Some footwear has and will always be in trend, just like canvas shoes. Not only do they stand on the epitome of comfort, but they also work well with all kinds of outfits.
However, people often complain about the shoe stubbing in on their toes. As canvas shoes are made with a canvas upper and a rubber sole, they might require some breaking-in time. Even if you buy your right size, it might feel a tab bit uncomfortable in the initial usages.
But do not worry, as it is reasonably easy to stretch canvas shoes if the right techniques are used. Read along and learn how to stretch your canvas shoes instead of walking in discomfort.
6 Ways to Stretch Canvas or Fabric Shoes
Nobody wants to walk all day in their tight canvas shoes. Moreover, this can lead to blisters and severe foot pain. But such consequences can be avoided through the following steps:
Let us start with the most basic and most effortless technique. Wear thick socks while you wear your shoes and walk around for a while. The thick material will stretch the shoes quickly.
If walking around with thick socks in your tight canvas shoes seems uncomfortable, you can try this technique.
Use the thickest socks you own and stuff them in your canvas shoes. Places two socks if required, one near the toes and another near the tongue of the shoes.
Leave them overnight to give it a good stretch. Try it out in the morning. If they still feel tight, repeat the process.
Besides socks, you can also stuff some crumpled newspapers.
Lastly, you can fill some Ziploc bags with water and place them carefully in the shoe’s toe part. After doing so, freeze the boots overnight. When the water starts freezing, your canvas shoes will get stretched.
If you have money to spend and the homemade techniques do not work for you, you can get a shoe stretcher.
A two-way stretcher is a great addition when it comes to stretching the entire shoe. It not only focuses on the toe region but the entirety of the shoe. It comes with bunion plugs that help in lengthening the shoe, especially the tight spaces.
Spray a stretching liquid all over the shoes. After the fabric has absorbed the moisture, turn the screw one full turn after a few hours. Eight hours is considered to be ideal.
Heat is a useful alternative when it comes to stretching canvas shoes.
Even though this might sound absurd, but placing your shoes in a microwave can go a long way in getting them stretched out.
Before you toss your shoes in the microwave, ensure that there are no metal pieces on them.
Put your shoes in the microwave for twenty-thirty seconds, not more than that. Remove and wear them immediately. Walk around in them while they cool down.
Place them in the microwave again for twenty seconds, and repeat the process. It should widen your shoes after two tries.
How it works: The heat from the microwave makes the fabric soft, vulnerable, and malleable. So, if you wear your shoes immediately while they are still warm, the material adjusts to the contours of your feet.
Wear thick socks and put on your canvas shoes. Aim your hairdryer towards the tight area and let the heat stretch it for thirty seconds.
Keep it at a significant distance from your feet to avoid any accidents.
After drying it twice, wear your shoes without the socks. If they haven’t loosened up, repeat the process.
Ball and Ring Stretcher
If you need your canvas shoes to be stretched in specific areas, the ball and ring stretcher work like a charm.
Focus on your shoe area that requires stretching and place the ball there with the ring surrounding it from the outside.
Hold the arms of the stretcher and pull them together. It will allow you to see the results almost immediately.
If your shoes require a bit more of a stretch, you can leave the stretcher overnight.
Do shoes stretch over time?
The stretchability of shoes depends entirely on the material. Footwear with fabric or leather construction can easily be stretched. This does not mean that you must buy a size smaller.
However, if you feel that the toe region is a bit too tight on your skin, you can opt for easy techniques and DIY hacks. If they do not work, you can go the professional way and buy a shoe stretcher or get it done with a cobbler.
Does canvas stretch when wet?
Using water or excess moisture to stretch canvas is not endorsed. The moisture will only shrink the fabric. If you try to pull the material while it is soaking, it might stretch a bit but will only tighten once it dries up.
So, it is best if you stretch the canvas while it is dry.
Can canvas shoes be stretched?
Canvas is a flexible and versatile material that can be stretched to perfection. As canvas shoes can feel tight around the toes, there are several techniques that you can use to get it stretched out.
You can use heat, ice, shoe stretcher, socks, etc., to get your canvas shoes stretched out.
Do stretching shoes with ice work?
Ice is an effective technique in shoe stretching. Fill up two plastic bags with water and seal them tightly. Carefully place them in the area that you need to stretch out. Keep the shoes in the freezer.
When the water starts to freeze, it takes up more space in the shoes, leading to the material getting stretched out.
Ensure that the bags are sealed, and the water does not leak through. As water can damage the fabric, you must be careful while following this method.
The bottom line
Canvas shoes are a must-have for everybody’s wardrobe. Not only are they long-lasting, but they also complement every basic outfit. Even though they can feel tight and uncomfortable in the initial usages, you can use the methods mentioned above to work in your favour.
Ensure that the shoes do not contact water or the heat does not burn your foot. If the shoe stretcher does not work, do not shy away from taking a professional’s help. Nobody deserves to walk in pain, and these techniques can help you alleviate that!
Brandon R. Katz is a registered professional nurse who has been instrumental in providing us with an informed opinion on the medical aspects of footwear. He graduated from NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and currently provides his services at a non-federal long-term care hospital in Brooklyn, NY.
Brandon proves to be the champion in the group of expert writers with his in-depth knowledge in foot health, how to take care of it adequately, and what shoes, socks, or insoles will be supreme for you. He has previously worked with hospitals where he has foreseen both inpatient and outpatient departments and has been a practicing nurse since 2009.
Brandon hails from Jersey City, NY, and has a loving family of four with a small popper called Rozo. His decision to become a nurse arises from the desire to be in the position of helping and rehabilitating people.