Stretching Shoes
December 9, 2004 7:53 AM   Subscribe

Is it possible to stretch canvas shoes? Just a little? More inside.

I have wide feet so I usually have to wear New Balance 2EE or 3EE, or Converse bought a size too long. But I also don't wear leather, I like to support Vegan companies, and I don't buy Chuck Taylors anymore 'cuz they're Nikes. (Didn't Chucks used to be sorta the Anti-Nike, the shoe for non-jocks/cheap punks/etc? Good business move, Nike, sewing up the market.)

This makes life buying shoes pretty damn tough. So I just ordered a pair of these Comptons and I them totally, but the left one is just a tad tight on my left big-toe tendon (the slightly larger of my two feets.)

Can I maybe wet the toe of the shoe and shove something big in it to stretch it? Or should I give up and send 'em back? :-(

posted by Shane to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total)
i love chucks too..but here is alternative.... Black Spot shoes brought to you from the friendly people at Adbusters.
Now to answer yr question, i think getting them wet and wearing them till they dry would be yr best solution.
posted by ShawnString at 8:16 AM on December 9, 2004

Thanks, ShawnString! Don't forget the No Sweat Sneaker too. They list wages and benefits right on their web page. Wages don't seem high, but $$ are relative to country, and the workers get an actual contract from their companies, preventing abuse, termination for no reason, etc.

A shoutout to Black Spot or No Sweat is always a good thing.

Can anyone tell me if No Sweat or Black Spot run the same size/width as Chucks? Is Black Spot shipping yet or still taking advance orders?
posted by Shane at 8:29 AM on December 9, 2004

If anyone can say if stretching canvas shoes is viable, I'd appreciate knowing.
posted by kenko at 10:11 AM on December 9, 2004

I guess I'll experiment with stretching my left shoe and let you know, kenko. I guess I was hoping there was some magic trick to it someone would share here.
posted by Shane at 11:20 AM on December 9, 2004

Did you try googling for "stretching shoes"? Because I just did, and the first, second, and third links totally tell you how to stretch shoes.
posted by rajbot at 12:20 PM on December 9, 2004

Because I just did, and the first, second, and third links totally tell you how to stretch shoes.

..with a shoe-stretcher ordered for anywhere from $10 to $35 plus postage? That's all I saw. Looking for alternate methods, but I guess I'll try to improvise something similar. Thanks.
posted by Shane at 1:23 PM on December 9, 2004

take them to a shoe repair place.
posted by kenko at 2:39 PM on December 9, 2004

If you will have to constantly be stretching shoes for your entire life, picking up a little wooden shoe-stretching device from a department store is a worthy investment. It should be easy to stretch canvas shoes by dampening them and strategically using the stretcher.

You might want to think about looking for one the week after Christmas; sometimes they're included in men's "shoe care" kits and those are often deeeeeeply discounted after the holidays.
posted by bcwinters at 2:59 PM on December 9, 2004

Ehh, you guys are all right. ShawnString, canvas stretches as you were it, and wetting the tight area seems to help. Of course, wetting the shoe and allowing it to dry when you're NOT wearing it seems to do the opposite: the canvas shrinks.

Wetting the tight area and then jamming the odd piece(s) of 2x4 or a baseball bat and a bunch of rags or whatever doesn't work half bad, especially if you allow it to sit overnight. But that $10 stretcher is probably a good deal, and it's made out of cedar, which smells heavenly.

I tellya, it's a pain in the ass though. Constantly having to think, okay, New Balance 11 is okay in 4EEEE and 11&1/2 in 2EE, Converse runs wide and is good in 11&1/2 but I won't buy them, Hmm, do Black Spot and No Sweat run wide like Converse or ultra-skinny like Adidas? ...and why does a British size 12 fit perfectly in Ethical Wears, while a U.S. size 12 in Ben Shermans needs stretching..?

I'm considering going barefoot.

Right. Feel my pain and play the world's smallest violin.

Thanks though!
posted by Shane at 9:09 AM on December 10, 2004

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