TheCrossFitShoes is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

How to Shrink Shoes: An Easy Guide for All Types of Shoes In 2022

You acquired a pair of shoes at a discount online because of a stroke of good fortune. When the shoes are delivered to your door, your good fortune comes to an end.

Pull them out and they’re a half-size to a full-size larger than you expected. 

Keep reading if you don’t want to return your shoes and want to try every trick in the book to get them to fit.

Shrink Shoes in the Dryer:Shrink Shoes in the Dryer

It is possible to reduce a half-size down to a full-size shoe by drying them in the dryer.

In hot conditions, cotton naturally shrinks. It is possible to make your shoes fit better if you wet them and then put them in the dryer for around 20 minutes.

Finished leather, synthetic material, and suede, for example, cannot be dried in a dryer.

Make sure to retain the name of the shoe brand available so that you can research the shoe’s materials.

Read the company’s website to find out whether your shoes are an exception to the rule when it comes to washing cotton and canvas shoes.

Use Water to Shrink Shoes:

It’s also possible to use a hairdryer to dry your shoes without damaging the non-cotton sections like the sole or eyelets by sprinkling water over the cotton portion of the shoe and then drying it as usual.

Turn down the heat on your hairdryer. You don’t want to harm the cotton by holding the hairdryer too near to the shoes, particularly if you accidentally.

Shoes with damp soles and/or those that have been exposed to high heat should be avoided at all costs.

How to Make Shoes Fit Smaller:Shoes Fit Smaller

Put on a Pair of Thick Socks:

The shoe isn’t really becoming smaller, but your foot is getting larger as a result of this. Your foot takes up all of the extra room, and the shoe now fits perfectly.

In fairness, you can only do this if it’s a really chilly day.

As long as you live in a place where the weather is consistently frigid throughout the year, this strategy should work for you.

Your feet will not enjoy the additional layer of warmth around them if you live in a hot area.

This option is the quickest if you can wear thick socks without overheating. However, if you begin to sweat excessively, follow the steps outlined below.

Infuse the Feet with Comfort:

This next technique is great for reducing the enormous toe area that individuals with wide feet have to deal with while wearing large shoes.

Your heels fit perfectly, but your toes feel like they’re floating in a sea of space.

A simple solution is to stuff toilet paper or a napkin into your shoe’s toe space.

Toilet paper acts as a buffer between your foot and the shoe’s tip, resulting in a more pleasant experience while wearing it.

If you find that your toilet paper shreds and leaves a mess in your shoe throughout the day, try wearing a small sock in place of the toilet paper.

A square of cloth cut from an old t-shirt or pillowcase would also work; just make sure it’s strong enough to withstand walking.

Use a Different Shoe’s Insole:

The insoles of many shoes may be removed, such as those inexpensive slippers you bought at a clothes shop or an old pair of running shoes that you still like.

Using the insole from a shoe that fits you well, insert it into an oversize shoe. There is less room for your feet to move around in the shoe because of a second insole.

In addition, the extra footbed will soften each step you take, making the shoes comfier on your feet.

Insoles from a smaller pair of shoes may be sacrificed so that you can wear a bigger pair of shoes comfortably.

To prevent the extra insole from falling out every time you take your foot off, apply glue to the bottom of the insole.

You might use some tape to secure the insole in place if you want to keep your shoes looking nice.

Invest in Shoe Pads:Shoe Pads

Inexpensive and quick to apply, shoe pads are a great way to protect your footwear. The adhesive is on one side of these cushion covers.

Applying shoe pads may help if your foot rotates excessively or seems to be too spacious. They’re cheap — a big pack generally costs just a few dollars.

If it doesn’t rain, the glue may persist for many weeks or even months without a reapplication.

Shoe pads are the best way to get rid of extra space in the midsole, so go ahead and acquire some.

Use Heel Pads:

In order to save room inside your shoes, you may also use heel pads, which are low-cost inserts. One side of a heel pad is cushioned, while the other is adhesive and adheres to your heel.

Not only will they make your shoes more pleasant to wear, but they will also help them fit more snugly.

In order to save even more room, you may double up on heel pads.

You won’t have to worry about your heels sliding off or looking like you’re wearing a flip-flop, and your shoes will feel like little pillows under your feet as an added bonus.

Find a Shoemaker:Shoemaker

A shoe connoisseur, a cobbler is just that. To put it another way, they’re a shoe repairman or restorer.

Sole, heel, toe, and space between all of them are meticulously studied by shoemakers to ensure that their customers get the finest fit possible.

A long-term approach to better-fitting shoes is to contact a local cobbler who can custom-make your shoes for your feet.

Imagine how much more enjoyable your shoes will be if they fit you better in the long run.

Make Good Use of the Shoes:

If everything else fails, you should return the shoe. Even if you put in a lot of time and effort, the shoe will always be the same size, no matter how hard you try.

Even if you were able to shrink the shoe sufficiently to fit the top of your foot, the sole may still be too lengthy. There is little you can do to reduce the size of a shoe’s sole.

Be able to tell when it’s time to give up and call it a day (perhaps the one you used to iron your shoes). It is possible to shrink a shoe by a quarter to half a size.

You could go down a size in your shoes, but that’s not going to last very long.

If you purchased your shoes from an internet retailer, get in touch with them to see if you may exchange them.

Because they recognize their consumers sometimes don’t know how precisely a garment fits until they have it in their hands, most online firms provide outstanding return policies.

Even if you were able to try on the shoes before purchasing them, there are still certain drawbacks to doing so.

Stores often allow consumers to return their shoes provided they maintain the receipt and do so within a reasonable amount of time after they have received it.

To determine whether you’re still qualified to return the shoes, contact the brick-and-mortar retailer.

Returning Shoes:Returning Shoes

If you’ve attempted to shrink the shoes, you may not be able to return them to the retailer.

Moreover, if you return shoes that are the wrong size or have burn marks on them, the firm that sold you the shoes is far less likely to accept them.

If your attempts to extend your shoes don’t yield any benefits, you run the danger of damaging them. Forgoing the possibility to get your money back may be an option if that was a choice at all.

Expert’s Answers for Readers’ Questions:

Can You Shrink Shoes Down a Size?

We’re fortunate in that we can reduce the size of both new shoes and old favorites that have become uncomfortably stretched over time.

Shoes made of leather, suede, or canvas may be shrunk by wetting the material and then heating it.

How Can I Shrink My Shoes at Home?

If you have a pair of leather shoes that are a little too big, all you need is a spray bottle of water and a hairdryer.

Spray your shoes liberally, but don’t saturate them, after you have your shrinking goods. After that, all you have to do is use a blow dryer on a medium to dry your shoe.

Also Read: Why Are Crocs so Expensive Reasons You Should Know In 2022


There is some difficulty in trying to shrink the whole shoe. Keep experimenting with these approaches until you get a half-size smaller shoe. A full-size reduction is possible if you’re fortunate enough to receive it. 

If everything else fails, you should return the shoe. Even if you put in a lot of time and effort, the shoe will always be the same size, no matter how hard you try.

If you take the advice in this article to heart, you may be able to achieve your goals.