Fitting into a pair of shoes with absolute perfection is close to a miracle. While only a few fit in right, most of them complain of their shoes being too large or too small which can lead to several injuries like slipping or shoe bites and corns on the feet.
For smaller shoes, you are left with no choice but to get a size larger. However, if the size is slightly larger than your usual feet size, we have a few hacks to help them get smaller and fit your feet to perfection.
Wonder How? Read on to know how to make shoes smaller so that they fit better.
The Problems with Oversized Shoes
Shoes that are slightly larger than your feet may sometimes work on as a style statement too but not always. After all, something that is not meant to fit properly cannot provide the utmost level of comfort. Shoes that fit well provide a snug and comfortable feeling which allows you to maintain stability while walking.
You can maintain a proper posture and gait while walking and do not need to be conscious all the time. At times, for the shoes to not slip off your feet, you may need to curl your feet due to which it fails to maintain a proper posture, and the arch portion of the feet starts hurting. Large shoes also increase your chances of tripping over especially if the shoes are too roomy and ultimately, it’s not good for the feet.
Therefore, for not compromising on wearing your stylish large pair of shoes, we help you with easy tips and tricks to make them smaller so that they fit you perfectly and feel comfortable on your feet.
9 Ways to Make Shoes Smaller with Few Tricks
We did some immense research and tried a few tricks ourselves to help you with making your shoes smaller:
1. Wear thicker socks
This is probably one of the easiest methods to opt for, wearing thick socks to make your feet feel padded and bulk up your feet to fit inside a loose pair of shoes. Soft and cushioned socks also help in supporting your feet while providing a snug-fitting inside your pair of loose shoes. If not comfortable with one sock, you can wear two to three socks unless your feet get too sweaty especially during the summer season. Choose thicker ones over the skin fitting thin varieties.
2. Replace the insoles
Insoles are referred to as the padded material that you will find inside your shoes that make them feel soft and cushioned and are meant to provide support and comfort to your feet. Insoles can be either be made of leather, gel, and foam material. Ideally, insoles are meant to keep your feet feeling soft inside the shoe but they can also come in handy to fit into the extra spaces of the shoe.
They are great for providing a snug-fitting and keep the shoes tightly stuck to your feet without moving an inch. The thicker insoles, the more tightly the shoes will fit. Choose something more breathable like insoles made of leather. They should also be odor-proof and capable of absorbing sweat to not make your feet stink.
3. Stuff The Toe Area
This is one of the cheapest and convenient options of all, that is to stuff the toes of the shoes with paper or cotton balls or even thin rags. This is especially helpful if you feel that the feet start slipping and shifting at the front portion of the shoes.
This will not work for open shoes but is good for boots and closed-toe heels. However, this is not a permanent solution and will eventually wear out with constant use.
4. Use Ball of Foot Pads
Sometimes if you are uncomfortable wearing an insole and it can disturb the feet or even spoil the structure of the shoes. Therefore, ball of foot pads are a smaller version of insoles and are used for support or cushioning.
They can be stuck almost anywhere under the feet and would not be visible either. These can stay stuck on your feet so far as they do not come in contact with water. They also provide a good amount of friction. These are good especially for close toe heels and a more convenient option than wearing a full insole.
5. Use heel strips
Just like a ball of footpads, heel strips provide an extra layer of support and can be stuck around the collar section or the heel area where the feet come in contact with the shoe. Due to their small size, they can virtually fit almost anywhere and work as a Stepney for your slightly large pair of shoes.
This can also prevent the constant rubbing and friction against the shoe that causes blisters in your feet. They may wear out with constant use and if they come in contact with water often. That of course is not a permanent solution but a quick fix!!
6. Shrink the shoes with water
Shrinking the shoes with water is a tried and tested method that works for various types of shoes differently. However, while trying this for leather or suede material shoes, you need to be extra careful as the fabric tends to shrink and spoil if it comes in contact with large amounts of water. Here is what you can do with a general pair of shoes:
- Allow your shoes to get wet. If they are normal canvas or athletic shoes, soak them in water for a few hours. If they are leather or suede shoes, you may want to use a spray can to sprinkle water on the shoes.
- Allow the shoes to dry after soaking them in water. You can dry them under the sun or even use the hairdryer in mild heat mode. Make sure to keep the dryer away from the shoe fabric as it may cause it to get spoilt and dry the outer fabric making it feel too constricted.
- You can try the shoes on, once they have dried out. If not satisfied, repeat the process several times. For quicker results, you can wear the shoes around your feet and allow them to dry so that the shoes can contour to the shape of your feet and constrict accordingly while drying. However, if you are uncomfortable wearing wet shoes, please avoid doing this.
- Finally, for leather or suede shoes, you may want to use conditioning kits to maintain the structure and quality of the shoes so that the leather does not lose its lustre. Conditioning kits for shoes are easily available at any retail or medical store.
7. Use Elastic Bands
If you are good at sewing, then this trick is quite helpful as it helps in constricting the shoes properly and works for shoes that are very slightly oversized. You can stitch elastic bands at the insides of the shoes. This helps in pulling the shoe material together and you can stitch around the foamy areas of the shoe to hold them and constrict tightly. Here is what you can do:
- Take a very stretchable and strong elastic band to make sure it lasts long.
- Find a good spot where you can place the elastic band in the shoe and stitch it. The most appropriate places are the collar and heel areas.
- Keep the elastic stretched across the area you want to constrict and keep it placed tightly. To hold you can use safety pins.
- Stitch at both the ends of the band, and once done, release the band. The stretching causes the shoes to constrict and stay tight from the places that are pulled along with the elastic.
You can combine this method with the shrinking method as well. However, the solution is not very long-lasting and requires patience and effort. Additionally, finding a good quality, the stretchable long-lasting elastic can also be quite a pain.
8. Visit a Cobbler
Cobblers may charge you a heavy buck but will give you a permanent, long-lasting solution. Especially if you do not want to take the risk of spoiling your expensive pair then it is best to allow a professional like a cobbler to handle it. You can easily find one around your vicinity or if not, the internet is always there to help.
9. At last: Replace the pair of shoes that are too oversized
The above methods will work if the shoes are around a few cms larger. However, if they are large by 1-2 sizes, then it is best to get them replaced with another pair as large shoes can cause pain and injury. Therefore, get a better fitting pair instead of injuring your feet.
The bottom line
In the quest of finding the right shoes for your feet, it may so happen that you want to purchase a favourite pair only to realize the shoes are a size or two larger. For which, we have suggested the best hacks and tricks for making your shoes an inch or two smaller. After all, nothing is more comfortable than fitting inside that favourite pair perfectly.
However, we still suggest to look and explore through size charts before getting a pair of shoes for yourself and try them well before buying them. Measuring the dimensions of your feet and then choosing the right pair to not go through the hassles of making them smaller is any day better. And if at all, you choose a size larger, our article above is proven to help.
Try these and let us know which is your favourite hack that worked for you through the comments below!!
Brandon R. Katz is a registered professional nurse who has been instrumental in providing us with an informed opinion on the medical aspects of footwear. He graduated from NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and currently provides his services at a non-federal long-term care hospital in Brooklyn, NY.
Brandon proves to be the champion in the group of expert writers with his in-depth knowledge in foot health, how to take care of it adequately, and what shoes, socks, or insoles will be supreme for you. He has previously worked with hospitals where he has foreseen both inpatient and outpatient departments and has been a practicing nurse since 2009.
Brandon hails from Jersey City, NY, and has a loving family of four with a small popper called Rozo. His decision to become a nurse arises from the desire to be in the position of helping and rehabilitating people.