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How to Make Your Shoes Size Smaller – The Easy Way

Let’s face it, getting a new pair of shoes is like picking between inconveniences. Either the shoe you desire is too small for you, or the shoe is too big for you. You hardly ever find a shoe and it fits you perfectly. Always one of the two and wearing big shoes is no fun. It should be chalked up to as fun as swallowing chalk. It affects your posture, may give you blisters, just to mention a few uncomfortable happenings the result from wearing a shoe with a size that is too small. Well, we will be dealing with how to work around shoes that are too big for you.

How To Make Big Shoes Fit Smaller: Step by Step Guide

Wearing big shoes aren’t cool, as we’ve explained previously. So here are methods we’ve carefully selected to use in helping you make your shoes smaller.

  1. Use water to shrink your shoes
  2. Use a professional’s advice and service to make your big shoes fit smaller
  3. Make use of insoles to make your shoe size smaller
  4. The three in one method of making your shoes smaller
  5. Use vinegar to make your shoes smaller
  6. Use a dryer on your damp shoes to make them smaller

1) Use Water

Yes, we know it might sound crazy to dunk your shoes in water, but it actually works. This method is mainly for leather shoes, as we cannot guarantee that other materials will shrink by using this method.

Now, leather shoes shrink when they are wet, and that fact is what we are trying to make use of here to make your shoes smaller. So, place your shoes in a bucket of lukewarm water and let them soak for a bit. This shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.

Normally, we’d ask you to wear a thin pair of socks and put the shoes on, but another alternative for you if you don’t want to get your feet wet is to use wooden inserts. Only that here, the wooden inserts are not to stretch the shoe, but to simulate the feel of your feet inside them. Let your boots dry with the shoe inserts in and when you see that they aren’t wet anymore but still moist, then you can wear a pair of thin socks and put them on to walk around in them.

Doing this whilst the shoes are still moist ensures that as they get dried, the leather material of your shoes will mold to the shape and size of your feet, making your shoes smaller.

A word of caution; use this method carefully and make sure your feet are thoroughly cleaned when you’re done.

2) Use a Professional’s Advice and Service to Make Your Big Shoes Fit Smaller

This is advisable if you’re dealing with a particularly expensive pair of shoes and you are not so conversant with methods that involve making your shoes smaller yourself. All you need to do is to find a cobbler near who, a professional one. Get your footwear to him and let him know what you want. Listen to his advice and take them. If your shoes are a couple of sizes too big, there is a high likelihood that you may have to return them or give them away and get new ones that fit you. But if it’s just a size or two bigger, then the cobbler will let you know what can be done to make your shoes smaller.

For our female readers, you can get the cobbler to attach straps to your big shoes. This will put a stop to the shuffling of your feet and the possibility of having blisters, whilst also making sure that your shoes fit well and help you walk more confidently.

3) Make Use of Insoles to Make Your Shoe Size Smaller

Far from being just soft materials that help with breaking in your shoes, insoles are a great choice if you want to make your shoes smaller. What’s more, they work for nearly all kinds of shoes. Insoles are the interior soles of your shoes and as such can make your shoe size fit smaller by providing even support to your feet and giving you firmer wear for your footwear.

Even though all insoles are generally soft and cushy, there are still some materials we’d rather you avoid. This is because they don’t hold up well under consistent use and once they break down, there is little or no cushioning anymore and you’re back to square one. Such materials as gel and latex. Instead, try to get insoles made with other materials, such as poron. Poron insoles work well for longer periods of time with consistent use and won’t break down abruptly like gel or latex insoles.

The best part about insoles is that because of their soft texture and makeup, they can be cut into any size of the shoe so they’ll be used to fill up space evenly in the shoe.

4) The Three in One Method of Making Your Shoes Smaller

There’s an adage of ‘if one’s eyes mustn’t see evil, then you must do all you can to prevent it.’ This method of making your shoes smaller follows that principle. Since your shoes are too big and are uncomfortable for you to wear, then we also devised a means of attacking the discomfort on all sides.

Now, the combination of these three methods will have your foot cozied up in your shoes, but that is just a side bonus.

To make your shoes bigger, we recommend that you do the following simultaneously;

  1. Wear a pair of thick socks
  2. Use toe cushions
  3. Use insoles

With these three in one method, you can see that we are determined that if your shoe must fit your leg, then it must, at all cost, (to the discomfort, not you or your shoes).

We previously talked about using insoles, and that is very fine. But you can either use insoles as a stand-along remedy or as part of a three-pronged attack on the discomfort wearing your big shoe causes you.

For the three in one method, we recommend that you cut insoles that have a bit of height, depending on how big and deep the space at the back of your shoes are. Then we also recommend that you get yourself toe inserts. They are pieces of soft materials that perform the same duties as insoles, but only for the toes. Then after this, you get yourself a pair (or two) of thick socks to wear. The combination of these soft and cushy remedies will help make your shoes smaller, even if it’s just for the time you’d be wearing it.

5) Use Vinegar to Make Your Shoes Smaller

Vinegar is an alcoholic liquid that can also be used to shrink shoes when used properly. The trick here is to make sure both shoes soak with enough vinegar to make the material (mainly leather) of your shoes shrink without spoiling the material of the shoes.

If you want to use this method, all you have to do is to mix vinegar in a bowl with water. Try to make the quantities of both be as equal as possible, then soak two small towels in them. Run the soaked towels over the material of your shoes gently, making sure to clean any dripping. When this is done, place the towels in your shoes and make sure that they stay there for about 2-3 hours. Remove the towels then and let your shoes dry in a warm place, but not in direct contact with the rays of the sun.

As the shoes get dried, they will get smaller and then you can test to see if the size of your shoes is now as small as you need or not. If not, then you can repeat the process until you achieve the size you want.

7) Use a Dryer on Your Damp Shoes to Make them Smaller

It is a known fact that heat expands things, but with a clever inversion, you can use that fact to your benefit as you aim to shrink your shoes.

To do this, determine what part of your shoes need to get smaller and wet them. When wetting them, don’t let water drip all over the material, rather, aim to get the spot damp. The point is to get the water in the material, not on it.

Once the material is damp enough, put on a dryer and set the heat to low. Using a distance of about 4-7 inches, point the dryer towards the damp areas on your shoes and let the appliance blast the hot air at your shoes till they are dry. When this is done, you can put on your shoes and see if they have become as small as you want them to be.


Big shoes are an inconvenience and extremely uncomfortable to wear, but with the methods we’ve listed and explained above, you can wave the discomfort away and begin enjoying your footwear.