The 3 Best Shoe Stretchers For Bunions
When you have bunions, overly-tight shoes can be a source of debilitating pain. That's why the best shoe stretchers for bunions are a must-have item to keep in your closet. The right shoe stretcher can make your existing shoes more comfortable by creating space in the width of the toe box, where bunion-sufferers really need it.
Before you buy, take note that shoe stretchers work best on suede and leather materials and are less effective at stretching synthetic shoe materials. Also as you shop for stretchers, consider the material it's made of. Metal and wood designs might cost a bit more upfront than plastic stretchers, but they're also more durable so you likely won't ever need to replace them.
Shoe stretchers also come in two varieties: two-way and one-way stretchers. While this may seem obvious, two-way stretchers can stretch your shoe lengthwise and widthwise, whereas a one-way stretcher will just be able to stretch the width of your shoe at the toe box. Since the best way to relieve bunion pain is to widen the toe box area of your shoes, either type of shoe stretcher will work for bunion-sufferers.
Keep in mind that, no matter the material, shoe stretchers take time to work. You'll need to keep them inside the shoes for at least 24 hours before you'd notice a difference.
To help you make up your mind, I've gathered up some of the best shoe stretchers for bunions on the market.
1. The Overall Best, All Things Considered
Miserwe Shoe Stretcher
These Miserwe shoe stretchers are a best-seller on Amazon for a reason: Reviewers report they can stretch shoes up to 3 inches wider. For people suffering from bunions, these stretchers take it a step further. They come with eight optional plugs that can further stretch specific areas of your shoes — areas that put repeated pressure on bunions. While this stretcher won't work on boots, it's compatible with nearly every other type of shoe. You'll see your shoes widen after the first 24 hours, but some reviewers say the longer you leave them in, the better the overall result.
What fans say: “These work well. My foot doctor recommended stretching my shoes for a bothersome bunion. To really stretch I leave it in the shoe for 5-7 days. But for the cost it has paid for itself rather than me going to the cobbler all the time.”
2. The Splurge
FootFitter Cast Iron Shoe Stretcher
This cast iron FootFitter shoe stretcher is a heavy-duty and professional option that can reach deep into shoes and low-cut boots to stretch areas of the shoe that affect bunion-sufferers. Thanks to its ball-and-ring design, it can specifically target small areas to stretch shoes several inches. While many shoe stretchers will stretch the entire shoe, this metal stretcher is great for reaching targeted areas of your shoes (like the painful toe box area) without making your entire shoe too loose to wear.
What fans say: “I am a size seven women's shoe except for a large bunion on my left foot. This tool stretches just the area I need. I have tried shoe stretchers that stretch the entire shoe width but then the shoes are too big or slip off my foot.”
3.The Most Affordable
Stretch Genie Spray And Expanders
This Stretch Genie spray and expanders kit works in two ways to stretch out shoes. First, the spray-on solvent helps break down and loosen the fibers of the leather or other natural materials. Then, the plastic expanders help physically create more space. The result is up to several more inches of space shoes, making them more comfortable to wear, especially for bunion-sufferers. Although some reviewers have noted that the expanders can take some practice to insert, once you get the hang of using them, they are very effective, especially combined with the spray.
What fans say: “If you have a pair of shoes that is almost perfect, yet they rub in one spot (say, you have a bunion or corn), you can use this kit to push out a section of the shoe leather to adjust the fit and make the shoe more comfortable. If you used to take shoes to a shoe repair shop to be adjusted, this is the technique they would use."
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.