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How to Stretch Wrestling Shoes

Last Updated: 16.05.22


Although finding wrestling shoes for young wrestlers can be a tad challenging, nothing compares to the dreadful feeling one gets when he/she realizes that the newly acquired shoes are too tight. To help you deal with this problem, we have prepared an article that is packed with info that might come in handy!


Should wrestling shoes be tight?

As you probably know, wrestling shoes are supposed to provide users with a tight fit. This kind of footwear is designed to mimic the shape of the foot of the wrestler so that he/she is provided with the necessary level of mobility and traction necessary when grappling a competitor.

Still, a tight fit does not mean that comfort is out of the picture. When a wrestler is wearing uncomfortable shoes, he/she can get distracted and lose concentration. Also, wearing ill-fitting footwear for a long time can lead to swollen feet as well as to the appearance of painful blisters.  

So, the shoes that you are wearing while training should not cause you pains or any feeling of discomfort.

If you are purchasing wrestling shoes for a child, the experts advise that you leave about a thumb finger space between the front of the shoe and the toes. This way, you won’t have to buy a new pair each and every month.

Break them in

One issue that we often have to face when buying new shoes is them being too tight. However, this oftentimes happens because they have not been worn before. Because of this, it is best that you take the time to break them in. To speed up the entire process, some customers recommend that you wear them around the house.

The more time you wear them, the faster the material that was utilized to make them will start to loosen and stretch. In no time, the shoes will feel comfortable and you will be able to train while wearing them.


Use heat

Another tip that previous customers swear by involves the use of heat. To do so, you have to put on thick socks and squeeze your feet inside the shoes. Next, use the blow dryer on hot and spread the warm air all over your feet. Do so for several minutes.

During the entire process, it is best that you also move your toes around inside the shoes, as this will help stretch the material faster. Once you are done heating the shoes, the specialists argue that you should keep the shoes and the socks on until they cool off.

Finally, remove the socks and try the shoes on while wearing normal socks. If the shoes still do not feel comfortable, the process should be repeated.

If your beloved shoes are made of suede or of leader, it is best that you apply a leather conditioner after you heat them.



If you want visible results in a short time, it might also help to invest in a shoe-stretching spray for leather shoes. Although all sprays come with special instructions, normally, one has to spray the leather and to wear the shoes until the solution dries.

It is vital that, before you use a product of this kind, you read the description made available by the seller, as the spray might only be compatible with a limited number of materials.

Use your freezer

Another tip that you might want to check out involves freezing your shoes. To start, fill half of a resealable bag with water and place it inside the shoe. Make sure that the bag is closed perfectly so that you won’t have to deal with an unfortunate surprise. You can place the first bag inside a new one for extra safety. Next, put the shoes in the freezer overnight.

In the morning, before removing the frozen bags, it is best that you leave the shoes to rest at room temperature for at least 15 to 30 minutes. Once you see the ice starting to melt, it is time to take the bags out.

Although this method is said to work with all types of shoes out there, some argue that it is more efficient in the case of open-toe models. However, buyers also note that it is worth trying in the case of athletic shoes.


Use a shoe stretcher

If you own leather shoes, a shoe stretcher is a must have. A shoe stretcher is a device that was created to wedge down into the shoe so that it widens it. Products of this kind can be purchased from all high-end stores or from online retailers.

To get the best results, it might help to use a stretching spray as well. So, before you utilize the stretcher, dampen the material of the shoe with a spray and insert the stretcher. The entire process can be repeated as many times as necessary.



Alcohol might also come in handy in times of need. To get the job done, pour some alcohol inside an empty spray bottle. Gently spray the substance inside the shoe until it is slightly damp. Put the shoes on and walk in them until the added alcohol dries up. If the shoes are still a little snug, you should repeat the process.

The trick might also work if you soak a pair of cotton socks in alcohol. Squeeze out the excess liquid, put the socks on and then the shoes. Wear the shoes until the alcohol dries out.

Newspapers might also help

This next trick is a good way to get rid of yesterday’s news and to end up with comfy shoes. At first, you have to crumple up some pages of a newspaper and to wet them. Avoid getting them soaked as this will end up damaging the sole of the shoe.

Place the pieces of wet newspaper inside the shoe. Make sure that they mimic the actual shape of your feet. Once the newspaper dries up, remove it and try the shoes on. Repeat if necessary.


Go to a professional

If you have invested a lot of money in your wrestling shoes, and you do not want to damage them by mistake, it is best that you use specialized help. Normally, any professional cobbler is equipped with the skills and the devices needed to get the job done in a short amount of time. You should also consider hiring a specialist in case your previous at-home attempts have failed.

Plus, using a specialist is not as pricey one might expect it to be. So, don’t waste time and look for the best cobbler near your home!



Before you try any of these methods it is important that you take into account the material that was used to construct the shoes. This way, you can be sure that you will not ruin your beloved footwear by accident. What is more, some manufacturers also provide their buyers with suggestions about how to break in shoes that are, at first, a tad uncomfortable.

If you need specialized tips and tricks, it might also be a good idea to ask your trainer for advice. He/she will surely know what to recommend. By doing so, we are sure that you will end up with a comfortable pair of shoes that will suit your needs entirely.




1) All you need to know about choosing shoes

2) How tying your laces can help

3) How can I stretch my shoes wider?

4) Are Wrestling Shoes Supposed to be Tight?



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