How To Make A Shoe Smaller? 10 Useful Tips

With the growth of e-commerce platforms, you won’t need to go to the store to buy your favorite shoes.

However, sometimes you can buy shoes unsuitable for your foot size. So what should you do?

Besides, the shoe size between manufacturers is not the same. The type of other brands is not necessarily the same as what you often wear.

Have you purchased your favorite pair, but it is too big, and you cannot return them? How to make a shoe smaller? Don’t worry!

This article will show you the most practical solutions. It’s time to scroll down to discover in detail. Let’s read on!

What Are The Signs Of Too Big Shoes?

Below are the signs of shoes that are too big. Let’s look through and recheck your footwear!

Slippage When Walking

Do your feet slide inside your shoes while you walk? If it happens regularly, your shoes are too big for your feet.

Your foot can slip out due to the extra space, causing suffering and discomfort.

When it occurs, you might not notice your feet sliding as you have gotten accustomed to it.

If it arises, be careful since a space between the front part of the footwear and the biggest toe may cause blisters beneath your toes.

When your heels constantly slide out of the footwear, especially when walking, it’s another symptom that it’s too broad and too big.

Shoe Rubbing On The Heel

Another indicator that the footwear is too big is rubbing on the heels, causing bursitis, blisters, and many other foot ailments.

That’s because there is too much space in your heel, causing your toes to slide off when you walk.

It may also result in additional issues, such as irritable fascia and plantar fasciitis.

The best technique to measure is to place one finger between the shoe’s heel and the foot’s heel.

When you check it, ensure the space is slightly large enough for one finger to fit comfortably.

If the finger slips in swiftly and there is still room within the footwear, it is too big.

Overlapped Laces

The extra space in your footwear will frequently cause overlap among the shoelaces.

Overlapping shoelaces make it challenging to knot and unfasten, which may lead to stumbling or damaging a shoelace.

Do you ever have footwear that is so huge that you strive to tie the laces as tight as possible?

It’s a terrible mistake because you’re not getting the support the footwear should provide and harming your shoe and laces. It also doesn’t look nice.

It’s especially noticeable with dress shoes since it does not appear appropriate for women and businessmen.

Excess shoelaces might make you appear ridiculous, sloppy, and unprepared in a formal business context.

The loose ties can cause you to trip when walking, and they do not rest level against the footwear as standard laces do.

Worse, you might not even realize it’s occurring because you have all gotten used to seeing this case.

Excessive Space In The Front

Another indicator that your footwear is huge is if there is excess space in the shoe front.

Keeping some additional space is beneficial since your toes swell with heat when it’s not excessive.

You use your finger to press your shoe and measure the distance between the heel of the footwear and the biggest toe.

The footwear fits appropriately if the space is roughly a finger width wide. If it does not, it’s too large.

How To Make A Shoe Smaller? 10 Useful Tips

Why Shouldn’t You Wear Too-Big Shoes?

Shoes must fit perfectly to be comfy. Wearing too big footwear puts you at risk of getting a variety of foot ailments.

Here are some primary reasons you shouldn’t use an unfit pair of shoes for a long time:


Do you know that wearing big shoes makes it simple for blisters to develop on your feet?

Blisters develop from rubbing between a pair of oversized shoes and the heels of the feet.

Therefore, there’s a high risk that you will end up with blisters if you use shoes that aren’t best suited for a couple of days.

If you want some tips to treat blisters correctly, you can watch this video:

Foot Corns

Long walks in footwear that don’t fit well are not a good idea. Why? Because by wearing shoes that are too tight, you run the danger of getting painful foot corns.

If left untreated, this foot ailment can potentially have significant adverse side effects and may cause excruciating foot pain and suffering.


You might get hammertoes when you use too big shoes if foot corns and blisters weren’t enough of a punishment.

According to the explanation, hammertoe is a foot problem brought on by an asymmetry in the ligaments that maintains the toes upright.

You could find yourself walking less naturally due to your poor balance. Yet, you may avoid this issue by selecting shoes that fit according to foot size.

How To Tell If Your Shoe Is Too Big?

The common and traditional way to determine whether a pair of shoes is too big is to press one finger to check the gap between your feet and the heel.

Besides, you can apply the following methods to tell if it’s a suitable pair or not.

Look For Wrinkle Signs

Leather shoes frequently develop wrinkles due to being too large for the wearer, which is a typical cause of the problem.

The footwear will flex and develop creases on the top if there’re extra spaces between your foot and the border of the shoe.

These wrinkles shorten the longevity of a pair of shoes and may even make a whole outfit seem a little untidy.

You can apply several strategies to prevent the footwear from creasing, but a reasonable solution is to pick out shoes that fit your size.

You do not want a pair of unattractive markings on your footwear to ruin your appearance.

Wear Before Purchasing

There are several reasons why shoe experts advise trying a pair before purchasing them.

Putting on footwear enables you to ascertain whether it fits snugly. It’s your chance to ensure the space between the longest toe and your shoes.

A gap between them indicates that you have chosen an oversized pair and must seek an alternative.

Furthermore, you can find out if the footwear is comfortable to wear for your toes by trying them on.

At this time, you may assess elements like stability, heel grip, stability, cushioning, traction, and breathability.

Walk Around

An excellent way to determine whether shoes are too big is to tie them to see whether they fit. However, it’s not always the case.

It isn’t easy to determine if the shoes fit precisely, even when you think they do when standing or sitting.

As a result, you should walk around and test the footwear out to see if it fits appropriately and is pleasant for your toes.

While you move around in your shoes, keep a close eye on how your feet react and pay particular attention to potential pain.

This pair is likely too large to fit your feet if they slip forwards or backward while you walk.

Check The Laces

If the footwear is slip-on, it is simple to determine whether they suit you perfectly.

To check if the dimension is appropriate, you can insert your feet into the shoe and feel how it fits.

It may be a little challenging if your footwear features a lace-up design.

Luckily, you can determine whether the item you purchase will be suitable for your feet or is too big using a trick. After putting on the shoes, tighten the laces.

A pair is likely to be oversized if you find that they comfortably fit when you tie the laces tightly.

How To Make A Shoe Smaller?

If you have purchased a too-big pair of shoes, the first solution is to return them to the brand if possible.

When the shoe store doesn’t have a return/exchange policy, consider the following ways to make your shoes fit your foot better.

Tighten The Laces

If you have oversized shoes with laces, try tightening them as tightly as possible.

You can apply this simple hack for too-large laced shoes to swiftly reduce their size. After tying, check the laces and make sure they are secure but snug.

Do your feet still slide inside your footwear while walking? Scroll down to get other solutions!

Use a Ball Of Foot Cushion

If your sandals or boots are too large, this style of insole is beneficial for these items.

The ball of foot cushions is the most fantastic choice in this situation because it’s hard to place full-size insoles inside these shoes.

It raises your foot slightly and adds more traction and cushioning to the underneath of your feet.

As a result, it prevents the forward movement of your feet inside your boots or sandals.

Since they provide more space among the toes, these cushions are beneficial for persons who experience toe-rubbing issues.

After using these cushions, if your footwear still does not fit your feet, it’s advisable to insert heel liners and heel cups simultaneously.

These utilities stop toes from sliding and slipping around in your footwear during hot seasons.

Use A Full-Size Insole

One of the most favorite and convenient methods for making footwear fit smaller is to use full-size insoles.

You can choose the best-suited types because many brands, categories, colors, and designs are available on the market.

These insoles are helpful for an oversized pair of boots, sneakers, oxfords, or loafers.

These insoles can help your shoes fit better by filling the gap between your footwear and your feet when putting them inside.

They will shorten your footwear’s length without compromising comfort.

Your boots will become more comfortable and fit properly thanks to full-size insoles, which will also fill in excess gaps that may have been inside of them.

Use Shoe Tongue Pads

Apart from the above insoles, you can also consider these toe inserts called shoe tongue pads to put inside for a better fit.

They are typically made of rubber, available in various thicknesses, and offer additional space and support if necessary.

These cushions are typically made of a thick substance that adheres to the interior of your shoe’s top.

The purpose of these pads is to ease pressure on numerous foot pressure points and enhance comfort.

You can pair these tongue pads with various other insoles to put under your foot to make oversized narrower.

Use Heel Cups

Oversized footwear is a severe trip risk, especially for those who are more clumsy! Heel cups are helpful in situations like these.

A larger cushioning element positioned behind your heel; this cup forces your foot forward to take up the excess space inside your shoe.

Heel cups come in various styles, from casual to robust shock absorbers, and are often manufactured from gel-like materials.

This option helps to stabilize your foot and is ideal if you have heel discomfort and plantar fasciitis since you’ll get additional support to relieve pressure on painful areas.

Use Heel Liners

Heel liners are inserts that insulate and protect your heels. These products can be made of gel or leather.

The purpose is to solve the issue of too-long shoes by increasing one footwear size without causing discomfort to the wearer.

They offer additional support to your heel, which requires greater consideration when choosing a shoe.

That’s because you may disregard this issue, which may cause an injury.

These products are also beneficial for smaller feet since they can help the footwear increase some extra inches.

If a liner isn’t enough, you can use several ones to add inside until your footwear is better suited.

Use Shoe Fillers

A toe shoe filler may help if your sneakers are too wide by filling the open area inside the toe box, thus preventing the foot from slipping while you walk.

If you invest in memory foam shoe filler, it can be beneficial in offering the necessary cushion on the toes for greater comfort when wearing.

Some people consider putting toilet paper, cotton, or tissue in the shoe tip, but fillers are better since they are comfortable and durable over time.

If you fill the toe region with anything else, ensure to remove it as soon as you take off your shoes, or it may be smelly.

Use Thick Socks

Thicker socks are more of a temporary solution than a long-term one. It can be excellent in the wintertime but problematic in the warmer months.

Your feet can get more cushioning and breathing space if you wear a pair of socks. The tight shoes will feel better on your feet.

If you don’t have a pair of thicker socks, it’s a good idea to use two socks to create more tightness.

However, this solution doesn’t always work. For instance, if you wear sandals or high-heeled shoes, you can’t apply this method, but for closed-toe shoes, it can.

Shrink Your Shoe With Water

You can shrink some specific footwear made of materials such as canvas, suede, or leather with water if they’re oversized.

As you can see, when the air dries wetted shoes, the shrinking circumstance may occur in some substances mentioned above.

It’s the simplest way to narrow your shoes, requiring little effort and time.

First, you must make your footwear wet. If it’s a suede or leather pair, it’s better to spray water on it. For canvas, you can soak it in water, but it shouldn’t be over 15 minutes.

After that, dry the shoes outside or speed up the drying process using a hairdryer on a low level to avoid harming the material of the footwear.

If your shoes are still massive, you can try and continue drying them until they dry thoroughly.

Consult A Professional

You may consult a cobbler if you’re too busy or don’t want to bother trying to figure it out on your own since it sounds complicated.

Cobblers are a specialized category of footwear repair service where they will fix your shoes by hand.

Take your too-big shoes to these professionals, and they will cut off specific materials from the back, top, or front of your footwear for a better fit.

Compared to alternative options like purchasing new shoes or insoles, it necessitates considerably more effort and time.

However, you will save money over time since it’s less expensive, and you do not have to change your footwear frequently.

You may also obtain shoe stretchers from a cobbler, which you put inside your footwear overnight to widen them out.

This way, your shoes will get smaller as the material becomes more stretchy and flexible.

How To Avoid Too Big Shoes?

While you can apply many ways to make oversize shoes narrower, buying a snug pair for your foot is best.

Here are some helpful tips for doing this!

Measure Your Feet

Have you ever measured your feet? If not, do it immediately. When you go to a shoe shop, you can ask whether you can get your foot measured before purchase.

Most shoe stores have devices for foot measurement. This way, you can easily avoid buying a pair with the wrong foot size.

Try Both Shoes

Some people buy shoes without trying since they assume they know their exact foot dimensions.

However, different brands may come in different sizes. For this reason, you should always wear both shoes.

You won’t know unless you check that the left shoe may have a manufacturing defect, whereas the right one may fit well.

Take The Socks Or Insoles

Before going to a shoe store, you should bring along what you often wear with your footwear.

For instance, if you often use socks and insoles, take them along while trying on a pair of shoes.

This way is beneficial if you often use thicker socks to prevent your feet from swelling whenever you walk.

In A Nutshell

Have you grasped how to make a shoe smaller after reading these practical tips? Hopefully, all tricks work for you.

Please comment below if you have further questions about this topic or recommend other solutions. We’re ready to reply to them all.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post!

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