How to Shrink Shoes to the Perfect Size


When I don’t know what size jeans, shirts, shoes, or any garment in general to order, my mom always says, “It’s better for it to fit big than to be small.” It makes total sense. Something that is oversize can be easily tailored to perfection, whereas something that’s too small leaves (literally) no room for change.

That being said, shrinking shoes is not as easy as shrinking a shirt. At least, at first, that is. Once you have memorized the three methods ahead, though, all the shoes you find in your vintage shopping sprees that run just a tad bit bigger can easily take care of. Great news for your wardrobe, but maybe not such good news for your bank account.

Regardless, these three methods we’re sharing are great no matter your shoe woes—whether you have too much room around your toes in your new leather loafers or two or more fingers fit in the back side of your kicks. Plus, the best part is that you already have most of the items you need in your household. Unless you’re not a fan of DIYing and you need some extra help, but there’s a method for that too.

Yes, shrinking shoes is possible, and without further ado, here’s the 411. 

If you have leather shoes that fit a bit loose, what you need to shrink them is a bit of water in a spray bottle and your trusty blow dryer. Once you have your shrinking items, spray your shoes generously but don’t soak them. Afterward, simply dry your shoe with the blow-dryer set to medium heat. When the shoe is completely dry, try it on. If it’s still a bit loose, repeat the process. 

If you have sneakers, pumps, or boots that don’t fit quite right and you don’t want to go through the blow-dryer method, simply opt for soles or cushions. If your shoe is too long, put a sole in the back. If your toes have too much wiggling space or if there’s a gap between your foot and the top of the shoe, place a full foot sole or one to fill in the toe area to elevate your foot.  

Contrary to your leather shoes, if your canvas shoes are the ones that need shrinking then you do have to soak them up. Once they are completely soaked, just throw them in the clothes dryer for 10 to 15 minutes. The heat will surely shrink up your shoe in no time. 

Nordstrom’s shoes are always reliable. 

With boots, a pair of cushions and great socks can solve any sizing woes. 

Reviews say this shoe fits true to size, so you won’t have to worry about shrinking these sneakers. 

We love a platform moment. 

Are you hoping to shrink a pair of suede shoes? Avoid using water. Instead, use the first method with the blow-dryer not too close to the fabric to avoid damaging your shoes. 

Made from canvas, this sneaker’s fabric is easy to shrink should you need to do so. 

If you’re trying to shrink a satin shoe, avoid using water as it can stain the fabric, and instead put them in the dryer on low heat. 

Who doesn’t love a slingback heel? 

New Balance’s sizing is always reliable. 

With loafers, you always want to size up, but if you find the style is too big, you’ll want to add in-soles to make them the perfect fit. 

Don’t these look comfy? 

You’ll wear these shoes all the time. 

Comfortable and cool. 

Add insoles and these will be the most comfortable heels in your wardrobe. 

Mary Jane shoes are back. 

Loafers once you get the sizing right, are one of the most comfortable shoes you can own. 

Trying to make your mules a little tighter? Use the first method by applying a dryer over the top of the arch; if it doesn’t work, you can find cushions that will make them fit better. 

Now, here’s a great everyday shoe. 

This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated by Jasmine Fox-Suliaman. 

Next: How to Shrink a Shirt to the Perfect Size

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