How to Fix Shoes When They Are Too Big!

how to make shoes smaller

I know the feeling. You find a pair of shoes that you love or you receive a pair of shoes as a gift, but when you try them on, they are just too big for you.

But good news! There are a few helpful hacks that will leave you never worrying about your shoes being too big.

This article will help explain these handy tricks. All of these DIY hacks are as easy as ABC, perfect for when you are in a rush and need a quick fix to this annoying problem.

Some are quick options, while others involve a bit more effort. This article will help ensure that you can continue to enjoy your favorite pairs of shoes even if they are a bit too big.

The Quick Fixes

Almost everybody faces this very common problem at one point or another. According to a UK study, nearly one-third of men and close to one-half of women have admitted to having purchased shoes that they knew wouldn’t fit them properly. 

It’s no wonder that one of the most common searches on search engines is “How to make my shoes fit better.”

These are the super quick, emergency tips for fixing the pesky problem of having your shoes not fit. While some of them are only temporary solutions, they will be a lifesaver if needed.

1. Place insoles in shoes

Have any extra insoles lying around your home? Even if you don’t, a quick trip to a store like CVS or Walgreens can get you back on track fast.

If you have an old pair of shoes around, it’s likely their insoles are thinner. There are sometimes several stacked on one another. If you go to Amazon you can find lots of options for insoles. 

Insoles can help you get rid of some of the excess space that would be left in the shoe when the size is too large.

Stacking thinner insoles gives you a lot more control over how good your shoe will fit. You can check out this How-To Guide for more information all about insoles, finding the insole that will work best for you, and how they work: TreadLabs

2. Wear thick socks​​​​

As simple as this may sound, socks are actually a really good way of filling in extra space. This works well when wearing either flats, boots, or sneakers. It is one of the easiest and best solutions, especially for sneaker-heads. 

Simply put on a thick pair of socks or layer socks until you have the desired fit. This is also more comfortable than some other options, but it can become uncomfortable due to the heat.

This also works quite well if you are going to be active during the time you will be implementing your easy shoe fix.

Ever wondered how to make large shoes fit? I show you in this video:)

3. Put a tissue in front of your toes

Now, this doesn’t have to be a tissue you would blow your nose with. You could also use soft fabric or sections cut off of a rag.

Just place it towards the front of your shoe to fill in any extra space. This works best with close-toed heels, flats, or boots. 

This would be a temporary fix, and it usually isn’t the most comfortable. This does help with the ever so annoying problem of your heels falling out of the back of your shoes when you walk due to the extra space from heel to toe inside the shoe.

4. Buyshoe strips

If you happen to be near a drugstore and need a quick fix, simply get yourself some shoe strips. The little rubber strips can be placed behind your heel on your shoe.

They work like what adding tissue or cloth would do. It reduces the movement of your feet back and forth due to the gap from the shoe’s size.

All you have to do is peel off the paper covering the adhesive. Then put it in place in the back of the shoe, and you will be on your way! This is a simple fix that many people have discovered and swear by.

5. Buy ball of foot cushions

If you don’t want to worry about tissues falling out of your shoes, there is another option. You can also buy cushions that are made just for this purpose.

These ball of foot cushions come in different shapes and sizes. This means you will be able to find the perfect fit.

The Not So Quick Fixes

If you have a pair of shoes that are too big that you will be wearing often, you will want a more permanent fix.

There are some methods that will give you longer-lasting results.  However, they will take longer and a bit more effort than the options listed above. 

but you will usually end up with better results. Take a look at some of the methods below to see what will work for you.

1. Visit a professional

Finding a local shoe store or a local cobbler has never been easier than it is today. You can simply type into your smartphone’s search box and ask for ‘Nearby Cobblers.’

You’ll be able to locate a shoe expert in no time. A professional will know exactly how to get the perfect fit for you.

You won’t be putting your favorite shoes at risk with this route. Your too big shoes will no longer be a problem.

Sadly, this way will most likely be the most expensive option. But the solid results will be well worth it in the end.

2. Shrink with water 

How could water help you shrink your shoes that are too big? Depending on the type of shoe you have, this could actually work better than you would think.

This hack works well for leather shoes, but it may not work as well on synthetic materials. This also requires a few supplies before you get started:

  1. Water
  2. A Microfiber Cloth

With this method, you will dip the microfiber cloth in the water and get the leather damp. Be careful not to get water inside the shoe on the insoles. This may cause some discoloration or even a funky smell.

Dry the leather using medium heat on a hairdryer. Be careful not to put the hairdryer too close to the shoe. The result will be a gradual shrinking of that area of the shoe.

3. Sew in elastic bands

If you have basic skills with a thread and needle, this could work for you. Simply take an elastic band and stitch it into the back of the shoe.

First stretch out the band and keep it in place with safety pins. Then sew each side to the heel of your shoe. Remove the safety pins, and you’re good to go. 

Of course, this won’t work with certain types of shoes. It works best with shoes made of soft, thin materials. The elastic will bring the material together. This will get rid of some of the extra space.


Nobody wants to wear shoes that are too big. It only leads to blisters or your shoes falling off when you walk. Yet you are bound to come across this problem at some point.

Instead of tossing the shoes in your closet, try some of these tips. It could take less than a minute for you to fix your shoes to fit you better.

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