Breaking them in: five ways to stretch new shoes
Don't you just hate when the shoes that fit like Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds in the shop fit like OJ's black glove when you're at home? Shoes have a bad rep for not fitting right - just ask Cinderella's step-sisters - but there are ways to force them into submission without having to cut off your ankle or your toes. You can stretch new shoes without reformulating them into a whole new style.
Blisters and shredded heels begone! Now, all your shoes can feel like your favourite slippers. Bliss.
Ease into it
Do not wear new shoes for any occasion that requires anything over ten minutes of walking. I bought new white plimsolls for a recent holiday, and they were the exact wrong pair to wear for sightseeing; even flats can tear the skin off your feet. Wear any pair of new shoes around the house until they inevitably start to sting. Then take them off immediately; there's no need to suffer unnecessarily.
Once it's been confirmed that your shoes need wearing in, try them out again, but this time with thick socks.
Turn up the heat
Heat helps with the stretching process. Wearing your shoes with socks, get your hairdryer out and blast it at areas that need stretching. As you do this, flex and curl your toes. Don't take the shoes off until they've cooled down.
Cool it right down
Fill two watertight sandwich bags (the type you put your liquids in at airport security) two-thirds of the way with water and place the bags inside your shoes. Mould the bag down to the toe, put the shoes in your freezer and leave there until the water freezes. As the water turns to ice, it will expand, stretching out your shoes. Leave the water bags in the shoes for 20 minutes after taking them out of the freezer to thaw.
Vigorously rubbing the back of a shoe simulates how your foot would rub against the show, but amped up to the max. This will loosen the material, making the back of the shoe more comfortable.
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Dampen newspapers (don't soak with water), scrunch it up and stuff as much of it as you can fit into the shoe. Let dry by just leaving them next to a radiator or stick them in the fridge.