8 Tips on How to Make Big Shoes Fit Smaller


To be able to wear that great-looking shoes or high heels that are bigger than your foot without feeling uncomfortable and unsafe is a dream come true. After going through the methods I’ve listed here, you’ll have an idea on how to make big shoes fit. Because walking around with uncomfortable ill-fitting footwear is a surefire way to end up falling head-on first.


There are plenty of ways to try on how to make your big shoes fit so you’ll avoid a disaster when out on walks or going about your day. 

Here are a few tricks, you can make large shoes fit you like a glove — and even make them safer to wear, also!

  1. Piling on Multiple Socks
  2. Stuffing your Shoes
    • Newspaper
    • Cotton balls
    • Toilet Paper
    • Pieces of Rug
  3. Using Toe Fillers
    • Extra Insoles
    • Heel Strips
    • Arch Pads
    • Big Shoe Filler
  4. Getting Professional Help
  5. Checking the Return Policy if Available
  6. Other Options:
    • Sewing on Elastics
    • Shrinking your Shoes

8 Tips on How to Make Big Shoes Fit Smaller

Knowing how to make big shoes fit just right for you can save you from accidents and foot pain and injuries. Let’s not waste time anymore. Here are some of the ways you can make your big shoes just the right fit for you!

Stack on Socks

how to make big shoes fit - Stack on Socks

When your shoes are too loose-fitting, putting on extra socks is the first thing you should do. This will fill any extra space inside the shoe and make your big shoes fit. It’ll also protect your feet from rubbing against the rough fabric of the shoe.

Stacking your socks is easily the most accessible method for you to try to solve this hitch — and it’s a pretty no-brainer one, too! Everyone has socks in their cabinets, so it’s needless to go out of your way for this trick.

Though it may work for some shoes, this solution isn’t a good idea for others, especially those where socks aren’t required like open-toe ones. 

Additionally, if you’re looking to use this hack in warm weather, putting on two pairs of socks will leave you with sweaty, stinky feet. 

This hack should be fine for shoes with closed backs, but if your shoe has an open back, you might want to reconsider because the sock may slip out.

Stuff your Shoes

How to Make Big Shoes Fit Heels using a Polyester Sheet
How to make big shoes fit smaller! by CntryFact (YouTube)

If you’re running late and don’t have time to fiddle with your shoes, here’s another tip on how to make big shoes fit perfectly for you: simply stuff them with any old piece of cloth you’ve got lying around.

You can also use the following:

  1. Crunched up Newspaper 
  2. Pile on Some Cotton Balls 
  3. Toilet Paper or Tissue Paper
  4. Bit and Pieces of Rug
  5. Polyester Sheet

When your foot keeps slipping in and out of a pair of shoes, it can ruin the day. These temporary fixes can make your big shoes fit and ultimately save your day.

But remember that discarded newspapers, tissues, cotton balls, or rag pieces are a major cause of shoe odor. When you take off your shoes, make sure to thoroughly wipe them off. That way, no stray tissues or other pieces of debris can keep your shoes smelly and uncomfortable.

See also  VANS Shoelace Length Guide & Size Chart

Use Toe Fillers

Once you figure out how much support you need, it’s time to think about getting more permanent solutions. One of these is toe fillers, which are a bit sturdier than the materials we mentioned above and come in a variety of different forms.

1. Extra Insoles

How to Make Big Shoes Fit using Extra Insoles
How To Make Big Shoes Fit Smaller! by WeAreTheTrend (YouTube)

Extra insoles are the perfect way to adjust the fit and feel of your big shoes. Most insoles have a considerable amount of filler in the heel, which means they will provide a lift and help your big shoes fit more snugly. 

However, when shopping for insoles, it’s important to remember that some will pack down more than others. It’s also worth noting that different materials mean different levels of compression as well.

2. Heel Strips

How to Make Big Shoes Fit Heels using Heel Strips
How To Make Big Shoes Fit Smaller! by WeAreTheTrend (YouTube)

Heel strips can also be the solution on how to make big shoes fit just right for you. They are adhesive strips that go over the heel of your foot. It protects your foot from chafing against the shoe and cushioning it a bit while making your big shoes fit.

This is important if your foot doesn’t conform to the narrow shape of most high heels and dress shoes. Thus, making your heels loose-fitting and prone to slippage.

3. Arch Pads

How to Make Big Shoes Fit using Arch Pads
How to Add Arch Support to Shoes by ehowbeauty (YouTube)

Arch pads can also solve your shoe fitting worries. While arch pads fit within a standard shoe size, they don’t take up as much space as a full insole.

This means arch pads can fit into smaller shoes. They can also fit into larger shoes, giving extra space for your toes and the ball of your foot to move around comfortably.

4. Big Shoe Filler

How to Make Big Shoes Fit using Big Shoe Filler
Shoe filler for big shoes by Shoolex

Another popular option is Big Shoe Fillers. Foam insert that you can easily stuff on your toes. A lot of people have been using the Shoolex Big Shoe Filler, so you might want to use that.

So, how to make big shoes fit using shoe fillers work? Well, its memory foam insert fills the toe box of big shoes to take up space and provide your big shoes a comfortable fit. It is unisex and works for most types of shoes.

Get a Professional Help

If you want a permanent fix for the best possible shoe size for your feet, you need to visit a professional cobbler. 

Specialist cobblers can replace insoles, heels, and other parts of shoes. They ensure that your shoes fit your feet perfectly. 

While professional cobblers’ services will always cost a bit more than the DIY options, your shoes will be a much better fit. 

Check the Return Policy

Now, instead of trying the tips on how to make big shoes fit just right for you above, here’s a better solution.

You might want to check the return policy of the store or brand where you bought the shoe. If it’s available then you can simply return and ask for a refund or exchange for the wrong-sized shoe you bought.

It will not always be the case for some; returns aren’t applicable for all brands. You should mind the policy or warranty before buying unless you are a hundred percent sure of your purchase.

Other options:

1. Sew on Elastics

Elastic bands can also be a lasting trick to make your big shoes fit. They can be sewn into the inner edge of shoes to keep them on your feet. 

See also  Can I Wear Suede Shoes in Summer?

An important note though is that this is an advanced technique. You should always sew over a patch of fabric to prevent holes from appearing in the part of the shoe where the band is.

2. Shrink your shoes

Shrinking your shoes is easier than you think. Whether you’re dealing with new shoes that are just a little too big or even old ones that are falling victim to wear and tear. The shrinking process can be as easy as 1-2-3! 

If you don’t like the idea of putting or adding things to your shoes, try this tip on how to make big shoes fit perfectly for you.

What you need:

  1. Water
  2. Hair Dryer
  3. Leather Conditioner

Just follow these three simple steps to shrink your big shoes to fit.

1. Use a cloth or your fingers to apply water to areas you want to shrink. Only a little bit of water should seep through, as anything else could cause deterioration of the shoe’s quality. Depending on what material you have, this could lead to wet sprouting or cracking.

2. Completely dry the areas you soaked in step one with a hairdryer. Aim the blow-dryer at 6″ – 7″ away from the shoes and move it back and forth horizontally. Heat will cause discoloration in your shoes if you let it sit on one spot too long, so make sure to avoid that!

Note: Be aware that if you are using a blow dryer to dry leather shoes, they may develop an unpleasant odor. If this happens, immediately switch to air drying them while keeping them away from any heat source.

3. Lastly, use a leather conditioner to maintain the suppleness of your shoes and apply it regularly. You can try Leather Honey Leather Conditioner.

Shrink Shoes Apply Leather Honey Conditioner

Leather Honey is an all-natural leather conditioner for those who want to keep their leather goods in great shape. Especially after the shrinking process. 

The natural formula penetrates deep into the fibers of the leather. It is protecting them from the weather, use, and rejuvenates its material. 

It’s dry enough to not leave a residue that will attract dust but nourishing enough to provide a better grip for your big shoes to fit you.

Here’s a video showing how to shrink shoes using an unconventional method using just a hair dryer. It works for Miu Miu flats and high heels, so pretty much any shoe you own.

Fashion Cafe: How To Shrink Shoes by Evelina (YouTube)

How to Make Big Shoes Fit Heels

Overly large shoes can make your body change from the inside out. They can throw off your balance and throw off your posture. While you’re wearing them, you may be walking differently and your heels in bad shape. 

Here’s how to make big shoes fit heels comfortably and safely.

1. Using half insoles like Dr. Scholl’s Ball of Foot Cushions makes your big shoes fit your heels better. 

How to Make Big Shoes Fit Heels
How To Use Stylish Step® Ball of Foot Cushions for High Heels by Dr. Scholl’s (YouTube)

These insoles aren’t just a little thicker than a half-size. They’re almost double your insoles. The texture grips the ground and prevents slipping. But one downside though is they may get a bit hot and sweaty after long usage.

2. Heel liners are 3″ strips that secure onto the inside back of the heel of your shoe. It is another excellent way to ensure that heels fit and stay in place while it reduces the discomfort that can occur with cheap shoes.

See also  How to Get Foot Fungus Out of Shoes | 10 Simple Hacks

By thinning out the inner layer of the shoe, while adding a layer of material to the heel’s bottom. The heel liners improve in-shoe wear and prevent constant readjustments. This allows for better overall comfort. You can check out Dr. Scholl’s DreamWalk Sole Expressions Heel Liners.

Heel liners best help with common issues in certain types of shoes. That includes loose-fitting open-toe heels. If the shoe length is too long, heel liners can help to better secure your foot in the shoe.

3. If your foot slides around in the shoe, especially in the heel area. Or you experience pain on the top of your foot when taking a step, it’s due to a lack of arch support and ill-fitted heels. 

You can fix this issue by inserting a foam-based shoe pad into the shoe’s tongue. This is something that most people don’t even know exists!

Tongue pads are a thick felt-like material that attaches to the inside of the shoe’s tongue. It prevents the foot from sliding forward and off the tongue of the shoe and heels.

Things to Consider when Walking with Big Shoes

Things to Consider when Walking with Big Shoes

Shoes that are too big may have the same flexibility as smaller shoes. But it’s crucial to remember how you walk in bigger shoes. 

Mind your Steps

Since your stride is longer, you need to be aware of your steps. Otherwise, you’ll spend extra energy and wind up getting tripped by a sudden forward step. You might even end up twisting an ankle because your foot was too close to the edge of the shoe.

Don’t Drag

A bigger shoe is going to be longer, wider, and deeper than the one you’re used to. While your normal stride will account for a smaller shoe, it might drag against the ground in places if you have a pair of shoes that’s a size or two bigger.

Straighten Up

Stand up straight with your shoulders back. Point your chin slightly upward, and look forward. Keep your arms relaxed and at your sides, parallel to the ground. Most importantly, relax.

Walk Heel-to-Toe

It’s important to push off at the end with your toes because it helps you maintain balance while wearing larger shoes. It also keeps your hips from swaying to and fro during your walk.

Squeeze Abs In

Your walking posture is just as important as a strong core. Try to stand flat-footed with your abs and glutes slightly engaged as you walk. This will keep your back straight and well-supported, ensuring that you are comfortable. You will also be stress-free during your stroll with your big shoes.

Though these are things you are aware of you may not always be conscious of doing. 

Donning oversized shoes can force your feet into unnatural positions. This can cause not only an injury but even long-term health risks. Some of them is hammertoes, calluses, and posture issues


We wear shoes to protect our feet and help us move around more easily. That is why you shouldn’t wear bigger-sized shoes for an extended period. Healthy feet are very important because we can move around as easily or live our day-to-day lives.

That is why; make sure to keep this guide on hand for the next time you are trying to make your big shoes fit right. You can try altering the fit with our tips or add shoe accessories to get the snug you want. But choosing the perfect fit right off the bat is always the best option.

If you’re still having trouble, you can always consult with a professional. You can also ask for a replacement if available. 

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