Today, I’ll be showing you how to make big shoes fit smaller. With these tips and tricks, some people are wearing 1 size bigger shoes.
There’s nothing more frustrating than buying a pair of shoes online only to realize that when they arrive at your door, they fit larger than expected.
And we all know how much of a struggle online returns and exchanges can be.
These are my proven tips and tricks that you can do to get your bigger shoes to fit a whole lot better.
Related: Do Adidas Yeezys Run Big or Small?
Let’s dive right into it…
How To Make Big Shoes Fit Smaller
- Heel Liners
- Shoe Fillers
- Toilet Paper
- Thicker Socks
- Tongue Pads
- Shrink Your Shoes with Water or Vinegar
Related: Should Running Shoes Be A Size Bigger? Or, is Going Half Size Up Enough?
If Your Shoes Run Long
1. Heel Liners
If your shoes run long and your heel is a little loose and it’s slipping out, take one or two heel liners and you’re good to go.
A heel liner is a little adhesive fabric cushioning system that you push on the back of your heel and then it fills the gap in the back area of the shoe. These are relatively inexpensive and can be found at most drugstores.
The liners come in different sizes depending on how much space you want to fill in the shoe. Some heel liners actually have little rubber nubs on them, which will help prevent blisters that may build up over time.
The best part about heel liners is that they work on a wide range of materials.
So, whether it’s a leather shoe, a basketball shoe, a shoe with a cotton lining or a fabric lining, heel liners are going to work perfectly.
What the heel liners are doing is they’re pushing your foot closer to the toe. This is great and it’s the perfect solution if you find that your shoes run long.
So, remove the adhesive tape, take the liner and make sure the indented side is on the bottom.
Carefully place the liner into the back heel of your shoe. You want to be very careful not to mess up a few times because it could lose its stickiness.
After applying the first liner, try your shoes on and see how it feels.
Some people might just need one heel liner, but someone else will need two. In this case, just repeat the process and put another liner on top of the liner you just put inside.
Related: Running Shoe Size Comparison Between Brands (Nike, Adidas, Hoka, New Balance, Saucony)
2. Shoe Fillers
This is basically like a little wedge of foam that you put on the front part of your shoes.
So, if your shoes run a little bit too long, shoe fillers actually fill the front of the toe box, which helps fit your feet a little easier because your shoe doesn’t have all the extra wiggle room you don’t need.
Another benefit of shoe fillers is they also prevent the creasing in the front of your shoe.
If your shoes are extra long, you can use a shoe filler in the front and a heel liner in the back.
3. Toilet Paper
If you’re in a hurry and you don’t have a shoe filler, you can use toilet paper instead.
Grab a little bit of toilet paper and wrap it up. Take it and stuff it in the front of your shoe and you’re good to go.
If Your Shoes Run Wide
4. Wear Thicker Socks
This is how to make shoes smaller without insoles.
If you find that your shoes are too wide, another great solution for you would be to either double up on some socks or wear some thicker ones. Thick socks will, for sure, take up all the extra room.
This also works great for winter boots. My winter boots came in about one size big and with thicker socks, the fit has become spot on.
So, if you were wondering how to make wide shoes fit tighter, thicks socks is the way to go.
Related: Do Hokas Run Big, Small, or True To Size
5. Tongue Pads
If you’re a little loose around the midfoot, simply use this sticky tongue pad and stick it underneath the tongue.
You can also use insoles to make shoes smaller.
In some cases, people can make the shoe fit right just by throwing in another insole.
Grab an insole. It can be a new insole or an old insole from another pair of shoes. Stick the second insole on top of the insole you have in your shoes and you’re going to fit a whole lot better.
You can stick one, two, or sometimes even three insoles. Some people that have one foot smaller than the other might even double up on inserts in one shoe, which makes a massive difference.
Finally, there are no best insoles for shoes that are too big. Just grab an insole and see how it feels.
7. Full-length Orthotics
You can get these over-the-counter orthotics for like under 20 bucks online.
You can take out the insert that’s already in your shoes and slide your new orthotics in. This will catch you up about one shoe size.
8. ¾ Orthotics
These don’t take up as much room as the full-length orthotics and they are great for some womens’ shoes. The beauty is they fit into the shoe nicely.
9. Custom Orthotics
See your podiatrist and get some custom inserts. These can take up like one full shoe size or maybe even ½ pretty much guaranteed.
Related: Do Asics Run Small or True To Size (Kayano, Ride Series, Nimbus, Metaracer…)
What Else You Can Do
10. Shrink Your Shoes
This is not something I would do because it might ruin your shoes. But because your shoe contains cotton, you can put it in the washer, then dry it and it will shrink a little bit.
11. See Your Podiatrist
A lot of the time, people have a hard time finding a proper-fitting shoe. But really it’s their foot that’s really messed up.
A lot of people have issues with their feet where they’re not fitting properly in shoes, or sometimes one foot’s smaller than the other.
In most cases, people don’t have one foot smaller than the other. It’s actually one foot is flatter than the other, your hips are twisting out more, you have a knee problem, or you have a hamstring problem.
As you start getting up into your 30s, your 40s, and so on, you start to develop arthritis and lots of foot problems.
12. Measure Your Shoes
Learn to measure your shoe and order properly online. And don’t forget that feet do get bigger with age and activity, so make sure you measure your feet every now and then.
Related: Do Saucony Run Small or True To Size?
13. Why Not Return Your Shoes
Simply take the shoe and return it. That’s why you always have to make sure when you’re buying online that you have a good return policy.
You don’t have to use all of these suggestions at once. Some tips might work better for some types of shoes than others.
With that being said, hopefully, after following all these tips, your bigger shoes should now fit perfectly.
If you have other tips and tricks on how to make big shoes fit smaller that you swear by, please leave some extra comments down below in the comments section.