Nearly every person, at some time or other, has wished he could stretch a shoe which at a particular point pinched the foot or irritated a corn. It is not necessary to go to a shoemaker to have the leather stretched. It can easily he done at home by means of a shoe tree of suitable form upon which an enlargement is formed at the necessary point. The enlargement must adhere firmly to the tree and must he of such a nature that it can he easily molded, and that it will not become detached from the tree when the latter is forced into the shoe. A material answering all these requirements is ordinary candle wax. Sealing wax might be used but the candle wax is preferable, as it will not injure the tree, and may be more easily manipulated. The enlargement is formed by dripping a suitable quantity of the melted wax upon the tree at the desired point, and molding the resulting excrescence into proper shape while the wax is plastic. It adheres to the tree with remarkable and unexpected tenacity, and owing to its waxy nature tends to slip easily into the shoe with the tree. The shoe can be slightly moistened at the troublesome part to facilitate the stretching action.

An improvised shoe stretcher

Fig. 295 - An improvised shoe stretcher.