Make Big Shoes Smaller

You have probably heard of making small shoes bigger by stretching them, but what do you do if your shoes are too big? It’s hard to not splurge on a very nice pair of shoes, especially around the holidays or when they’re on sale. You think to yourself it’s not a big deal if it’s just half a size off, but you then come to regret it when you get home and the shoes don’t stay on.

Before you think about selling them, we have a few tricks that can help you make big shoes smaller.

Are Big Shoes Really That Bad?



What are some ill-effects of wearing shoes that are too big for you? For starters, you may look l bit goofy with shoes that are a couple of sizes too big. But other than that, there is great harm that may come to your body.

For example, it can contribute to bunions and hammertoes. These symptoms make it difficult to wear open-toed shoes in the summertime. You can also develop chronic issues such as metatarsalgia, which is a pain in the ball of your foot. Because the rest of your body needs to make adjustments to accommodate for the shoe size difference, you may experience pain throughout your body in places that never ached before.

Then there is the safety issue. Large shoes increase the chances of tripping and falling, which is not only embarrassing, but it can hurt! To prevent all these problems, we need some good hacks to make big shoes fit better.

How to Make Big Shoes Fit – tips & tricks

Make Big Shoes Smaller

“Oh, no! My shoes are too big!” If this sounds like you, you might be scrambling to find out what to do if shoes are too big to fit. It is not difficult to make shoes smaller, and we have a few different methods to help you out

1- It is all in the Sole

 The first method is a simple way of making shoes smaller and increasing the comfort of your new shoes. Breaking in a new pair of heels or sneakers can sometimes be painful as it can cause blisters and ankle pain. One way to kill two birds with one stone is to add an insole.

Not only will the insole, if you pick a thicker one, reduce the size of your shoes by about half a size, but it can also provide arch support and cushion your heels.

Keep in mind that insoles are very affordable investments and aren’t meant to last forever. In fact, we encourage you to switch out your insoles when the time is right to keep your feet fresh, clean, and odorless.

However, if you are looking for long-lasting options, ones made from orthopedic materials such as Poron will outlive the traditional foam options. They keep their thickness and give you continuous support to improve your posture.

You can also make loose shoes fit tighter with insoles, but be aware that loose shoes that are true to size require thinner insoles to not become too tight. You should also consider the outer material of the shoes. For example, leather will stretch out over time, so don’t worry if the insoles feel a bit tight at first.

You may be wondering how to make shoes smaller when the footwear in question is high-heeled sandals or similar shoes that don’t have an enclosed design. The answer is simple – use cushions that are designed just for the front area of the shoe. These handy inventions resemble full insoles, but are much smaller and shaped to contour to the ball of your foot. These types of semi-insoles will also make your high-heeled strut much more comfortable with supportive cushioning.

2- Fill the Heels

If filling the front or the entire sole of the shoe sounds too restricting, there is another option that applies to the back of your shoes. Shoes that are too big will often leave a lot of space in the back rather than the front. This is apparent in pumps and other sloped designs. In this case, you can look into what’s called a heel cushion.

Instead of placing the cushion on the heel of the sole, you tape the heel cushion on the back of the shoe, right above your heel (right around where your Achilles tendon is located). This heel strip will usually be heavily padded to fill in the extra space.

As an extra tip, if you often find yourself getting heel blisters, thinner heel strips can also prevent them.

3- Socks to the Rescue

Make Big Shoes Smaller

The answer to how to make large shoes fit can be as easy as wearing thicker socks. This option is best for those who need more padding for more rigid materials or when the shoes are just a bit loose but not a few sizes too big. If you do not have thicker socks, why not try piling them on by wearing 2 or 3 pairs? We understand that this may not be the most comfortable, but when you’re in a bind and short on time, it is a great solution.

We wouldn’t recommend this as a long-term solution, however, and you can’t exactly wear socks with sandals (although it may be trending) or high-heeled sandals.

Is your shoe bothering the toes? Here how to solve it: How to Stop Shoes Rubbing my Little Toe

4- Stuff It

What to do when your shoes are too big? Another way is to fill the empty space with whatever you have around the house. Again, this isn’t the best or most comfortable way to do it, but when you really have no other options it can fix the problem temporarily. Again, we don’t suggest doing this for a prolonged period because it can’t be done with all designs and things can start smelling very quickly.

5- Honey, I Shrunk the Shoes

In this case, shrinking is a good idea. You can shrink the shoes with items you have around the house. We will preface this by saying there might be a chance you will ruin your shoes in the process, so make sure you know if they can be shrunk by looking into the materials.

Canvas and more sneakers can be soaked in water, while some leathers cannot be. Instead of soaking your leather shoes, find a way to coat them evenly like with a spray bottle. No cleaner or chemicals are needed for this process. All you need to do is wait for them to dry. You can leave them outside, but adding heat to it with a hairdryer is much faster.

As the material dries, it will also shrink a little bit. However, as most materials do, as you wear the shoes over time, they may stretch out again and you will need to repeat the process. This isn’t a permanent fix, but if you don’t feel like adding any additional padding to your shoes, then this is it.

Remember to wait for them to dry completely before wearing or else you will be greeted with unpleasant smells after a few wears. If you are shrinking leather materials, make sure you condition them after they dry.

Extra Tips

extra tips

When all else fails, you can always turn to a professional. They can have the ability to permanently shrink your shoes or make big shoes smaller by inserting padding. If you have shoes that are too big, they can become a hazard to wear and cause you to trip or walk awkwardly to make up for the extra space and create posture problems.

If possible, always purchase shoes that are true to size. However, depending on where the shoes were made, the manufacturer, and the materials used, the sizing can vary for different shoes. Always check the size chart and read reviews from consumers who have purchased the product for sizing advice.

Many of the extra tips we offer are geared towards shoes that are a bit lose, and up to half a size larger. If the shoes you have are more than half a size up, then there really is no easy way around it than to exchange them for the right pair.

Conversely, don’t go the other route and purchase ones that are too small. You should be able to get one finger between the shoe and your heel for closed shoes.

If you have chosen any of the temporary methods we listed above, then we would also suggest not wearing those shoes for a prolonged period as they can cause foot cramps and other aches and pains that you wouldn’t necessarily have to deal with.


Big shoes aren’t the end of the world, and they are often more comfortable than shoes that are too tight. However, you should never get shoes that are not the right size for you because the lack of support can be detrimental to your posture. Also, wearing large shoes will create more wear and tear because the heel and the toe will often drag on the floor. To preserve the shoes and maintain good posture, it’s important to make big shoes fit perfectly.

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