How to Prevent Toe Holes in Shoes – Ultimate Guide

The toe box of your shoe is the weakest part, and it’s more prone to normal wear and tear. As your feet slide around, your toe can repeatedly impact the front of your shoes making them wear faster. Shoes are meant to protect your feet; however, a toe hole will allow dirt and other particles to get in. Shoes with holes in them defeat their purpose and put your feet at risk.

In this article, we’ll first discuss how toe holes form, then we’ll provide few methods to prevent them from happening in the first place.

How do Toe Holes Form in Shoes?


The constant rubbing of your toes against the toe box of your shoes will cause them to wear away faster due to friction. Shoes with a mesh front are more prone to this than any other type.

Overuse and Poor Shoe Maintenance

If you wear one pair of shoes all the time, then it can wear faster in the toe section as well as other parts. Poor shoe maintenance can cause toe holes. Be careful not to expose your shoes to water, fire, and other dangerous elements that can weaken the material and damage the structure of the shoe.

Ill-fitting Shoes

Ill-fitting shoes can cause your feet to slide around, which makes your toes rub against the front end of the shoe. Likewise, if your toes are cramped, they will constantly fight for the room. They can expand the shoe’s material by pushing up against it, resulting in toe holes.

Wide Feet

If you have wide feet, you need to buy shoes that will accommodate the extra width. If not, you are going to expand the shoes, resulting in tears.

Differently shaped feet

If you find that your feet are oddly shaped and you’re having a hard time finding the right fit, book an appointment with a podiatrist. They should be able to help and come up with recommendations and solutions to better prepare you for your next pair of shoes.

Wrong Shoes for the Wrong Purpose

If you wear walking shoes whilst running, then they’re going to wear faster. High impact activities require shoes made for these purposes. These shoes will be made from durable materials and are designed to withstand the continuous pressure of shoes hitting the ground. They will also contain cushioning systems to help protect your feet, ankles, knees, and back.

Getting Caught on Sharp Objects

When walking around the neighborhood, you may kick a sharp object. If your shoes have mesh at the front, they can easily get caught and rip if you pull away. The sharp object can cut shoes with other materials, leaving you with a toe hole.

How to Prevent Toe Holes in Shoes

Prevention is always better than a cure, so here are a few ways you can prevent toe holes in shoes.

Choose Shoes with Durable Materials

We all try to save money but sometimes we end up spending more in the long run. How? If you opt to go for a cheaply made shoe that consists of cheap materials, then chances are that it won’t last long. When this happens, you’ll have to head out and buy another pair.

If you invest in a good pair of shoes made from durable materials, you’ll have long-lasting shoes. Despite this, durable shoes can sometimes develop toe holes due to incorrect use or poor maintenance.

Go for Shoes with Deep Toe Box

If your toes are always cramped for space in normal shoes, then you will always run the risk of developing toe holes. This will happen whether you buy durable shoes or not because your toes will keep hitting the front of the shoe continuously.

Look for shoes with roomy or deep toe boxes which allow your toe to sit comfortably instead of constantly rubbing against the front of the shoe. You can figure out which shoe has a deep toe box by trying them on in-store before you buy. If you’re buying online, consider going up half a size.

Take your Shoes to the Cobbler

The cobbler can make you armor that will prolong the life of your shoe and save you some money. They usually make a patch inside the toe area of the shoe. This way if any rubbing occurs, the patch takes the brunt of it.

Wear Quality Socks

If you wear good-quality socks, you can reduce friction between your toes and the shoe’s toe box. Friction is the number one cause of toe holes so reducing it will save your shoes.

Trim your Toenails

You might be surprised to know that your toenails can poke holes in your shoe. That’s why it’s recommended that you trim your toenails and keep them short.

Use Toe Protectors

If you have a pointy shoe, you can try using toe protectors or toe caps. They cover the toe area of the shoe and reduce friction between the toes and the shoes.

Don’t Wear Shoes that Rub

If you notice that your shoes rub against your heels, ankles, toes, or other areas, then stop wearing them immediately. Not only does the rubbing damage the shoe but it can also damage your skin.

Rotate your Shoes

Try not to wear one pair of shoes all the time. Buy a few different pairs and rotate them if you want to prolong the life of your shoes. Wearing one pair of shoes excessively will cause the materials to break down faster.

Wear Shoes for their Intended Purpose

If you’re going running, wear running shoes. You should wear shoes that can withstand certain temperatures to keep them from getting damaging. Do not expose shoes to the elements if they weren’t made to do so.

Get the Right Fit

Do not wear the wrong size of shoes, ever! Not only can you damage the shoe, but you can end up with lifelong pain in your feet and lower back. Always try to get shoes that are the right fit for your feet. You can measure your feet yourself or get them professionally measured.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where should your toe be in a shoe?

Your longest toe should be about a ½ inch from the front of the shoe. You can check this by using the tip of your index finger if you have small hands, or the top of your pinky finger if you have large hands.

How do I fix toe holes in my mesh shoes?

You can purchase some shoe mesh repair patches. To install, cut the patch to roughly the size of the hole and use an iron to apply firm pressure to the patch until it remains stuck to the shoe. You can also check out this article for the best ways to restore shoes.

Why do my toes poke holes in my shoes?

Your toes poke holes in your shoes for many reasons. It can be because of friction, ill-fitting shoes, sharp toenails, cheap materials, as well as many other issues.


To stop toe holes from forming in your shoes, your best bet is to take preventative measures. Use the methods we mentioned in this article and keep embarrassing toe holes at bay. Toe holes in shoes are not only embarrassing but they can also put your feet at risk. Always remember to get the perfect fit when shopping for shoes and wear the appropriate shoes for certain activities.

Leave a Comment