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How to Shrink Shoes: An Easy Guide for All Types of Shoes

How to Shrink Shoes: An Easy Guide for All Types of Shoes How to Shrink Shoes: An Easy Guide for All Types of Shoes www.walkjogrun.net

We all have bought what we thought were the perfect shoes and when we got them home the shoes were too big in all of the wrong places. Well, today, you are in luck. We will talk about DIY hacks to shrink your leather, suede, canvas, Crocs, and Hey Dudes! 

All you will need is a hairdryer, dryer machine, washing machine, water, and towels. These items can all be used in different ways to achieve your wanted results. 

How do you shrink shoes that are too big?

To shrink shoes that are too big or have become loose is not as difficult as you may think. First, you will need to determine the part of the shoe you want to shrink.

And then, you will follow the steps below for each different type of shoe. 

Shrink leather shoes:

  • With a cup of water, dampen the area you want to shrink
  • Holding the hair dryer about 6 inches (15 cm) away, evenly blow-dry the area for about 5 minutes using a back and forth motion
  • Try on the shoe to check the fit

The hair dryer method can be used to shrink suede shoes. Remember to check the material periodically while blow-drying your shoes because heating up leather boots or suede shoes can dry out the material and cause cracking or creasing. 

Shrink canvas shoes:

  • Wet the shoes
  • Put them in the dryer with a few towels for 20 minutes on a low or warm setting
  • Check your shoes every 5 to 10 minutes
  • Allow the shoes to cool for a few minutes before trying them on 

You may also dampen an area of the shoe and use a blow dryer to shrink a targeted place. 

Shrink Crocs:

  • Place your Crocs in the dryer with a few wet towels
  • Set the dryer to a low or warm setting for 10 minutes
  • Check them every 3 to 5 minutes 
  • Remove the shoes from the dryer and wait 4 to 5 minutes for them to cool
  • Once cool, wear the Crocs to allow them to mold to your feet

If your Crocs get too hot, remove them from the dry because excess heat or heating to too high temperatures can warp the shoes permanently. 

These steps can shrink your shoes ½ a size to a whole size smaller. If you do not get your desired results the first time, repeat the shoe shrinking process to get your desired fit. 

How can I make my shoes tighter?

You can get your shoes to fit tighter by trying the items below:

  • Wearing thick socks
  • Using orthotics
  • Stuffing the toe
  • Using heel pads
  • Inserting shoe pads

These are some of the quick, easy, and inexpensive ways to take up the extra space and get your favorite pair of shoes to fit tighter. If all else fails, you can always take your shoes to a shoe cobbler for help to get the perfect fit.

If you want to make Hey Dude shoes tighter, you will place the shoes over the stovetop at a low temperature for around 2 minutes. This will allow the molecules in the material to dissolve and become more solid and tight. 

Can you shrink shoes in the wash?

Yes, you can shrink shoes in the wash. 

The salt and chlorine in the water will shrink Hey Dude shoes. You will also get the same effect with most canvas and cotton shoes. 

Does putting shoes in the dryer shrink them?

Some shoes you can shrink in the dryer, such as cotton and canvas. But, you should not put leather, synthetic, or suede shoes into the dryer. 

And it is often helpful to know the shoe material of your shoes to prevent damaging them. 

Do insoles help if shoes are too big?

If you have a pair of shoes that fit too big, adding an extra insole/insert to your shoes is a great way to make your big shoes fit. As stated earlier about orthotics, using a thicker insole is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to take up space in your shoes.

 And if there is still too much space, you can always try wearing a thicker pair of socks socks or putting tissue at the toe of your shoes. 

To conclude

Finding the perfect fitting shoe can be difficult. Remember to look at the return policy for the company you buy shoes. And if you still are not happy, return the shoe for a different shoe size. 

Wearing shoes that do not fit your feet comfortably is not worth the pain and a possible sprained ankle.


  1. Eco Footwears, How to Tighten Hey Dude Shoes?, Consumer Site
  2. Hudock, J., How to Custom Fit & Shrink Crocs, Blog