fixes. For professional help, a shoe cobbler can shrink or rebuild your shoes to their correct proportions. A dry cleaner can also offer assistance to damaged leather. However, there are also some methods you can try at home that will produce similar results if professional attention is not an option.

Pretreat the shoes with leather protector to prevent discoloration and scratches and leave the shoes to dry completely.

Submerge your shoes in clean water for 10 minutes or use a spray bottle to thoroughly soak your shoes.

Set your clothing dryer to the lowest heat possible and run your shoes through a drying cycle until they are dry. You can also dry your shoes using a hair dryer. Keep the shoes at least six inches away from the hair dryer and use the lowest heat and air-speed setting possible.

Use a leather softener to prevent cracks in the leather.

Items you will need

  • Spray bottle
  • Sink
  • Towel
  • Clothing dryer
  • Leather protector
  • Leather softener


  • If it is hot outside, you can place your wet shoes outside to dry.

About the Author

Michael Briggs is a trending news reporter for He has interned for digital and print publications including "The New York Daily News," "The Princeton Packet" and Thrillist. He graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in journalism with a sports reporting concentration.

Photo Credits

  • Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images