How to Prevent Toe Holes in Shoes? Effective Tips

Want to protect your toes from the holes? In this article, I will share some effective tips and methods to prevent toe holes in shoes. Let’s dive in!

You must have witnessed how often the shoes get rough and form toe holes. It makes your favorite pair of shoes old, and it is not possible to wear them for going outside.

The holes provide a suitable place for dirt and grime, making them look ugly and rough. You might feel helpless, but there are still a few ways to fix holes in the shoe. In this way, you can also protect your footwear from such damage in the future.

how to prevent toe holes in shoes

How to Prevent Toe Holes in Shoes?

  • Ensure that your running shoes fit properly and are appropriate for your foot.
  • Wear thick socks and try doing yoga
  • Keep the nails of your toes trimmed
  • Use high-quality shoe conditioner and toe pads to protect from severe injuries, and buy shoes with a deep toe box.

Reasons for Toe Holes in Shoes

The toe box is the area that protects your toes. The main reason for hole formation in running shoes is friction. Let’s find out what causes friction to occur.

  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Wearing shoes that are too small
  • Heel striking
  • Inflexible big toe

Shoes that Don’t Fit Properly

One of the most common reasons for toe holes is long toenails and Improper shoe fitting. Long toenails not just work as a razor but make your footwear dull.

Running shoes are manufactured in such a way as to protect the toes. This protective toe guard is made with leather to increase the shoes’ lifespan. When you accidentally hit your toe with a stone, toe guards protect them from getting hurt and worn down.

If the design of your shoes doesn’t suit your foot structure, then long toenails will put pressure on the mesh constantly, and their quality will eventually get low.

Wearing Shoes that Are Too Small

The tight toebox and small length of the running shoes are other factors that cause the toenails to put pressure on the top and the edges of the shoes. Friction occurs between the toenail edges.

As a result, it forms a hole in the toe side. There should be a thumbnail width between the front shoe and the largest toe. Sometimes the largest toe is either the third or second one. So, make room in the shoes based on your longest toe.

Heel Striking

When you put pressure on the heel instead of the toe, a dorsiflexed position is obtained. It means that the toe direction is toward the sky rather than pointing flat on the shoe surface. In this position, your toenails strike the knit upper mesh.

For example, if you run 170 to 180 steps in a minute, then 2625 instances of toenails strike the knit mesh in just 30 minutes. Hence, the holes form in your gorgeous pair of shoes.

Inflexible Big Toe

When the big toe reduces its motion for a long time, the toenail edge strikes the mesh while pushing off. This condition is known as hallux rigidus.

Press your Big toe down while putting pressure on your toes. Stiff toes are also more likely to wear out the upper of the shoes. Long toenails are more vulnerable to striking inside the upper mesh and forming a toe hole in your running shoes.

Methods to Avoid Toe Holes in Shoes

There are various methods to avoid holes in the toe box. I will discuss each method, so keep reading this article.

  • Buy Sneakers with a wide toe area
  • Use the spacer
  • By using corrective inserts
  • Protect your shoes from harsh weather
  • Rotate your shoes
  • Apply high-quality shoe conditioner
  • Wear good quality socks
  • Apply duct tape
  • Use shoe patches
  • Trimmed toenails
  • Lacing Techniques

1. Buy Sneakers with A Wide Toe Area

People who suffer from issues like bunions and blisters should buy sneakers with a large toe area. When you rub the toe area constantly with the inside lining of your shoes, it leads to friction.

More toe space avoids foot pain while walking. Apply less pressure on wide-toe running shoes to keep them new. In this way, the wide toe box prevents friction.

2. Use the Spacer

The Toe spacer also works great if you are having foot problems. Insert the toe spacer between the middle and wide toe, as it keeps your toe bones in good shape.

Not only this, but it also protects from toe overlaps and offers a cushioning feature to your stunning shoes.

3. Using Corrective Inserts

Corrective inserts like orthotics insoles prevent your footwear from toe holes. These inserts are ideal for supporting your feet while moving or when you feel uncomfortable.

It decreases the effect of the shocks during running because it acts as a secured shield between your shoes and toes. Orthotics insoles avoid forming gaps.

4. Protect Your Shoes from Harsh Weather

Not all types of shoes are weather-resistant. Before wearing your shoes in rainy weather, make sure that your shoes are water-resistant. Otherwise, water will spoil the excellent quality of your sneakers.

5. Rotate Your Shoes

Wearing one set of sneakers the whole time reduces the lifespan of your shoes but also makes them dull. To prevent toe holes in shoes, it is necessary to rotate shoes from time to time.

Moreover, it also protects you from foot injuries and keeps your shoes new and flashing.

6. Apply High-Quality Shoe Conditioner

Shoe conditioner makes your footwear soft and protects from toe holes. It also gives your shoes an elastic and silky feel and maintains their quality.

It is the best habit to apply the shoe conditioner on shoes from time to time as it prevents the squeezing of the toes.

7. Wear Good Quality Socks

Thick pair of socks keeps your footwear comfortable and balanced. In addition to this, it also reduces pressure on the toe box and avoids toe holes. High-quality socks are also good for decreasing friction.

8. Apply Duct Tape

Applying Duct tape is the easiest way to protect your toes from ripping. This adhesive tape is made with hard fabric that is present between the rubber surface and a pressure liner.

This tape comes in many colors to match your shoe color. Its lightweight and flexible resin are very helpful in repairing gaps.

9. Use Shoe Patches

Shoe patches for toe holes work wonderfully in absorbing the applied toe force. To fix a hole in the shoe, insert shoe patches in your footwear and sew them inside the toe box.

10. Trim Your Toenails

People who don’t trim their toenails are more vulnerable to finding toe holes. Long toenails have sharp edges that ruin the inside of the running shoes.

Develop a habit of trimming your toenails from time to time because big toes make holes in your shoes.

11. Lacing Techniques

There are various lacing techniques for different foot problems. Use the heel lock technique if you already have holes in the heel collar of the running footwear. This reduces friction and protects the heel from slippage.

On the other hand, you can use the “cross over” lacing method to relieve toe pressure. In this way, it prevents the big toe from coming in contact with the upper part of the toe box.

Is It Better to Prevent or To Fix?

It is annoying to observe toe holes after running 101 to 150 miles. To increase the durability of the shoes, it is easy to take preventive measures on time to protect the toe from striking the upper material of the shoes.

If you notice toe holes in your shoes later, you can also fix them. Shortly, it is better to prevent forming toe holes instead of fixing them. Fixing toe holes take time and more effort than taking preventive measures.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

How to Prevent Toe Holes in Running Shoes?

Trimming toenails is the fastest and easiest way to protect shoes from holes. Keep your toes in a particular shape and size and cut them whenever they become longer. It will protect you from toe holes in the future.

How to Stop Big Toe Making Holes in Shoes?

Toe pads protect your toe from many injuries and act as a barrier between the toe box and the toes. It is a great option if you want to avoid the formation of holes in the toe.

Why Do My Toes Poke Holes in My Shoes?

Friction is the main reason that causes rubbing of your toe box with your toes. On the other hand, tight-fitting shoes and sharp nails result in toe holes in shoes.

How Do You Seal Holes in Shoes?

  • Remove the insoles and apply duct tape on the shoe holes
  • After squeezing the adhesive, spread the shoe glue on the toe holes
  • Dry the adhesive for 8 hours and remove the duct tape

Can Holes in Shoes Be Fixed?

Yes, you can fix holes in shoes by plugging holes with adhesive or patching holes with fabric. Try any of these methods to fix the shoe hole.


Take proper preventive measures to protect your footwear from toe holes. Keep these methods and tricks in your mind and follow the guidelines to make your shoes new and fresh.

If your shoes have holes, you can apply shoe patches or duct tape to fix them. Thank you for stopping by!

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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