Are your shoes starting to feel roomy? Do you sometimes struggle with bunions or corns? You may be wearing the wrong size in shoes! Here are some tips on how to tell if your shoes are just too big for you.
The bottoms of the feet should be supported and stable in heels, pumps, or ballet flats. If you can’t walk in your shoe without feeling like each step is uncomfortable then it’s likely that the shoe is too big.
If your shoes are too big, the toe box should be just at the end of your toes when you stand in them. It should also outline the widest part of your foot. If these two spaces are not touching then it’s likely that you’re in need of a new pair!
Related to Shoe Size:
- Shoe Size Conversion Charts
- Wide Shoe Size Charts
- Adidas Shoe Size Charts
- Nike Shoe Size Charts
- How to Make Your Shoes Smaller?
Let’s dive deeper!
How to Tell If Your Shoes Are Too Big?
“How to tell if shoes are too big?” seems to be one of the most popular questions when you buy a pair of shoes. Even though most people know their shoes’ sizes well, the shoes are still different and varied for some brands. That makes choosing the right size trickier.
- Check the size by your index finger: Put your shoes on and push your toes forward. After that, you slide a finger into your shoe. If two or three fingers can slide in easily, your shoe is too big.
- Walk in your shoes: Wear your shoes and try to walk around as much as possible. Therefore, you can feel your feet loose or tight around the sides. In case you have to curl your toes to prevent shoes from slipping, the shoes are significant.
- Overlapping shoelaces: If you try to keep on tightening the shoelaces to get fitted, your shoes are too broad and big.
- Press the toe box: Slide your feet inside the shoes and use your finger to press the toe box. If you do not feel your first toe but a footbed, then you should not wear this pair of shoes.
- Check the size: This is the fastest way to ensure if your shoes are too big. You should compare the new shoe’s size to your normal shoe’s size.
How to Tell If Your Shoes Are Too Small?
If you’ve ever felt uncomfortable with the fit of your shoes, or they are rubbing uncomfortably against your feet, it may be time to replace them. If you have a hard time knowing when that is, there are some simple tests that can help you identify if they’re too small.
An ill-fitting shoe will often put pressure on the ball of the foot and create pain in the toes. A good way to tell if it’s too tight is by trying to touch your nose with your thumb while standing up straight. If you can’t reach it, then your shoes are probably too small.
If it bothers you that a pair of shoes are rubbing uncomfortably against your feet, there’s a simple trick to find out if they’re too small. While standing in front of a mirror, take the first step with the left shoe on and the other on the right foot. If you can see your toes in both shoes without looking down at the ground, then they aren’t too small.
If you need to stretch the shoes to fit your feet, don’t. It’s better for your feet and your shoes (not to mention the rest of your body) if they fit properly. The best option is to find a shoe shop that specializes in trying on shoes and helping you find the right pair instead of trying to stretch them yourself.
A proper shoe fitting can make a big difference in avoiding injury and putting less stress on your muscles and joints throughout the day. Seeing if your shoes are too small can help you identify when you need to replace them. If your shoes are too small, it could be putting unnecessary pressure on your feet and joints throughout the day. A shoe that’s not properly fitting can pinch or pinch your feet, creating pain. Taking a few minutes to have a proper fit can save you from numerous headaches and aches over the course of a day.
How much Room should be in The Toe of a Shoe?
Many people find the end of a shoe to be confusing and challenging when looking for the correct size. This is because it can seem very arbitrary, and in some cases, misleading. However, there are a few simple rules that we recommend following in order to make sure you don’t end up with shoes that disappoint you when they arrive.
- The widest part of your foot should be at or below the widest part of the shoe’s sole (i.e., without laces).
- The shoe should not press down on the top of your foot (or at all, if possible).
- There should be at least one finger’s width between the end of the shoe and your toes.
- If you are planning to wear them with socks, there should be space for two fingers to fit comfortably before your toes.
- The size of the shoe is correct only when the laces are pulled as tight as they’ll go.
- If you are shopping with friends, make sure the laces are tied together for an even fit.
- If you’re shopping on your own, it’s always nice to try on shoes with different feet.
- Don’t force your foot into narrow or tight shoes that don’t feel right.
- Be wary if you can see any of the tops of the shoe. Shoes should have a heel lift at least
Women MUST go up a whole size. If you wear a size 5, the next shoe size up should be a 6.
It also depends on the toe shape of the shoe:
- Square – The width of the top of the shoe is roughly equal to the width at the base.
- Pointed – The shape is narrower at the toe than at the heel, with a bit of “point” (or cone-shape).
- Round – These shoes are widest at the toes.
- Oval – These shoes are wider in the middle, tapering off towards both toe and heel.
It may depend on personal preference too.
I like to be able to stick at least my index finger between my heel and the end of the shoe. That way, I know that my heel isn’t rubbing against the back of the shoe and that I’ll have room to wiggle it if needed.
It depends on foot shape. If you have a big toe, it will determine how the shoe fits.
the design of the shoe if the shoe has a flare (different in the toe area than the heel) they will not fit at all. Also, they will never show enough space in the front of the shoe, if it’s wide in the front, you can’t put your foot all in unless it’s too big.
What Should You Do When Your Shoes Are Too Big?
The most straightforward way to do it if your shoes are too big is to replace them. But what if you cannot replace them immediately? The following tricks will help you to make your large shoes more comfortable.
Wearing Thick Socks
The immediate solution you should try at first is to wear a pair of thick socks. Some thick and fluffy socks can fill in the gaps between your feet and the two sides of your shoes.
Using Newspapers/Tissues as Fillers
Another method is to fill your shoes with some crumpled newspapers or a little tissue in the sole part or in the heel of the shoes. This method does wonders for close-toed heels, boots, and flat shoes, and it is not recommended for athletic footwear. You can make use of this solution when you do not have thick socks, or the shocks do not match with your shoes regarding style.
Using an Insole
Insoles are easy to use and purchase. They are soft pads, allowing you to put them inside your shoes. Plus, you can get a great cushion from them. Normally, they are made of silicone, foam, or gel to help discomfort, posture issues and minimize the shoe’s size.
To choose a suitable insole, you should know your shoe type well. For instance, if you buy insoles for heels, silicon-made models are advisable as they offer a more comfortable cushion and remove pressure from your feet. One more thing, you should try the insoles before purchasing them to ascertain they meet your demands.
The heels strips can prevent issues like blisters as it reduces the pressure that your heels rub against the shoes. In the form of grips or strips, you can apply them quickly to your heel’s back. Additionally, you can place them on other areas, such as around your toes or under your foot.
Footpads are alternatives for insoles. For some individuals, full insoles are uncomfortable, so foot pads should be another option. They are small pads sitting in the ball of your foot. You might feel they do not work much for the shoe’s size, but they indeed provide more friction and support.
Breaking in Your Shoes
Some people might try to break in their shoes somehow. Simply, you wear your shoes and walk around the house as much as possible. This helps your feet get accustomed to wearing the shoes to no longer impact your balance in the long term. Besides, this teaches you how to stop heel slippage in boots and shoes.
Fixing Shoes That Are Too Large
In case the hacks mentioned above do not work well, you can try several more drastic methods below.
Constrict the Shoes
This method requires some sewing skills, so it will be handy for those who know the trick. To be more specific, you stitch an elastic band inside your shoes, especially the heel part. The elastic can pull both sides together effectively, making your shoes a tighter fit.
- One needle
- Two elastic bands
- Firstly, you stretch the elastic band along the internal part of the heel.
- While stretching it, you use some pin to secure the band at either end.
- Then, start to sew the band in place and ensure that the band is sufficiently tight.
- Once you have finished sewing, release the pins, and both sides will draw together.
It might sound impossible at first, but this method is really a simple process. Besides, this method is great for suede, canvas, and leather shoes.
- A blow dryer
- Cool water
- A leather conditioner
- To begin with, identify the area that you want to shrink, for example, the front of the side. In case you need to minimize the whole shoe, move to the next step.
- Damp the shoe with cool water. For the entire shoes, you should prepare a spray bottle as it will save your time. Otherwise, you can use your finger or a cloth to dab the area.
- After that, you use the blow dryer to apply heat, and remember to set it on a medium level. Keep the dryer 6 inches away from the damp area and keep your work on until it is dry.
- If you handle with suede or leather, you should move the dryer around the top edge. Thus, it can heat the leather material quicker, and it is good for the shrink process.
- When the shoes are dry, you should try them on to check if the size improves.
- The leather conditioner is used for suede or leather shoes. If you shrink these two types of shoes, you apply a bit of conditioner onto a cotton cloth and rub it all over your shoes. By doing this, the moisture of the material will be restored. Plus, it will be better when you follow the direction of the manufacturer carefully and decide how long you keep the conditioner sitting.
- It is advisable to shrink different sections rather than the whole shoe at one go. It would help if you started with the upper front as this area can shrink more.
- Do not bring the dryer too close since the heat will discolor canvas fabric. Besides, you should also be meticulous with leather shrinking. When you watch out for some cracking and distinct smell signs, you have to turn off the dryer at once.
- Take the insoles out before damping your shoe. The wet insole can develop a crack, smell, or discolor.
- There might not be results after the first round, so you should continue going until you feel a difference eventually.
- If you go too far and your shoes become fit tightly in some areas, you should wear thick socks so that shoes can be stretched slightly.
Issues and Effects When Wearing Shoes That Are Too Big
When you wear a pair of too-large shoes, you cannot control your walking gait. Especially on slippery surfaces, you might fall as you do not get enough support. The big shoes make everything disastrous when you walk up or downstairs. Indeed, your shortage of gait control and the stairs’ incline results in a serious fall. ( Related: The shoes for slippery floors )
Change of Natural Stride
Wearing big shoes might change your natural stride. As a matter of fact, shoes that are too big force you to walk in unnatural and frankly awkward ways to make up the excessive space in your shoes. As a result, you have to contract your toes with each step to fix this, leading to several foot problems like hammertoes or bunions.
Another drawback of wearing wide shoes is that you are likely to experience metatarsalgia. For those who have not heard about this injury, metatarsalgia is an inflammation and pain in the ball of your foot.
Snug-fitting shoes are known as the common cause of this injury, but unsupportive and large footwear also can aggravate this illness. Essentially, it would help if you are looking for treatment as the pain will be paralyzing and cause Morton’s toe syndrome.
See also: The Shoes for Metatarsalgia
Everyone thinks that just small shoes result in blisters at all times. However, this is also an issue of wearing big shoes. Big shoes rub against your feet and create friction. Blisters are very sore, and if they become particularly bad, it will take you a while to heal. So, keep this in your mind to avoid that pain.
The foot corn can be triggered when shoes are too large. It happens while you have to squeeze your toes to stop sliding shoes back and forth. This is such a natural reaction but doing that much might prompt a type of callus that happens to owe to the excessive pressure on your toes.
The Decrease in Athletic Performances
Notably, an athlete should wear properly fitted shoes to get all the grip and control. No runners want wide shoes as they tend to be cumbersome and heavy, which deteriorates their performance. The lack of support makes pressure concentrate mainly on the calf muscles and reduces the propulsive forward force.
Is There Any Differences Between Men’s and Women’s Shoes?
Difference Between Men’s and Women’s Feet
There are some huge differences between male and female feet, including shape characteristics, the first toe, the foot’s lateral side, and the foot’s ball. Some people might say that female foot are generally scaled-down versions of male feet, but it is not true. Here is a comparison chart to show you the difference more clearly.
|Characteristics||Female foot compared with male foot|
|The big toe||Shallower|
|The inside line||More curved|
|The outside length||Shorter|
|The overall foot size||Smaller|
Difference Between Men’s and Women’s Shoes
Due to the difference between men’s and women’s feet, the shoes are also made differently. Apart from the shoe sizes, you might notice several other characteristics such as style and design.
Begin with the running shoes. For example, they look similar between sexes in spite of the main differences in composition. And the biggest difference seems to be the width. Men’s shoes are built with larger and wider sizes, while women’s shoes have slightly wider forefoot. The toe areas also have narrower heels. So, two shoes might look-alike for appearance, but they are actually made of different heel support and midsole materials.
Another factor that plays a major difference is weight. As women’s weight is less than men’s, the mid-sole in women’s running shoes will be manufactured to accommodate 15% less of the impact. Therefore, women’s shoes are slightly lighter overall.
Likewise, in football, there are some cleats designated for women with narrower feet. These specifically-designed cleats have heels that fit snugger, allowing better stability, better fit, better agility, and fewer injuries.
From the beginning of the 20th century, shoes have become more appealing to people when they have a more attractive appearance and design. They are not simply practical items to protect your foot. Women’s shoes have changed much after World War II. To be more specific, they can accentuate the arch and curves of a woman’s foot.
After a few decades, everyday shoes also evolved much more as women are more active in offices and workplaces. That is why wedges and heels are more popular for women. By contrast, loafers and Oxfords were still prevalent for men.
How Should Shoes Fit?
To get the best fit, you can look at the following steps.
1. Measure Your Feet
Having your feet measured is the most accurate way to know your shoe’s size. Shoes need to be measured by both width and size, so just only the size might not be correct sometimes. The width may not be right for your foot somehow. Apparently, shoes that are too wide or too narrow can result in foot problems, and you will leave them unworn in the wardrobe.
- Papers (two pieces)
- A tape measures
- Wear your socks and place two paper pieces on the floor.
- Then, put your right foot onto a paper and draw your foot. After finishing, do something similar to your left foot.
- Subsequently, you measure the widest part of each foot with the measuring tape.
- After that, you write both numbers down and take them to minus ⅛ of an inch. The result will be your width.
- Search the keyword “shoe width measurement chart” to check the results.
- Finally, after identifying your width number, you look across the row on the chart to find the shoe size.
2. Insole Width
Several barefoot shoes are designed with the removable insole that serves as extra protection against the cold or provides a better fit when you walk on different surfaces. If you need more space, you can quickly remove the insole and vice versa. In general, the insole plays as an indicator to check if the shoe suits you even though it is not always accurate.
3. Try Shoes on Both Feet
After choosing the suitable size for the bigger foot, it is recommended to try both feet so that you can get the best fit.
4. Fit Shoes to The Largest Part of Your Feet
Many people have one foot which is a bit bigger than the other one. So, you should choose the right shoe which is well-fitted for this foot. Besides, it is recommended to let a 12mm space at least in front of your toes. However, this space might vary depending on the type of shoes.
For instance, closed-toe shoes need 10-12mm space, which is suitable for thicker socks in the winter. For open-toe shoes, 7-10mm is ideal to avoid tripping.
5. Wear Socks When Trying on The Shoes
If you wear socks most of the time with these new shoes, you should do so when trying them on. By doing that, you will know their fit with the additional layer.
6. Go Shopping for Shoes in The Afternoon
Normally, your feet will swell during the day. Therefore, it is best to shop for shoes when your feet are in the largest state.
7. Walk Around in Shoes
Stand and try to walk in the shoes to check for any discomfort or rubbing. This seems to be a signal for you to find a different size.
How much room should be left at the end of the shoes?
Typically, ½ inch is an ideal number for the gap between the end of the shoe’s front and the end of your longest toe. Otherwise, if you do not want the back of your shoes too tight to avoid blisters or skin irritation, a ⅛ inch between the shoe and the back of the heel is acceptable.
Is it better for shoes to be loose or tight?
When your shoes are too tight, blisters will occur due to the friction. At the same time, loose slipping will not lead to blisters in your heels if you break in the shoes slowly. Therefore, you should let a bit of wiggle room at the heel for slight slippage and choose half size bigger if possible.
How to tell if your shoes are too small?
Discomfort is the primary thing you might feel with small shoes. You will feel pressure or some pain around your heel and toes. In case your brand new shoes are snug, but you do not ascertain if they are too small or fit, you can do the following tip. Put your index finger inside at the heel when wearing shoes. If it is incredibly tight, your footwears are too small.
How to know if your boots are too big?
The first and foremost thing you might notice when your boots are too big is that you can slip into them very easily without any hesitation. Besides, when you walk, slip off or lift your feet, they will give you a wiggly feeling. There are plenty of boot types these days, and it is not immensely challenging to get the perfect fit. So, you should read some ultimate guides to purchase the right size.
Does 0.5 shoe size make any differences?
Half of a shoe size can create a difference even though it seems minimal. Typically, there will be about 4.23 millimeters difference among every consecutive half-size. And it will be better to be a 0.5 size too big rather than too small.
Can insoles make shoes smaller?
Insoles do not minimize a shoe’s size physically, but they can fill out the empty gap between your feet in the shoes. Insoles are relatively versatile when they can go along with toe inserts to provide extra support when shoes are too big. Plus, you can take the insoles out and clean them, making your shoes fresh at all times.
The Bottom Line
As you might know, wearing shoes which are too big can lead to some injuries or blisters. Fortunately, it might not be a big problem when you can fix it by creating a snugger fit, like shrinking the shoes or adding more insoles and paddings.
To answer the question “How to tell if shoes are too big?” you need to notice apparent signs when you are walking or the large gap at the front in comparison with your thumb’s width. Hopefully, you find this article informative. If you think this information is applicable, you can share them with your family members and friends so that they can handle these situations.