Finding a perfect pair of leather sandals is one of those magic moments in shopping. The not-so-exciting part? Breaking them in. You know the drill: leather sandals are usually so stiff when they’re brand new. It can take days, even weeks, to stretch them out enough so that they don’t cause blisters. In the meantime, you have to deal with the pain. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to stretch leather sandals quickly and safely.

Things You'll Need

Stretching spray

Buy stretching spray from a shoe store. Spray it into the insides of your sandals and then put them on and walk around for at least five minutes. The stretching spray works with the help of the heat from your feet.

Thick socks

Put on two to three pairs of very thick socks and walk around in your sandals for about 20 minutes.

Shoe stretchers

Purchase shoe stretchers from a shoe store. Place them inside your sandals every night for one week.


Cut a potato up into small chunks and then stuff them into your sandals in the places that need stretching. Leave the potato chunks there overnight and the starches will soften the leather. When you put the sandals on the next day, they should stretch out easily.

Shoe repair shop

Take your sandals to a professional shoe repair shop and ask that they be stretched. Shoe repair shops have stretching machines and commercial leather softeners they can use to get the job done safely and quickly—it usually takes about 24 hours.


  • Since a shoe stretcher usually takes a few days, if you wear the sandals in the meantime, help your feet out by covering up blister-prone areas with adhesive bandages, cotton balls, or a square of felt fabric.
  • If your leather sandals are waterproof, soaking them in water and then wearing them until they dry often stretches them out.