How To Stop Shoes From Rubbing The Back Of Your Heel – 2023

Are you one of those people who are tired of heel and ankle pain? Finding a solution to stop shoes from rubbing your heel can be difficult. You are barefoot. You put the socks on but it still rubs the back of your heel. You put an adhesive bandage on the shoe back but it peels off every time. After these experiences, you can now admit that these simple hacks do not work.

It occurs when your shoe rubs the back of your heel. They create friction with every step, thus causing pain and blisters. But more ways are pending, and the hope is not gone. Check the below hacks out to get the answer to the main question, which is how to stop shoes rubbing the back of your heel.

10+ Ways To Stop Your Shoes Rubbing The Back Of Your Heel

1.Wear Thick Socks/Double Socks:

wear socks to stop shoe rubbing back of heel

Sometimes a single sock cannot protect you from rubbing your skin. This may be because of the stiff and thick show material. Therefore you need more gaps between the shoe and your skin. So you should consider wearing thick socks just like the ones you wear in the winter.

And if this hack works well for your skin, then you should buy more such pairs of socks. If you don’t want to invest in new socks, then try to sew some thin socks together. Wear them with those shoes that rub your heels. But sometimes it may not work well for every shoe. It is advisable to sock up the thin sock if you are layering it.

2.Try Insoles:

try insoles to avoid shoes rubbing

Your heel must be wider and thicker as compared to your ankle, so the closer the shoe is to your ankle, the less it will move. The heel will act as a stopper if the shoe fits correctly.

Insoles will lift your feet by bringing the shoe’s color lower. If it were lower enough, it would move less while walking. You can even use this idea in all your shoes, whether they are rubbing your heel or not, as it improves the overall comfort of your shoes.

3.Get Some Moleskin:

Get Moleskin to protech back of your heel from shoe rubbing

Moleskin can work better in this case. It is soft to the touch and provides a gentle feel on the skin and the socks. It is durable too, which means it will last as long as your shoes do.

The moleskin can be stuck to the inner collar of the shoe with the help of fabric glue. Or else, if you can sew it with your shoes, it will be better. Even placing moleskin will still rub you’re her but won’t hurt. So this can be given a try.

4.Stretch Using Heat:

Stretch shoes using heat to save from back rubbing

If you are thinking of stretching the back of your shoe without stretching the whole garment, then it is a simple yet effective idea. But it will work well on leather as compared to canvas or any other material.

For this, you just have to do these three steps:

  • Hear the back of your shoes using a hairdryer.
  • Put the shoes on after five minutes and wait until the back cools down.
  • Repeat this until the rubbing of your heel stops.

This may seem a lengthy and complex process, but it is effective and easy. Do give it a try.

5.Duct Tape:

All problems have one solution, duct tape. Isn’t it?

Well, it doesn’t stop the rubbing of your heel, but it will stop you from feeling it. Many people use it mainly before jogging or running because of its smoothness and durability.

You can use duct tape in three ways to stop the rubbing on your back:

  • Putting it inside the shoe’s collar. Though it is not pleasing to the eye, it is an effective way.
  • Tape in your socks. It is usually not a convenient way, requires replication, and doesn’t adhere properly.
  • Putting it on the foot While doing this, it will stick.
  • especially on dry skin, but can be painful.

These steps don’t stop the already formed blisters and burns from the shoe. So wait until it heals.

6.Cotton Wool:

Cotton wool for heel for protection

Although it is not pleasant to the eye, you can still propel cotton wool on the back of your shoes in certain cases. To make it more appealing, consider putting it inside your socks. As a benefit, it will not be as heavy as double-layered socks.

Hardly anyone will notice it, and even if someone does, they won’t be able to identify what this lump is. Using cotton pads can also be considered, but it is not as effective because it is not as thick. But it is much better than having blisters or rashes in your heel, for sure.

7.Shoe Material:

Performing hacks and trying not to be rubbed by your shoes is secondary, but first what matters the most is the material of the shoe. Usually, shoes are made up of materials like mesh, coarse fabric material, and other synthetic textiles, which can cause friction and blisters in heels as compared to any natural material made for shoes.

One must wear shoes which generally do not stretch. So, while buying a pair of shoes, go through their description and choose the one made from good materials that can provide the required comfort with a good fit.

8.Keep Your Shoes Dry:

Keep Your Shoes dried to save from blisters

Usually, wet or moist feet increase the chances of the formation of blisters and rubbing your heel. Along with excess friction inside the wet shoe, moist feet result in softer skin and increased chances of hurting the outer skin.

So it is advisable to use socks which can easily absorb moisture or can pass air or are breathable, which can help in keeping your feet dry or using absorbents like talcum powder to dry out the skin.

9.Fix The Rough Edges:

Fix Rough Edges to avoid back rubbing

Sometimes the material of the shoes becomes rough or the stitching comes loose and becomes uneven for your foot. And if the rough edges of your shoes are irritating or rubbing your skin, then you should fix it rather than apply duct tape.

You can try using moleskins over the rough part of the shoe, or you can repair the shoe if its stitching came out.

10.Use Of Heel Grip and Cushioning:

Use Heel Grip and Cushioning for rubbing heel

Using padding as heel grips and cushions can be a solution to get rid of rubbing heel problems. This can be put in the shoe at the back part to protect the heel area. If there is more space after putting this in, then you can also put in another type of padding to soften that area. But if even after trying these methods, it continues, then you should consult a doctor.

11.Loss Of Ankle Rocker:

Loss Of Ankle Rocker for back rubbing

An ankle requires proper motion of the body to pass on the body weight to the foot and ankle with every step. This is what an ankle rocker is. For those people who always make their ankles stiff and move less, this results in rubbing. Improving ankle mobility is the solution to this problem.

12.Bad Habits:

Bad habits here refer to the habit of putting on and taking the shoes off without tying or untying the laces. This is not the way shoes are to be worn. Putting shoes on without untying the laces will cause rubbing near the heel area. So, to avoid this, try to wear shoes correctly.

13.Avoid Tight Shoes:

Avoid Tight Shoes to avoid back heel rubbing

You can consider buying a new pair of shoes rather than adjusting in those shoes which are hurting your skin. Therefore, wearing shoes with a proper fit is necessary, as unfit shoes can irritate not only the heel but other parts also.

Why Do My Shoes Rub The Back Of My Ankle?

There are usually three reasons your shoes are irritating your skin by rubbing your ankle.

1.They are too small for your feet

This case is more common, as tight shoes will be stuck against your heel, causing it to rub your skin with every step. But the solution here is sizing up the shoes.

Small shoes generally cause more problems than chafing and can also cause muscle atrophy, usually in kids. A much tighter shoe will cause your feet to ache. But if you can’t afford to abandon a new shoe or do not want to exchange it, Here, what you can do is size up the shoe.

2.They are too large for your feet

Initially, your shoe may feel like it’s the proper fit, but after two to three usages, they will slightly come up at the back if you purchased them a little bit bigger. They will hit your ankle and heel part rather than rubbing it, but it will cause the same amount of damage as rubbing does.

In this case, you should consider replacing it if it is still under the replacement period rather than hurting yourself.

3.They are Stiff for your feet

You can have a perfect shoe fit, but a stiff shoe back may still scratch your heel while walking. Fashionable dress shoes usually cause this, while running and sports shoes are designed in such a way to avoid rubbing the heels.

Therefore, if you wear fashionable shoes, make sure the shoe fits perfectly and the material is subtle and pleasant to feel to avoid any skin irritation. While running shoes generally do not have these kinds of issues.

What Happens If Shoes Rub Your Ankles?

Few lucky people get only red marks and skin burn, if you are not one of them then you probably faced the below issues:

  • Blisters

Friction Blisters are small fluid-filled bumps under the raised skin. As the name shows, it is caused by the friction between your feet and the shoes. So, creating more friction over these blisters will double the pain and irritation.

  • Bursitis

Bursitis is an inflammatory condition of the bursae and is obviously painful. The bursae are fluid-filled sacks that cushion the tendons and bones in the ankle. Constant friction, pressure, or any impact in that area will cause inflammation.

  • Achilles Tendinosis

Achilles tendinitis generally has various causes, like overusing the tissue and muscle. In this case, shoes that rub your skin can cause this issue. In actuality, this rubbing can make it worse as Achilles tendinosis causes a bump on the heel or ankle. Therefore, shoes made with hard or rough materials should be avoided.

Achilles tendonitis is generally more afflicted. It usually occurs due to the rubbing caused by shoes at the back of the heel or ankle. If you have suffered from this previously, then you should prefer a good insole for Achilles Tendonitis or running shoes for it.

How Can I Soften the Backs of My Shoes?

One of the ways to stop your shoes from rubbing your heel is to soften their backs. Although, if the plan is to wear down with time, then it’s not possible. The one and only way to soften the back of your shoes is to prevent them from touching your heel.

To prevent it, you have to stretch the material of the shoe a few millimeters so it can not be in contact with your heel. Targeted stretching is quite complex if we compare it to other shoe stretches. Some people have seen the results, and if you have a leather shoe, you can try out using this:

  • Castor Oil
  • Alcohol
  • Vinegar
  • Kerosene

How To Break In Shoes That Rub Your Heel?

If the back of your shoes is not breaking easily, try to soften it by heating it. Follow this:

  1. Take a hairdryer.
  2. Heat the back of your shoe.
  3. Then put on the shoe.
  4. Wear it until it cools down.

By doing this, your shoe’s heel can be stretched and most probably will stop rubbing your heel.

It may take a few days to break into new shoes as it totally depends on the shoe you are wearing. But in some cases, it takes up to a month. However, the time is dependent on the material from which the shoe is made or how many times you wear your shoes.


Wearing shoes was and is still in fashion, no matter if it’s casual sneakers or sports shoes. But a comfy and relaxed experience is what every wearer expects from the shoe. The rubbing of skin from the back of the shoes spoils all the comfort of the shoe and makes it a painful experience.

Hopefully, you have now understood the main topic, which was how to stop shoes rubbing the back of your heel. But remember, avoid these hacks if you have the option to choose a pair of shoes with better comfort and material.

You should avoid buying shoes that are not comfortable for your feet. It is not worth spending on something which cannot meet your utility.

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