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The Art of Making Ill-Fitting Shoes Fit

New Balance 992 Navy

We’ve all had at least one pair of sneakers that just doesn’t fit correctly. Whether they’re too big, too small, too snug, or too wide, when a shoe is ill-fitting, it’s a nightmare.

Once youve been through the ordeal, you know that when footwear doesn’t fit, it ends up sitting at the bottom of your closet collecting dust. That can be a sad end for an otherwise perfectly good pair of sneakers – and nobody likes to see that! Which is why it’s always worth exploring the different ways that you can curve this crep calamity by making something awesome out of something that was previously a little awkward.

Too Big

We’ve all probably accidentally worn the wrong shoe size for a period of time. Often it’s a full or a half-size too big, and the reason for that is a whole other story. Copping creps that are too large is possibly the most annoying first-world sneakerhead problem you can encounter. Not only do they offer very little support for your feet, they can also make you look super awkward! The two main, and most obvious, fixes involve doubling up your socks, and stuffing the toe box. Another option that can work wonders is adding an extra set of insoles!

If your sneakers are leather, and you’re feeling crafty, you can always try shrinking! You’ll need a blow dryer and a spray bottle loaded with water. Gently spray and coat the whole shoe in water, then begin blow drying on a medium heat. Once the shoe is completely dry, try it on. If it’s still loose, then repeat the process until you’re happy!


If your problem is width instead of length, it can be a bit harder to fix. But it is still possible! If you’re a guy, and your regular men’s sizing is slightly too wide for your foot but the length is on point, try finding your size in women’s sizing! Generally, because of the anatomy of each genders feet, the ladies silhouettes are a lot slimmer. This can also work the other way around – i.e. if you’re a lady and your creps are too slim, try on a pair of the mens model.

Too Small

Picture this: youre scrolling through the sale section of our favourite sneaker store and come across an absolute steal! But theres a problem... the only size that’s left is smaller than what you’re used to. You cop anyway thinking it’ll be all good, but after the first wear you feel like a boa constrictor has been wrapped around your feet all day!

Fortunately, a shoe that is too small is easier to fix than one that’s too big. The easiest way to sort out your issue would be to just wear them in. Rock them for an hour or two every night while at home to gradually stretch them out a bit. Taking the insoles out could also work for you, and is a quick fix if you need to get out of the door quickly!

If wearing them around the house is too painful at first, and you don’t like the idea of not wearing insoles, then a shoe stretcher could be a worthwhile investment. There is also a budget way around this. It requires a freezer, a plastic bag, and some water. First, place the plastic bag inside the shoe and then fill it up. Make sure the bag is secure, so that water can’t spill out, then place your rig into the freezer for around six hours. As the water freezes, it will expand stretching your shoes! Gives a whole new meaning to putting your shoes on ice.

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