Putting the 'Stretch Genie' to the test

SEATTLE -- People who really like shoes will do almost anything for an attractive pair of flats, heels, boots or loafers. Some people will even wear shoes that hurt their feet, which might explain the interest in a $10 stretching solution that promises to solve that problem.

Suzy Dabakian of Seattle jumped at the opportunity to put "Stretch Genie" to the test on two pairs of heels and a pair of boots. We sprayed the solution inside her shoes and Suzy walked in the wet shoes as instructed. We even added the extenders included in the kit. But Suzy was less than impressed with the initial results.

On a scale of 1 to 4, she gave it a 1 1/2. But to give it a fair shake, she agreed to keep trying for a full week.

"Well, I sprayed some more and got it really really wet," Suzy told me seven days later. She says walked in the wet shoes for hours and even used the extenders for several days.

"But I still don't feel any difference," she said.

While she was hopeful, she says her shoes didn't stretch one bit. I told her that many of you contacted me after my first report, proclaiming great success with Stretch Genie, but Suzy's just not sold. Her rating of 1 1/2 on a scale of 1 to 4, didn't change.

"Yeah, I'm still going to give it the same. I don't like it. I mean it didn't work, for me," she said.

But she's keeping her shoes because Stretch Genie gave her an idea -- she'll take the tight shoes to a shoe repair shop to have them professionally stretched. And if that doesn't work, she says she'll give the shoes away -- maybe.

A local shoe repair expert says the success of these do-it-yourself stretch solutions will vary depending on the shoe materials. Synthetics, including synthetic linings under leather, may not stretch at all. Danny Swanson says like Stretch Genie, most shoe stretching solutions are made of water and isopropyl alcohol -- even the solutions used by the pros. But one big difference is shoe repair pros have much better shoe stretching devices and they're experts.