If the Shoe Doesn't Fit, Make It


There is nothing worse than putting on a brand new pair of heels and quickly realizing they are “sitting” shoes AKA shoes you can only wear while sitting.

They feel tight around the toes, they rub at the heel, and they pinch with every step but felt great at the store. What happened?

It’s that dreaded breaking in period where the shoe rubs against the tender parts of your foot, causes blisters and results in you walking like a baby giraffe by the end of the night.

Shoes need to conform to the shape of your foot and it takes time for that to happen but I have a stylist’s short cut that will have you rockin’ those heels pain free instantly.

All you need is a blow-dryer, a thick pair of socks and your heels.

I like to use thick wool socks but you can use any thick sock you have handy.  Put on the socks, then your shoes (its gonna feel really tight) and blast the shoes with a hairdryer.

Heat the shoes keeping the dryer about 6 inches away from the leather so that you don’t burn them. Concentrate on the stiffest parts of the heels (think toe box, back of the heel) and tightest parts of shoe. The tighter the shoe the longer you will need to heat it so that the heat penetrates and gets all the way in.

Turn the dryer off.

Now walk around in the shoes until they cool, wiggle and flex your feet.  Keep them on until they are completely back to normal temperature, then try walking in them without socks to check the fit. If they’re comfy, you’re done; if they’re still snug, whip out the socks and hair dryer and repeat the process until the shoes are stretched to a perfect fit.

NOTE: This method ONLY works with shoes made of natural materials NOT plastic or anything that will melt.

I recently learned from another stylist that this trick also works with a steamer!  You want to blast the inside of the shoe with the steamer before you put it on.  Heat things up but be careful not to keep the steamer in there too long and avoid getting the shoe too wet so that you don’t discolor it.  Then while the shoe is still hot put your foot (with sock on) inside it and walk around in it until it cools.

If you are super serious about breaking shoes in, Jiffy (My go-to steamer company) also makes a steamer specifically for this purpose Jiffy SteamBreaker -it is excellent for breaking in cowboy boots because it heats the leather without drying it out.


Click to SHOP some of my favorite foot helpers:

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  1. This is amazing ! I have a pair of Gucci’S that are just killing me that I was going to sell ! But I love them ….
    going to try this today ! Thanks love!!

  2. Just shared your post!! Wish I knew about this sooner:(
    Any tips on freshening up the red on the soles of Louboutins?

  3. This is such a handy tip! I hate realising I’ve got a pair of “sitting shoes” and the breaking in period for new shoes sucks and can last ages! I am definitely going to give this a go as the combination from the heat of the hair dryer and thick socks totally makes sense. Thank you so much for sharing this cool tip 🙂

    1. Depending on the type- if it has a back strap you can take it to a shoe repair and have them tighten it. If its a pump try shoe inserts to fill up the extra space.

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