Using shoe inserts or stuffing shoes are just some of the effective methods of how to make big shoes fit. Keep reading to find out a suitable way to fix your loose shoes.
Do you feel that your toes are sliding forward or your heels slipping out of the shoe every time you are walking? I have experienced this problem before, and I realized that I had bought the wrong shoe size for my feet. In particular, they were so large that my feet didn’t feel snug enough. So, you might wonder how to make big shoes fit you well in case you accidentally purchase a large pair.
In addition to being uncomfortable, sneakers that are too large can also cause some foot issues, such as blisters, foot pain, chafing, arch pain, and other painful problems with your feet. Some of you might have started looking for shoe inserts for big shoes or considered shrinking your big pair. So, if this is the case, this article will absolutely help you find an effective way to make your big shoes fit you better.
See also: How to tell your shoes are too big?
9 Ways to Make Shoes That Are Too Big Fit
It is relatively common to have an oversized pair of shoes in your closet. Or sometimes, you want to borrow sneakers from your friends, but they run too large for your feet.
There are different reasons for this. It might be that your shoes don’t fit you well during winter days as your feet tend to get narrower in the cold. It might also be because your shoes have come loose from wearing too much. Or chances are you bought the wrong size from the beginning. No matter what the case can be, I’m here to help you out and get your big shoes back to being comfortable and snug.
So, I will start with some easier ways to get your big shoes smaller and fit your feet right. Then, in case you are really having a hard time getting them comfortable, let’s move on to several different methods to solve your problem.
1. Wear Multiple Socks
It is probably that many of you know that one of the oldest methods on how to fix shoes that are too big is to wear multiple socks. Several layers of a thick pair of socks can act as a cushion and fill up added room inside the shoes. As a result, it might make your shoes fit smaller and even provide you with more stability.
However, wearing more socks or not is optional, depending on the climate where you live and the time of year as well. For example, you will get a lot of benefits from this method if you live in chilly regions or cold winters. Usually, winter or snow boots will be a little bit bigger than normal shoes. And adding a few layers of socks during the cold time is also a good way to keep your feet warm. Nevertheless, pay attention to sweaty feet and remember to clean your boots if they start to smell.
2. Grip Socks
You probably have heard of grip socks that are typically used for walking on tile or wooden floors or for various workout classes. Some of you might never have thought of wearing these grip socks inside your big shoes, though.
This is because the same grips considered to keep you from slipping on tile floors can also keep your feet from slipping inside your big shoes. In addition, these grip socks will be a good option for those who don’t want to wear multiple layers of socks or simply are wearing your shoes in the summertime.
3. Stuffing Shoes
So, if you are thinking about how to make big shoes fit smaller, the great news is that you can stuff all sorts of things inside your shoes to make them fit your feet better. Certainly, the most basic method is to use fillers. In particular, you can purchase insoles or liners that are typically designed to occupy some room inside the shoes too. So, if you are looking for taking up a little bit of space, here are some good things to stuff your shoes:
- Toilet paper
- Cotton balls
Despite that, this way is considered the least enduring method to make big shoes fit here. This is because your stuffing materials might not even be around for a day. And there will be different factors affecting this method’s effectiveness. These might include the weather conditions, your feet’ sweat level, and your activity when wearing the shoe. Having said that, this way is still considered great for minimizing the slippage caused by shoes that are too wide.
Stuffing your shoes is a good way to start off. However, once you have determined how much stuffing or space you need, it is time to go on to longer-lasting solutions. In particular, you can consider toe fillers, which are stronger yet more comfortable than stuffing materials. Moreover, they are quite cheap that anyone can afford them. Some great examples of toe fillers are:
- Extra insoles
- Heel supports or strips
- Arch pads
Every method will have its own strong points and weak points, but they are worth trying, depending on your preference.
4. Shoe Inserts
Shoe inserts are among the top options that a lot of people choose to use when their shoes are too big. Not only fill up extra room inside your shoes, but these shoe inserts even provide your feet with some support.
Just keep in mind that these extra insoles are not a permanent solution, and you might need to replace them sooner or later.
If longevity is your purpose, you can opt for any type of shoe insert, except for latex foam or gel insoles. This is because they tend to be damaged fast if you use them frequently. Of course, these materials are really comfortable, making them perfect when your feet are painful or hurting. Nevertheless, once the inner material deteriorates, it is unlikely to have cushioning or pad between your underfoot and the shoe.
So, I would recommend choosing inserts made from Poron. This material is much more durable than latex foam or gel, as mentioned. Moreover, it is usually used in orthotics, and you can expect its ultimate comfort and durability at the same time.
The greatest part of this solution might be that as you are using extra insoles, you can insert them in any pair of your shoes.
Let’s have a look at the following video to know how to use heel liners and insoles to make shoes smaller.
5. Consider Ball-Of-Foot Cushions
Some people might not feel comfortable when placing a full insert to their shoe’s bottom, while others find it too small as their shoes are not that big. So, in this case, ball-of-foot cushions will be your perfect option.
These cushions are typically designed to be put inside the shoes, at the ball of your foot area. They will offer better fitting while providing ultimate comfort. Lots of people choose ball-of-foot cushions instead of shoe inserts because these are much more comfortable. They can come in different sizes, shapes, colors and are ideal for loose high heels, flats, etc.
6. Use Heel Strips
Adding cushions is also a good way to make big shoes smaller. In fact, these cushions are the same as the pads I mentioned earlier. However, these are typically put above your heel instead of the foot’s ball as the previous one. But, thanks to the small design and an adhesive side, these heel strips allow you to place them anywhere inside the shoe to get better comfort.
Before sticking heel strips inside your shoes, always try your shoes on and walk around to see if they are really comfortable on your feet. This is because these strips might cause blisters if you don’t place them in the right position. You can also use heel strips for any type of sneakers as they are small but can effectively fill up any room that feels too large.
7. Tighten With Elastic Bands/Sewing
Anyone with some sewing experience will benefit a lot from this method. There is no need to prepare a lot of things. All you need to do is to take sturdy elastic bands and sew them to the inside of the back of your shoes. By doing this, you are pulling the materials together, hence making it a smaller fit. Here is the detail of this method:
Firstly, use safety pins to secure the band in place while stretching the band to keep it tight.
Now you can start sewing everything into place. Once you’re done, take off all the safety pins from the shoes.
When the stretchy bands are in their place, they will contrast back to the initial shape while pulling the shoe’s materials together.
8. Shrink Your Shoes
If you want to make your big shoes fit without putting anything inside them and have some extra time, then I highly recommend shrinking your shoes.
You will not need too many ingredients using this method. However, it is important to be really careful. Otherwise, you can damage your shoes. Here’s how to fix loose shoes by shrinking:
Firstly, check the materials of your shoes to see if they are compatible with water or not.
Wet your shoes. In case your shoes are the casual or athletic type, you can soak them in water. However, if your shoes are made from leather or suede, it is better to use a spray bottle to get them wet.
After that, begin drying your shoes. If it is sunny outdoors, you can dry them in the sun. Otherwise, you can use a hair dryer instead. Just remember to set on the lowest setting and not to hold the hair dryer too close to your shoes, as this might cause damage.
Once your shoes are entirely dry, check if they fit better or not. You will need to repeat the whole process if they still don’t fit your feet well until they do. And this is a pro tip for a truly perfect fit. You can try drying your shoes while having them on your feet. This way, they will shrink around the contour of your feet.
Lastly, you might want to use a cleanse and condition kit on shoes if they are made from leather or suede.
You can watch this video to see how this method actually works:
9. Ask A Professional
If you have tried all of these solutions but found no method working for your big shoes, it is recommended to ask a cobbler or a shoe repair expert. You can look for the address closest to you and be sure that the service is within your bargain basement. While in the past, this was considered a popular profession, today’s prices and rates are higher for high-skill jobs.
However, if your shoes are too old and you are unlikely to wear them too often, then you may not want to do this. However, it will be the best way for a great pair that you cherish.
Pro Tips on Big Shoes
No matter if you can fill up the loose room inside your shoes or not, the outside size of your shoes is hard to change. In other words, there should be a little bit of difference in how you walk in larger shoes from the way you walk in smaller sneakers.
Here are a few more tips you need to keep in mind when wearing large shoes to ensure that you don’t twist your ankle, trip, or end up falling.
First of all, bear in mind that a higher quality shoe tends to be deeper, wider, and longer than the type of shoes you usually wear. So, even though your casual stride can be the same as your regular shoes, a pair of sneakers that is one or two sizes larger can interfere with the ground in some places.
In addition, it is important to keep an eye on the way you walk while wearing large sneakers. This is because you are more likely to sprain your toe or twist your ankle due to the loose-fitting shoes.
If you are wearing sneakers that are larger than you are used to, you will not get used to their length either. That is to say, it is crucial to lift your feet properly while you are walking in bigger shoes, so you won’t trip.
In addition, if you are planning to walk for a long time with your shoes, extra-large sneakers should be avoided. Regardless of what you do to stuff your shoes or add cushioning to get a better fit, they will never fit the same way as your normal shoe size. Of course, this can also be dependent on shoe types, but even a cobbler might not replicate the right fit.
These types of shoes can also slide around, let alone be unsafe in some situations. So, if you are going to be walking or hiking anywhere tilted or has an uncertain footing, always ensure that you wear a well-fitting pair of shoes. What’s more, don’t wear bigger shoes for any sports activities either.
When you are wearing sneakers that are too large for your feet, it is really crucial to keep a good posture. Otherwise, you can face some issues with your gait and posture if wearing shoes of the wrong size.
If you have sneakers that are a few sizes larger than the ones you are used to, none of these suggestions are really helpful in getting them the perfect size. So, instead of taking any risk with feasible injuries, simply replace the shoe.
Know Your Limits
Most importantly, always know your limits. If your sneakers are one or two sizes larger than your regular shoes, you might need to compensate for a little bit of extra space. This is particularly when the shoes are small, at first. Nonetheless, there is no good method to make up for the very substantial size difference. All in all, never try walking in such large shoes as it is really dangerous.
A great general rule to follow here is to limit a complete maximum of 2 sizes above normal, but ideally below that. If possible, try not to choose more than one size over that because this can significantly reduce the risk of injuries.
However, remember that even a pair of shoes that seems to fit well at first, the fitting can still vary. Most of the time, you can wear around one full size down or up from your regular size without cushioning. But, again, this counts on the certain shoe’s fit.
In fact, some sneakers are created more spacious than others, while others are specially made smaller. In case you can not try on a shoe at a store to ensure a good fit, you can double-check the online shoe size conversion chart, the brand’s size chart, and even other customers’ reviews to see if the sneakers you want to buy run true-to-size.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it better to get a pair of smaller or larger shoes than your normal shoe size?
It is recommended to choose a bigger size if you are going to buy a new pair of sneakers that is different from your regular size. But it is worth noting that you should only opt for half a size larger. In other respects, it can cause some serious problems, such as getting sores, tripping, twisting ankles, blisters, cuts, or even injury.
How much space should be left at the shoe’s heel area?
With any shoe, you should check the width of your thumb between your toes and the shoe’s end. They are too narrow if that width doesn’t fit, and they are likely to be too large if there is too much room.
So, next time when you happen upon a pair of shoes that are too large and are trying to figure out how to make big shoes fit, this guide will absolutely help you out. There are different ways to fix loose shoes. No matter if you try to fit into big shoes by using shoe inserts, stuffing shoe inserts, or filling up the empty room, any of my suggested methods would be useful. But, ultimately, it is up to you.