All about Shoes

How to Make Shoes Smaller – 10 Helpful Hacks to Achieve a Perfect Fit!

a man trying to fit his shoes

If you've ever bought a pair of shoes only to find out they are too big for your feet, you know how frustrating it can be. Ill-fitting shoes not only cause discomfort but can also lead to foot pain and blisters. Fortunately, there are several clever hacks and techniques to make your shoes smaller and achieve a perfect fit. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through ten effective methods, including using big socks, tissue paper, insoles, foot pads, heel strips, water, elastic bands, consulting a cobbler, and using orthotics. So, let's dive in and get those shoes to fit snugly!


Top 10 Ways to Make Your Shoes Fit On You:

Are your shoes too big? Let's make your shoes smaller or make it seem that way!

1. Get Big Socks

Wearing big, thick socks can add some extra volume to your feet, helping to fill up the extra space inside the shoes. This is a simple and quick solution, especially if the shoes are only slightly bigger than your actual size. You can even stack up your socks, layer two pairs of socks for more thickness.

2. Use Tissue Paper or Toilet Paper

Toe inserts can be used but if it's not available, stuffing tissue paper or toilet paper into the front of your shoes can reduce the excess space and prevent your feet from sliding forward. This method works well for closed-toe shoes, providing a snugger fit.

3. Double Up on Insoles

Insoles are your new best friend. Inserting an additional insole on top of the existing one can help reduce the interior space, ensuring a better fit. Choose thin insoles to avoid crowding your shoes too much.

4. Use Foot Pads

Foot pads, such as gel pads or adhesive cushion pads, can be placed at the back or sides of the shoes to take up the extra space. They provide comfort and support while making the shoes fit more snugly.

5. Heel Strips

Heel grips are handy, too. Heel strips or heel grips can be attached to the interior of the shoe's heel area to prevent your feet from slipping out. They effectively reduce the shoe size and improve the overall fit.

6. Use Water to Shrink Your Shoe

This method is best suited for leather or suede shoes. Dampen the shoes with water and wear them until they dry completely. The leather will naturally conform to the shape of your feet, making the shoes fit better.

7. Returning the Shoe

If you've recently purchased the shoes and they are not too worn, consider returning them to the store for a smaller size or exchanging them for a different style that fits you perfectly.

8. Use an Elastic Band

If your shoes require significant adjustments or resizing, visiting a professional cobbler is a great option. They can tailor the shoes to fit your feet perfectly.

9. See a Cobbler

If your shoes require significant adjustments or resizing, visiting a professional cobbler is a great option. They can tailor the shoes to fit your feet perfectly.

10. Get an Orthotic

Orthotics are shoe inserts designed to provide support and correct foot-related issues. Some orthotics are specifically made to take up extra space inside the shoe, effectively making them fit smaller.

    How To Make Shoes Smaller with Orthotics

    orthotics, pair of insoles

    If you have shoes that are too big and want to make them fit better with orthotics, here are some steps you can follow:

    Choose the Right Orthotics:

    Ensure that the orthotics you have are the correct size and shape for your feet. Ill-fitting orthotics may not provide the necessary support and could cause discomfort.

    Orthotic Inserts:

    Consider using additional insoles or orthotic inserts on top of your existing orthotics. These can provide extra cushioning and help take up some of the extra room in the shoes.

    Adjustable Lacing:

    If your shoes have laces, experiment with different lacing techniques to tighten the fit around your foot. For example, the "runner's loop" method can help lock your heel in place.

    Visit a Shoe Repair Shop:

      If the shoes are significantly too big and none of the above solutions work, consider visiting a professional shoe repair shop. They may have additional methods or tools to adjust the shoes to fit better.


      Remember that while these solutions can help improve the fit of slightly oversized shoes, there is a limit to how much you can alter their size. If the shoes are excessively large, it's usually best to find a better-fitting pair to ensure your comfort and foot health.

      Podiatrist Recommended Orthotics

      Orthotics come in various types and styles. Here are some recommended options:

      Best Full-Length Orthotics:

      These extend from the heel to the toes, providing comprehensive foot support for all-day comfort.

      Best Dress Shoe Orthotics: 

      Slimmer and more discreet, these are perfect for dress shoes that have limited space.

      Best 3/4 Length Orthotics: 

      Designed to support the arch and heel, these orthotics are ideal for shoes with less interior space.


      Get A Great Dynamic Stretch: Before wearing your new shoes, give them a dynamic stretch by wearing them around the house for a few hours daily. This will help soften the material and improve the fit.


       Should I Keep Shoes That Are Too Big?

      a man wearing big shoes

      In general, it's best not to keep shoes that are too big, as they can cause discomfort and foot problems. However, if the shoes are only slightly bigger and can be adjusted using the hacks mentioned above, you may consider keeping them. Always prioritize comfort and foot health when deciding whether to keep ill-fitting shoes.


      Key Takeaways

      Ill-fitting shoes can be a nuisance, but there are several effective hacks to make them fit smaller and achieve the perfect fit. From using big socks and tissue paper to utilizing foot pads, heel strips, and water shrinking, these methods can help you avoid the discomfort of wearing shoes that are too big. Additionally, consulting a cobbler or using orthotics are excellent solutions for more significant resizing. Remember, it's essential to prioritize comfort and foot health when dealing with ill-fitting shoes, so don't hesitate to try these hacks to enjoy your footwear without any discomfort or pain.

      FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

      1Can I use the water-shrinking method on any type of shoe? 
      The water-shrinking method is best suited for leather or suede shoes. It may not work as effectively on synthetic materials or canvas.

      2. Are orthotics only for people with foot problems? 
      While orthotics are commonly used to address foot-related issues, they can also be beneficial for individuals seeking additional comfort and support in their shoes.

      3. How long should I wear my shoes with tissue paper to achieve the desired fit? 
      You can wear shoes with tissue paper for a few hours or overnight to see noticeable changes in the fit. Experiment with the amount of tissue paper to achieve the desired snugness.

      4. Is it better to use gel or adhesive cushion foot pads? 
      The choice between gel and adhesive cushion foot pads depends on personal preference and the type of shoes you have. Gel pads offer excellent comfort, while adhesive cushion pads provide a more secure fit.

      5. Can I use multiple methods simultaneously to make my shoes fit smaller? 
      Yes, you can combine some of the methods mentioned in this article for a more customized fit. However, be cautious not to overfill the shoes, as it can cause discomfort.

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