Best Shoe Stretchers for Men & Women’s Shoes
If you've ever suffered because your shoes are a tad tight, you've come to the right place, as there's an easy way to fix this. Shoe stretchers are simple and work wonders for minimal stretching. Not only can they improve the fit of your favorite footwear, but can also help if you suffer from bunions, calluses, corns or other feet issues that cause pressure on the foot when inside of a shoe.
Perfect for use with leather and suede footwear, they are made with all types of footwear in mind, from flats to heels, to boots and dress shoes. The list below looks at the top 10 shoe stretchers currently available for purchase.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 10 hrs of research
Canvas Shoe Bag Included
- The Original Shoe Tree Company Cedar
- Houndsbay Cedar Split Toe
- FootFitter Premium 2-Way
- FootFitter Cast Iron Ball & Ring
- FootFitter Sir James
- Shoekeeper Wooden
- FootFitter Premium High Heel
- Eachway Professional 2-Way
- Miserwe Two Way Adjustable
- MARZ 2-Way Stretcher
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Shoe Stretchers
1. The Original Shoe Tree Company Cedar
Canvas Shoe Bag Included
No Width Adjustment
Difficult to Insert
If you’re after a high-end product at an affordable price, one that’s been made with the best possible materials, that’s designed in a way that makes it easy to use and effective in improving or maintaining the fit of your favorite leather flats, then you definitely need to check out The Original Shoe Tree Company Cedar. A set of 4 stretchers, suitable for two pairs of shoes, it comes in a beautiful packaging, with each pair coming with its own canvas shoe bag that can further help keep your footwear protected from dust and moisture.Read more
Cedar wood has properties that make it the best possible type of material to be used in keeping the shape of your footwear. It contains natural oils that will prevent the appearance of moisture, making it resistant to decay or insects which is often the case with different types of wood. Furthermore, it also has a recognizable, pleasant smell that will keep your favorite shoes smelling fresh for longer.
These stretchers feature two vents in the forefoot that promote proper air flow, crucial in keeping the life of any pair of footwear. The tops are engraved for easy left and right stretcher recognition, while the spring is easily adjustable, ensuring a proper stretch, as well as shape maintenance in all of your valuable shoes.
Cost and Value
For a pack of two shoe trees, this product comes at an affordable price, especially when considering that it’s a high quality product, made from the best materials, and with functional details. Nonetheless, it does have its limitations in terms of width stretching, so if that’s something you’re in need of, then these probably won’t do.
2. Houndsbay Cedar Split Toe
Engraved for Shoe Side
Metal Interior Parts
Split Toe Design
Strong Crank Arm
Not for Big Sizes
Not only are these stretchers very stylish in their own right, they are made from cedar. Cedar is the highest sought after wood for shoe stretchers. Cedar absorbs lingering odors and moisture that could be in the shoe. Thus, prolonging the life of the shoe. To make it easy to keep straight which shoe is right and left, Houndsbay has engraved "Left" and "Right" on them. These are sold as a set.Read more
Metal Interior Pieces
Much like the gears of a clock are the interior pieces of these shoe stretchers. They are vital to the success of it, and metal is the strongest material to use for the interior. It gives a stronger force and reinforces the cedar wood offering exceptional durability.
Cedar is said and studied to be the best wood to use for all things clothing or shoes. Wood, especially, cedar, absorbs odors left in the shoe after taking them off. It can also wick away moisture in the shoe which can lengthen the life of your favorite shoes.
Cost and Value
For as luxurious as these shoe stretchers look, as well as them being made from cedar wood, they are at an excellent price point, especially compared to others in the category. The wood build is going to be very durable. Also, they have metal interior parts. Therefore, they are reinforced to be strong and durable.
3. FootFitter Premium 2-Way
14 Bunion Holes
Not Sold as Set
Made from solid wood construction, this is one of the top products on our list. Using Beechwood guarantees stability and functionality. FootFitter has long been known for their production of shoe stretchers. Therefore, they are a household name when you think about this subject. Their reputation is highest in the category. Their products are long-lasting and work as promised. It stretches both directions and comes with a complete instruction guide.Read more
Please note, this is sold as a single piece, it is not a pair. However, this stretcher can work for both the left and the right shoe. It is a universal fit.
The packages comes with 3 bunion and corn plugs. As well, the stretcher itself has 14 holes for customizable use, tailored to stretch your shoe in specific areas that will bring you personalized relief.
Cost and Value
While the cost is higher than some of the others in the category, you are receiving a very high-quality product. It is also a downside that it is only one if you are looking for a set. However, the value of these will long outweigh the purchase price.
4. FootFitter Cast Iron Ball & Ring
Durable Cast Iron Made
Easy to Work With
Only Does Target Areas
Won't Target Entire Shoe
The only one like it in the category is this one from FootFitter. It is made from cast iron and is considered to be a spot stretcher as opposed to a full shoe stretcher. Again, from the company FootFitter which is widely known for their superior products. Tools like this one will come in extremely handy if you are only looking to target a few problem areas in the shoe and not necessarily the entire shoe.Read more
Highly rated and acclaimed by professional shoe stretchers is this cast iron version. It is the chosen tool when they have to stretch only certain spots for a customer.
Another first in the category is this tool is constructed from cast iron. For centuries cast iron has been known for its durability and dependability. The same can be said for this version of a shoe stretcher. You will not need to worry about this breaking or not being able to withstand the pressure applied to it.
Cost and Value
While it is one of the higher priced in the category, you can know that because it is cast iron, you are getting a superbly made product. Cast iron has definitely withstood the test of time for durability as it has typically been used for thing such as cookware. The initial cost might be higher than some others in the category, but you are getting a great value for your purchase.
5. FootFitter Sir James
Metal Interior Parts
Hanging Loop When Not in Use
Not Very Wide
These are a little bit of a different design than usually seen with shoe stretchers. However, they are from a trusted brand, FootFitter. FootFitter has a high reputation for bringing quality goods. These are not going to bring as much stretch to your shoes as other may, as they don't expand as far. However, they are made from high-quality Tennessee Cedar. They will be excellent for absorbing odors and wetness from your shoes.Read more
Split Toe Design
Split toe stands apart from other designs in that it stretches the entire width of the shoe and not just one portion. It also stretches the toe box which is a high concern that a lot of individuals have trouble with.
Cedar is a high-quality wood that is widely used for its wetness and odor absorbing capabilities. Simply placing them in your shoe when you are stretching, will help draw out nasty lingering odors. This can add to the life of your shoe.
Cost and Value
Considering these are sold as a set and made from Cedar, you are getting a great value with your purchase of these stretchers. They are going to last and will add to the longevity of your shoes being that they are constructed of cedar. It is also important to note, they are a sold as a set. Therefore, you are getting two whereas some of the other products in the category are only sold as one.
6. Shoekeeper Wooden
Durable Turning Mechanism
Steel Bunion Plugs
Sold as Single Unit
Sold as a single shoe stretcher, this one only stretches the width of a shoe. However, it is a high-quality product that offers additional plugs to help you stretch the pressure points of a shoe. If you have a targeted spot such as a bunion or corn, these plugs can help stretch the shoe by strategically placing them on the shoe stretcher. As a bonus, the company includes a bottle of conditioning spray to help get your shoes primed for optimal stretching.Read more
Wood is a highly sought-after material for shoe stretchers. Moreso than plastic in most cases. Wood seems a bit more sturdy under extreme pressure; such as, what is required to stretch a shoe.
Right or Left
Having the ability to be used in the right or left shoe is a major benefit of this shoe stretcher. It makes keeping up with which shoe it works for a breeze.
Cost and Value
This shoe stretcher is a great price for the category. However, keep in mind that this is sold as a single unit and not a pair. If you are looking for a set you will need to purchase two units. That is where the price then goes into the higher range. However, if just needing one, it is a great value for the cost.
7. FootFitter Premium High Heel
Stainless Steel Mechanics
Strong Shaft Crank
Spring Working Gets Stuck
Only for High Heels
FootFitter is probably the premier name in shoe stretchers. They offer every variety you need. This particular stretcher is designed for high heel shoes. It also only adjusts the width. Solid Beechwood construction lends way to a durable and quality design. The wood will withstand a good amount of pressure while stretching the shoe. As well, it can absorb odors and wetness that is trapped inside.Read more
Stainless Steel Mechanics
Stainless steel is generally accepted as a strong material. Hence, the reason it was chosen to make the interior pieces of this shoe stretcher. The stainless steel pieces are not only more durable, they help to reinforce the wooden frame.
If you have a specific spot on a shoe that needs stretching as a result of a bunion or corn, you will most definitely appreciate the bunion plugs that are included. Furthermore, this stretcher has many different positions in which to apply the bunion plug. It makes it much more customizable for the adjustments it can make.
Cost and Value
This is in the mid-range of our price range when examined for the overall price. It is for one stretcher though. If you need two, you will need to purchase additional units. The solid Beechwood design is going to make this stretcher very durable. It will last through the pressure. It is a great buy for the price if you only need one stretcher.
8. Eachway Professional 2-Way
Stretches Both Directions
Changeable Bunion Plugs
Bunion Plugs Not Big Enough
Jams Easy When Twisting
Here you can find a set of ergonomically designed shoe stretchers. That is, they are shaped more like a foot and will fit into the shoes as if a foot is in there. This prevents uneven stretching. As well, they are universal and both can fit into either shoe. They come with easy to follow instructions. These shoe stretchers are highly reviewed for the quality. They can transform a new pair of shoes or help loosen an old pair up.Read more
No more having to keep up with which one goes in the left shoe versus the right shoe. You can easily grab one and put it in the shoe without fear of stretching the shoe the incorrect direction. Very simple.
Commercial Grade Plastic
The plastic used to make these is high durability polyurethane plastic. Also, they are reinforced with a premium steel shaft which adds to the ruggedness of the overall design.
Cost and Value
Considering you are getting 2 stretchers for this price, these are a great deal. They are strong and durable. If used properly and not overstressed, these should help you achieve many stretches thanks to its quality design.
9. Miserwe Two Way Adjustable
Two Way Stretch
Bunion and Corn Pads
Instructions Not Included
Sitting in our number one spot it the Miserwe Two Way Adjustable stretcher, with insertable pads for corns or bunions should you need a little extra room in your favorite pair of footwear. Designed from polyurethane plastic with a steel shaft, it’s suitable for sandals, casual and formal style shoes, but not for boots. The Miserwe Two Way Adjustable even works well for lower kitten style heels and peep toes. As a bonus, there are options to get a travel bag along with your purchase!Read more
Two Way Stretch
The Miswerwe Two Way Adjustable is designed to not only stretch your footwear in width, but also in length. This is great for shoes where narrow toe boxes or a sharper heel cup prevent you from pulling them out for wear simply because they are a bit too tight. After 24hours, you should feel a noticeable difference in fit. In addition, 8 bunion plugs and 2 Pad high plugs come with the stretcher in case you need a little extra room for any foot issues you may have.
Constructed from polyurethane plastic, the Miserwe Two Way Adjustable has a premium shaft of steel to help maintain its structure and integrity, even with the toughest of footwear. Each stretcher will fit left or right shoes equally well, and even comes with a carry bag for travel or storage. Plus, with a full one and a half year warranty, you’ll be able to return for a refund or exchange should anything happen to the stretcher.
Cost and Value
Quite budget friendly, it’s a smart purchase if you’ve never owned a shoe stretcher, or perhaps need one with plugs or pads to help alleviate blisters, corns, or bunions. Durable construction and two-way stretching make it versatile, while the warranty on the Miserwe Two Way Adjustable make it a comfortable purchase, knowing you can return should anything happen for a refund. Make sure you select the right size for the shoes you plan to use them on, and you won’t be disappointed.
10. MARZ 2-Way Stretcher
Not Sold in Pairs
Less Bunion Holes
Marz Products brings this stretcher out with a new improvement. It will not allow you to overturn the dial. That is one reason others have a tendency to break. Not to worry with this model. Furthermore, you get with your purchase bunion and corn relief pods. Place them on the stretcher to put more pressure on the spots of the shoe that cause you issues. Moreover, these not only stretch the shoe, they maintain the shape as a keeper.Read more
You can use this stretcher in either the left of the right shoe. Be advised it is only one, not a pair, meaning you will have to adjust your shoes one at a times. However, it will fit either shoe and won't let you over adjust causing damage to the unit or the shoe.
The special mixture used for this model is a reinforced tough industrial grade polyurethane. Furthermore, it has a steel shaft that supports the plastic. It is a very strong model and can take a lot of pressure.
Cost and Value
Being that these are reinforced plastic as well as having stops on it that prevent user error and overturning, this shoe stretcher will uphold to a lot of use. You can know you are getting a quality product. However, if looking for a set, you will need to purchase two; this comes one per purchase.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
What material will work best for you, really depends on how you intend to use your shoe stretcher. If you'll only use it occasionally, with new footwear or to improve the fit of existing models, then you may not have to invest as much as if you're after something that will last you a lifetime. There are numerous variants of shoe stretchers and trees, but the most popular are wood, metal and plastic, all of which have their pros and cons.
The highest quality of wood stretchers is going to be the stretchers made from one solid piece of wood. The wood that is of highest preference would be Cedar. It has been shown to absorb moisture and odors the best when studied. However, there are other woods used in the production as well. Commonly seen woods are Beech, Lime, and Alderwood. They are all great choices if you are looking for a solid material that is going to help absorb odors and moisture from your shoes when not being worn.
One of the key things you need to consider before purchasing is whether your shoe stretcher is going to double as a shoe tree. If that's the case, then you definitely need to take breathability into consideration, as not all models will act the same in this regard.
Ideally, when not worn, your footwear will be kept in a place away from direct sunlight, at room temperature, well ventilated, but protected from dust. Any type of material on the inside of the shoe may hinder air flow, thus trapping moisture and humidity, speeding up the degradation process of the footwear's components. Humid conditions may even lead to mildew, foul odors, or could attract insects, which is not only unpleasant, but could also compromise your foot health, leading to bacterial or fungal infections.
This is why, a stretcher with some perforations, made with natural materials is superior to plastic, single unit models that prevent fresh air from reaching the shoe. You can look for models with a split toe design, or even for those with some holes in them, but the best way to go is to opt for a model made with a high quality wood that prevents moisture build up.
No matter what type of stretcher you've invested in, there are, of course, a few things you can do that will ensure a well cared for pair of shoes. These include allowing your footwear to thoroughly dry between uses, cleaning and conditioning with the proper products, as well as ensuring that you wear them in the right weather conditions, preventing extensive damage in the first place.
There are two ways in which a shoe can stretch. Interesting to note, the most common way is from side to side. This is the width of a shoe. A bit harder to do, but not impossible, is to stretch the length. You won't be stretching the actual sole but you can possibly get a tiny amount more room in the length of the upper.
Be warned that sometimes the look of the shoe will change and it may be noticeable that you have in fact stretched the length of the shoe. Moreover, this is apparent by the shoe hanging over the edge of the sole. Consequently, you also run a risk of compromising the integrity of the shoe and doing damage to the sole or shank by attempting to stretch it in length.
Some will work in both directions, stretching length as well as width. Some will only work in one direction. Typically, those are the ones that will increase the width.
You may look at a shoe stretcher and wonder what those holes are doing in it. Is that a design flaw? No. Those holes that are strategically placed are for pressure points. The stretchers that have the holes are made to insert an additional layer before it is placed inside the shoe. It is like a little knob. The knob puts even more strain on that area of your shoe that your foot is bothered at. It will give just a little more pressure to stretch that part of the shoe more. You just have to align the knob and hole up with the part of your foot that has the pressure point hot spot.
The downside to the holes in the shoe stretcher is that it no longer makes the stretcher a solid piece of wood. The stretcher has a hole in it. Therefore, over time, it could weaken it.
When you open the stretcher up there will be two types of parts that comprise the gears and inner workings of it. First, some that are wood have metal parts and others will have plastic parts. The plastic innards may be substandard quality compared to those that have metal pieces.
The stretchers that have metal pieces and a wooden structure are going to be the most durable. They have the strongest backing to stretch your shoes and to withstand the force that is put on the tool. You can most certainly achieve desired results with a plastic stretcher that has plastic parts. However, you just need to use caution with the amount of force you are applying to the stretcher. It is recommended to go slower when using plastic tools than you would if using one of solid wood with metal parts.
In an ideal situation, once you've invested in a product, you will want to have and use it for life. Shoe stretchers, when made well, can offer that type of quality, and all without costing too much. But, to ensure that you do receive this type of durability, you need to make sure that the product is designed and made with the right materials, using the correct mechanisms, providing you with a long lifespan.
As mentioned above, cheap, thin and flexible materials will often give in under the pressure needed to change the fit of a pair of footwear, so the first area in which you want to look for durability is the forefoot portion of the stretcher. Ideally, it will be made with high quality, solid wood, or an industrial grade plastic that doesn't break or bend. Note that breaking inside the shoe could even cause damage to your footwear, so this is a crucial aspect of any stretcher.
Secondly, you want to look at the mechanism, and pick one that's sturdy and made with equally strong components that won't snap under pressure. This is the most common part of the stretcher to break, and often cannot be replaced, which means you'd have to purchase an entirely new product should this happen.
Last but not least, you need to ensure that the integrity of all materials remains the same throughout their lifespan. This relates to an issue that's already been mentioned - rust, decay and insects, which often lead to damaging your expensive footwear, making it unsuitable for use. If you're looking at products for expensive items such as designer and leather shoes, you may want to leave the stretching to a professional, and buy the highest quality trees made with cedar wood that will promote a healthy environment void of moisture, humidity and odors.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Shoe stretchers help you get the best fit for your shoes, keeping their shape, and giving you a more comfortable foot feel, but they can also help alleviate foot aliments.
Shoe stretchers with bunion pads can really help shape your footwear to give extra room to affected areas of the foot. This helps relieve restriction around bunions or calluses, helping to keep you comfortable, and help the issue from progressing further.
Although our list here shows the best shoe stretcher out there, many aren't suitable for use inside boots.
If you're in search of stretchers for boots, look around for a specific boot stretcher. Some tailor toward regular leather boots, while others are designed specifically for cowboy boots.
Frequently Asked Questions
They are a tool that can potentially stretch the sizing of a shoe to accommodate a bit more room. They are generally used for the width portion of a shoe. They also create more room allowing some relief to pressure points inside a shoe. This can be helpful for people who have bunions, corns, and other feet flaws that agitate the foot inside of a shoe.
They can be an effective and cost friendly option to saving your shoes or having the work done professionally. You will not be able to stretch whole sizes of shoes. However, you should have no problems with following proper guidelines on generating a little more room inside most shoes. This also depends on the material of the shoe and how much time and effort is exerted into the process.
When you purchased the shoes that fit perfectly in the store and then later that night you notice your feet have swollen as most peoples tend to do, you need to stretch the shoe out some. Another example of when the foot might get larger is during pregnancy, weight gain, and health issues. Also, people that suffer from foot imperfections such as bunions and corns would greatly benefit from stretching their shoes. If properly done you can create more room on those terrible pressure points.
You will only be able to stretch a few millimeters before you are sacrificing the integrity of the shoe and the material. You would be putting the shoe at risk of ripping or altering the sole and shaft if you push much further than that. If you cannot achieve the desired amount of room, unfortunately, you will be forced to wear shoes that are too tight or you will need to purchase another pair.
The list we have made for you, offers the top 10 choices in this category. Some features will work well for your desires and others not so much. Conversely, what works for others may not work for you. There is not one that will work for every shoe for every person and every time. We evaluated these against many others and are confident that our list offers the best choices available.
To prevent this from happening we recommend that you stretch just a bit at a time. Once a shoe is overstretched there really is not much you can do.
There are many materials that are easy to stretch. Usually, the materials that occur naturally in the world are the best candidates. These examples could be leather and suede amongst others.
You should keep them in a cool and dry place. Keep them safe from objects that could damage the mechanical pieces. A hard case is a good idea to keep them out of the way, safe, and dry.
Those holes are for an attachment piece that puts a little extra pressure on a spot of the shoe that might cause more pain. Such as typical locations of bunions or corns. It will make your shoes feel more customized and comfortable.
We highly recommend you use a spray to condition and prime the material before beginning. It will loosen the material up and give more optimal results. It can also help prevent some damage or ripping that may otherwise ruin your shoe.