This section is from the book "The Boy Mechanic Vol. 2 1000 Things for Boys to Do", by Popular Mechanics Co.. Also available from Amazon: The Boy Mechanic, Vol2: 1000 Things for Boys to Do.
A tight-fitting shoe can be stretched by filling it tightly with oats dampened in water and packing some old paper in the top. The grain will quickly swell and, as the leather will get softened by the dampness, the shoe will be rapidly stretched. Allow time for the oats to dry out before removing them. - Contributed by Fred L. King, Islip, New York.