Shoes Too Big? 7 Ways Celebrities Use To Make Oversized Shoes Fit For A Red Carpet Event

Are you part of the petite feet crew, like Jenna Ortega, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Courtney Kardashian?

Finding the perfect pair of shoes in your size can be a challenge, but what do you do when you fall in love with a pair that are just a little too big?

Finding the right fit for smaller-than-average feet can be a challenge, but creative innovators have come up with tips and tricks to adjust their shoes for more comfortable wear.

Continue reading to uncover the techniques for customizing shoes that are too big for you and achieve the ultimate comfort and fit. We've rounded up 7 of the best shoe hacks for you to try!

If the shoes are too big and the store carries your size, make an exchange!  Don't be afraid to ask for what you need!

However, if you are one of those individuals that can never find your size in stores, online, or in the entire galaxy, this post is for you! We'll show you how to alter the shoes for a better fit!  

Here are a few easy ways that you can make your shoes fit tighter:

  • Stuff The Toe Box
  • Apply Heel Strips
  • Add New Insoles
  • Use A Little Water
  • Visit A Shoe Care Professional (aka "Cobbler")
  • Use An Elastic Band To Tighten The Shoe

Sometimes you can't tell that a shoe fits poorly until you take it home and attempt to wear it for the first time. Unfortunately, this can leave you in a bit of a pinch if you're already prepared to wear it.

Believe it or not, celebrities are known to wear shoes that are a size too big on purpose! They take this precaution to prevent blisters and swelling during events where they will be standing for extended periods.

If they can do it, you can do it!

If you don't have time or the desire to change outfits, there are some genius ideas for keeping those oversized shoes on your feet and looking fabulous. Continue reading to learn more about these hacks to determine which one may work best for you.

Young woman tying shoelace before workout, getting ready for jogging, Shoes Too Big? 7 Ways To Make Shoes Smaller

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Stuff The Toe Box

Tired of shoes that are too big and won't stay on your feet? One simple and budget-friendly solution is to stuff the toe area of the shoe. This is the part of the shoe that surrounds your toes. One way to do this is by cutting up an old pair of socks and stuffing them inside. If you don't have any old socks lying around, you can use a piece of cushion or a small pillow instead.

In plain terms, you can use any soft and fluffy materials to stuff your shoes and make them fit better. It's important to use something that won't hurt your toes while you wear them. Some good options include cotton balls, cut-up towels, or tissue paper. Just keep in mind that this trick won't work for open-toe sandals.

Buy cotton balls on Amazon.

Buy Shoe Fillers

Another way to keep your sized-up shoes from sliding around is to invest in shoe fillers. These handy little inserts are usually made from materials like silicone, polyurethane, or elastic and they're designed to fit snugly in the toe box of your shoes, taking up space and making them feel like a perfect fit.

They're also relatively inexpensive, you can find them online or in most shoe department stores for around $8 to $15. And if you want to maximize their effectiveness, you can use them in combination with heel liners.

Buy shoe fillers on Amazon!

Apply Heel Strips

Orthopedic Insoles. Foot Care Products isolated on white background

Need a quick fix for shoes that are too big in the heel? Heel strips are the answer! They work just like shoe fillers, but they're made to fit at the back of the shoe, sticking to the heel. They come in different sizes and are secured with a sticky adhesive. The great thing about heel strips is that you can use them anywhere inside the shoe where you need more cushion or a tighter fit. They're perfect for high heels, dress shoes, and any other shoes that are just a little too big.

Buy Heel Strips on Amazon.

Add New Insoles

Grey insoles for shoes on wooden background

You can also add new insoles to help your oversized shoes fit better. Insoles come in a variety of designs, sizes, and materials. The most common materials include polyurethane-based foam, gel, and leather.

You can purchase complete insoles, half-foot insoles, or insoles designed specifically for the toebox area. Not only do they help to give your shoe a more snug fit, but they also provide great stability and have shock absorption capabilities.

One major benefit to this life-saving hack is that it can be used for shoes with open toes! (Hello, Summer!)

Insoles have extra benefits like odor elimination and moisture absorption. Those are always a plus for a long night on your feet!

Insoles can generally be found at retail stores, shoe stores, or corner drugstores. You can also purchase insoles for anywhere between $7 to $15 online.

Buy insoles on Amazon!

Use A Little Water

This hack has been around for about 30 or 40 years and doesn't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. If you'd rather not spend any money to improve your shoes' fit, you can wet them with water and air dry them to create a shrinkage effect.

It's important to note that this specific method may not be ideal for every shoe type, as water can permanently damage the shoe if it's made of leather or suede.

To get started with this method, take a spray bottle and douse the shoes with it. If the shoes are athletic shoes made of rubber and leather, you may be able to quickly dunk the shoes in a sink of water.

After you wet the shoes, allow them to air-dry outside in the sun or in a dry room in your home. You can also use a hairdryer (set on "low") on the shoes as well.

Be sure to keep the hairdryer at least 6 to 8 inches away from the shoe to prevent scorching the surface.

After your shoes have dried, try them on to check the fit. If they are still too big, repeat the process once or twice.

It's advised that you not repeat this more than a couple of times as you may damage your favorite shoes.

You can also apply a conditioner after shrinking the shoes. This can be purchased for under $20 online or in any department, shoe store, or pharmacy.

Buy leather conditioner on Amazon!

Visit A Shoe Care Professional (aka "Cobbler")

You can always take the shoes to a professional if you'd rather not risk damaging them. (This may be a better option if they are expensive or hard to replace).

Cobblers can use various methods to shrink your shoes for a better fit. Though cobblers may not be as commonplace as they were a hundred years ago, they are still treasures to anyone who's ever had issues with a shoe that they didn't want to throw out.

Keep in mind that their services can be expensive, so you'll want to ensure that the shoe is worth it.

Use An Elastic Band To Tighten The Shoe

One hack that you may have never considered is the use of an elastic band on the shoe. This solution works best if you have at least some experience with embroidery or sewing.

For this hack, you'll need to stitch elastic bands to the interior of your shoes to constrict them.

You'll need a needle, thread, and an elastic band that's at least 12 inches long.

You can use safety pins to hold the band in place as you begin to sew it into one side of the shoe. Be sure to keep the elastic tight as you sew the band into the shoe, and upon completion, simply release it.

Buy a sewing kit on Amazon!

Does it matter if Your shoes are too big?

Yes, but it depends on the type of shoes, how long the shoes are worn, and how oversized they are.

Oversized shoes can be uncomfortable to wear and can increase your chance of falling or slipping if you lose your balance or put traction on the ground.

They can also look odd if they are extremely oversized. For example, they may flap off of the heel of your foot in the back when you walk or even fall off of your foot at the slightest misstep.

Also, shoes that are too big can cause you to walk in a dysfunctional and unnatural way. Prolonged wear of oversized shoes can potentially lead to foot or posture issues.

Should your toes touch the end of Your shoes?

Young woman tying shoelace before workout, getting ready for jogging, Shoes Too Big? 7 Ways To Make Shoes Smaller

No, your toes should never touch the end of the toe box of your shoe. If they do, chances are that they are too small.

The oldest technique to test your shoe's fit is to simply place your thumb on the toe of the shoe between your big toe and the tip of the shoe. If you can't press completely down on the shoe without touching your toe, then the shoe is probably too big.

Here are a few tips to help you determine if your shoe fits properly:

Dress Shoes

Dress shoes should be comfortable when you slide them on and take a few steps in them. There should be about an inch of space between the end of the shoe and your longest toe.


It's best to ensure that your high heels fit as comfortably as possible and have about 1/4 to 1/2 inches of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. It's always a good idea to go up a half size if the shoe feels too snug. This way, you'll have enough room to wiggle your toes comfortably.

Tennis/Athletic Shoes

Athletic shoes should have a very comfortable fit, and you should be able to move your toes comfortably inside the shoe. You should also be able to fit your thumb between the end of the shoe and your longest toe.

Flat Casual Shoes

Casual shoes should fit similarly to athletic shoes. Be sure that the shoes are not too tight and allow for comfortable movement around the toes and heel. It's also helpful to use the thumb/toe test.


Boots are typically stiffer around the toe box, so instead of using the thumb-toe method to ensure a proper fit, you may want to use your arch size to determine the appropriate size.

Your foot should fit snugly in a boot and not feel jammed up against the toe box. Also, it shouldn't be so loose to the point that your foot slides back and forth when walking in the boot.

How can I make wide shoes tighter?

There are a few hacks that you can use to fill up your shoes and tighten their fit if you have narrow feet.

The quickest solution would be to insert heel liners on one or both sides of your shoe to reduce the spacing.

If the shoes are casual or athletic and have laces, you can simply tie the shoe strings tighter to make them fit more snugly on your feet. You can also use regular shoe inserts to give the shoes a tighter fit.

Wrapping Things Up

Finding that your shoes are oversized doesn't have to be the end of the world. There are several inexpensive methods that you can use to help improve the shoe's fit, including using heel inserts, shrinking the shoe with water, and stuffing the toe box with a sock or tissue.

Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts:

What Shoes To Wear With Straight Leg Pants [7 Suggestions]

Do Boots Stretch As You Wear Them? [And How Much]

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