The shoes felt fine in the store, but when I got them home, they suddenly didn’t fit. I can’t understand it. They are the same size I always wear. A larger size would be too big. They will stretch out after I wear them a few times, I thought, but I couldn’t wear them long enough to stretch them. I found myself hobbling around or kicking them off under my desk.
So, I did what any woman facing such a dilemma would do. I hid them in the back of the closet and tried to forget about them.
Then the other day, I found the shoes. I might as well throw these away, I thought. I never wear them. But I loved the style and they were still nearly new. Maybe I will give it another try. It was not long before I remembered why I discarded them in the first place. The right shoe was biting my foot while the left shoe was pinching my big toe.
There must be a way to stretch this leather! I refuse to throw away a perfectly good pair of shoes.
I looked it up. “Use a hair dryer,” said the article. “Put on several pairs of socks and force your foot into the shoes. Then warm the leather with a hair dryer to soften it and make it stretch. If it doesn’t work the first time, do it again.”
Oh, the torture! I couldn’t tell much difference and I was getting tired of taking my socks and shoes off and on. What I need is a blow torch, not a hair dryer.
I decided to try a different method. “Fill a zip-lock bag half full of water and stuff it into the shoe. Then put the entire shoe in the freezer. When the water freezes, it will expand and stretch the shoe.” How clever! So, I filled up a couple baggies with water. What could go wrong?
The person who suggested this idea must have big feet as my water-filled baggies did not fit inside my shoes. I poured water out until it was finally small enough to fit inside. You cannot believe how hard it is to hold a water-filled baggie in one hand while zipping it with the other.
When I finished cleaning up the mess, I stuffed the baggies inside the shoes and put them in the freezer. Wonder how long it will take the chunk of ice to melt when they are done? I only hope no one finds them and cooks them for dinner.
Once again, there was not much difference. Back to the drawing board. The rest of the suggestions didn’t sound very practical. Who wants to stuff shoes with wet newspapers or pour grain inside a shoe and wet it to make it expand? I wanted to stretch shoes, not make breakfast.
Then I found, “Spray them with stretching spray.” Why didn’t someone tell me about this before? Where can I get stretching spray? Available at most shoe supply retailers, it says. What is that? Where I live, you get it at Walmart or you don’t get it.
If I can find the stuff, though, I will try it. Stretching the shoes has become an obsession. I can’t let a pair of ill-fitting shoes defeat me, can I? I only hope they do not go out of style before I can fix them.
I found the stupid spray after driving all over the stupid town. I sprayed the stupid shoes and wore them with a pair of thick socks. It worked! In fact it worked too well. Now the stupid shoes are so big I can’t keep them on my stupid feet.
Wonder if there is such a thing as shrinking spray?
I think I will do what any woman would do when facing such a dilemma, hide them in the back of the closet.
Copyright 2013 Sheila Moss
Don’t buy shoes according to your regular shoe size. They are made all over the world and most often the size numbers are meaningless. Try on the shoes. If they fit then purchase. I was a part-time shoe salesman many years ago so to pay off my student loan. You would not believe how many people rejected this sensible idea.
I know European sizes are different. Hard to buy Birkenstock sandals. I just bought some “unisex” shoes: men 6/women 8. You need some idea of size to start with, don’t you, unless you want to try on every shoe in the store.
I did stretch spray once. You have to be careful or it does the job too well, mostly in places you didn’t need it stretched!
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