Do Vans Stretch? [Know the Truth Behind Van's Break-in]

Written By Sunny

Vans are true to size, that’s why some fans find it confusing to choose the right fit for their asymmetrical feet.

Thought about purchasing vans and facing the same problem? Or are you just simply wondering whether vans stretch over time?


Look no further! Being a vans user for years and after extensive research, I am giving all your answers here in this article.

So, keep reading!

Do Vans Stretch?

Yes, Vans do stretch if you wear them regularly for a few corresponding days. However, it’s not the whole shoe, but the canvas upper and stretchy materials that allow these cool pairs to loosen up with time – making them more flexible and comfortable to wear.

Known for its classic design and jazzy prints, Vans has been the center of attraction among the youth culture since the seventies. Like other sneaker brands, they also offer a variety of designs and colorways.

So, Vans stretch as you wear them.


Vans are made from materials that tend to loosen up and conform to the shape of your feet in no time.

That means if you have bought a pair that is a little tight at first, it will eventually stretch while giving you more comfort. Although your vans will extend a bit, but that doesn’t mean you can run in vans like an athlete.

On the other hand, not all Vans shoes act the same when it comes to stretching; it depends on the materials used. For example, sneakers with suede uppers stretch the most and leather the least. The stretchability of canvas shoes falls between them.

Vans generally stretch up to a quarter inch around the laces and ankle areas.

So, if you can slide your thumb easily while trying vans, get one size smaller than that, as they will be too loose after stretching out.

Now let’s talk about stretching out vans!

How to Stretch Out Vans Shoes?

People with wide feet often struggle with finding Vans shoes fitting perfectly. This also happens if your one foot is a bit larger than the other, just like mine. In that case, you can find the right one by trying different sizes.

But what if you have already bought Vans online, and now they are a little tight for you? Don’t worry! Vans are not bad for your feet, unless you have a foot condition. And via some stretching techniques you can make them cozy.

There are many easy ways to stretch out vans and break into them as quickly as possible, and it’s actually possible to make them more comfortable by manually stretching them up.

Here are the ways to stretch out vans shoes:

1. Wear Them Around the House

The best way to break in any shoe is to wear them around the house for a couple of hours each day. Thus, increasing the time you spend wearing them will make the shoe materials loosen up and stretch to fit your foot better.

2. Wear Thick Socks

The easiest way to stretch out vans is to wear a thick sock or an additional one with sneakers. This will help your shoes loosen up and also protect your feet from the stiff upper.


If you don’t have thick or additional socks, use a plastic bag over your regular socks. Though this might feel a little inconvenient, it will do the work of a thick sock.

3. Use a Shoe Stretcher

If you are in a hurry to loosen up your vans or want to stretch out only some parts of the shoes that feel too tight, try using a shoe stretcher.


Stretchers are designed to target the areas causing the most discomfort to increase the shoes’ length and width.

4. Use a Hair Dryer

This may seem strange, but using a hair dryer to warm up the Vans materials can help them stretch out more quickly.

Put on your shoes with socks and use the dryer from a little distance while keeping on low heat. Warming up the shoes for 20–30 seconds around the tight areas is enough.

While using this technique, you must move the dryer around and avoid holding it in one spot for too long to prevent the materials from burning.

5. Put Vans in the Microwave

You can make your tight Vans shoes wider by using a microwave. To proceed with this method, follow the steps below:

  • Put your shoes in the oven for at least 30 seconds in high heat. But don’t leave them in the heat for more than 30 seconds, as it can burn your shoes.
  • Using oven gloves, remove the shoes and leave them for a while to cool down.
  • After cooling down, put on the shoes when they are still warm and walk around for a while. Try to stretch them while walking, especially around the toe and midsole area.
  • After a few minutes, take them off and check whether they have loosened enough.
  • Repeat this process a few more times if you need them to stretch out more.

Though this is an effective method, you must be careful throughout the whole time. Otherwise, you can damage your Vans or even burn yourself also.

6. Freeze the Shoes

This method works best for Vans with leather or canvas.

Fill a plastic bag with water and place it inside the shoe. Make sure the water fills the entire toe area.

Then, put the shoes in your freezer and leave them overnight. What interesting happens is because the water freezes, it will expand and stretch out the material of your shoe.

By following these easy techniques, you should be able to stretch out your Vans shoes and get a suitable fit. But are vans really comfortable? Yes, they are comfy for regular use. And remember, stretching might take some time, so don’t rush the process, as it will damage the materials.

Should Vans Be Tight or Loose?

Vans always run true to size, but you might wonder which size you should choose. Don’t be, Vans feel a little snug on your feet when you first put them on, but will adjust with your feet as you wear them for days or weeks.

But to find the perfect fit, read the followings:

  • It’s always better to buy close-fitting Vans. But a downsized pair will hurt your legs while wearing and may even cause blisters. So, while trying, don’t go for too small ones that discomfort your toes and ankles.
  • Also, don’t go for shoes that are too loose. You will feel comfy initially, but they will stretch out as time passes. It will get bigger with time, making them uncomfortable to walk on.
  • Besides, choosing the size also depends on the line and design of the shoes. For example, Vans with laces like old skool will allow you to go for a loose fitting, as you can tighten them up.

No matter the shoe size, you should always go for the comfy one. As for Vans, you should pick a snug fitting because of its stretchable nature.


Do Vans slip-ons stretch?

Yes, Vans slip-ons stretch with time; they actually run large because of their stretchy canvas upper. So, for slip-on Vans, you should size down for half.

Are Vans Slip-ons Supposed To Be Tight?

Yes, but not too tight. Vans Slip-ons are designed to fit a bit snugly, but it molds with the feet after some time.

Why Are Vans Slip-ons Tight On Top Of Foot?

Slip-ons will feel tight on top of the foot when you have a high instep. In that case, you can manually stretch the top areas with a shoe-stretcher or just avoid slip-ons without arch support.

Final Thought

No matter which brand it is, stretching up with time can be an important consideration while choosing the perfect shoe fitting.

In the case of Vans, I hope this article will provide you with all the information you need.

And if you want to know more, just leave a comment behind.

About The Author
Sunny is all about action and activities. He finds it difficult to contain himself. Be it motorcycling, playing football, or exploring the great outdoors, he loves to keep his legs busy.Sunny quickly realized the importance of footwear to keep himself going healthily. This was when he decided to share all his knowledge and expertise regarding different footwear and their significance.Now, he’s on a mission with this humble platform by his side. With time he plans on doing bigger and better things.Apart from his writing and other hobbies, he loves spending time with his cat Sophie. He loves to cook for his friends and family too.

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