How to Fix Heel Slippage in Boots E.G Using Tongue Pads

Boots are among your most stylish fashion items, and they sure can look cool. But when you get the more functional boots for such activities as hiking you protect yourself while you still look darn nice. If your shoes don’t fit, read on to learn how to fix heel slippage in boots.

What’s the Problem?

You do have to remember that heel slippage is a normal issue when your boots are brand new. You need to have to break them in first, and in the meantime your heels may slip off the boots during this period.

During the break-in period, the boots will slowly shape itself to the precise shape of your feet so you’ll get a perfect fit. The boots will also flex in the same way as your feet do, so that every movement you make while you walk and run can be accommodated. The heel part of your boots moves the same way as your heel does, and that means no slippage.

The problem becomes obvious when after the normal break-in time your heels keep in slipping away from your boots. It may only happen in certain situations, such as when you’re walking much faster or you’re outdoors. Or it can happen all the time.

Either way, you have to fix this problem. Never mind how embarrassing it can be for you when this happens in a workplace or a party setting. It’s much worse when it happens and you get yourself hurt as a result.

That’s the problem, but it’s not insurmountable. You have several possible solutions you can try out.

What to do if heel slips in boots!

1. Get Boots that Actually Fit You

This is perhaps the best solution of them all, as it can prevent the problem in the first place. Often the real cause of heel slippage is that you have boots that are just too big for your feet. So it’s no wonder that your heels keep slipping off.

So first you need to know your proper shoe size. You need to measure the length and width of each foot, because they’re not always the same. You should do this around noon time, because this is the time when your feet are at their biggest.

Take note that if you have the right shoe size from a particular shoe brand, ordering the same size from another brand may not get you the same shoe measurements. Some brands have rather unique sizing categories.

That’s why you really need to try out the shoes first before you buy it. That may be a problem when you’re buying your shoes online, but you can find the shoes in a shoe store, try them out, thank the salesperson, then buy that same boots online in the size that fits you best in the store.

You can also blindly buy the shoes online without trying them on first, but you need a guarantee that you can return or replace the boots if they don’t come in the right size. Make sure you get the right width too.

To further understand boot fitting, watch this video.

2. Change Your Walking Style

Boots aren’t really made for sprinting. So your heels may slip when you keep walking as if you’re sprinting all the time. This means when you put your foot on the ground, the balls of the feet touch the ground first.

Now this method will certainly give you a faster time on the track, as it’s an effective way to run fast. But when you’re wearing boots, you need to make sure your heel touches the ground first. Then you roll your feet forwards, push off with the front of your feet as you raise your foot.

3. Proper Boot Maintenance (Keep Your Boots Dry)

It stands to reason that if your boots are wet, then your feet will slip off and you’ll end up with heel slippage. The problem with using a hair dryer, however, is that too much heat can damage the boot material instead.

You can instead use a proper boot dryer. They’re not too strong, and you can just use it with your boots for an hour or two and you’re done.

Other methods you can try out are the tried and true sun drying method which will take about 4 hours and using a fan on your boots overnight.

You can also scrunch newspapers into balls and put then inside the boots overnight. Just push the paper into the toe are and keep stacking them until you fill up the leg opening of the boots. These will absorb the moisture, and when they’re saturated you can just replace them.

Towels can also work, though it’s best if you use the old ones you don’t plan on using anymore. Just tuck one corner inside and keep pushing.

Even rice can work too. You need a bucket which you can fill up with rice to about an inch high. Place the boots inside the bucket, and then place a lid to cover the top. This will take a few hours, so plan on doing this overnight.

Before you dry your boots with any of these methods, don’t forget to first remove the laces and the insole. Doing these things will accelerate the drying process.

4. Lace Your Shoes Properly

If you haven’t laced your shoes right, then they may come loose and the heel part of the shoe just won’t match the rise of your heel when you walk. That’s because your loose laces just give your feet too much leeway.

So you will need to lace your boots properly. The lacing styles you need to try out are called the “rabbit hole” method, the “hiking booth lacing method”, the “runner’s tie” method, and the “butterfly lacing” method.

We’d rather not describe the lacing methods with text, as that can be just confusing. Just highlight the words within the quotation marks and Google them, and you should find online videos showing you the technique for each.

Try each one out, and then find the method that suits your preferences. The method should keep your heels from slipping out, and it should make your boots feel comfy why you walk and run.

Here’s a video showing one lacing method to reduce heel slippage.

And if you’ll be wearing boots, check out this lacing method.

5. Use Lace Locks

These are devices that may be called by other names. So they may also be called “lace anchors” or even “lock laces”. Some boots, especially hiking boots, already come with this device in recognition of the problem. But you can also buy it as an accessory fi you have trouble locking your laces down with the right knots.

Again, these lace locks only work if you’re using them right, so go on YouTube and find the demonstration videos on what to do with them to make sure your laces remain tight.

6. Use Shoe Tongue Pads

The tongue on your boosts is that part (that looks like a tongue, naturally) which is found between the laces and the top of your feet. It’s nice and fluffy, and it keeps the laces from cutting into your feet. It also makes sure your feet are snug inside the boots.

But over time, the tongue can become flatter and lose their fluffiness, so your feet get a few millimeters of extra space. That may be enough space for your feet to move upwards while your shoe remains on the ground. That leads to your heels slipping from your boots.

Shoes tongue pads are just pads that are placed under the tongue to reinforce them when they’ve become worn and flat. They offer the extra fluff material to compensate for your worn-out boot tongue.

Tongue pads for shoes push down on your feet comfortably so your foot won’t have that extra space when you raise your feet as you walk.

7. Look for Non-Slip Insoles Feature

This feature has extra lining at the back of the inside of your boot. Remember, when your heel slips from your boots that’s because it doesn’t fit in snugly around that area. So to get rid of the unwanted extra space, you have the lining and the extra cushioning in that area to prevent the slippage.

Quite a few premium boots have this feature, and you may want to give them a try.

8. Try Out Non-Slip Socks

Socks are necessary for your boots, in terms of your comfort and to absorb the moisture from your feet. But socks can be slippery, and they may even cause the back of the boot to slip from your heel more easily.

But some socks are of the non-slip variety. These tend to have a special pattern at the bottom, which gives the socks a firmer grip. Your foot then stays in place and in proper sync with the boot, and you prevent the slippage.

One of the bonus benefits of these socks is that they can also reduce how the heel lining of the boots will wear down over time. The firmer grip on the heel lining reduces the wear and tear, so your boots remain comfortable for your feet for a longer time.

These socks aren’t all that expensive, and they don’t cost too much more compared to the cost of regular socks. They can look nice too, depending on the brand you get.

9. Use Heel Grips or Heel Liner Cushions

These are usually made with soft leather, and you attach them to the back of the heels and along the sides of the shoe back. The material presses on your foot so that your foot is more in contact with the heel area of the boot. That means there’s less chance that your heels will slip when you walk or run.

The nice thing about using soft leather for the heel grips is that they’re often soft enough that they don’t cause ankle chaff or blisters when you do your regular walking and running movements.

10. Get Shoe Heel Slip Inserts from a Podiatrist

One potential problem for heel slippage is that you have foot issues that need to be corrected properly. Maybe you have pronation problems, or perhaps you have one foot that’s markedly bigger than the other.

Whatever the problem is, a podiatrist can diagnose the condition and recommend a solution. This will typically be the use of custom orthotic shoe heel slip inserts that will make your feet fit in so much better in your boots. Issues can then be corrected while you walk and your feet will get the proper support.

In any case, your feet should feel more secure in your boots. It’ll make you feel that the fit is “just right”.

11. Try a Second Pair of Socks

If a pair of socks won’t keep your feet in the boots snugly, then perhaps you can double up on the socks. This is more practical during the colder season, but the thickness of the extra socks can compensate for the loose space in your boots.

12. Double Sided Tape May Help

Now this is just a stopgap measure, but if you’re pressed for time then you can try it until you come up with a more permanent solution. Just sue the tape in between the heel of the boot and the heel of your foot, and you’re good to go. It’s for this reason that you may want to bring some double sided tape with you while you’re still on your boot breaking-in period.

This does come loose when your feet begin to perspire, so you may have to make some adjustments once in a while.

13. Hairspray Can Also Work

If you’re at home and you’re out of double sided tape, then this is the kind of “MacGyver” solution makes a lot of sense. Hair spray is sticky, and it might just keep your socks sticking to your boots as you walk.

Again this is a makeshift solution, and you need to try more permanent solutions afterwards.


Heel slippage in boots is a real problem, and you can’t just tolerate it. If after you’ve broken in your boots and this keeps happening, you should try one of the solutions we’ve recommended. If you don’t, then you may end up injured and that gives you even more problems!