The Best Place to Find Kids' Shoes
for all Foot Shapes and Foot Problems

Do Shoe Stretchers Work?- The Solution to Kids With Wide and Extra Wide Feet


Editor’s Note: This post has been updated and revised for accuracy on April 2022 and reflects up-to-date information.

If you have tried shoes in extra wide widths that also provide extra depth but they still are not wide enough for your child’s feet, then the next step is to try using a shoe stretcher.

Hello parents!

Have you been through the following scenario before?

-You took your child to the shoe store…

-You got your child’s feet properly measured …

-You took the time to find a shoe style that your child loved…

-You had your child walk and run around the store to make sure the shoes were fitting correctly…

-Your child was in love with the shoes…

-You decided to go ahead and take the shoes home…

-Your child wears the shoes for a couple of weeks…

– Your child starts complaining that the shoes feel too tight!

You are probably asking yourself: How is this possible?! These scenarios tend to happen more often to children who have wide or extra wide feet.

Maybe your kid’s feet swelled on their way home from the shoe store or your kids liked the shoe style so much that they didn’t say anything before just to keep the shoes.

My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes

I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now that focuses on children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. I am familiar with the best children’s shoe brands and the best shoe styles among those brands from having fitted them before.


Finding a pair of shoes for a child with wide or extra wide feet can be a frustrating and time-consuming experience, especially if you don’t know what shoe styles to look for.

What are the Best Shoes for Kids with Extra Wide Feet?

Fitting the shape of a child with extra wide feet takes more than just choosing a shoe that is labeled as extra wide (XW). You need to look for shoes that are also deep and come with a round toe-box. If you want to see a selection of the widest shoes for children there is an article I wrote where I describe the best extra wide shoes for children. Go to the link below:

Children Extra Wide Shoes – Prevent Blisters, Calluses, and Corns!

If you try any of those shoe styles and the shoes still feel too tight, then it’s time to find a shoe stretcher to stretch the shoes where the widest part of the foot is to relieve the pressure from the shoes.


How Can a Shoe Stretcher Help Your Kids’ Extra Wide Feet?

When you are fitting your child in a pair of extra wide shoes and the shoes are still not wide enough, you need to use a shoe stretcher to stretch the widest part of the shoe.

Parents have asked me this question several times at the children’s shoe store that I work for:

Do shoe stretchers work?

The answer is: Yes! They are extremely effective when your child extra wide feet and no shoe seems to fit the shape of their feet.

This brings us to the question of what is a shoe stretcher? A shoe stretcher is a device that can be used to stretch a portion of your shoes. They can be used to stretch a shoe that might not be wide enough. You can stretch any specific area of the shoe where your child may be experiencing discomfort.

For example. let’s say that your kids developed a foot issue such as a corn, a bunion, or they simply just need extra space around the toe-box for their toes to move around comfortably. I have spoken with several parents who have children with six toes and shoe stretchers have worked wonderfully preventing the child’s toes from rubbing against the side of the shoes or overlapping each other.

A shoe stretcher will also come in handy for children who have a high instep. Do you know what the instep of the foot is? The instep is the top part of the foot. Take a look at the image below for clarification:


When children have a high instep they normally require a wider or a deeper shoe. If the correct shoe size was chosen to begin with, a shoe stretcher will definitely give you enough room to make your kids’ shoes feel more comfortable.

I actually wrote an article where I describe the best shoes for a child that has a high instep. Go to the link below:

Foot Pain in the Top of the Foot – Stop Your Kids’ Foot Pain

Before using a shoe stretcher, it is advisable to consider the type of material that the shoes remade since there are types of materials that simply are not compatible with any shoe stretcher. One good example of a shoe material that may not work with these products is vinyl since there is a major limitation in the flexibility of this material.

The good news is that the majority of types of shoe materials can be used with the shoe stretcher device. These materials include many different types of suede, leather, canvas, and linens. There are a large variety of shoe stretchers in the market today, and it can be confusing to choose the best one. I will show you the one I use at the kids’ shoe store that I work for and that has proven to provide the best results.

The Best Shoe Stretchers ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

One product I have personally tested and used many times while working at the children’s shoe store is a liquid shoe stretcher; which is ideal for stretching your kids’ tight-fitting sneakers, dress shoes and boots. It has all it takes to give your child the comfort their feet need when they are playing or running around.

This product has the best reviews from all over the world and parents are amazed by the excellent results it delivers. The directions are quite easy to follow:

 Simply spray on your kids’ shoes and make sure you wear them to stretch to proper fit.

 If the shoe still feels tight after applying the product, spray it again until your child reaches a comfortable fit.

 The product comes in an easy-to-spray bottle and it is formulated to clean and stretch tight-fitting shoes or boots!

You can find the best shoe stretchers below. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

When using this product, you should be extra careful in not stretching the shoes too much, since that will end up ruining the shoes. Only ease into the stretching process and consistently test the shoes. Keep asking your kids about how the shoes feel and once you reach the point where they don’t feel tight anymore, you must stop applying the product!

Children with wide and extra wide feet always struggle to find a pair of shoes that they can comfortably wear, and in most cases, they have to end up choosing a style that they didn’t really love to begin with. This shoe stretcher can help kids wear those shoes that would have been avoided because of their wide and extra wide feet.

3 Important Questions Parents Have About This Product!

1- If sprayed on the outside of the shoe, will it stain the shoe at all?

This product will not stain leather shoes and you can spray it in the inside or the outside of the shoes.

2- Can I use it on all of my kids’ sneakers?

It will depend on the material. It works on most kids’ shoes.

3- Can I use this product on patent shoes?

Yes. It actually works great on patent shoes.

 Socks for Kids with Wide/Extra Wide Feet – Seamless and Breathable!

If your kids have wide to extra wide feet, and you have fitted them in the widest shoes available but they still feel too narrow, stop hurting their feet and try these products!

At the shoe store that I work for, we carry every single pair of extra wide shoes that shoe companies manufacture for children. However, certain children that have really wide feet will benefit from stretching the shoes.

I almost forgot to tell you about the importance of socks. If your child has wide feet, there are certain socks that are seamless and breathable that will allow your kids’ toes to freely move and prevent them from getting cramped. While I can’t get into too much detail about the best socks for kids with wide feet in this article, I wrote another post where I describe the best socks for kids with wide feet. Go to the link below:

Socks for Wide Feet – The Best Wide Socks for Kids

Do you have a child with extra wide feet and you always seem to have a hard time finding shoes that fit? If you have found a particular shoe style or a shoe stretcher that has worked well for your child, please let us know so other parents can benefit from your experiences.


I created this webpage to help parents understand the importance that shoes have in healthy foot development and how they can prevent foot problems in the future.Join the rest of the parents who are taking care of their kids feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.

Do You Buy Your Kids’ Shoes Online?

Subscribe and get my personalized shoe size chart for free to help you find what size to order online.

Shoe Sizing Chart

14 Comments on Do Shoe Stretchers Work?- The Solution to Kids With Wide and Extra Wide Feet

  1. I had never heard of shoe stretching spray before, or a shoe stretcher either for that matter. Interesting. I know this article is about kid’s shoes, but I have always had a problem with shoes being too narrow. Now I know what to do!
    I appreciated you going over some frequently asked questions at the end. That cleared up a few questions I had.

  2. My son has the widest feet, and even when I get him wide shoes he complains of them feeling too tight. I am definitely getting a pair of this! I never knew something like a shoe stretcher even existed until now. I like how you included the types on shoes it will work best on also. Gives a good idea to your readers on the expectations of using this on certain types of shoes.

    Props to the person that invented a shoe stretching spray!

  3. My family has thrown many kids shoes away due to their children having wide feet and complaining about the shoes feeling too tight. I didn’t know that kids shoes could be stretched. I still remember my niece shoes being thrown away after wearing for 1 month as she complained about them feeling too tight on her feet.

    I think this article will save tons of money for our family in the future. The last part of the article answered all my questions. Thanks for the info here.

    • Maxx,

      Remember that shoes come in wide, and extra wide widths. It might be possible that your family is not getting the right shoe width to start with. However, if you are getting an extra wide width shoe and it still feels tight, a shoe stretcher will definitely help!

  4. Hello Juan,

    My niece has wide feet and she always has some trouble in finding a comfortable pair of shoes. We never used any kind of shoe stretchers so far thinking that it might not help.

    After reading your post i realized that the shoe stretches do help kids with wider feet. Also, the “Professional Boot and Shoe Leather Stretch” seems to be a wonderful product and easy to use (just spray it). I’m getting this product for my niece! Thank you!

  5. I had not heard of these devices before. Wish I had of!! My son has big feet and wide and I have spent many hours going from shop to shop to find shoes that fit. Because he wears a size 14/15 it makes it difficult to find shoes at all.I am getting one of this shoe stretcher to have for the whole family.

    • Shoe stretchers come handy when you have children with really wide feet. You will really get some good use out of it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.