Wearing Hey Dudes, an Italian-designed comfortable walking shoe, can be likened to walking around in your slippers all day. The range is available in various fabrics, designs, and colors. The dilemma with so many choices is that each fabric stretches differently, and if you’ve not worn Hey Dudes before it’s difficult to know how much they will stretch out.
Chances are good that you’ll get hooked on Hey Dudes, but each pair you buy will stretch differently, some less or more than other styles. In this guide I share my experience with wearing Hey Dudes and a breakdown of how each style’s fabric stretches and behaves over time (plus a guide on how to fix your Hey Dudes if they feel too loose!).
Hey Dudes stretch out but maintain shape and comfort. The range is made from different materials, and most have some stretch to ensure that the shoes take the shape of your feet. If they feel too loose, you can tighten the laces, add inner soles or heel grips, or wear socks.
In my experience my Hey Dudes do stretch out a little over time. I find they start to feel a little stretched out after 6 months of regular wear.
Personally I like this as I have slightly wide feet and enjoy a roomy, flexible fit. I’ve owned several pairs over the years and my favorite are the Wallys. I like the ‘sock-like comfort‘ of the stretch-polyester blend upper. Here’s a photo showing how flexible the upper is:
Here’s a video of me showing my latest pair of Hey Dudes, and demonstrating how stretchy the fabric is so you can get a good visual:
Check out the current price of Hey Dudes here.
But what if you need some advice on the strech-ability of other Hey Dude designs? Read on for a detailed breakdown of the most popular Hey Dude designs, the materials they are made with and how those materials stretch and behave over time, so you can make the most informed purchase possible!
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Fabric Determines Whether Shoes Stretch Out
Hey Dudes are manufactured from several different materials. Knowing what material a specific shoe is made of and how the various materials stretch will indicate what to expect when walking a few miles in your favorite shoes. Although most Hey Dudes do not stretch out much, certain styles stretch more than others, and some don’t.
If you have visited the Hey Dude website or looked around shoe stores, you will have noticed that this shoe range offers a huge variety of men’s, women’s, and youth’s shoes. In fact, there are over 400 different shoes in the range.
You may also like: Do Hey Dudes Come In Wide Width? (Best Styles & Sizing Photos)
The only way to determine whether your comfy shoes will stay comfy is to look at the materials with which Hey Dude shoes are manufactured. Let’s check out the most popular Dudes, the Wendy and the Wally ranges, to find out what they’re made from and whether they will stretch out.
Hey Dude Style
|Wendy Boho||Cotton and crochet|
|Wendy Boho Blanket||Chambray and crotchet|
|Wendy Canvas||Cotton Slub|
|Wendy Corduroy Faux Fur||Corduroy|
|Wendy Crosshatch||Textured Cotton|
|Wendy Faux Leather||Soft Leather|
|Wendy Flora||Chambray blend|
|Wendy Fringe||Cotton blend and Hemp|
|Wendy Glitter||Metalic Textile|
|Wendy Halo||Stretch polyester|
|Wendy Knit||Stretch knit woven|
|Wendy Patch||Cotton canvas|
|Wendy Rise Chambray||Chambray-blend|
|Wendy Rise Eyelit||Poly woven|
|Wendy Rise Stretch||Poly knit woven|
|Wendy Slub Canvas||Cotton canvas|
|Wendy Sox||Stretch polyester|
|Wendy Sox Micro||Stretch Polyester|
|Wendy Star||Woven chambray|
|Wendy Stretch||Stretch polyester|
Hey Dude Style
|Wally Sox||Stretch Polyester|
|Wally Sox Fans||Stretch Polyester|
|Wally Break Stitch||Cotton Blend|
|Wally Sox Triple Needle||Polyester Blend|
|Wally Slub||Cotton Blend|
|Wally Ascend Woven||Polyester|
|Wally Chambray||Chambray Cotton Canvas|
|Wally Funk||Chambray Blend|
|Wally Braided||Cotton Blend|
|Wally Knit||Knitted Blend|
|Wally Blend||Linen Blend|
|Wally Sox Funk||Stretch Polyester Blend|
|Wally Free||Linen Blend|
|Wally Washed||Stonewashed Canvas|
|Wally Stretch Fleece||Stretch Cotton Blend|
|Wally Woven||Woven Blend|
|Wally Sox Micro||Stretch Polyester|
|Wally Funk Wool||Cotton Blend|
|Wally Faux Leather||Soft Leather|
|Wally Corduroy||Soft Corduroy|
Cotton Hardly Stretches
Cotton may loosen, but your cotton Hey Dudes won’t stretch at first.
Be aware that cotton shrinks with the first wash. Wally’s are washable, so consider this when you dunk them underwater.
If you wash them too often, the fibers could contract, and your shoe will shrink further.
You may also like: Do You Wear Socks With Hey Dudes? PHOTOS & Style Guide
Cotton Slub has Tiny Stretch.
Dudes made from cotton slub will have a little stretch but not enough to change the shape of your shoe or make it looser. Cotton slub is made from twisted cotton, which is firm enough to remain true to size.
Cotton Blend is a Bit More Stretchy Than Cotton
Think T-shirt and not cotton shirt; that’s the difference between cotton and cotton blend. Your cotton blend shoes will be a bit more stretchy, but they won’t change shape or grow a size. The blend makes the cotton a bit softer. Stretch cotton has stretchy strands and may stretch by 10-20%.
Chambray Stretches Ever so Slightly
Your Chambray Dudes will stretch a bit, generally, 10%, which should not affect how comfortable the shoes are. If you need to tighten them up, wash them in starch, making them a bit less stretchy.
Crochet Bounces Back
Whether crochet stretches depends on the yarn used and the size of the crochet hook. The crotchet work on your shoes could stretch, but if you give your Dudes a good wash, the crochet shrinks back to its original form.
Corduroy Takes a While to Stretch
Your corduroy Dudes are going to stretch over time. The great thing about corduroy is that even though it stretches, it will remain in pretty good shape. A nifty thing to do is to keep your corduroy shoes in a cupboard. The drier air will minimize the stretch.
Polyester Retains its Shape
The polyester Wendy’s and Wally’s are super stretchy but don’t stretch out that much. Once you have slipped them on and worn them out and about, they will mold to your foot, only stretching after a lot of heavy use.
Cotton Canvas Does not Budge
There is no chance that your canvas Dudes will stretch. Cotton Canvas is rigid and made from tightly woven cotton with no give. The size you buy is the size your shoes will stay. If you do not want any stretch, buy cotton canvas. Cotton canvas Dudes will not mold to your feet like the rest of the range because the canvas is stiff.
Linen Blends Stretch With Body Heat
100% pure linen won’t ever stretch. The fibers are taught and don’t bend. However, when a linen blend is used, your body’s heat makes it more pliable. The fabric stretches a tiny amount, making shoes more comfortable.
Metallic Blends are Stretchy
The metallic Wendy’s will stretch. They hug your feet and conform to your feet’s shape. Metallics are made from Polyester and Polyester stretches. Still, they won’t stretch to such an extent that your shoe loses shape, and your foot slides around.
Hemp Remains True to Form
If you buy a hemp Hey Dude shoe, make sure that the size you buy is the perfect fit. Hemp is considerably stronger than cotton, and just like canvas, it isn’t going to stretch. Hemp has no give; if anything, the fibers will tighten when you wash them.
Woven Blends Stretch Stretch Across the Shoe
Your woven Dudes will stretch diagonally from the length of one side to the length of the other in a cross line. Woven blends are designed to cross stretch because the diagonal prevent the weave from fraying.
Knit Blends are Stretchy
You may get some stretch, but your shoe won’t change shape. Just like jerseys, knit blends do stretch. Although with the construct of your Hey Dudes, the sole and firmer stitching will hold the shape in place.
Leather Dudes will undoubtedly stretch. Leather always expands as you wear it. The softer the leather, the sooner it stretches.
If Your Shoes Stretch Too Much, There are Solutions
Judging from the materials used to make the Dude ranges, barring those made from Hemp and Canvas, your shoes will stretch just enough. The fabric allows enough stretch to form your foot but not enough to completely stretch your Hey Dudes out of shape.
Hey Dudes, recommend buying a smaller size if you want a snugger fit. Shoes stretch with general wear and tear, but some more than others. However, your Dudes will keep their shape and look good for a long time.
If your Dudes feel too stretchy and your shoes feel too big, there are a few simple ways to fix the problem:
- Tighten the laces by simply pulling them tight or playing around with various lacing patterns that secure your Dudes.
- Add an extra inner sole; your Hey Dudes have a removable leather inner sole. You could add an extra inner sole or replace the leather with a thicker gel option or a memory foam instep.
- Use a heel cup or heel grip to stop your feet from slipping.
- Although Hey Dudes are generally worn without socks, thick socks will give a more secure fit.
- The leather shoes need more stretching. Use a shoe horn or stuff your shoes with newspaper or towels to allow the leather to expand.
Hey Dudes are made from various fabrics, but most will stretch only minimally and just enough for your shoes to mold to your feet and make wearing them very comfortable. If your Dudes stretch out enough to change shape or your foot slips around, you can tighten the laces, add inner soles, use a heel grip or wear thick socks to solve the problem.
For more Hey Dudes content, check out:
Lorna is a footwear geek and the founder of Wearably Weird. She created a YouTube channel in 2021 for fellow footwear fanatics, dedicated to detail-rich footwear reviews and info. She has a fashion media qualification (awarded in 2011).