Can A Cobbler Make Shoes Smaller?

You have bought this pair of shoes, and it feels too large. Therefore, you are wondering: can a cobbler make shoes smaller ?

A cobbler is like a magician, with footwear of course. Therefore, if he can make tight-fitting shoes more comfortable, you are almost sure that he can make large shoes fit more snugly.

Of course, this depends on just how oversized the shoes are. For instance, if you are a number 7 and you have bought a number 8, it could be reduced. However, if it is a number 9 or 10, nothing short of a magic wand touch can make those shoes fit you.

So, can a cobbler make shoes smaller? It depends on how small you need him or her to make the shoes. If they are too big, the answer is no. A cobbler cannot undo and tuck in shoes to make them smaller. Therefore, chances are that you will have to return the shoes if they are too big or use some home methods such as stuffing or adding a half/full insole to make them fit.

If you are wondering how to make big shoes fit smaller, well, the first option will be to find out what you can do at home.

Of course, taking them to a cobbler will be one of the first things to pop into your mind.

How does a cobbler makes shoes smaller?

Now that we know that a cobbler can make shoes smaller to some extent, we would like to know what he does. It is not too much.

Adding a gel padding to ball of foot area

When you take your oversized shoes to a cobbler, first, they will want to know the details. For instance, where do the shoes feel large? Is it in the ball of foot area? Is it lengthwise? Do you feel that the toe box is too large?

After that, they will be able to help you, or not. For instance, some of the things that a cobbler can do include adding extra padding to the ball of foot area. This occupies some of the volume and it makes your shoes fit more snugly.

Add heel grips

 Another way that a cobbler can make your shoes snugger is by adding heel grips. When your shoes are too large, they will most probably be slipping around the heels. Therefore, a cobbler might add heel grips that will eliminate the slippage. When your shoes are slipping around the heels, they can blister your feet badly.

Heel grips come with a sticker. Therefore, they stick to the inside heel part of your shoes. In addition, they fit in so snugly that they will feel like part of your shoes. In the same line, they fit from the top of the heel to the bottom. Therefore, you will not feel any pressure on your heel area.

Image of how to fix heels that are too big

If a cobbler uses such, he can reinforce them further with a cobbler’s hammer. That way, they will fit in snugly and look like they were in the original plan of the shoes.

Can a cobbler make sandals smaller?

Of course, he can. In addition, sandals are easier to make smaller than shoes. Since they have straps, it can be easier to tighten them in the following two ways:

  1. Tighten the sandal straps by tucking them in a bit if they were not too big
  2. Removing the straps, cutting them down to size and then sewing them back on

By the time the cobbler is done fixing the sandals, they will be as good as new. Therefore, this also answers the people who ask: can a cobbler fix shoe straps.

How to make shoes smaller on your own

If you buy a pair of shoes that are a tad smaller, you can do several things to make them fit more snugly. One of the popular ways is to stretch them out in the freezer. 

On the other hand, you could buy shoes that are a half or a full size too big. Therefore, you might want to know whether you can make shoes smaller. The answer is yes, you can. In the coming section, we are going to try and find out that one shoes too big hack that can help your shoes fit you snugly.

Add Dr. Scholls inserts shoes too big

Why Dr. Scholls? You might ask. Well, there are several reasons. However, the biggest one is that this is one of the most renowned names in the industry. Therefore, their inserts hardly disappoint.

The second reason is that these inserts are thicker than the regular half insoles that you might buy elsewhere. Therefore, when you insert them, they eat up some space and leave what you need for your foot to fit in snugly.

You will also find that the Dr. Scholls half inserts come are removable. In addition, when you insert them in the shoes, they stick. However, it is not the kind of sticky that can damage your shoes. In addition, because they are made of gel, foot feels really comfortable.

Please note that half-inserts are mostly going to help with how to make sandals fit tighter, dress shoes, casual shoes, but not with boots. It is also useful for how to make sneakers smaller.

Use Full Insoles

If you want to make work boots smaller and fit more snugly, you would need full insoles. You see, half size inserts are best for sandals, dress shoes, casual shoes and others. However, they are not appropriate for different types of boots.

Therefore, for your working boots, you should order full insoles. There are so many of them starting with Dr. Scholls, which are mostly made of gel.

In addition, you could try Protalus or Superfeet insoles. Any full size insole that you get will give you good value for money. Try thicker ones so that they can occupy more volume and leave enough for your feet.

This is a tested way for how to make big shoes fit.

Make a DIY Shoe Filler

If you do not have money to spend on half or full inserts, which by the way you should change every 6 months, you can make do-it-yourself DIY shoe filler. This is one of the loose shoe hacks that does not cost you anything since you can use material that you already have at your disposal.

If you really have a lot of room in the toe box, you can roll up some tissue and insert it inside. However, ensure that it is not too big because if it is, it will be too hard on your toes. Therefore, press it tightly inside so that it leaves some wiggle room for your toes.

You can also use old newspapers as toe box fillers. In addition, you can combine this DIY shoe filler with store-bought half and full inserts, as well as heel grips to make the shoes fit snugly.

Socks, footies and tongue pads

If your shoes are just a little loose, you can wear them with thick socks. That way, they will fit better. In addition, if they are sneakers and you do not want to wear them with regular socks, you can wear them with footies. They hardly peek above the level of your shoes.

Finally, you can also buy tongue pads and stick them under the tongue. That way, the tongue becomes thick and when you tighten up the laces, your shoes fit you snugly.


That is it for the question: can a cobbler make shoes smaller?

You have seen that it is possible to a small extent. However, the truth is that if there are no straps involved, chances are that there is nothing he can do that you can’t do.

Therefore, try the DIY methods for how to make wide shoes fit tighter before you can take them to a cobbler.