Introduction to a shoe instep stretcher – Anyone who has spent even a day in an ill-fitting shoe knows exactly how uncomfortable and experience it is. Be it the length, the width, calve or the instep, the problem is annoying, to say the least. That is especially true in the case of a badly fitting boot instep which is why you need the help of a boot stretcher at all costs.
The main culprit of having a shoe or boot that does not fit as well is because of a tight instep. If you are not familiar with common terms related to shoes, then you should know that the instep is the arched area in the middle part of the shoes. Now there are tonnes of different methods of having this issue fixed. In this article, you will read about some of those.
Need for a Shoe Stretcher
Now, in order to truly appreciate the need of a stretcher, you have to understand the adverse effects of using a shoe that is too tight for you. Yes, that is correct. Using shoes that are too tight can and will cause health related problems most of which are related to your foot. Here is a brief discussion on the different ways things can go wrong.
Bunions are basically big lumps that are located at the bottom end of your toe, towards the side of your foot. The reason why bunions are caused in the first place is because of the foot being pushed out of place inside the shoe. Such misplacement causes the toe to get continuously rubbed against the side of the boot. A bunion shoe stretcher sometimes can do the trick to make your shoe more comfortable without surgery.
When this happens on a prolonged basis, your toe develops such big lumps called bunions. When it comes to treatment, padding or taping are equally good for getting rid of it. Surgery is also sometimes needed when things go from bad to worse. Victoria Beckham is one of the most famous celebrities to suffer from this issue.
- Heel Pain
Another huge problem that you may face in the future is severe heel pain. According to a research statistic, 43% of all the Americans in the world experience heel pain in a single year. And most of these cases are caused by wearing shoes which do not fit properly. It is something that can happen at any place of the heel.
As such, wearing shoes which fit correctly is extremely important if you want to avoid any such problems. Also, changing your shoes when you have to be a very important task as well. It can also happen due to a bruise from an injury or excessive stress being put on the foot due to a tight shoe. The ligaments suffer the most from such an issue.
- Deformed Toes
Another problem that can occur due to the use of tight shoes and the reluctance to use a boot stretcher has to deal with deformed toes. This condition is also known as hammertoe is responsible for giving your pinkies a rather claw-like look. It is basically a deformity which is caused when the toe joints bend too much out of shape.
When this bending occurs in excess, the joints curl up instead of being in the flat position that they always are. Most people who suffer from this condition are also prone to diabetes. It is also pretty common for kids to experience this because of the fact that they continually grow and need to have their shoes changed regularly.
- Ulcers & Amputation
One thing, diabetes patients, in particular, has to watch out for when dealing with shoes that are too tight is the fact that it can lead to ulcers as well as amputation. Ulcers can lead to wounds which cannot be felt prominently due to the sensation of the skin being reduced. In diabetes patients, the wound has difficulties healing quickly.
Another study has shown that things like wearing too tight shoes and the introduction of different infections to your foot can cause severe issues like foot amputation. It has also been found out that wearing shoes which fit properly reduces chances of amputation by 60-70 percent. This has also been termed as “Diabetic Foot Syndrome”.
- Athlete’s Foot
Although it seems so, athlete’s foot is not something which happens only in long distance runners. Putting on tight shoes for an extended time period can also cause this syndrome. In fact, you are a prime target for such a condition if you wear unfitting shoes on a prolonged basis. So what exactly is athlete’s foot and what are the symptoms?
Basically, it causes a tonne of itching and burning to take place in the area between the toes. This is of course caused by microscopic fungi and bacteria that grow in places which are moist. If you suffer from this condition, make sure you wash your foot well on a regular basis. Also, try and wear as much as loose fitting shoes and socks as possible.
- Swollen Ankles
Another thing that can occur if you do not use a stretcher for stretching your boots properly is a pair of swollen ankles. Wearing shoes that do not fit for too long will eventually cause a lot of fluid to get stored in the ankles, thus making them swell heavily. 25 percent of all Americans spend around 6 hours a day standing uptight on their feet.
If you have a pair of tight shoes, make sure that you use a stretcher and get them up to speed. Pains and blisters are always common when using tight shoes, and that is something which you should try and avoid at all costs. Also, try to keep your toenails short. Tight shoes can lead to a bad case of toenail infection.
Stretching Your Shoe Vamp Area
- Sock Method
This is a pretty simple method and one that anyone can perform right at home. All you really need is a good, thick pair of socks. Put these socks on and then wear your shoes over them. After doing so, walk around the house for around 15 minutes or so in those shoes.
Once you have done this, take your socks off and try to walk around in your shoes and see if they fit your properly. If you find that the instep of your shoe is still as tight as before, repeat the process on and on till it stretches a bit.
- Freezer Method
The second method is known as the freezer method, and as the name suggests, it basically makes use of the process of freezing in order to stretch the shoe. The first thing that you will need in order to pull this one off is a decent sized zipper bag made of plastic or pretty much any other material.
What you need to do is also pretty simple. Take the bag and fill it up with water. Then place this water filled the bag and placed it inside the shoe you are trying to stretch. Put this entire thing inside the freezer and keep it there for around 12 hours or so. Freezing causes water to expand and ideally, it will cause your shoes to do the same.
- Hair Dryer Method
Another home alternative to a instep stretcher is the hair dryer method. This is pretty much similar to the first method and requires you to have plenty of thick socks in your home. Gather as many socks as you possibly can and put them on, one on top of the other. Put your shoes on top of them.
After that, take out your hair dryer and put it on the highest possible setting. Blast the dryer on this setting at the instep of the shoe you are stretching. The concept behind this should be obvious by now. The hot air from the dryer will eventually cause the shoe to stretch, thus allowing your feet to fit in them properly.
A simple tip you can follow when using this method to stretch your shoes is flexing both your feet backwards and forwards when using the hairdryer on the shoe instep. After using the dryer, walk around in the shoes and see if they fit. If not, repeat the process over and over again.
- Using a Boot Vamp Stretcher
Last but not the least; you can also make use of something known as a stretcher in order to get your shoe stretched to the correct size. If you do not have such a tool at home, you can always use other things to put inside your shoe in an attempt to stretch them. Basically, anything which has a spring motion falls under this category.
Good examples of such items include overstuffed socks and small pieces of cloth, crumbled up pieces of newspaper and so on. At the same time, though, nothing beats the efficiency of a true boot stretcher. It is not only easy to use, but the effects are also permanent.
The best part about these stretchers is the fact that they can be used to stretch both the length as well as the width of the shoe. Not only that, some of these can be used for stretching particular portions of the shoe like the instep. And that is exactly what you will be using if you have a tight one. Getting one is also very easy and cheap.
Using a Shoe Instep Stretcher – Preparations
Using a boot stretcher for expanding your instep is pretty simple if you have all of the things. So without further ado, here is everything you will need to get things started.
- Shoe stretching liquid/spray
- Leather conditioner
- Shoe stretcher (Wood, Metal or any other material)
- Thick socks
Use the leather conditioner and rub both the inside as well as the outside of the shoe you are trying to stretch. Once it dries off, try to wear it and walk around in it. Repeat this cycle for as many times as you possibly can. It will pave the way for using a shoe stretcher. If you are trying to get your shoe to stretch less than a single size, it will work wonders for you.
After that, spray your boot with the stretching liquid/spray. Use a decent amount of it and concentrate most of the spray on the area you wish to stretch the most. While the boots are still in a wet state, put on as many pairs of socks as possible. This is important since it adds more bulk to your feet. The number of socks depends on the amount of stretch you want.
After doing so, put the shoe on and walk around in them as much as possible. Try to get the feel of them and see how they fit you. Once done, try and repeat the process if it still does not fit you properly. If you have completed doing this for a few numbers of times, you are finally ready to use the expander.
Using the Stretcher to Stretch Your Shoe – Procedure
After the above preparations are made, you are finally ready to insert the stretcher into the shoe and make use of it. This is how it is supposed to go:
- Insert the stretcher inside the shoe you are trying to expand.
- Once there, adjust the tension of the spring to the size you want to get the shoe too.
- After adjusting, keep the shoe in that position for 12 hours or more for better results.
- You can also use a shoe stretching liquid for achieving a better amount of stretch.
Keep in mind that it may be possible to stretch the shoe more than a single size depending on the conditions you have set up. The next time you need the help of a boot instep stretcher, make sure you keep the above things in mind.