Do Converse Stretch?

do converse stretch

Do converse stretch? Converse is a popular shoe that has come to be a staple piece in any closet. They have paved the way for casual, yet stylish footwear. Lucky for most people, Converse comes in all standard footwear sizes and even offers some options for wider feet.

However, we all know the last thing anyone wants is a restrictive shoe. So, if you’re wondering whether Converse stretch, keep reading to find out.

Is Converse Fitting Tight?

It’s a popular belief that Converse runs small and the standard sole is made for narrower feet but in reality, Converse is slightly bigger than the average shoe. Converse says on their website that the shoe fits a half size larger than other street shoes. However, some wearers have found that Converse does run small, specifically in the toe box and arch area. For the most part, though, Converse is built with a bit more room and some reviews have said to even go down a full size.

Converse sizing is understandably a bit confusing though and since every foot is different and reviews can go either way, we generally recommend trying a pair on in person to avoid a pesky and tedious return process. If you’re looking to do some proper sizing beforehand or if you just have the online storefront available to you, it’s always going to be best if you manually measure the foot rather than the eyeball. Here’s how we would do it; start with a blank sheet of paper and stand on top of it with one foot. Both your heel and the paper should be touching the wall.

Then, either you or someone else (it’s easier if you get another person to do it) can take a pen and mark off the top of the foot at the toes and the end of the foot at the heel. You can measure the distance between these two points and use it to find the proper size. Ideally, you’ll know if your Converse properly fits if there’s a half-inch of space between the longest toe and the end of the shoe when standing.

Does Leather Converse Stretch?

Yep, Converse comes in leather. We know you might be thinking a pair of leather Converse will be the most uncomfortable ones yet, but reviews say otherwise. Many have said the leather uppers, in particular, are more comfortable than the cloth and everything else about the shoe is relatively the same.

The leather Converse has a more finished touch, so it’s a great option for someone who wants the design and feel of Converse, that’s a bit more appropriate for a “rebellious trousers and blazer” combo. The sneaker’s textured upper adds sturdiness, along with a reinforced toe cap and padded sole.

As for the question of whether leather Converse stretch though, they definitely can and do. Like any shoe, they take some breaking in and have an initial stiffness level, but overall, leather Converse can stretch and mold to the foot. The only thing you should watch out for with the leather version is if it’s really hot outside and your feet are prone to swelling, the fabric won’t stretch nearly enough to avoid pain.

Should I Buy Converse a Size Bigger?

As previously noted, Converse is made slightly larger than other shoes, so they are usually roomy by about half a size. They typically run large (again, different feet mean different experiences), in order to account for the narrow base and any contraction of the traditional cloth fabric. So you definitely should not get your Converse in a size larger, unless you’re looking to simultaneously wear some really thick socks. Instead, size down and if it’s needed, pick a whole size smaller.

Why Does Converse Hurt My Feet and Give Me Blisters?

The dreaded first stage of new shoes is always the breaking-in period. From Doc Martens to stiff boat shoes, and most infamously, Converse, breaking in these classics can be one painful trip. Maybe it’s the stiff patent leather, the heel seam that hits right at the Achilles, or the foot cramping caused by a narrow sole and zero arch support, but all of these can cause foot pain and pesky blisters.

When it comes to Converse causing blisters and foot pain, there are a few reasons why. First, new Converse, especially cloth Converse, can be really tough and the stiffness of the canvas can create friction between the skin and the shoe, causing blisters.

Secondly, have you ever heard of lace bites? Lace bite is a common term in hockey and figures skating where the upper part of the skate (usually referred to as the tongue) irritates the front area of the ankle or even the instep, due to over-tightening of the laces or a tongue that isn’t properly tucked in, which consequently puts more pressure on the ankle. In the case of Converse, getting lace bite usually means your upper is scrunched together while wearing them or you’ve actually been wearing your Converse a little too much.

Third, your Converse could just be too tight. It could be the cause of misjudging your measurements or just a bad pair, but a cramped shoe does not make for healthy foot conditions. On the contrary, a rubber toe box on Converse that’s too small can be restrictive, and furthermore, hot, which opens the door to athlete’s foot, caused by moisture-induced bacteria buildup. A tighter pair can also cause bunions, blisters, and corns, which are easy to get, but very hard to get rid of, with some cases needing surgery.

Fourth and perhaps the most difficult issue to solve is that Converse isn’t the best shoe for everybody. If you already have bad/weak feet, the relatively flat insoles and lack of arch support will make pre-existing issues worse. In general, a standard pair of Converse doesn’t have much padding or lining, leaving little room for the foot to be supported. Instead, you will often wind up with the foot either being moved around, creating blisters, or needing to put too much pressure on your ankle and instep to support yourself, creating tension and setting the foot up for potential injury.

How Can I Stretch my Converse that is too Small?

Since some of the reasons mentioned for why Converse can cause foot pain and blisters involve size and overall fit, the next best thing is to stretch them out. There are several ways to do this. First and foremost, your Converse is likely to stretch out naturally over time, even if they’re too small. However, to speed up the process, you can use shoe stretchers and let them sit through the night. After a few weeks of repeated use, your Converse should feel roomier and worn-in.

Another option is to dunk them in cold water, then tightly lace them, over-stuff each shoe with old socks or newspaper, and let them air dry. DO NOT put them in the dryer since this will actually shrink the shoes, making them narrower. Repeat this process several times for the desired fit. Finally, you can put on a pair of thick socks and slip into your shoes, then take a blow dryer and dry for 10 minutes. After applying heat from the dryer, walk around for 30 minutes and they should feel more comfortable.

How Do You Break in Converse?

Breaking in your Converse is similar to the same method as stretching out a pair that’s too small. You can easily use the options already mentioned to get a better fit, but there are also some other ways that are worth a try.

For one thing, you can wear them all the time. Walk around the house and run errands. When you start to feel discomfort from friction, put on some thick bandaids. You can also wear socks from the start to feel more comfortable, which will inevitably push the fabric outward.

New Converse always needs a wash. Since the fabric is so stiff, the canvas needs to be softened by breaking down the fibers in the wash cycle. Again, we don’t recommend throwing them in the dryer instead, letting them air dry.

Do Platform Converse Stretch?

Just like regular and leather Converse, platform Converse also stretches. There are some reviewers that say the amount of stretch depends on the style, such as the  ’70s, which reportedly stretch less, but most of the platform styles stretch out just like the standard models.


Converse can stretch and there is a multitude of ways to do it. Ultimately, breaking them in takes time and patience, with or without methods of stretching them out. What really matters is a good combination of the right model with your foot and the proper stretching methods to go with it, since one really can’t own a pair of comfortable Converse without a little bit of elbow grease. So if you’re thinking about buying a pair or stretching the ones you already own, experiment and try things out, because only you can tell when your Converse is just right.

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