Stretching a Pair of Men's Shoes to Widen Them

by Amy Davidson

A man with a wider foot faces challenges when it comes to properly-fitting shoes. Not all shoes are made to accommodate a wider foot. To stretch out men’s shoes, this easy-to-do home method will save you a trip to the shoe repairman or the purchase a pricey shoe stretcher.

Clean and wipe down the shoes with a damp cloth. For suede or other materials that can not get wet, use a dry cloth. Remove insoles if they are removable.

Fill a freezer bag with two cups of water, remove air and seal. Place the bag in the shoe to see if there is enough water to fill the entire shoe. If not, add half a cup of water to the bag and retry. Continue until the bag has enough water to fill the inside of the shoe.

Add another quart bag over the first one to double seal and ensure no leaks, as you don’t want to damage your shoes during this process. Place the double-sealed bags into each shoe respectively.

Place shoes flat in the freezer and leave them there for at least eight hours. You want to ensure the water is frozen solid so that it expands as much as possible inside the shoes.

Remove shoes and allow the block of ice to melt a bit before taking out each freezer bag. You don’t want to tear or damage the shoes by removing the over-sized ice block too soon. By letting the ice thaw a bit, the bag will glide out effortlessly.

Try on the shoes and walk around for a few minutes. If they are still not wide enough, repeat these steps until you feel comfortable wearing the shoes.

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Items you will need

  • Cloth
  • 4 plastic quart freezer bags (sealable)
  • Water
  • Freezer


  • If your shoes still are not wide enough after a few tries, take them to your local shoe repairman. You may need a professional stretch performed in order to get your shoes feeling comfortable.

About the Author

Amy Davidson is a graduate from the University of Florida in Gainesville, with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She also writes for local papers around Gainesville doing articles on local events and news.

Photo Credits

  • Jack Hollingsworth/Digital Vision/Getty Images