It’s always exciting to add a new pair of leather shoes to your wardrobe — they’re clean and flawless and can infuse some extra polish into outfit like nothing else. The drawback is that all too often, brand new shoes can be so tight and uncomfortable that you may be tempted to return them to the store. Or worse, banish them to the back of your closet. But don’t fret! Breaking in new shoes so that they feel like you’ve been wearing them for years doesn’t have to take, well, years. A few tried and true tricks can get those shoes comfortably back onto your feet in no time.

Tip #1 ~ Use a liquid shoe stretch product to relax your shoes. Products like Ralyn Shoe Stretch lotion and Foot Fitter Shoe Stretch Spray are readily available and can be had for just a few bucks. Just follow the directions on the packaging for the best results.

Tip #2 ~ Are you impatient and don’t have any stretching lotion on hand? Then try this trick with a hair dryer and some gym socks. Put on a couple of pairs of socks and squeeze your feet into your shoes. Turn on a hairdryer to the highest setting and holding it about six inches from your feet. Point the heat at the parts of your shoes that are the tightest. Flex your feet and wiggle your toes while doing this. The heat will help stretch the leather and conform them to your feet. When done, try out your shoes without the bulky socks. If they are still too tight, repeat once more. After you are satisfied with the fit of your shoes, use leather conditioner (like Kiwi’s Leather Lotion) to moisturize the shoes since the heat can dry out the hide.

Tip #3  ~ When you are not wearing your shoes, keep them in shape with a cedar shoe tree. This will help them stay nicely stretched and soft as they sit in your closet awaiting the next time you wear them.

Some leather shoes from Shop Big Time: