On to the 3rd day of 2014 , I would like to share with you one of the best tips I have tried of the year 2013 – which is stretching a pair of Ferragamo Varina.
A month ago, I bought the most important pair of flats in my life through Shopbob. It’s a beautiful pair of classic – red patent leather, with gold hardware and bows.
As my first time purchasing Ferragamo flats, I wasn’t familiar with their sizing at all. As far as I knew, their flats tend to run small as it’s cater for narrow feet. And what I didn’t know was that they carry a few width – AA (narrow), B (medium), C (wide) & D (extra wide).
So, I I headed to local boutique to try out a few sizes without paying attention to the width, US 6 was tight on me, so I opted a US 6.5 when I bought it online, figuring that it’s better to be oversized than under.
As you can see the highlighted picture, the ‘B’ denotes of the width. This was shown on the website, I, however, have forgotten to pay attention to the width when I was at the boutique. So, confidently I bought a size 6.5 (thankfully really) .
I was over the moon when I received the parcel because they are just so super gorgeous!
It’s hard to tell from the picture but it was super snug! It was narrow and tight – even on the length.
I knew, by hook or by crook, I had to find ways to expand this shoe given to the price.
After a lot and a lot of reading and researching on the internet, there are a few methods that seem to work:
1. Freezing the shoes with water – seems to be one of the most highly-sought method that works. BUT, I strongly suggest not to try this with any expensive shoes, what if the glue is weakened? Can you bear to see your babies falling apart just after a few times?
2. Using the hairdryer – this method is pretty easy, wear your thickest socks and using hair dryer to heat up the shoes, while wiggling your toes in them to help the expansion. I tried this method, it is good as a quick-fix when you need to wear the shoes out and about, however, with this patent leather, they tend to shrink back to the original size when left overnight without wearing.
Not a permanent solution either.
3. Shoe tree from Daiso – I have been seeing this shoe tree thing around for a long time, it’s used to help the shoes stay in shape when not in used.
However, as you can see, the size of the shoe tree is significantly smaller than the shoes, so, technically it won’t do anything to help to expand.
After much thoughts, I figured helping the shoe tree to wear 2 layers of thick socks then stuff it back into the shoes might help.
Indeed! They worked!!! However, still not good enough as the shoe tree isn’t very strong to stretch properly.
After using this shoe tree, I could walk a little without killing my feet but it was still undersized in terms of length.
Decided that I would not give up, I succumbed and bought a proper shoe stretcher online.
As you can see, it’s a damn big piece of a solid wood. It’s much bigger than the Daiso shoe tree on the left.
The feel of wood is smooth so you don’t have to worry about it scratching your shoes.
However, do note that this shoe stretcher itself is big already, it’s meant for US 35-37. It’s not meant for small & narrow feet. But, you probably won’t need this if you have narrow feet.
This block of wood at the back can be turned and adjusted to fit the size of your shoe, it can help to slightly expand the length too.
When you slot the stretcher in, you can adjust the width by turning this lever at the back. The operation is very easy.
Now, you can see how the shoe can be expanded in the stretcher. It’s extremely helpful to expand the toe part.
A few tips when using this:
1. Expand the shoe bit by bit. DO NOT over expand the shoe just in case it becomes too large.
2. You may leave this stretcher overnight, or a few hours, then try on the shoe to check if it can fit you already. If it doesn’t cut anymore, best to wear the shoe out for some breather and let the shape maintain. Taking stretcher out right away and keeping shoe back into the box again might cause the shoe to shrink a little again.
3. I like to try with the wider foot first to test how it goes with this thing.
4. I only left each side to be stretched for 2 nights each on one side. As you can see, I only bought one stretcher hence I will need to take turns to stretch each side.
My flats are comfortable enough now to walk long distance 😉 I paid RM70 for this shoe stretcher but it’s worth every cent because it revived my shoes!
If you have any shoe stretching tip that you have tried and worked, do share!