How to Make Big Shoes Fit

I recently purchased a beautiful pair of shoes online. I was very excited to try them on. But when they arrived, they just didn’t fit well.

Do you also have a pair of shoes just a little too big? Do you wish you could make them fit better? Well, you can.

In this blog post, I will provide you with nine methods on how to make big shoes fit. I will also provide tips to prevent your feet from blisters and other foot problems while wearing oversized shoes.

So, grab your shoes and read on.

Layering Socks

Illustration of a person wearing multiple socks to make big shoes fit.

Layering socks is the most common way to make big shoes fit better. This will fill in the extra space and make the shoes feel snugger.

If wearing two pairs of socks is uncomfortable, you can try wearing thick socks. For example, you can wear a padded pair of crew socks. 

This trick works well on most types of shoes, including athletic shoes and boots.

However, the downside of this method is that it can make your feet very warm. So it’s not ideal for summertime or humid weather.

Stuffing Your Shoes

Illustration of the shoe stuffed with tissue paper to make it fit.

Stuffing your shoes is another popular way to make them fit better.

The goal is to fill in the extra space, so your shoes feel tighter and snugger on your feet. This can be a trial-and-error process to figure out how much stuffing is required.

You can stuff your shoes with a variety of materials, including:

  • Tissue paper
  • Cotton
  • Newspaper

For example, if you have a pair of dress shoes too big, you can try stuffing the toe area with tissue paper. This will help absorb some extra space and make the shoes fit better.

The downside of this method is that it can be a bit uncomfortable, and it’s not always easy to stuff your shoes evenly.

Another downside is the stuffing compresses after some time. This means stuffing more material to get the fit back.

Using Shoe Fillers

Illustration of the shoe stuffed with shoe filler to make it fit.

Like the previous method, shoe fillers are all about filling in the extra space to make your shoes fit better.

The shoe fillers are often made from foam or gel and can be found at most shoe stores. You can also find them online.

These fillers come in different shapes and sizes, so you can find ones that fit your shoes well. This can be a good option if you have big shoes that are difficult to stuff.

The shoe fillers are easy to use, and you can simply insert them into your shoes. This will help to make the shoes feel snugger and more comfortable.

Using Insoles

Illustration of the shoe and insoles

If you have big shoes, you can try using insoles to make them fit better. This is a good option if you want to add extra cushioning to your shoes.

An insole is a removable insert that can be placed inside a shoe to make it more comfortable. Insoles are usually made from foam or gel and provide cushioning and support for the foot.

Most insoles are intended to help with posture problems and discomfort. However, they’re also handy for taking up extra space in shoes that are too loose.

This method works on most types of shoes, including open-toe shoes.

You can find insoles at most online and offline shoe stores. They come in different sizes. You will be spoilt for choices and easily find one that fits well.

If the choices confuse you, then go with Dr. Scholl’s. Dr. Scholl’s is a reputed brand and you cannot go wrong with it.

Using Ball-of-Foot Cushions

Illustration of a foot with ball-of-foot cushion

If inserting a full insole in your shoes is too uncomfortable, try using ball-of-foot cushions.

These small pads sit under your feet’ balls to provide cushioning and support.

They’re usually made from gel or foam and can be found at most shoe stores or online. They can be used on flats and heels also.

The ball-of-foot cushions are easy to use, and you can simply place them under the balls of your feet before putting on your shoes.

These cushions can take up extra space in your shoes and make them fit better. They can be used on flats and heels also.

If you have shoes that are slightly too big, this method can be very helpful in making them more comfortable to wear.

These cushions are available in many colors, so you can pick the one that complements your shoes.

Using Heel Strips

Illustration of a foot with heel strip

You can try heel grips or pads if your shoes are slipping off in the back.

These are small adhesive pieces of foam or silicone that you attach to the back of your heel. They create friction and help keep your foot from slipping out of the shoe.

The heel strips are easy to use and can be found at most drugstores or online.

These heel strips work on most types of shoes, including heels.

The only downside is that they can cause blisters, so be sure to test them before wearing them for an extended period.

Try Shrinking Your Shoes

Illustration of a shoe sprayed with water for shoe shrinking process.

Another option for making your big shoes fit smaller is to try shrinking your shoes with water. This only works if the shoes are made of a shrinkable material like leather or canvas. 

Before using this method, check the care label instructions to see if it’s safe to use water on the shoes. After reviewing the care label, follow the following steps:

  1. Firstly, wet your shoes. Use a spray bottle to wet the suede or leather shoes. You can soak canvas or other fabric shoes in water.
  2. Let the shoes dry in the sun. You can also use a hair dryer on a low setting to dry the shoes. However, do not hold the hair dryer too close to the shoe as this can damage the material.
  3. After the shoes are dry, put them on. If the shoes are still too big, repeat the process.
  4. Remember to condition suede or leather shoes once they are dry.

Using an Elastic Band

Illustration of a shoe with elastic band stitched on it to make the big shoe fit.

If you are experienced with sewing, then this method is for you. All you need is an elastic band and some thread. Then you have to stitch it on the back side of your shoes. This will pull the shoe towards your foot and make it fit snugger.

  1. Cut a piece of the elastic band long enough to go around the backside of your shoe.
  2. Stretch the band along the inside of the back of the shoe and sew it in place. You can use safety pins to secure the elastic band before sewing.
  3. As you sew, keep the elastic tight so that it will draw in the material of the shoe and create a tighter fit.

This method is only suitable for shoes made of fabric as leather and suede can be damaged by sewing.

Visit a Professional

Illustration of a man visiting professional for getting his big shoes fit small.

If none of the above methods work, you should take your shoes to a professional. They will have the tools and experience to make your shoes fit perfectly. They can stretch out the shoes or add padding to make them more comfortable.

If you want to make your expensive shoes fit better, but none of the other methods have worked, then you can take them to a professional. They will have the tools and experience to make your shoes fit perfectly.

This option can be expensive, but it is worth it for a pair of High quality or costly shoes or a treasured heirloom.

Quick Tips

  1. Maintain your posture while wearing oversized shoes. Stand up straight and do not slouch. Keep your chest up and shoulders back. Always walk in a heel-to-toe walking motion.
  2. Be careful of tripping. When wearing big shoes, you may be more likely to trip. To avoid this, take shorter steps and be aware of your surroundings.
  3. Wear the right socks. To prevent blisters, wear socks made of a breathable material like cotton. Also, make sure your socks are not too tight or too loose.
  4. Don’t wear ill-fitting shoes for a long time. This can cause foot pain, cuts, blister, and ankle injuries.
  5. Replace your shoes if they are two to three sizes bigger than your feet. No trick can be helpful if your shoes are too big. Therefore, buying a new pair of shoes that fit you well is best.


How to Know if the Shoes Are Too Big?

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to finding the perfect fitting shoe. First, there should be about one finger’s width of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. If there is more than that, the shoe is likely too big.

In addition to the toe box, paying attention to the heel is essential. The heels should fit snugly without being too tight. There should be no gap between your heel and the back of the shoe. If you can feel any looseness or slip, that’s a sign that the shoe is too big.

Is It Ok to Wear Shoes That Are Slightly Too Big?

It’s not ideal to wear shoes that are too big, as this can lead to blisters, foot pain, and ankle injuries.

If you must wear slightly too big shoes, be sure to wear the right socks and take shorter steps to avoid tripping and slipping.

For more advice on enhancing your shoe safety, explore our blog post titled “How to Make Shoes Non-Slip.”

What Do You Do if Your Shoe Is Half Size Too Big?

If your shoe is half a size too big, you can try wearing thicker socks or adding an insole to fill up some extra space.

You can also tighten the shoelaces tightly to help keep the foot in place.

Do Insoles Make the Shoe Size Smaller?

Adding an insole to your shoes will make them fit tighter, but it will not change the size of the shoe.

If you have big shoes, insert an insole to make them fit snugger.

How to Make Shoes Smaller Without Insoles?

If you don’t have insoles, try wearing thicker socks or multiple pairs of socks to fill up some extra space. You can also try shoe inserts and heel liners to make your big shoes fit better.


So, there you have it. Now you know how to make big shoes fit smaller. Be sure to try out different methods until you find the one that works best for you. With a little bit of effort, you’ll be able to wear your oversized pair of shoes.

If you are facing the same problem with Crocs, check out our blog post “How to Shrink Crocs.”

Now, if you have the opposite problem – that is, a pair of shoes that is small – a good place to start is our guide on shoe stretchers followed by our in-depth guide on how to stretch shoes for wide feet, and how to stretch leather shoes.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments below.

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