Can a Cobbler Make Shoes Smaller? – Guide from Experts

How often have you been in a situation when you bought shoes, but they turned out inappropriate in size?

This situation normally occurs because people always go for shoes that are 1 size larger than the actual one so they can last longer. What if you get your hands on a size way more than required? The fitting shoes problem needs a solid solution.

The temporary and easiest way to tackle this situation is to wear your shoes with thick socks, but if you are looking for a long-term solution to permanently get rid of this issue, keep following this guide to brace yourself for some worth-following solutions.

can a cobbler make shoes smaller

How Cobbler Make your Shoes Smaller?

Do you believe that cobblers can help you in this regard? If not, you are wrong here because they can assist you in getting your shoe size fixed so you can come out of this situation. However, the question is what procedure they adopt for this purpose.

There is no magic involved; they follow a few tricks that work out. Let me mention those tips to make you hopeful that you can still wear your newly purchased inappropriate-size shoes.

1. Extra Padding Helps

Have your ever added some tissue paper on the toe side so that your shoes can fit properly? This method works only in the short run; a cobbler won’t suggest you follow it.

An experienced person always opts for a permanent practice for which he will add extra padding on the toe side, so you no longer complain about the size issue.

They have gel shoe padding that they add so your shoe fits properly, which is a long-term solution. Now your extra-large shoes are safe to wear.

Aren’t you convinced enough? Do not worry because cobblers are not restricted to a single method.

2. Including Heel Grips

Another way to deal with this issue is by adding heel grips. Heel grips cover the gap if you mistakenly buy extra large shoes. Cobblers attach this grip on your shoes from top to bottom so you can comfortably walk.

These are the two widely used techniques acquired by cobblers to let you escape this unpleasant scenario.

How to Fix Large Shoe Size Issues Without Cobblers?

Are you in a hurry and don’t have enough time to visit any experienced person? What if I tell you that this matter can be fixed with DIY solutions?

I will share my personal experience as I also got stuck in this matter, and these methods helped me to come out of it. Let’s check them out.

1. Prepare a DIY filler

The most satisfying and foremost thing about this DIY filler is that the materials used are the least expensive, so everyone can easily afford it. I am sure many of us have already practiced it once in life because it is that simple.

Please take a few tissues and add them on the toe side so that it doesn’t make you uncomfortable while walking. If tissues are not accessible, you can also keep newspapers. I know it is not a permanent solution, but it can save you if you are short of time.

2. Socks and Tongue Pads Are Also Helpful

If you want to fill in a little gap on your toe, you can buy thick socks, as it is also the best temporary solution. If socks don’t help, you can buy ready-made tongue pads. Apart from these two, footie socks also fully assist you.

3. Shrink your Shoes

Have you ever tried shrinking your shoes at home, and it worked out? The process is simple, so don’t worry if you haven’t done it before.

All you need is water and the best leather conditioner to get this job done. How you will apply water on your shoes depends on the shoe material.

For instance, if you have casual or athletic shoes, you can safely dip them in the water, while if they have a leather or suede material, use a spray bottle because excessive water can harm them.

For drying, the best technique is using a hair dryer instead of putting them in direct sunlight.

4. Buy Shoe Inserts

The next DIY solution is to get your hands on shoe inserts to make shoes smaller. They are available in different types, including full-length inserts or balls of cushions, also known as half-length inserts.

You can somehow handle this issue quickly by placing them accurately on your toe.  You might wonder which type would be best for what kind of shoes.

I got my hands on a ball of cushions as I had to wear heels for a party, and I didn’t have enough time to get this size issue fixed by an experienced person. This DIY solution gave me enough relief.

Shoe Problems that A Cobbler Can Fix

There are only a few specific shoe-related issues that a cobbler can fix. I am going to mention those problems that you can get fixed by any professional.

1. Make Tight Shoes Stretched

If you mistakenly bought shoes that are too tight to wear and that you cannot walk properly, you can get them stable from any professional. They have various stretching machines that help to stretch an entire shoe or only a specific part.

However, this problem also comes with DIY solutions. You can wear thick socks, put a water bag on the shoe toe, and put it in a freezer. After some time, take it out from the freezer, and your shoe will be straightened out.

2. Ugly and Broken Heels

If the issue is in the heels and they have been damaged, cobbler is here to serve you in this manner. Various heel tips are available that help to keep your shoe heel safe from any damage in the long run.

Instead of throwing your broken heel shoes in the trash, visit an experienced cobbler and renew your expensive shoes.

3. Fix Hard Insoles

Have your shoe insoles become hard, and are they giving you a tough time? Give this mess to any cobbler, and they will better handle this situation. You can also make the insole soft and comfortable by using different padding.

4. Fix the Large Shoe Problem

It is what we have been talking about in this guide. One must also understand how much a cobbler can fix your shoe size issue.

For instance, if you have purchased 8 sizes but want to make it 7, this issue is manageable. However, it is better to replace the shoe if you want to make it 6 or 5.

5. Fixes Strap Problems

Moving towards the last problem i.e, strap issues. If your shoe strap is too small or too large, do not panic because almost every problem has a solution. They have better accessories that help to make your shoe strap small or large, depending on the situation.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

I understand different questions will circulate in your mind even after reading this detailed guide. Hold on because we have much more information regarding cobbler stretch shoes. Here we go.

Can a Cobbler Help to Extend the Toe Box?

Yes, all professional cobblers have different stretching machines that assist you in getting rid of this issue. They provide different services, including shoe stretching, repairing shoes, etc.

If you want a permanent solution, visiting an experienced person is better than adopting DIY solutions at home.

Does Stretching Cause Damage to Shoes?

An experienced cobbler knows how to perform his job rightfully. However, if you are doing it at home without knowledge, it can cause damage.

Can You Make Your Shoes Smaller?

Yes, you can follow different DIY solutions, but for long-run results, you can ask any cobbler, and he will let you move away from this problem. A few tricks have already been discussed in this guide.

Can a Cobbler Help to Fix Your Heel Problem?

All heel-related issues can be covered, including broken or damaged heel. If you want to reduce the heel size, they can do it to a limited extent.

Can Cobblers Make Your Shoes Narrow?

With the right tool, a cobbler can make your shoes narrow or wide as required. However, there is a limit, and they can not exceed it.


Imagine you have just purchased an expensive pair of shoes, and after reaching home, you find out that it doesn’t fit you.

It can frustrate anyone because you ponder that they will be thrown in the trash now but wait, take a deep breath and think about all the solutions that can assist you.

Whether you want to bring some extra space in your shoes or reduce an additional capacity, a cobbler is here to give his services. I have tried to cover this guide with detailed information so you can easily get the directions.

I have also mentioned a few of my personal experiences to give you an idea of how effective these above-mentioned tips are. Follow the tips and get amazed by the results.

Daniel Robert is a shoe lover who enjoys writing about all kinds of footwear, including sneakers, Crocs, Vans, and more. He shares his vast knowledge on, a website dedicated to helping people find the perfect pair of shoes. With years of experience and a passion for all things shoe-related, Daniel's easy-to-understand advice has helped countless people make confident and stylish choices.

Leave a Comment