My tennis shoes are too big
Method 1 of 3: Easier Methods
- Wear thicker socks (or multiple pairs). Perhaps the easiest thing you can do to make a loose pair of shoes fit better is to "bulk up" your feet with thicker layers of socks. For example, you might try exchanging a skin-tight pair of dress socks or tights for a padded set of crew socks. You can even wear two or three pairs of socks on top of each other — the thicker the padding, the more tightly your foot will sit in the shoe.
- Best for: Athletic shoes, boots.
- Notes: This can be an uncomfortable choice in hot weather, especially if you tend to get sweaty feet.
- Stuff the toes of your shoes. In a pinch, you can use cheap, wadded-up material (like tissue paper, toilet paper, or even thin rags) to fill in the space at the the tips of your shoes. This is a great choice if you feel your feet sliding from the fronts of your shoes to the back as you walk — plus, it's something you can do almost anywhere.
- Best for: Flats, boots, close-toed heels.
- Notes: Not a particularly good choice for athletic situations or long walks — the "filler" material can get gross and uncomfortable with heavy use.
- Use an insole. An insole is a soft pad (usually made of foam or gel material) that sits under your foot in the shoe to provide cushioning and support. Insoles are often intended to help with posture problems and discomfort, but they're also handy for taking up extra space in shoes that are too loose. Insoles can be purchased for reasonably cheap at most places where shoes are also sold.
- Best for: Most shoes (including heels and open-toed shoes).
- Notes: If you can, try on any insoles before buying to make sure they are comfortable to wear. Well-known brands like Dr. Scholl and Foot Petals offer comfortable, long-lasting insoles, but any quality insole brand should work. Higher-end insoles can run $50 or more but provide top-of-the-line comfort and support.
- Use ball-of-foot pads. Sometimes, adding "full" insoles to a set of shoes makes them uncomfortable or awkward to wear. Luckily, other, smaller cushioning devices are usually sold alongside insoles. One such device that's useful for too-big shoes are partial pads that sit directly under the balls of your feet (the part just before your toes begin). These discrete, hard-to-see pads provide friction and a thin layer of support, making them perfect for heels that are just a little too big but that become uncomfortable when wearing a full insole.
- Best for: Heels, flats
- Notes: These often come in many colors, so you can try to pick a pad that's in a color that compliments your shoes if you wish.
- Use a set of heel strips. Another "partial" padding option along the lines of insoles and ball-of-foot pads are thin strips of padding sometimes called "heel strips" or "heel grips." As their name suggests, these adhesive pads are often used to pad shoes with uncomfortable, pinching heels, but their strip-like design means you can put them virtually anywhere in the shoe to take up extra space — perfect for that odd pair of shoes that nothing else will work for.
- Best for: Most shoes, especially tight pairs of heels.
- Notes: Try these on before wearing and be aware that some users report blisters after use.
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