To play tennis effectively, your tennis shoes need to be a bit tight. This is how they provide you with the right amount of support for your feet.
Without this support, you wouldn’t be able to do all your fancy moves on the court.
However, for some people, tennis shoes can be a little bit too tight. This can make playing a little bit uncomfortable.
Therefore, an important question to ask is will tennis shoes stretch? A slight stretch in your shoes might help make them more comfortable.
When Might You Need to Stretch Your Tennis Shoes?
Before we dive in and answer this question it might actually be worth thinking about why you might want to stretch them in the first place.
As we said before; when you are on the tennis court, you are going to be moving around a whole lot. You need to be able to turn quickly without limitations.
If your shoes are too loose, then you are likely going to be a far slower player. So, if you are wearing even the best among tennis shoes for the first time, then bear this in mind..
You should also remember that looser tennis shoes can increase your risk of injury. This is because, ultimately, there is going to be a lot less support for your feet.
Tour tennis shoes need to be stretched if it hurts you to put them on. If you are struggling to get your feet into the shoe, then they are also too tight.
Finally, if you are noticing marks or of course, blisters on your feet after an epic game of tennis, then it is highly likely that your tennis shoes are too tight.
Will You Be Able to Stretch Tennis Shoes?
You can. However, do bear in mind that this is a process that cannot be reversed. Once they are stretched, they are stretched. The only way you are going to be able to make them tighter again is by tightening the laces.
However, you are still going to be losing a little bit of foot support here. Sadly, this is something that will ultimately impact your game.
Because your shoes are going to naturally stretch over time, we suggest that you play a couple of games in your shoes to test them.
If they are still uncomfortable after that, then you may want to look into using one of the following methods to stretch your tennis shoes. Some of these methods may be a little bit unconventional, but we promise you that they work.
1. Freeze Your Shoes
We told you that these methods could be a little bit unconventional.
Now, think back to your science classes. What does water do when it is frozen? It expands!
For this method, you are going to need to get some small sealable bags. You will want to put a small amount of water in each of these bags. The bag should be filled no more than a quarter of the way up.
Place each bag into your shoe. Make sure it fits well.
Now, place the shoes in the freezer and leave them there for a day or so. When you pull them out, they should have stretched a little bit!
2. Heating Up Your Tennis Shoes
Now for the opposite approach. This isn’t really a method that we would actually recommend, but some people have had success with it.
We suggest that this method should be seen as a last resort. If you heat your shoes up, the fabric will start to lose a little bit of its strength. This means that your shoes will not last as long.
This method is pretty simple, though. Put the shoes on. Grab a hairdryer, switch it to the low heat, and point it at the area where your shoes are tightest.
This will ‘melt’ the area, allowing your feet to reshape it. Do not point the hairdryer at an area for too long. This is going to ruin your shoes. Under a minute should be a pretty safe bet here.
3. Use Your Hands
If you only need to do a small amount of stretching, then you can use your hands. Just gently tug on the shoes to stretch them out a little bit .
We can’t stress how important that you are only tugging gently! We have seen some people use this method and pull a bit too hard. Want to guess what happened? Well, they were picking up a brand-new pair of shoes shortly afterward!
To be honest with you, if you feel that your shoes would be loose enough after a small tug, then we suggest you just wear the shoes instead.
It doesn’t even need to be on the tennis court. Just wear them around your home. The more you walk in the shoes, the looser they will get.
Why run the risk of breaking the shoes when you can just stretch them out naturally?
Eventually, Your Tennis Shoes Will Stretch Too Much
Throughout this page, we have been talking a lot about how you can intentionally stretch your tennis shoes. However, your tennis shoes will end up stretching either way. This is even the case if you had no intention of stretching them.
As we have said several times, when you are on the tennis court you are going to be moving about a lot. Each time you move, your feet will be rocking from side to side.
These rocking movements mean that the shoes are getting stretched a little bit more. It won’t be noticeable at first, but after a few months of regular play you may find that you need to lace up your shoes a little bit more.
There is no way to reverse this process. Once they have been stretched, you are going to need to replace your tennis shoes. If you do not do that, then you are going to be running the risk of injury.
Ideally, you will want to replace your tennis shoes at least once every six months. This is particularly the case if you are playing the sport regularly.