How to Stretch Leather Sandals: A Concise Method

Leather sandals are a common fashion choice for consumers in summer. They offer an excellent option for people looking to be both stylish and comfortable on their travels. Leather sandals are well known for being durable. As many other shoes do, leather sandals face that you need to stretch them when you buy them. 

When shoes are still fresh and unstretched, they can become uncomfortable on the wearer’s toes. This is because the shoe will be feeling small. This feature can be quite annoying for people who are unfamiliar with the concept of stretching a shoe. 

This is because thinking of it this way, if you buy a new pair of shoes that are your size, but they do not fit, you may be annoyed and return the shoes. Fortunately, you do not need to give the shoe back right away if it does not feel comfortable. 

Chances are, the shoe only needs to be stretched. There are many methods that you can use to do this, and you can even combine some. In this article, we will look at the things you may need to stretch a pair of leather sandals. We shall also provide a step-by-step process to allow you an easy journey.   

List of things that you may need to use:

  1. Tissue
  2. Hair Dryer
  3. Water

Step by Step Process.

  1. Walk-in them.

This part probably feels obvious, and it is for a good reason. When you first buy a new pair of leather sandals, you need to give them a good welcome. Try and wear the shoes even if they are uncomfortable. Walk around in them for a short period, for example, 10 to 15 minutes a day. This method works by using your feet to stretch out the sandals. It can be uncomfortable at first, but over time it will subside.

  1. Heat the sandals.

Leather is made by making use of a heat press. This is the machine that, when heated up, is pressed against the leather to loosen up the material. When this material is now stretched, it can be molded and shaped into the preferred design. 

We are going to use this method to break the shoe-in for your feet. You can take a hairdryer and begin to warm up the inside of your shoe. Specifically, the knowledge because that way, you will not lose the heat in the air. So put the dryer into your sandals and begin to warm them up. This process should take you about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how strong the leather you bought is. 

  1. Stretch them.

Once you have successfully heated the shoe, this is the chance for you to add tissue into it or walk around in them. What we want to do at this stage is add pressure and begin the actual stretching process. 

Generally, if you were to buy the shoe fresh out of the box, you would add rolled-up tissues into the leather and leave the sandals overnight when you complete this process. This will allow the shoe to begin stretching even without you wearing them, saving you from any pain in your toes and feet. 

  1. Heat and cool the leather.

Another method that we can consider is to heat and cool the leather. The science of this is that when you warm the leather, it will stretch into the size you want it to be, i.e., comfortable for your feet. The only problem with merely heating the shoe is that the leather may end up returning to its original size once it cools down over time. 

Therefore, earlier we recommended adding tissue after the eating process because the leather tends to return to normal. When it changes size, if you quickly cool it down using cold water, it is unlikely for the shoe to return to its standard size. 

This is a much faster method for you to stretch the sandals but requires perfect timing. You must ensure that you have fully extended the shoe before adding the water, or else it will solidify in a position that is not useful for you.

How Long it will take.

This is not a short procedure. Working effectively, it should take you about one week to fully stretch out a pair of sandals. This is because it is a gradual process that will be happening daily for a couple of days. Allowing yourself to take this amount of time will ensure that your shoes last for an extended period after being stretched. 

Expected Results

You can expect that this process will take time. You should not be frustrated so early on if you do not get the desired results. For this to work, you will have to do this daily. You should find that the shoe is perfectly comfortable for your feet size at the end of it.

Things to look out for

You must avoid rushing the process. It is widespread that people try to heat their shoes with a hairdryer multiple times a day to speed up the process. This is very dangerous and may only end up hurting your purchase more than making it comfortable. 

Video Tutorials


In conclusion, one of the best ways for you to stretch a pair of leather sandals is to combine hot and cold elements. You can just grab a hairdryer out of the closet and heat your shoes for a couple of minutes, and then wear them. 

This will allow them to expand to the size of your feet. At this point, we can add the cold water to cool them down in that size. After that, you can wear the shoes for a couple of minutes to prevent retraction. After this, your shoes should be good to go. 

Hi there. This is Clare. Dave and I manage this site. We are outdoor enthusiasts. Most of the content is about products that we love using or have researched.
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