It’s happened to everyone. You try on a pair of fabulous shoes at the store and they feel a little tight, but you figure they’ll stretch out quickly once you get them home and wear them. But they don’t. A too-tight pair of shoes can be uncomfortable, as well as a hazard to your feet. If you can't bring yourself to return the shoes, find ways to make them more comfortable – either at home or with the help of a professional.
Break Them In
Oftentimes, a pair of shoes will feel tight until they’ve been broken in. Breaking them in, however, can take a while if you don’t wear the shoes very often. To speed up the process, wear your too-tight shoes around the house whenever possible. The more you wear them, the faster the material will loosen and stretch out -- and give your toes more room.
Hire a Professional
If you’re worried about ruining a nice pair of shoes, or if your at-home attempts to stretch a pair don’t work, bring your shoes to a professional. A skilled cobbler has the tools and know-how to properly stretch out shoes and make them more comfortable to wear.
Heat Them Up
Use your blow dryer to stretch out too-tight shoes in a snap. Put on a pair of thick socks -- or several pairs of regular socks -- and squeeze your feet into your shoes. Turn on a blow dryer and run the hot air over your shoes for several minutes. While the blow dryer is on, move your feet around inside your shoes to stretch out the material. Once you’ve finished with the blow dryer, leave your shoes and socks on until your shoes have cooled down completely. Remove your socks and try on the shoes without socks to see whether they feel comfortable. Repeat the process as necessary.
Katherine Mitt has been contributing to online publications since 2009, focusing primarily on fashion and style topics. She holds a B.A. in English from a small liberal arts school.