The 5 Best Shoe Stretchers in 2020

Best Shoe Stretcher

With five different test persons, we tried to find the best shoe stretcher out there. We tested the 32 most popular products you can buy online. The test lasted three weeks. In our opinion the best shoe stretcher is HOUNDSBAY Shoe and Boot Stretcher.

Best Shoe Stretcher

I think most of us have experienced putting on one of our favourite pair of shoes. Just to notice they’re too small. But not too small in general. Too small or tight in one particular area. It could be you got problems with bunions. It could be too narrow toe box on the shoes. It could be a million reasons.

But if you get a shoe stretcher you can stretch your shoes on the width or on the length. And you can do it all by yourself. If there’s a particular pain point you want to get rid of, you can use shoe stretchers with adjustable plugs to stretch out that are.

If your shoes are really valuable, you might consider letting a cobbler stretch them out for you. But for your day to day pairs, one of the shoe stretchers we’ve reviewed in this article, would be a great solution for you.

Stretchers Shoes Actually Like

In this article you will find a guide on how to use a shoe stretcher to stretch shoes. You will also find out which shoe stretchers we tested. And which shoe stretcher is the best on the market. Here’s the rundown:

Best Shoe Stretcher for Boots

HOUNDSBAY Boot Stretcher

Best Professional Shoe Stretcher

FootFitter Shoe Stretcher

Great Wooden Shoe Stretcher


Best High Heel Stretcher

Formé Shoe Shapers

Best Shoe Stretcher for Wide Feet

Topsome Shoe Stretcher Men

Shoe Stretch Spray to Use With Your Shoe Stretcher

The shoe stretcher is a great shoe care product. Don’t forget to buy some shoe stretch spray to use when stretching your shoes.

Shoe Stretch Spray

FootMatters Professional Boot & Shoe Stretch Spray

PREMIUM Shoe Stretch Spray

Simple Shine Leather Stretch Spray

Shoe Stretchers: In-Depth Reviews

It’s not easy to pick the perfect shoe stretcher. They seem pretty much alike. If you want to know the key features and differences between the products in the list, keep reading. In this section you’ll find our in-depth reviews of the best products on the market right now.

Best Boot Stretcher

HOUNDSBAY Boxer Heavy-Duty Professional Boot Stretcher

Review of Houndsbay Shoe Stretcher

This is a highly recommended shoe stretcher on a couple of online stores. The reviews are overall really positive. And we love the product as well. It is great for boots, booties, pumps. But also for sneakers.

A versatile system with a lot of plastic plugs you can use to spot stretch. Like if you have a problem with bunions or need to widen the toe box.

One big drawback though, is that you have to order two if you want a set for your pair of shoes. Or stretch on first and the other later on.

FootFitter Shoe Stretcher

FootFitter Premium Professional One-Way Shoe Stretcher, Width Only

Review of FootFitter Shoe Stretcher

FootFitter makes a lot of great shoe care products. It’s a renowned brand in the business.

The bunion plugs are nice looking and easy to adjust and use. They are made of stainless steal instead of plastic. Will probably last longer.

You need to pick the right size. If you’re a lady with wide feet, consider buying a shoe stretcher in men’s size.

The only thing that could’ve been better is that it only stretches on the width. And of course somewhat on specific points, thanks to the bunion plugs. A bit cheaper than the Houndsbay product, but still great quality.

Wooden Shoe Stretcher

HOUNDSBAY Beagle Heavy-Duty 1-Way Shoe Stretcher

Review of Houndsbay Beagle

This one is exactly like the one-way shoe stretcher from FootFitter. It loosens the width on tight shoes. The difference is that the product from Houndsbay has a guiding wheel made of thick steel as opposed to the plastic one on the FootFitter. When we used the plastic one for tightening, it actually felt like it could break.

On the other side: the bunion plugs here are plastic, as opposed to the steel ones on the FootFitter.

I think we prefer steel on the guiding wheel. But only time would tell. We only tried the product over a couple of weeks.

High Heel Shoe Stretcher Top Pick

Formé Shoe Shapers stretch & shape

Review of Formé Shoe Shapers

This is a really nice product. It’s great for all women’s shoe styles from flats to 6 inch heels.

Formé uses a patented 7-fold technology. It makes it really easy to customize the fit. Stretch desired areas by adjusting the form of the stretcher. They are sturdy also, since they’re made of stainless steel and thermoplastic polymer.

Men’s Shoe Stretcher Best Pick

Topsome Shoe Stretcher Men, 4-way Shoe Widener for Wide Feet

Review of Topsome Shoe Stretcher for Men

This is a 4-way adjustable shoe stretcher that will widen the most persistent material. It’s a great pick for persons with wide feet.

We also find the product perfect for widening running shoes. Especially after a while when the running shoes, or sneakers, started to “collapse” a bit.

The only drawback with this product is that it’s made of plastic.

Women’s Shoe Stretcher

So, it’s quite easy to find shoe stretchers that works on regular leather shoes. But what about women’s shoes? For regular women’s shoes you can just pick a smaller size of the shoe stretcher, and you’ll be find. For boots and booties you’ll need a shoe stretcher with a longer shaft, like the one from Houndsbay. And for high heels and some sandals we recommend the shoe stretchers from Formé.

Do Shoe Stretchers Really Work?

We can only hope that our shoes fit perfectly when we buy them. We know our shoe sizes and width, we try them on in the middle of the day when we visit the store. And when our feet are a bit swollen. And we always go for the models in which we need to pinch our toes together.

But despite our best efforts, there’s no such thing as an immediate right fit. The shoes might be somewhat comfortable in the store, but they will probably be too tight once you put them on in the morning at home. And that is why you’ll need shoe stretchers.

Does Shoe Stretch Spray Really Work?

If you use a shoe stretch spray together with your shoe stretcher, the result will be better, faster and longer lasting. But you need to be specific on what spray you’re using. FootMatters Professional Boot & Shoe Stretcher Spray is a universal shoe stretch spray that will work on any material. But beware to use too much on suede. At the same time it will help stretching your shoes, it also nourishes and protects the leather. This is a top product on Amazon. Make sure to add it to your shoe care regiment.

Do Shoe Trees Stretch Out Shoes?

The quick answer is no, they don’t. Shoe trees can marginally stretch shoes, but usually only very slightly. This will work for shoes that are just a touch too tight. If you’re looking to alter shoes more than just a pinch, a better product to use would be a shoe stretcher.

Shoe trees are designed to smooth out the lining of your shoes and to smooth out creases. … This slow pressure stretches the leather of your shoe and makes it more comfortable. Stretchers come with inserts that can be placed in various spots on the toe form for specific spot stretching.

Shoe Stretcher – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Which Are the Best Shoe and Boot Conditioners?

    1. Best Shoe Stretcher for Boots is HOUNDSBAY Boxer Heavy-Duty Professional Boot Stretcher.
    2. FootFitter Premium is the best One-Way Shoe Stretcher.
    3. Best Wooden Shoe Stretcher is the HOUNDSBAY Beagle.
    4. Best High Heel Shoe Stretcher are Formé Shoe Shapers.
    5. Men's shoe stretcher best pick is Topsome Shoe Stretcher Men.

  • How to Use a Shoe Stretcher?

    1. Pick the right size of the Shoe stretchers. For men's shoes you will need a larger size.
    2. Place the plastic bunion plugs where you want an extra stretch.
    3. Use a shoe stretch spray. This makes the material more flexible and will prevent you from damage the shoe.
    4. Put the shoe stretcher in the shoe by screwing in the heel part as much as you can. Use the big guiding wheel.
    5. Use the guiding wheel to screw the heel part to the back and the front part to the front. Make sure it fits where you want the shoe to be stretched.
    6. When the shoe stretcher is in correct position, begin extending it out in the front. Rearrange the shoe stretcher i necessary, so that the correct areas are being stretched.
    8. When you're done, let the shoe rest for a day with the shoe stretcher in it. Spray again.

  • How to Stretch Pumps and Booties?

    1. Wear thick socks or several pairs of socks and squeeze the shoes you want to stretch. Yes, it gets very crowded and uncomfortable for a while but it's only a few minutes so it's worth it. Remove the hair dryer and blow on the shoes for a few minutes to keep them warm. Feel free to stand up when you do this to make the shoes stretch in the right places. Wait to take off your shoes until they have cooled down. Take off your shoes and socks and try the shoes, now they have stretched!
    2. Fill plastic bags with water. Put the bags in the shoes. Set the shoes in the freezer. After a while you’ll have ice in your shoes. The water has expanded and the ice stretches out the shoes. (Do not do this with shoes made of delicate material.)
    3. Soak your socks and put on your shoes and walk around. Be sure to do it too long for some materials eg. Leather stretches fast!

(Header photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash)

Patricia Merken

Patricia Merken

Neat freak and shoe lover. American expat in Switzerland.
Blogger and mom. Blogs mainly at Footweardrobe.

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