Do Running Shoes Stretch Out?

Do Running Shoes Stretch Out?

Many aspiring runners ask if their running shoes will stretch out over time and whether that is desirable or not. The answer is that yes, running shoes can stretch out over time, however it depends on a number of factors.

Types of Running Shoes

How a running shoe will stretch will vary depending on its type. Generally, running shoes either have a flexible upper design or a stiff upper design. Shoes with a flexible upper design are more likely to stretch out over time than those with a stiff upper design.


The material of a running shoe’s upper often influences its flexibility and ability to stretch. The most common materials for running shoes are synthetic, leather, and mesh. Synthetic and leather are both known for having good stretch capabilities, while mesh tends to be less flexible and not as prone to stretching.

Break-in Period

The break-in period, or wearing-in period, is an important factor when it comes to running shoe stretch. This is the amount of time it takes for a shoe to adjust to your foot and the way you run. Generally, the break-in period for running shoes lasts somewhere between 6 and 12 miles. During this time, the uppers of the shoe will start to stretch and conform to your foot shape, so it’s important to be mindful of this during the early stages of a running shoe.


The main factor that determines whether a running shoe will stretch out is its stretchability. This refers to how much potential the shoe has to stretch over time. Generally, shoes that have a flexible upper design and are made of synthetic or leather will be more stretchable than those with a stiffer upper design and made with mesh.

Should You Stretch Running Shoes?

Whether you should stretch running shoes or not is somewhat of a personal choice. Some runners find that stretching makes their running shoes more comfortable and helps them fit better, while others don’t find much benefit in doing so. It’s important to take into consideration the type of shoe you have and your own preferences before deciding to stretch running shoes.


Running shoes can stretch out over time, but the extent of the stretching varies depending on the type and material of the shoe. It’s also important to factor in the break-in period as this can influence the stretchability of a running shoe. Ultimately, whether you choose to stretch your running shoes or not is up to you—just be mindful of how it impacts the fit and comfort of your shoes.

In the past decade, running shoes have become more and more popular. Every runner knows that a good pair of running shoes can make all the difference when it comes to a great running experience. One of the most common questions that runners have is, “Do running shoes stretch out?”

The simple answer is yes, running shoes do stretch out over time. This is a common phenomenon in most, if not all, shoes. It all comes down to the material the shoe is made out of. Most running shoes are made from synthetic fabrics that are designed to be lightweight and breathable. These materials tend to be slightly flexible, which is why the shoe will conform to your foot over time.

The exact degree to which a running shoe stretches out depends on the construction of the shoe and the material it’s made from. Generally speaking, shoes with mesh uppers, such as Nike Air or Adidas Boost, tend to conform to your feet more readily. The more you wear them, the more they will stretch out and accommodate your unique foot shape.

The good news is that most running shoes are designed with this in mind. Manufacturers like Nike, Asics, and New Balance use proprietary fabrics that are designed to be both lightweight and molded to your foot over time. So, even if your shoe feels a little snug at first, it will most likely stretch out to fit your foot after a few runs.

In short, running shoes do stretch out. The degree to which they stretch out depends on the construction and material of the shoe, but most running shoes are flexible enough to accommodate your foot shape over time. So, the next time you go shopping for running shoes, don’t be afraid to buy a slightly tighter pair than usual. Chances are, the shoe will stretch out over time to give you a perfect fit.

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