Sometimes you might find yourself in a situation where you need to wear a pair of shoes that don’t quite fit. Maybe you’re going to a fancy event and you’re borrowing a pair of expensive shoes from a friend, but their feet are a little bit bigger than yours. Maybe you found a great deal on a pair of nice shoes, but they only come in a half size bigger than you wear. In these situations, you’ll need to figure out how to make big shoes fit. Luckily, there are a few tricks you can use.
If you’re wearing close-toed shoes or boots, the simplest solution is to wear thick socks. If you live in a colder climate, you might already own a nice pair of thick, wool socks to keep your feet warm on those wet winter days. Try wearing those with the big shoes to see if they give you a snugger fit. If you don’t already own thick socks, you can double up on your regular socks instead. Wearing an extra layer or two of socks should add some extra width to your feet and make the shoes fit better.
For close-toed shoes, another simple solution you might be able to accomplish with items you already have around the house is to stuff the toes of the shoes. This solution works especially well if you’re wearing high heels and your feet keep sliding down uncomfortably when you walk. You can use almost any soft, thick material to comfortably stuff the toes of your shoes: cotton balls, toilet paper, paper towels, or any kind of fabric you have lying around. Stuff whatever material you’re using into the toes and it will provide padding that gives the shoe a tighter fit.
There are also some products you can buy especially to put inside your shoes. These products should fit into almost all shoes whether they are open or close-toed. One product you can try is insoles. Insoles are soft pads that you place in the sole of your shoe. Their main purpose is providing comfort and support, but if your shoes are too big, they’ll also provide the additional benefit of taking up extra space.
Similarly, ball-of-foot pads and heel strips will take up extra space in your shoes to make them fit tighter around your feed. Both are cushioning devices that go in a specific part of the shoe’s sole to provide comfort in their given areas, but both work in the same manner as the insole to make your shoes fit appropriately.
If these techniques aren’t quite cutting it, you could try some more involved methods to actually make the shoes smaller. You could attempt to wet the shoes and hope they’ll shrink as they dry, just like when you accidentally put your favorite cotton shirt in the dryer. Another method is to sew elastics into the insides of your shoe. The idea is that if you sew the elastic in tightly, it’ll constrict and pull the shoe tighter around your foot.
If you found a perfect pair of shoes and want to buy them, but they don’t come in your size, as a last resort you could bring them to a cobbler. A cobbler might be able to reconstruct the shoe so it fits you perfectly, although their services can get expensive.
Of course, it’s always best for your feet to wear shoes that fit you right, but if you find yourself in a jam, one of these methods should help you fit into that great pair of shoes, even if they’re a size too big.