If you're an on-the-go working girl who spends hours on her feet, you know the value of a good pair of shoes. Dansko is an American shoe manufacturer with a reputation for producing high-quality leather shoes and clogs that are as durable as they are comfortable. Dansko clogs are particularly popular with girls working everywhere from restaurants to hospitals. If your Danskos are feeling a little tight, try stretching them before spending your hard-earned money on a new pair.
Wear them in. The most straight-forward way to stretch your Danskos is to wear them. Leather is flexible, so it'll conform to the shape of your foot if you wear the shoes long enough. Wear extra-thick socks during the breaking-in period to help the stretching.
Soak tougher leather with a shoe-stretcher spray. Shoe-stretcher spray is a leather-safe liquid that penetrates the surface of your shoes and loosens the leather fibers to help with stretching. If just wearing your Danskos around the house isn't working well enough, coat them in shoe-stretcher spray before you do your walking.
Break out the big guns. If your Dansko shoes are still too tight even after spraying them and walking around in them, use a shoe stretcher. A shoe stretcher is wooden or plastic device that you slip into a shoe and crank open by small degrees to widen the front of the shoe. Leave the shoe stretcher in the shoe at least overnight or, if necessary, up to a few days. Combine a shoe stretcher with shoe-stretcher spray for the best results.
Give them the deep freeze. It seems counter-intuitive, but your kitchen freezer is also a tool in your Dansko stretching arsenal. Fill two sealable plastic bags with water, stuff one into the front of each shoe and stick the shoes in the freezer. As the water in the bags freezes, the bags will expand and stretch the shoes. Unless it's a crazy hot summer day, you'll probably be happier if you let the shoes thaw out before you wear them.
Get your feet wet. Soak your leather Danskos inside and out with water, then slip them on to stretch the softened leather. If the water treatment doesn't work, mix 1 tbsp. of rubbing alcohol into a big bowl of water, soak the shoes again and put them back on. Obviously, wet shoes aren't the most comfortable thing in the world, so wear socks and do this when you're home, rather than at work, to make it easier on your feet.
Don't kill your feet in a pair of shoes that are simply too small. If none of these methods work, cut your losses and get a new, properly fitting pair.
Don't wet suede leather shoes. Most Danskos are full-grain leather, but if yours are suede, keep them dry. Water discolors suede and damages the nap.
Leather is forgiving, but not invincible. Significantly stretching leather can result in cracking, so stretch shoes in small increments to prevent or limit damage. Also, keep your leather well-lubricated with regular oil treatments and polishing.
Water makes leather temporarily brittle, so don't quick-dry it; instead, let it air-dry at room temperature.