I struggle to find shoes that I like AND that fit…I wear a US 7 wide to a 71/2 wide according to the brand, and there just aren’t that many stylish wides out there in my price range. If you don’t believe me, just go to Zappos and filter their shoes. When you enter the width filter, you will be amazed at how the available number drastically drops.
When searching for tall leather boots last fall, I happened upon a post about stretching leather for wide calves.
I broke down and bought a pair of Frye Melissa boots in the wide calf option, but even then they were about 1 1/2″ too small. I persevered, and sprayed the calf area all around until they were well saturated then wore them with two pairs of socks. It took several applications, and after the first couple times I also inserted large knitting needles, hair brush handles, anything I could find to help stretch them a little more (Yes, this was a funny sight.). I can now comfortably wear them, although I wish they were just 1/4″ wider so that they would be loose, not fitted.
I also have a wide forefoot. I figured since this method worked so well on the boots, I would try it on a pair of sandals I wanted to buy that did not come it wide.
I got them from Talbots and knew from past experience they would definitely be tight. Since they were leather I was pretty sure it would work.
I just wrapped each foot in elastic bandage a few layers (I didn’t want to deal with socks and a thong sandal), sprayed the strap that goes across the instep with the rubbing alcohol, and pulled them on. After only a few times they fit like a dream!
Two things to note if you decide to try this. One, it only works on leather. Two, you may notice some color transference from the damp leather, but in both my instances once the shoes were dry you couldn’t tell they had lost any color. Just don’t wear socks that you would getting stained!