Shoe Care – ‘Hack’ Your Shoes Into a Great Fit

So you’ve bought some footwear and it’s a little too big. It may be that it was only available in a size slightly larger than the one you usually take, but you really loved the style. Or perhaps that particular style fits a little large. Or the pair fit well when you bought them (your feet swell and shrink slightly during the day). Any way, you have some footwear and there’s a little too much room left with your feet inside. Don’t despair – there are quick and simple ways to solve this problem!

First, we’d advise that you try using thick insoles, or alternatively that you stick chiropody foam to the underside of the tongues. This material can be bought at low-cost from eBay.

As a last resort, you can try the method below – but please use this method with care as prolonged use of a hairdryer on leather can crack it and we can’t be held responsible for any damage to your shoes.

What you’ll need:

  • The footwear in question (obviously)
  • Thick, winter-style socks
  • A hair dryer

Note: this will only work with footwear made from natural materials - it will not work with plastic or rubber footwear.


1)      Firstly, put on your normal socks plus the thick winter socks. The footwear should be tight on your feet.

2)      Then put on the footwear.

3)      With the hairdryer, run it over the looser-feeling parts of the footwear. After a few moments they will feel tighter on your foot. Be careful not to over-tighten the footwear using this method – as soon as the footwear feels tighter in one area, move the dryer to another problem area. Using this method you can tailor the fit of the footwear to your comfort and requirements.

4)      Once you’ve finished this process, turn the dryer off and walk around in the shoes until they have completely cooled down.

5)      Now remove the footwear and the thick winter socks, put the footwear back on again, and see how they fit.

6)      If necessary, repeat the process again until they’re comfortable.

The winter socks are present in this procedure to prevent you from accidentally shrinking the footwear too much. You could undertake the procedure without the winter socks, but we strongly advise against doing so.

This great YouTube video covers the procedure in detail: