It has happened to all of us once. My experience in selling in shops has taught me that in general we tend to buy shoes smaller than we should. I do not know the reason. Perhaps smaller feet look better or maybe the shoes themselves are more attractive the smaller the size.

Whatever the case, no machine which ensures we get the right shoe size has been invented yet. Although miracles do not exist – at least I have not witnessed one – you can solve this problem of having to make your shoes bigger, if you have bought them a size or half a size too big, employing several methods.

Methods to make your shoes bigger:

The most effective method is the time-honoured one: take your shoes to the neighborhood cobbler. He will have shoe stretchers which he can push into the shoes. Ask him to lengthen or widen your shoes, or both as the case may be. The shoe stretchers sold to the public, in general, simply help to conserve the shape of the shoes during a period stored away in the cupboard, but they do not exert enough force so as to enlarge the shoes. Therefore, look for the nearest, reliable cobbler and ask him to leave the stretchers in place for at least twenty-four hours.

Together with the above method, or on its own, you can use a shoe stretcher liquid spray: its ingredients make the leather give and stretch. How should you use the spray on your shoes? First spray inside the shoes and while they are still humid, put them on and exert outwards pressure. This stretches the leather, and makes it suppler.

If you Google “leather shoe stretch spray,” you will find options presenting commercial products like this:

There are other methods, which we cannot recommend. These include applying isopropyl alcohol, which deteriorates the shoes’ finish, and are rules out. Some people even recommend packing the shoes with bags of ice and then putting them in the freezer. However, leather is delicate and humidity and such a low temperature do the shoe no good.

For example, our Paolo Shoe model is made with hand plaited leather, dyed in our workshop. It would be a crime to put these shoes in the freezer.

As I said before, effective shoe stretching solutions are available. Nevertheless, looking forward to the next time you go to buy shoes, make sure you spend enough time checking that your shoes fit you perfectly. Small shoes are unbearable, while if we go for a size too big, this will lead to creasing the leather, which means the painstakingly created beauty of our shoes will be diminished.