How to Make Big Shoes Fit? – 7 Helpful Hacks!

Have you ever bought the wrong pair of shoes, and your heels are slipping out? Are you wondering how to make them smaller and properly fit on your feet?

Sometimes, when we are shopping in a hurry, we get large shoes that do not fit on our feet or sometimes when we wear footwear too much, it gets bigger and becomes uncomfortable.

Besides restlessness, shoes too big also make different types of foot problems for us, like arch pain, blisters, rubbing, and other issues. Luckily, I have provided many helpful hacks that you will find useful.

In this article, we will discuss how to make big shoes fit and tell you some effective tips.

how to make big shoes fit

How to Make Big Shoes Fit?

  1. Full insoles are the best choice to fill extra space in closed-toe shoes.
  2. A ball of foot cushion is ideal for footwear with high heels.
  3. To fill the extra space at the heel area, heel liners can be selected.
  4. Thick socks work as padding to fill the gap in large shoes.
  5. You can opt for shoe tongue pads if your foot has a low arch or instep.
  6. The people who don’t want to put an extra item to make the shoes smaller must shrink them.
  7. If the shoes are too large and all the methods fail, you can get help from a cobbler.

Is this Possible to Make Big Shoes Fit?

When you wear your favorite pair of shoes and they don’t fit, this happens due to the following:

  • In a hurry, you purchased the wrong size of footwear
  • You wore them too many times, and now they are loose
  • In winter, feet get smaller; thus, shoes become loose
  • You don’t find your favorite footwear in the exact size due to too narrow foot

Whatever the reason, large shoes will result in foot pain and you will also be at risk of falling or severe accidents.

When my shoes are too big, I identify from where they are large. Sometimes they are large width-wise and sometimes length-wise. In some cases, they need both shortening and narrowing.

I fix the issue using handy, inexpensive techniques and footwear accessories. Shoe inserts and thick socks are the best hacks to make shoes smaller.

These solutions are best for people with too thin feet, so they don’t find such tiny shoes in the market. You can find these shoe hacks anywhere easily by spending less.

7 Helpful Hacks to Make Big Shoes Fit

To make your large-sized shoes properly fit on your feet and make them comfortable, I have given many effective strategies that will surely help you.

1. Insoles to Make Shoes Smaller

Insoles are the best choice for people who find their shoes too big. When you have to fix the issue of too big shoes entirely, they greatly fill their extra space and provide additional support to the feet.

Keep in mind that the inserts are not long-lasting, and when you wear them a lot, they will wear out, and you will need to replace them. If you are looking for a durable option, please don’t purchase latex foam or gel insoles.

If you use these materials often, they will damage quickly. In case you are looking for comfort, they are the best options, but once they are broken, all the padding will be finished, and the comfort will change into hurting your foot.

The insoles made of Poron material are long-lasting so instead of gel or latex foam, consider this one. This material is present in orthotics which provide comfort for a long time.

Putting insoles in your shoes is a good option to make big shoes small because you can put them in any footwear. Closed-toe dress shoes such as loafers and oxfords, sneakers, and boots can be made properly fit using full-size insoles.

Branded and non-branded inserts are available in numerous materials, sizes, colors, and shapes. Inserts for heeled or flat dress shoes and shock-absorbing shoe pads for sneakers and flip-flop sandals are easily available.

Most brands manufacture pads made from environmentally friendly materials because they are decomposable and do not harm our earth.

Sole and Fulton are the two best companies that manufacture insoles of eco-friendly materials.


The Sole company manufactures high-quality and environmentally-safe insoles and shoes. When you go to their website, you can easily choose the insole according to arch height, the level of support you want, or if you have any wounds on your foot.

This brand’s products are made from materials that benefit the environment after you use them, like Bloom and Cork.

Bloom is an algae (scum) collected from Harmful Algal bloom (HABs). HABs grow in moisture and give rise to hazardous threats to the environment, people, and animals.

When we use the Bloom Algae insoles, they vigorously lessen the harmful impact HABs have on our earth.


The insoles of Fulton company are made with cork which is also a material that is beneficial for our environment. When your sneakers are slightly large, put Fulton insert into them, and you will get comfort and a good posture.

The padding is so comfortable that it relieves chronic pain and prevents foot diseases.

After medical research, Fulton originated; according to this study, it was explained why appropriate arch support is critical to our overall health.

These insoles are made from many layers, which increase comfort and positively impact our health.

Thus, insoles not only solve the issue of loose shoes but are also comfortable and breathable, so I’ll strongly recommend them. Besides branded insoles, non-branded options also exist, which also works well.

2. Ball of Foot Cushions to Make Shoes Smaller

Sometimes adding full-size insoles to the shoes makes them too tight, and thus you get an uncomfortable feeling. Using a ball of foot cushions is the best solution to get rid of this problem.

These special paddings are designed in such a way that they are placed on the ball of the foot only to get better comfort and fitting. These cushions are made for footwear that is too large, and wearing full insoles makes restless walking.

These pads are available in different materials, sizes, shapes, and colors and can be used for any footwear with bad fitting, like high heels or flats.

You can choose the color of these pads according to the shade of the footwear you will be using so that they don’t look odd. They also help keep your foot a little higher; this way, the toe strap holds it firmly.

In warm weather, this padding prevents your foot from slipping. I recommend these insoles for open-toe heels such as d’Orsay (pump-type shoes with high heels) or other topped high-heel styles.

I use the following two types of the ball of foot cushions:

Gel Ball of Foot Cushions

Compared to the normal half insoles, they are thicker, textured, hold the foot properly, can be used again, can be washed, and the sticky surface doesn’t ruin the inner side of the footwear.

They are available with a guarantee of six months. There is only one disadvantage: sweating can occur on your foot, so it is better to use it on bare feet.

Leather Ball of Foot Cushions

The leather half-insole is a great and breathable substitute for gel insoles. They are thinner compared to gel ones, so they are best for shoes that are a little large. Besides proper fitting, they also provide great grip to the toes and do not allow sweating to occur.

3. Heel Liners for the Shoes that are Too Big

Heel liners are another type of padding used to make big shoes small. These cushions are identical to the ball of foot ones.

However, the size of these padding pieces is smaller, and one side is sticky so that you can use them anywhere inside the footwear.

Before adhering them inside the shoes, put them inside and walk to ensure they are comfortable and work fine. Checking is important because putting them in the wrong way may cause blisters on your feet.

You can use them for any shoes because these cushions are so small that you can fit them anywhere in the footwear.

I recommend keeping them in your bag while traveling because most shoes have the problem of rubbing the foot in the heel area, so they are used to protect your foot from injuries and pain.

Vegetarian Shoes Company Heel Liners

Most of the cushions of heels are manufactured from the leather of animal skin or sheepskin. Vegetarian Shoe is an eco-friendly brand that makes its products with microfiber fake suede and does not manufacture items from animal skin leather.

They make shoe-related accessories like inserts, wax, or shoe laces. They are best to protect your foot from rubbing against the shoe, which causes restlessness and hurting.

4. Get Proper Fit in Large Size Shoes with Thick Socks

If you are planning to wear flared jeans or long trousers, using thick socks to fit your loose shoes properly is the best way.

This is the ideal solution for closed footwear, but if you don’t want anyone to see your socks, footies (also known as hidden socks or half socks, which are not visible outside the shoes) will fix your issue.

They exist in different colors and designs. Nobody will identify that you wore socks with the footwear if you wear them the right way.

Wearing thick socks is the easiest solution for filling the space in the footwear, but it is better to wear only one pair of thick socks instead of wearing too many ones because they will create discomfort.

This is the most inexpensive and easy solution because socks are available in every home, so accessing them is not difficult and you need not go out and buy them.

These shoe hacks work well in cold weather because, in winter, you wear sneakers or other closed shoes, so if they are loose, you can easily tighten them with thick socks.

However, in summer, they will create problems because they will make your feet sweat, and you will feel discomfort in feeling too hot. Furthermore, they will also make an unpleasant smell due to sweating.

Most people wear grip socks for walking on tiles, wooden floors or during different exercises to prevent slipping. You can also put them in your shoes to make them smaller.

As these socks protect you from slipping on floor surfaces, they will also prevent slipping your foot into the big footwear. Furthermore, this is a good option for people who don’t want to use thick socks or if the weather is too hot.

There is a big plus-point of using socks to make big shoes fit: you can wear them off, wash them, and reuse them easily many times.

The following companies provide the best-padded socks or no-show footies:


To use closed-toe dress shoes, only use no-show footies. MenoMieux is a brand that does not manufacture its own fabric. Instead, it produces socks, clothes, and other fabric products by upcycling the unwanted ones.

The no-show socks made by this company have zero waste, perfectly fit on your feet, and can also be used as heel liners.


SmartWool is a well-known brand that makes apparel and socks from ethically-sourced wool (products obtained ethically).

The health and well-being of sheep are considered by taking care of their medical attention, water, and food and keeping them free-range (it is a way of keeping animals roaming freely outdoors at least once a day).

In summer, you don’t want to wear thick socks because you will feel warm, and sweating will occur. The socks that are lightly padded will fix the issue of loose shoes.

The athletic socks of this company are worth checking because they are manufactured from recycled nylon and natural wool. The lightly padded socks are breathable and ideal for sports shoes.

5. Shoe Tongue Pads to Wear Large Size Shoes

If the instep or arch of your foot is very low, you are probably not familiar with the shoe tongue pads. They don’t look so useful, but once you put them in your shoes, you will wonder how handy they are.

This is a great option for sports shoes, sneakers, loafers, and other footwear. This cushion is a dense strip placed in the shoes’ inner side under the tongue.

You will definitely know that tongue is a part of the shoes located under their laces. It is made in footwear to reduce its size.

6. Shrinking Methods to Get the Shoes that Fit

If you are not in a hurry, have extra time, and don’t want to stuff things in your shoes, you can shrink them using this technique.

You will need some ingredients to apply this method, but you will be very careful and protect the shoes from damage.

  • First of all, thoroughly examine which material makes the shoes. If they can’t withstand water, you cannot shrink them.
  • Once you have made sure that they are water-resistant, make them wet. You can saturate them in water if they are athletic or casual shoes. However, leather or suede footwear can be wet using a spray bottle.
  • When they are completely wet, the next step is to let them dry. If the weather is fine, you can keep them in sunlight to dry them; otherwise, you can use a hair dryer. The dryer’s heat must not be too high, and to protect the shoes from damage, don’t hold them too close.
  • When the shoes are dried completely, check them by wearing if they are still loose, repeat all the steps.
  • If you wear your shoes at the time when they are wet and don’t remove them until they are dry, they will automatically get the right fitting according to your feet size.
  • When the suede and leather shoes are dried and come to the desired fitting, apply condition spray on them.

7. Getting a Cobbler to Make Smaller the Shoes too Big

When all the techniques fail, you can take help from a professional. Cobblers are workers that perform minor footwear repairs and fix other shoe-related issues.

A cobbler will put insoles, heel liners, tongue pads, or other things on your shoes neatly and smoothly on the original shoe lining.

You will be spending more on this method of shoe size shortening, but this is a permanent solution for the shoes you usually use. So you will not have difficulty cleaning, repositioning, or replacing the inserts every day.

Getting professional help is costly, so I recommend bringing only the footwear that is worth it. Please don’t use this method for your old and outdated shoes.

Guidelines While Wearing Big Shoes

Try to purchase shoes that have exact fitting according to your feet by checking them in the shoe store thoroughly. However, due to any reason, if you have to wear large-size shoes, keep in mind the following things:

Properly Pick Your Feet While Walking

When you are wearing a bigger pair of shoes, make sure you are walking properly by picking your feet up appropriately. You will be protected from the risk of falling.

Keep a Good Posture

When you are wearing shoes that are too big for your feet, you must keep a good posture because, this way, you will change your posture and gait.

Replace the Pair of Shoes

Suppose the shoes are a few sizes larger than your normal footwear; it’s better to bring them to the shoe store and change them. No shoe shortening method will work on it and this can lead you to a serious accident.

Don’t Go on Long Walks in Big Shoes

It doesn’t matter how many strategies you have applied to your shoes; the fitting that your own size shoes provide can not be achieved by making them smaller with other things.

Avoid using large footwear for hiking, running, or long walks. You will get serious injuries, pains, and a lot of discomfort.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Is This Fine to Use One Size Larger Shoes?

We know that wearing tight footwear will hurt your foot and will result in serious skin problems. On the other hand, if we wear too large shoes, it will also result in making bad effects on our posture by making our walk dysfunctional and unnatural.

How to Make Tighter Loose Shoes?

Insoles are the best choice if your shoes are too loose and you want to make them tighter. These shoe accessories are additional cushions that you keep inside your footwear to make them comfortable and fill the extra gap.

How to Get Shoes One Size Smaller?

Many cheap shoe accessories are available that you can keep in your shoes to make them fit, such as:

  • Full insoles
  • Half insoles (heel liners, ball of foot pads, tongue pads, etc.)
  • Thick socks

Also, shrinking the shoes and getting professional help are good approaches to making big shoes fit.

Which Are the Best Insoles for Too-Big Shoes?

Superfeet Insole: Most people choose these insoles because they can be cut to your desired size and are made from odor-resistant material.

Timberland Pro Insole: This is ideal for boots; it reduces rubbing and protects our feet from injury. Furthermore, they are so lightweight.

Samurai Insoles: These insoles are best for people looking for the most comfortable options to prevent knee, arch, and foot pain because they have bouncy and durable foam.

Final Thoughts

Sometimes in the excitement of finding a gorgeous pair of shoes, we buy the wrong size of footwear, and unfortunately, every store has no exchange policy, so the techniques to make big shoes fit help us a lot.

While stuffing the footwear with the shoe accessories, make sure the fitting doesn’t get too tight; otherwise, they will cause blisters or other skin problems.

Making big shoes smaller is not a good idea for long walks or hiking, but these strategies will work best for temporary use.

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.

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