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Will Basketball Shoes Stretch?

Did you buy a pair of basketball shoes that don’t have quite enough room or are trying to decide if you need to go up a size to make sure your foot has room? The real question isn’t will basketball shoes stretch, steel stretches, the real question is “How do you stretch basketball shoes?” There are a few tricks that may help, a lot you may have already tried, and a few you may not have heard of.

  • Starting with the obvious. Jumping straight into a new shoe as you walk on to the court is probably not the best idea. Ideally you get them early enough to simply wear them around the house and a few practices. Start off with just wearing them around the house for 15 minutes or so and building on the time and increasing the activity level to include jumping, stairs, short little runs, until that start to feel a little better,. After a few days, add in a few practices where you can easily switch out to other shoes before you get all blistered up.

Start off with thicker socks or two pair of thinner ones. This will help reduce blisters simply because of the extra padding but will also work to push the shoe a little past where you really need. Like anything that stretches, leather and cloth shoes will both relax and pull back in a little helping you get just the right fit.

  • Shoe Stretcher. Shoe stretchers are relatively cheap and can be used over and over. The ones these days even have attachments that help you pinpoint where you want that little extra room, whether for the big toe, little toe, or the heal, they may be the way to go.

  • Freeze them. Yep, time for the creative stuff. This one requires a little care on your part so you don’t get the shoes wet, but beyond that, the laws of physics will do the rest. Fill a Ziplock with water and slide it down into the shoe and stick it into the freezer. Obviously, you have to be careful not to cause a leak, and you may even want to double or triple bag just in case. Let it thaw, pull the bags out, and check your results.

  • Heat them. Some people find help from their (or their wife’s) hair dryer. Warm up the target area a little, put on the shoe, then give it a quick intense workout while they cool off. Jump around, run, do some directional changes.

  • When all else fails, believe it or not, there are people that actually work on shoes for a living. Yes, cobblers still exist, and while they may cost you a few bucks, they may be the easy and effective way out.

Now that you know basketball shoes will stretch and how to stretch basketball shoes, you just need to decide which option is right for you. No matter which route you go, go slow and don’t try to stretch them too far. If your shoes need stretched a lot, you may simply have the wrong size - return them and get the right size. Regardless of what you decide, always wear some quality socks, take care of your feet, and be safe.

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