How To Make Shoes Smaller?

In the world of modern technology that we are living in currently, where most of our purchases are made online, it has become an everyday thing to receive products that are not of our size. It is also difficult to get your own size because sizes in different brands differ as well. One size in a brand might be a bigger one in a different brand, furthering the sizing issue.

So, taking into consideration the various things that can go wrong with the sizing, it is quite normal to be looking up solutions to the question, “How to make shoes smaller?” And this is not as bizarre of a question as one might think because this is an actual concern that has solutions to it.

There are so many things that one cannot sort by themselves regarding their feet, but that causes the sizing issue. Sometimes, you simply do not have your size in the specific product you want, which is hard to accept if you really like the product.

There are ways you can tell that the footwear you have is larger on you. For instance, there can be space between the toes, or there can be space between the heel and the back of the shoes. You can feel your heel slipping away or your foot constantly sliding off the shoes.

At times, you buy a product and the store refuses to return or exchange it so you are stuck with the bigger pair of footwear, but not to worry as it can be sorted out, if not completely, then at least partially.

How To Make Shoes Smaller – 8 Simple and Different Methods

Method 1: Use Heel Liners To Make Shoes Smaller

Heel liners are another excellent option to fit your shoes to your feet. Heel liners are three strips that fit inside the heel of your shoes. This prevents your feet from slipping out and provides the necessary support in the gap created.

Heel liners and heel cups may feel similar, but heel cups propel your foot forward rather than just supporting it from behind. Heel cups align the foot with the ankle and the knee, which pulls your foot forward, filling the empty space within the shoe.

They are also useful if you have heel pain or plantar fasciitis since they reduce pain.

Heel liners are fantastic and quite simple to apply. Furthermore, if one heel liner is insufficient, you can always add more to make it fit properly.

Heel liners, if nothing else, will give your feet stability and optimal support.

Method 2: Use Full-Size Insoles to Make Shoes Smaller

Using insoles is not just the simplest, most practical, and most reliable technique for decreasing your shoes to your size. Using an insole is as simple as it gets. When you put an insole in your shoes, it fills the space between your feet and the shoe, making it fit better.

Insoles are available in a variety of materials and sizes. Half insoles might work for certain footwear, while complete insoles are required for others, which can be a terrific option.

Gel insoles: Gel insoles are great as they not only help you fit well in the shoes but have further benefits as they absorb extra impact on your shoes, which is beneficial for the joints. 

Foam insoles are considered to be one of the most comfortable options out there. It conforms to the contour of your foot and adds comfort.

Thermal insoles: These are ideal for keeping your feet warm and comfy.

Leather Insoles: Leather insoles are going to enhance the fit of your shoes really well. They are more breathable and have a longer lifespan than any other insole.

Method 3: Make Use Of Shoe Tongue Pads for Shoes that are too Big

Tongue pads are not very common. They are not that easy to find either, and since you have options like insoles and heel liners easily available, one would hardly go for a solution that is less known, but for people who have a low instep or arch, tongue pads are the way to go.

A tongue pad is a thick felt-like material that adheres to the inside of the shoe’s “tongue” and is appropriate for sneakers, oxfords, loafers, and other footwear.

The tongue is that strip of material found beneath your shoelaces that does an amazing job of narrowing wide shoes.

Method 4: How to Make Shoes Smaller by Using the Ball of Foot Cushions

The easiest technique to get the shoes to fit you is to insert an insole, but this does not always work. Although inserting an insole is as simple as it gets, it can not be done in every pair of shoes. Pumps and sandals can not have insoles. Because pumps and sandals have various constructions, foot cushions are the ideal choices for such footwear.

Additionally, the ball of the foot cushions prevents feet from slipping forward within the shoe by elevating the foot and providing more cushioning and grip beneath the ball of your feet. If one solution does not suffice, you can always combine them to improve them. For instance, if your shoes are still too big after using the ball cushions, utilize the ball of foot cushions in conjunction with a heel cup or heel liner.

Method 5: Make Use Of Toe Inserts for Shoes that are too Big

It is very difficult to find something to fill the gap in shoes that are closed-toe like pumps, but you need not worry anymore. If you have a closed-toe shoe that is far too long for your foot, you have several excellent options. Toe inserts are easily inserted into shoes that are too large to be used as shoe fillers.

You may also combine them with a ball of foot cushions to shorten the length of your shoes. This creates an even tighter fit in the front toe region of the shoes. To make your shoes even snugger, pair your toe insert with heel liners and a ball of foot cushions!

Method 6: How To Make Shoes Smaller by using Thicker Socks

The most accessible way to fit into your shoes that you will always have at home is with socks. But wearing socks can not be a permanent solution. It is something that you can use in the case of an emergency but not always rely on. Also, wearing socks is not always the best option as it will get difficult to resort to this during summers.

Thicker socks are the way to go as they fill in all the gaps completely and provide more cushioning for your feet alongside. Your shoes will feel tighter. around your feet. If you don’t have adequate thicker socks, some individuals wear two socks on the same foot to add even more tightness. I dislike wearing two socks since the second pair crushes your foot, reduces circulation, and makes it colder.

Method 7: How to Shrink Shoes Using Water?

There are certain shoes whose materials shrink, so you will not have to use additional things like insoles or heel liners or cups. Materials like suede, leather, and canvas can be very easily shrunk if they are extremely large.

There are certain precautions you need to take if you want to shrink your shoes, but other than that, you can follow the following steps and easily shrink your shoes.

  1. Firstly soak your shoes in water.
  2. If they are made of leather or suede then do not out rightly soak them, rather spray them with water. Canvas shoes can be soaked for up to fifteen minutes.
  3. Air-dry the footwear afterwards. You can also use a hairdryer on low heat to dry them.
  4. Using low heat is necessary to avoid damage.
  5. You can always repeat the process if they are still too big.

Method 8: Using Elastic Band

If a pair of socks and insoles do not appear to be the proper fit when attempting to make your enormous shoes feel small, another option is to carefully adjust the shoes. One alternative is to attach a strap to the shoes, which may entail a trip to the cobbler.

An elastic band across the heel of softer textiles, such as those seen on ballerina slippers, is also beneficial. When you sew a short length of elastic to the outside of the heel, it will tighten up when the elastic snaps back. Keep the bands in place by using safety pins when sewing to ensure they are the right size.


  1. Can you make shoes tighter?

    Yes, you can make shoes tighter by using certain accessories like insoles or heel liners and cups.

  2. Does 0.5 shoe size make a difference?

    Not really. 0.5 shoe sizes do not make a lot of difference. They just give a little extra space for the comfort of the feet, which can be easily overlooked.

  3. What happens if your shoes are too big?

    If your shoes are too big and you are stuck with them, you can try shrinking them if they are of the very specific materials that shrink. Otherwise, you can always get accessories to customize them to your size.

  4. Should my toes touch the end of my shoes?

    Ideally, people like a little space between their toes and the shoes, but it should touch the shoes; otherwise, it might get a little uncomfortable.

  5. Do socks affect shoe size?

    Socks affect shoe size to a large extent, especially if they are a thick pair of socks.


It can always happen that your shoes have loosened up over time because of regular use but that does not necessarily imply that you have to throw them away, you can simply employ certain methods to get them back to your original size. There are many effective ways to do so, and they work perfectly well.

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