Many shoes made of natural materials can stretch and conform to your foot over time. My rule of thumb is that if the shoe generally matches my foot shape and is only a little snug then it’s likely to become a good fit with a bit of work. If it’s shaped like an almond (with a pointed toe), if my toes are curling up at the edges, or if it feels really tight then I don’t waste my time trying to stretch. Here are my two favorite ways to stretch my shoes:
- Stuff the toe box with socks or newspaper and wave a hairdryer over it
- Push a golf ball or small rubber ball into the spot that I want stretched
- Use a wooden shoe stretcher
Shoes also naturally stretch as you wear them, so a slightly snug shoe made of leather or natural fabrics will likely become a perfect fit after a few wears.