After wearing Converse shoes for a while, they can feel bigger. So what makes Converse shoes stretch out and can you accelerate the process?
Let us look at the ways to stretch your Converse shoes quickly and why one would want to stretch them in the first place. Here’s a quick overview of what we’ll cover:
- Why You Might Want to Stretch Out Your Converse Shoes.
- Effective Ways to Stretch Out Converse Shoes.
- Alternative Methods of Stretching Converse Shoes.
- Frequently Asked Questions.
Why You Might Want to Stretch Out Your Converse Shoes
There are two common reasons why you might want to widen or lengthen your shoes. Whatever the case, your course of action should be cheaper than replacing the shoe.
The Fitting Is Too Tight
The material used to make your Converse shoe is usually a bit stiff when new, but gets softer the more it is worn.
“Breaking-in” is what makes a shoe feel bigger or stretched out from its original rigid new state. If the shoe is a little tight when you purchase it, you may want to accelerate this process rather than go for a larger size—which may be too big—or buy an alternative.
They Are Taking Too Long to Break-In
The more you wear Converse shoes, the softer they become and adjust to the shape of your foot. At times, you may want to break-in your shoes without having to wear them for an extended period of time.
This is where stretching out your Converse shoes comes in handy. The process makes the shoes more flexible, more quickly, thus enhancing comfort.
Effective Ways to Stretch Out Converse Shoes
There are many inexpensive hacks through which you can stretch out your Converse shoes, as listed below.
Wearing Thick Socks
One of the most common hacks of stretching out new or slightly tight Chucks is using thick socks. Wear them with your Converse shoes but, to prevent discomfort, do not tie the laces too tightly.
Wear your shoes around the house for a few hours, and repeat for a couple of days until the shoes feel comfortable.
This allows your Converse sneakers to naturally adjust to the shape of your feet as they soften. It is also a safe method of stretching out shoes as it is a slow and gradual process.
This ensures that you don’t end up overstretching your shoes, while costing you nothing.
Depending on the construction material, some shoes tend to stretch when exposed to high temperatures.
Using this principle, you can confidently expand your Converse sneakers at home. For this method, you will need a thick pair of socks and a blow dryer.
Below are the key steps to follow:
Step 1: Like the previous method, wear thick socks and then put on the Converse shoes as you would typically. Tie the laces but ensure they are not too tight.
Step 2: Put on the blow dryer and set it at a hot temperature. Direct the warm air to the parts of the shoes that feel too tight. A tip to achieve better results is to wiggle your toes and slightly move your feet as you warm your shoes.
Step 3: Once your Converse shoes start feeling comfortable, stop warming them to avoid overstretching.
Step 4: Keep your shoes on as they cool, so they conform to your feet’s shape better.
An advantage to this method is that it yields faster results than wearing thick socks over a prolonged time. It is ideal when you urgently need to wear your shoes, but they are still new and tight.
Using a Shoe Stretcher
A more sophisticated method of expanding your Converse sneakers is using a shoe stretcher. Unlike the other hacks, this one is effortless; all you have to do is insert the shoe stretcher for about 24 hours, and your Converse shoes will be ready for wear.
When using shoe stretchers, it is crucial to do it carefully and gradually to prevent overstretching. That said, here are two techniques to help you fine-tune your Chucks to your liking.
Using a Two Way Stretcher
As the name suggests, you can use a two-way stretcher to expand your shoes in two ways: lengthwise and widthwise. Below are the steps to follow:
- WHAT’S IN THE BOX: You will receive ONLY ONE of our 2-Way Shoe Stretcher with 3 Bunion Plugs with purchase. This is compatible with both right and left shoes and would recommend getting a pair to stretch at the same time. Please remember, this was crafted to fit regular style shoes like Sneakers, Dress Shoe, Flats and Hiking shoes. This will NOT fit any Boots, Cowboy/Western Style Boots, High Heels and Steel or Rubber Toe shoes.
- QUALITY MATERIALS: Our 2-Way Shoe Stretcher was designed using quality materials to make stretching your footwear easy. The foot piece was constructed using quality Rubber Wood, dense plastic and steel that won’t harm the materials of your footwear. To hold everything in place, we use steel hardware making this stretcher last even longer!
- STRONG & DURABLE: Constructed using quality materials, we feel this will be a great piece in your closet to stretch your needed footwear, unless you need a different variation which we have plenty to choose from! It features a Rubber Wood base with durable plastic and steel to hold it together and adjusts with ease.
- ADDED FEATURE: Along with the SINGLE 2-Way Shoe Stretcher, we’ve included three bunion/corn plugs for pressure point relief. These bunion/corn plugs are constructed with stainless steel to be both strong and durable while in use with the boot stretcher. The plugs were designed to be used in unison with the shoe stretcher and can be inserted in the predrilled slots.
- IMPORTANT NOTE: You will receive ONLY ONE of our 2-Way Shoe Stretcher with your order. ONE Stretcher and three bunion/corn plugs are included with your order. These were design to fit regular style shoes like Sneakers, Dress Shoe, Flats and Hiking shoes. This will NOT fit any Boots, Cowboy/Western Style Boots, High Heels and Steel or Rubber Toe shoes. Buy with confidence, feel free to message us with questions. We stand by our products!
Step 1: Use a shoe stretcher spray to prepare your Converse shoes by spraying the inside and outside of the shoe, focusing on the parts that are too tight.
Step 2: Place the shoe stretcher in the shoe and ensure that the toe block is fully closed and touches the toe box’s end.
Step 3: To stretch the shoe widthwise, rotate the handle to make the toe block wider. To extend the shoe lengthwise, turn the lengthening wheel until the heel block starts moving towards the shoe’s heel.
Step 4: Leave the stretcher in for a minimum of seven hours. If the shoe is still tight and needs more stretching, leave the stretcher in for an additional eight hours or till the next day.
Using a Ball and Ring Stretcher
The following are steps to follow when using a ball and ring stretcher.
Step 1: Identify the part of the shoe that requires stretching.
Step 2: Take the stretcher and put the ball inside the shoe and the ring stretcher outside the shoe.
Step 3: Pull the arms of the stretcher together. This causes the ball part of the stretcher to push your Chucks outwards, thus stretching them.
Step 4: Screw the arms in place using the integrated screw fitting. Leave the stretcher inside the shoe for about 8 hours for the shoe to fully stretch. Repeat the process if the shoe is not fully stretched afterward.
Alternative Methods of Stretching Converse Shoes
Although the alternative methods offered below may not give the best results, they are ideal if you can’t access the resources required to implement the hacks mentioned above.
This method works by stuffing your shoes with cloth or old newspaper pieces until the shoe takes an expanded form.
Leaving the shoes overnight should be enough time for most. However, if the shoes are not fully stretched the next day, repeat the process until you achieve the desired results.
Water expands when it freezes, and it is this principle that is applied in this method. Put water in zip-lock bags and place them inside the shoe. Place the shoes in the freezer until the water freezes, causing the shoes to expand.
However, this method is not recommended for all shoes as it can cause overstretching or, worse still, damage.
Converse sneakers are usually made of canvas material which softens and stretches gradually after a couple of washes. To wash your Converse sneakers, soak them in warm water mixed with mild soap. Use a brush with soft bristles to gently scrub the shoes.
Alternatively, you can throw them in the washer. And once done, rinse the shoes and air dry them. They should feel slightly stretched after this process.
Take the Shoes to a Professional Cobbler
Stretching out Converse sneakers may be a time-consuming process. Additionally, you may run the risk of overstretching your shoes, and this is where your cobbler comes to the rescue.
Taking your shoes to a seasoned cobbler will ensure that you get the best results in the least amount of time possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Possible to Overstretch Converse Shoes?
Yes. If not careful, you can overstretch your Chucks. To prevent this, you can have a seasoned cobbler stretch them for you.
Can You Shrink Overstretched Converse Shoes?
Yes. To do this, soak your shoes in water, then put them in a dryer for 10-20 minutes. The heat will shrink your shoes.
Converse shoes do not necessarily stretch out. However, the canvas material used to make them does get softer with time, making the sneakers feel stretched out.
People expand their shoes for various reasons, including fitting too tight or taking quite some time to break-in.
You can use several hacks to stretch out your shoes, from using heat, freezing, washing or stuffing, to using thick socks. The best home results are achieved using shoe stretchers.
Taking your shoes to a seasoned cobbler will ensure the best results.
Whichever method you choose, make sure to take your time to ensure you achieve the best results and avoid overstretching.