How to Stretch Pleather Shoes

Pleather shoes have a unique combination of strengths and weaknesses. They look great, but they can be difficult to break in. If you’ve ever experienced pinching or blisters from wearing leather shoes that are too small, you know how important it is to stretch them properly.

How to Stretch Pleather Shoes 

While leather shoes don’t require the same amount of care as real leather, they can still benefit from good stretching. First, wet the inside of the shoe with warm water. Then, put on thick socks and insert your foot into the shoe. Walk around for about 20 minutes or until the water inside the shoe has cooled off. Repeat this process until the shoe feels comfortable. Remember that you may need to repeat this process a few times before the shoe completely stretches out. In this blog post, You will learn in detail how to stretch pleather shoes.

Step-by-Step Processes for How to Stretch Pleather Shoes

Step 1:  Put on Your Pleather Shoes 

Put on your leather shoes, but do not lace them up. Walk around in them for 10 to 15 minutes and assess the places that feel tight. Note these areas down. Hold a hairdryer about 8 inches away from the pleather and apply heat for around 30 seconds. The heat will help to soften the material, making it easier to stretch.

Step 2: Heat the Shoes with a Blow Dryer

Use a blow dryer to heat up the tight spots of your leather shoes. Move the blow dryer around 6 to 8 inches away from the area that needs stretching. Apply heat for 30 seconds at a time, as too much heat might damage the material.

Step 3: Use Bags of Water to Stretch Out the Shoe

Fill two resealable bags with water and place them in each shoe so that they fill out the inside of the shoe, stretching it out. Make sure the bags are not overfilled or else you risk water damage.

Step 4: Put Your Shoes in a Freezer

After using the blow dryer and water bag technique to stretch your pleather shoes, put them in a freezer for about 6 to 8 hours. This will help to stretch out the shoes further.

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Stretch Your Pleather Shoes

Step 5: Wear Your Shoes

After your pleather shoes have been in the freezer, take them out and wear them around your house for 10 minutes or so. This will help break them in a bit more and ensure that they are not too tight or uncomfortable. 

Step 6: Stuff Them with Balls of Newspaper

If your pleather shoes still feel a bit tight, stuff them with balls of newspaper to help expand the material even more. You can also use tissue paper or socks to achieve the same effect.

Step 7: Place Your Shoes in Hot Water

Fill a large bucket or basin with hot water and submerge your pleather shoes into the liquid. Ensure not to use too hot of a temperature, as this could damage your shoes.

Step 8: Use Ice Cubes on Your Shoes

Take an ice cube and rub it over any tight spots in your leather shoes. This will help to stretch these spots further out while still keeping the material soft and pliable.

Step 9: Wear Them in Short Intervals

After you have used all of these techniques to stretch your pleather shoes, wear them for short intervals to help break them in even more over time. This will help ensure they fit correctly and are comfortable.

Step 10: Treat Your Pleather Shoes with a Conditioner

Once your pleather shoes have been stretched out, treat them with a conditioner. This will help restore their shine and keep them looking and feeling soft. It will also help to protect them against future wear and tear.

Treat Them With a Conditioner

Tips for How to Stretch Pleather Shoes

  1. Ensure that your pleather shoes are good quality before stretching them. Look for signs of wear and tear, as stretching could cause further damage.
  2. Use a professional shoe stretcher or heat gun if possible, as these are designed specifically to stretch leather shoes without damaging them.
  3. Wear your shoes around the house for a few hours to help them fit better, as they will warm up and become more pliable.
  4. Stuff the toe of each shoe with newspaper or other scrap material to fill out the shape and stretch the leather further.
  5. Apply moisture, such as spray water, rubbing alcohol, or leather stretching liquid, to the shoes to make them more pliable.
  6. Remove the shoes from the heat source when they are pliable enough and pull them out to further expand the pleather.
  7. Allow your stretched shoes to cool before wearing them, as they will shrink back if worn while still warm.
  8. Avoid using too much heat, as this can cause damage to the pleather material, leading to cracks and tears in the fabric. Heat should only be used in moderation when stretching leather shoes.

How Long Should You Leave the Material on for It to Be Effective? 

The amount of time needed to stretch pleather shoes properly will vary based on the material’s thickness and elasticity. Generally, it is recommended that you leave the stretching materials on your pleather shoes for at least 10 minutes. 

If possible, you can even leave them on overnight or for a few days to ensure that your shoes fit well and that the material has been properly stretched. You may need to repeat the stretching process several times for better results.

Additionally, it is important to note that the stretching materials should not be left on your shoes for too long as this could damage them. Therefore, ensure you periodically check on your shoes during stretching and remove them when they have achieved the desired effect.

Stretch Pleather Shoes Properly

How Often Should You Repeat the Stretching Process if Needed? 

If your leather shoes are still too tight and uncomfortable, you can repeat the stretching process as needed. How often depends on how tight they feel and how quickly they stretch. If they start to get snug again, it’s time to repeat the steps. Generally, allowing at least 24 hours between stretching sessions is a good idea so that the pleather can relax and settle into its new form. The pleather may become misshapen or even tear if you stretch too often.

You can monitor your progress as needed by slipping on your Shoes after each step of the process and gauging how much more comfortable they feel. You may find that a few rounds of freezing, stuffing and wearing will be enough to stretch them out, or you may need to keep repeating the process for a few days until you get the fit that’s just right. Ultimately, how often you repeat the stretching process depends on your own needs and preferences.

How Can You Prevent Your Pleather Shoes From Becoming Stretched Out Again in the Future? 

Once you have successfully stretched your pleather shoes, there are a few things you can do to ensure that they don’t become stretched out again. First, store them properly. Ensure they are in a cool, dry place, and avoid storing them in direct sunlight or near any heat source, as this could cause the material to become brittle.

Avoid Storing Them in Direct Sunlight

Second, invest in a good leather conditioner, and use it regularly. Leather conditioners help keep the pleather material soft, supple, and more resistant to stretching. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product’s label for the best results. Third, wear them with socks. Not only will wearing socks help absorb sweat, but it will also add an extra layer of material between your feet and the pleather.

Finally, be aware that pleather is less durable or long-lasting than genuine leather. This means you may need to replace your shoes more often than if they were made from genuine leather.

How Can You Clean Your Pleather Shoes After Stretching Them? 

Once you’ve successfully stretched your pleather shoes, it’s important to clean them to maintain their new shape and size. When cleaning pleather shoes, always use a soft cloth or brush to avoid damaging the material. First, remove any dirt and debris with a soft cloth or brush. Then, apply a small amount of mild soap or suede cleaner to the cloth and gently rub it onto the shoes. Rinse well with cool water, and let dry completely before wearing again. It’s also important to condition your pleather shoes after stretching them each time. This will help prevent cracking and damage from occurring.

For best results, use a leather conditioner specifically formulated for pleather. Apply a thin layer of the conditioner to the shoes using a soft cloth and buff gently with a clean, dry cloth. This will help keep your pleather shoes looking new and comfortable for years to come.

Is It Necessary to Call Any Professional to Stretch Pleather Shoes? 

No, it is unnecessary to call any professional if you want to stretch leather shoes. The process of stretching these shoes can be done easily at home with just a few simple steps and supplies.

To begin, you will need warm water, 2-3 towels (one for each shoe), a hairdryer, and a shoe stretching spray. Start by submerging one of the shoes in warm water for about five minutes until it is completely soaked.

Then, remove the shoe from the water and place it on one of the towels. Using another towel to secure the pleather material, use your hairdryer to dry the shoe until it is almost completely dry. 

How Much Will It Cost if You Hire a Professional?

If you don’t feel comfortable stretching your pleather shoes yourself, you should consider hiring a professional cobbler. How much it will cost depends on the type of shoe and where you live.

However, you can generally expect to pay anywhere from $10-$50 for a professional stretch job. Of course, this could depend more or less on the specific job. Be sure to ask your cobbler for an accurate estimate before you hire them.

Hiring a Professional Cobbler

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Pleather Stretch Out?

It largely depends on the type of pleather and how often it is used. Generally speaking, pleather will not stretch significantly over time, but may develop small tears or cracks in the material. If you are worried about your pleather stretching out, it is best to avoid excessive use or wear.

How Do You Break in Fake Leather Shoes?

Breaking in fake leather shoes is a process that should be done slowly and gradually over a period of time. To begin, wear the shoes around the house for a few days to get used to them and break them in gradually. Once you are comfortable wearing them outside, start walking or running in them regularly. Gradually increase your activity level and add more stressors, such as carrying heavy items or going up and down stairs frequently. Continue breaking in the shoes until they are able to handle the increased stress without causing damage or discomfort. When you are ready, take them out for a real test – a long walk or run in hot weather. If everything goes according to plan, you will have successfully broken in your new shoes and they will be ready to wear anywhere!

Can You Use Vaseline to Stretch Shoes?

It depends on the type of shoe, the amount of Vaseline used, and the method used to stretch the shoes. Some people believe that Vaseline can be used to stretch shoes in a similar way to how it can be used to prevent them from coming loose or separating from the sole. Others say that Vaseline should not be used to stretch shoes, as it may result in damage to the fabric and potentially decreased durability. Ultimately, it is best to consult with a footwear expert if you are interested in using Vaseline to stretch shoes.

Can I Wet My Shoes to Stretch Them?

Wetting your shoes to stretch them may help to ease the pain and stiffness caused by shoe syndrome, but it is not a recommended solution. Wetting your shoes will not remove the cause of the syndrome – which is typically overuse or even neglect – and it is possible to damage your shoes if you do this incorrectly. Instead, try the following stretches:

1. Stretch your ankles and Achilles tendon by standing with your feet hip-width apart and toes pointed straight ahead. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat the stretch on the other foot.

2. Sit down with your feet flat on the ground, then lean back until you feel a gentle stretch in your calves and Achilles tendon. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat the stretch on the other foot.

3. Stand up tall and slowly extend your toes so that they are straight out from your shoes. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat the stretch on the other foot.

4. Place one hand on top of each heel and slowly pull up towards your feet, feeling a gentle stretch in your calves and Achilles tendon. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat the stretch on the other foot.

5. Roll your ankle in a circle several times using both hands, then gently massage it with oil or lotion to relieve pain and promote healing.


Stretching pleather shoes is a great way to make them more comfortable and prevent blisters. By using heat, the material will become softer, allowing wearers to stretch the shoe with their feet or hands. It is important not to over-stretch the shoes because they may no longer fit correctly.

Additionally, it’s best to use a shoe stretcher, warm water, and a cloth to avoid damage. Whether you’re trying to make your new shoes fit correctly or just want them to be more comfortable, with the tips above, you should have no trouble getting pleather shoes stretched correctly. I hope this article has been beneficial for learning how to stretch pleather shoes. Make Sure the precautionary measures are followed chronologically.

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Matt Clark

Hi, this is Matt, and I am a leathercraft hobbyist. I have been working with leather for quite a bit of time. When I was a teenager, my father taught me the basics of leathercraft. Along the way I have learned a lot of things about leather work leather items, restoring leather, and creating leather accessories. I started this blog to share my knowledge of leatherworking with others and help people learn about this amazing craft. I also wanted to create a community of like-minded people who could share ideas and support each other in their leatherworking journey.

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