Dansko shoes are noted for their superior, sturdy construction. While this bodes well for anyone who works on their feet all day, the stiff materials used in each Dansko shoe means they can be uncomfortable straight out of the box.
They will get more comfortable as they’re broken in over time, but what if you can’t wait that long? If you’ve invested in a pair of ill-fitting or uncomfortable Danskos that you can’t return, consider stretching them.
Do Danskos stretch?
The general consensus is that yes, they do stretch! It can take two or three days of repeated stretching until the shoe holds the new form, so a bit of patience is required. The type of stretch can also be affected by the stretching method that’s used.
Why would you want to stretch them out?
Sometimes, returning or exchanging a pair of Danskos isn’t possible or convenient. In these cases, stretching can help them function better as work shoes.
Also, Danskos take about a week of regular use before they feel broken in, and stretching can speed up the process. Because Dansko shoes are handmade, they can be inconsistent in size.
The left shoe might even be slightly different from the right. In these cases, stretching them can close the gap between a shoe that almost fits vs. a perfectly-fitting shoe.
Finally, for people with high arches, wide ankles, or squared toes, stretching the leather can prevent foot pain from an awkwardly fitting shoe.
How do you stretch them?
A shoe repairman can easily stretch your Danskos to a more comfortable fit. If you are more of the DIY type or want to save a little money, here are three ways you can try stretching them at home.
Liquid tends to expand as it freezes. Keeping this principle in mind, try filling plastic sandwich bags with water, tucking them inside your Danskos, and placing them in your freezer.
This method only produces a minimal stretch, but you can experiment with increasing water amounts until you achieve your desired size.
Blasting your Danskos with some heat can soften the leather and help it become more pliable. With the hairdryer method, put on your Danskos while wearing some thick socks.
Then, apply heat with a hairdryer until the leather becomes warm to the touch. Once the shoes have softened, wiggle your toes and walk around as they cool. After doing this two or three times, your Danskos should fit much better.
Softening spray/shoe stretcher method
This method requires some additional products. Apply a shoe softening spray to soften and condition the leather. Then, insert a shoe stretcher, use the knob to adjust the length, and leave it in place for 12 to 24 hours.
You can repeat this process as necessary until you’re satisfied with the results.
Most people buy Danskos to protect their feet, but there’s little point in owning them if they’re uncomfortable or don’t fit right. If you find that parts of your Dansko work shoes are pinching or crushing any part of your foot, all is not lost.
Before you’re tempted to throw them out, try a bit of stretching first.