Men’s shoe stretchers are invaluable little accessories that all adult men should own. Most men have a few pair of dress shoes in their wardrobe. And usually, men think long and hard before buying a pair of formals, as they expect them to last for many years. And the fact is, ones by quality designers will last for many years or even decades if properly cared for.
But every man tends to have a pair that he doesn’t wear often, and usually it is because they do not fit well. Sometimes we buy a pair that feel great in the showroom, only to bring them home and discover they’re really not that comfortable in day-to-day use. In these situations these devices can really save the day by breaking in those problem pairs for you.
It is also a fact that especially leather or suede, can shrink if they have not been worn in some time. This is another situation where a quality device can help out. But whether you’re breaking in, or re-stretching ones that haven’t been worn in a while, you will need some good quality equipment. So how do you decide which to choose?
There are three basic types; the first type is the cheap plastic trees you will find at many inexpensive stores. These are of limited use and often wear out quickly, so in general they are not recommended.
The second type is the cedar or maple hardwood. These are also known as a one-way, because they will expand only the width. This type is of far greater quality and will tend to last a long time.
But ideally, every man should own the third type: the two way. These will expand both the width and the length. These are far more versatile and practical than either of the other types, and a quality two way model will last you a lifetime.
In addition, they often have holes along the front and sides of their surface that can be fitted with supplied orthopedic plugs. These plugs will expand specific areas according to your needs. This can be a godsend if you have a tendency to blister in a certain area of your foot, or if you have corns or calluses on your feet.
Most quality models will be made of cedar, which absorbs moisture and odor. After using the stretcher, you may notice that your footwear have the fresh clean smell of cedar — which is not a bad thing at all.
It is important to note that certain types of footwear require their own special expanders, and standard footwear will not find these beneficial. Cowboy boots are one example of this, and you will need to buy a special model made for these to get good results. Other high-tops will sometimes need a specific one as well, but for 95% of men’s footwear, a regular two-way stretching device will do the trick.