Insoles Are Your New Best Friend
What are insoles? you may ask. An insole is a soft pad , which you place inside your shoes to provide support, cushioning and even warmth for your feet.
Although often intended to help with posture problems and other discomforts, theyre also super-useful to take up extra space in footwear thats on the big side.
Full insoles are a fantastic solution if your shoe is too big across the length of your foot, and they come in a variety of materials and styles to suit your needs:
- Foam insoles if youre after general stability and snug-fitting shoes, foam insoles are ideal for making things more comfortable. You could also treat yourself to a pair of impression insoles that mould perfectly to the shape of your foot for an extra dash of luxury.
- Gel insoles these will give relief to your joints and help to distribute pressure in your feet with their shock-absorbing, cushioning gel.
- Thermal insoles you can feel the warmth and comfort of home with thermal insoles. Made from padded foam and soft wool blend, theyre ideal for keeping your toes warm in chilly weather.
- Leather insoles a pair of leather insoles will ensure your shoes are breathable and moisture-free and with charcoal to absorb odour, these are an everyday essential.
- Odour-destroying insoles if you struggle with foot odours and tired, working feet, these insoles are a great way to combat the problem and feel comfortable at the same time.
Just pop them in your favourite footwear and youre good to go!
Getting A Cobbler To Make Shoes Smaller
There is;another option;to;make your shoes smaller. And its called a;cobbler . A cobbler can seamlessly insert one or a combination of insole padding, heel liner, tongue pad & heel grip under the original lining of the shoe.
Yep, itll be more expensive as any service rendered by a professional is, but its a;permanent & more convenient alternative to;shoes you plan on wearing often. Much easier than cleaning/replacing/repositioning shoe inserts or shoe fillers every day!
If you decide to go to a cobbler to get your shoes adjusted, go;in with a new/newer shoe. As you will get more wear out of a newer shoe , it will justify the cost of the service & nip the problem in the bud, right from the start.
Use Adjustable Shoe Trees To Make Shoes Bigger
Adjustable shoe trees are no longer a specialty item only used by a cobbler at shoe repair shops. Now, they are available from several retailers for consumers to use in their homes. Several versions are available, including a mens and womens version, as well as a deluxe version.
Adjustable shoe trees work to make shoes longer and broader. If bunions are an issue, purchase bunion plugs to focus on the toe box of the shoe where problems are occurring. To use the adjustable shoe tree, whether its cedar wood, other types of wood, or stainless steel, you begin by placing the shoes on the tree.
To stretch the length and width of the shoe, turn the adjustment knob and then leave it alone for up to 12 hours. Repeat this process until the shoes reach the wanted width and length. Use an adjustable shoe tree with various stretching liquids and sprays.
This technique works well for leather shoes and tennis shoes. For dress shoes, use a shoe stretcher to lengthen it up to one-half size. Shoe stretchers also work to increase the width of a shoe.
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Triggers Foot Corns And Calluses
Foot corns and calluses are those thick and hardened layers of your skin that develop from friction and pressure due to wearing ill-fitting shoes. These problems occur mainly on your feet and toes and, in most cases, theyre unsightly.
Corns are relatively small compared to calluses, and they occur due to excessive pressure on your toes. On the other hand, calluses are of different sizes and shapes and are larger than corns. They occur under your feet and balls when you wear larger shoes for too long.
You can treat corns and calluses by applying a pad over the affected area to reduce the pressure. Also, you can visit a podiatrist for further treatment, although you should be beware of the financial impact!
Are Rolled Up Socks Or Newspaper Effective At Stretching Shoes
Rolled up socks work to stretch your new pair of shoes, but are not as effective as other options. Rolled socks work on stretching tight areas over time slowly, so they are an excellent choice for vintage or other delicate shoes. They are not as effective with stiff ones or those made from flexible materials.
To use this approach, roll up socks and shove them down into the toe box and continue filling the entire shoe with socks. Allow them to sit until you wear them again, but no shorter than overnight. Wet newspaper is another option and provides a bit more stretching ability than rolled socks.
Crumple up the damp newspaper and place inside each shoe until full, making sure to press the paper down into the toe area. As it dries, it expands and begins to stretch your shoe.
When stuffing your shoes, pay attention to how you arrange the paper; you want the instep to stay in the same original shape. Never use this on leather or suede shoes.
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How To Fix Shoes When They Are Too Big
I know the feeling. You find a pair of shoes that you love or you receive a pair of shoes as a gift, but when you try them on, they are just too big for you.
But good news! There are a few helpful hacks that will leave you never worrying about your shoes being too big.
This article will help explain these handy tricks. All of these DIY hacks are as easy as ABC, perfect for when you are in a rush and need a quick fix to this annoying problem.
Some are quick options, while others involve a bit more effort. This article will help ensure that you can continue to enjoy your favorite pairs of shoes even if they are a bit too big.
History Of Shoe Insoles
The first insoles were actually made by innkeepers, not shoemakers. Weary travelers often complained about tired, aching feet, so innkeepers developed insoles for travelers to put in their shoes to alleviate pain. The insoles were like matted pads that were made out of animal hair; nothing like the ones we use today.
Professional shoemakers then created more modern, less crude insoles out of leather, but it wasn’t supple enough. Leather insoles made shoes heavy, stiff and uncomfortable.
Shoe wearers wanted a more comfortable fit and a more lightweight shoe, so shoemakers turned to thermoplastic, a plastic polymer that is heated and molded to the shape of the foot, providing greater comfort and arch support. Many modern orthotic inserts are made of thermoplastic.
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Whats The Problem With Bigger Shoes
While I wish the thick sock method worked for those cool running shoes, they didnt feel right. There was plenty of room for my toes to spread out, but even with the big socks, my foot was sliding back and forth inside. I could just imagine the blisters Id get after a sprint around the track, let alone after a whole month.
My hunch was correct. Dr. Ramona Brooks is a podiatric surgeona doctor who operates on feetand has seen the damage a larger shoe can do. One big problem is tripping and falling. Another is the increased friction as your foot moves around inside the shoe. The extra room can cause blisters, calluses, and even injuries to your toenails.
How To Wear Shoes Too Big
Making shoes that are too big fit is a lot easier than with shoes that are too small. Below weve gathered easy hacks and a few, more involved methods, requiring some time and thought. Please keep in mind that it depends on how big the shoes really areif theyre several sizes too large, theres not much you can do.
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Double Up On Insoles:
Quick and practical solution.
Do you have another shoe that is of a similar size? Well, pull the answer out of that running shoe and put it on top of the insert in this new shoe that is too big.
This is a swift and effective solution that almost everybody can try almost immediately. The main downside is that you squish it in the middle of your foot by doing too much of this. It does not really help for a loose heel or long toes.
What If My Running Shoes Are Too Big
If you already have a pair of running shoes that are too big, you might want to try the following tips;
- Wear thick socks with your athletic shoes. It would help add some bulk, which is bound to be useful. Be careful of doing this during summer though.
- You can use stuffings like tissue paper, cotton balls, etc to fill out the excess space. This is only useful for dress shoes in general, not athletic shoes.
- Insoles are another option. You can insert insoles to help fill up some of the space and provide cushioning and stability.
- You could also try getting the shoes to a shoe repair professional, who would know exactly what to do.
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Your Feet Slip When You Walk
When you walk, do your feet slip inside of the shoe? If this regularly occurs, be aware that your feet are slipping inside the shoe because its too big for you. The excess space allows your foot to slide out, causing pain and discomfort.
When this happens, you may not realize that your feet are slipping because you have become accustomed. If there is also a gap between your biggest toe and the front of the shoe when this happens, be careful because it can cause blisters underneath your toes.
If your heels always slip out of shoes, especially while walking, this is another sign that they are too big and maybe too wide. Some people have narrow feet, and some brands like Skechers have mostly wide sneakers.
Fit The Shoes On Both Feet
I had some customers that bought shoes without even trying them . Some people only tried one shoe because they knew the right or left foot was their bigger foot.
It doesnt matter what you know, always try both shoes when buying a new pair. The right shoe can fit perfectly, but the left one can have a manufacturing problem that you will only know when you try. This happened a couple of times when a customer came back to the store because one of the shoes had a bump that made the shoe uncomfortable, and they only tried the other shoe.
Also, every brand and style is different, so its always better to try both pairs.
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Freeze Shoes To Stretch Them
Never try this on leather shoes, as you run the risk of ruining the leather. To stretch your nonleather shoes, find a plastic zip-lock bag and fill it partway with water. Place inside the shoe and ensure it is pressing against the tightest spots.
Put everything in the freezer overnight. When the water freezes, it turns to ice and expands, which allows your shoes to stretch. When freezing shoes to stretch them, be careful not to soak the insoles, as wet insoles ruin shoes.
Use two plastic freezer bags if you are concerned about breakage. This one works well with most types of shoes, but narrow toe boxes are harder to stretch as the bag often doesnt reach that far down inside, and you run the risk of the shoe not stretching evenly. Most people see success with open or peep-toe style high heels and athletic shoes.
Is It Better For Shoes To Be Tight Or Loose
If your shoes are too tight they are likely to rub, and this friction can cause blisters, so it’s better to have a bit of wiggle room. The ball of your foot should fit comfortably in the widest part of the shoe, and at the heel there should be room for slight heel slippage. Loose slipping in the heels shouldn’t cause blisters if you break the shoes in slowly.
If a pair of shoes does feel too tight, try a half size bigger, as you shouldnt buy new shoes in the hope that theyll stretch over time.
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Issues With Wearing 1 Size Bigger Shoes
Some argue that wearing a shoe one size bigger will prevent the development of conditions such as bunions and hammertoes. However, this isnt a sensible idea.
When wearing correctly fitted footwear, you achieve a stable platform for your feet to support your body. You create optimal alignment from your feet to your knees, which minimizes wear on your joints and tendons.
But, when the shoe doesnt fit, either too big or small, youre impairing the platform. With tight shoes, youre running the risk of blisters, calluses and bunions.
When wearing shoes that are too big, your feet arent receiving proper assistance, meaning that they must overwork to support your body. This, in turn, causes you to walk in an unnatural and often dysfunctional way that leads to foot-related issues. Read more about the effects of wearing shoes that are too big.
This is why, for comfort, its imperative to measure your feet before buying new shoes. Sizes often differ between brands and types, so follow the brands recommendations. For boots, please read our guide: how should boots fit.
Current Fitness Level And Future Plans
One of the things you have to decide on when buying a new pair of running shoes is the distances you will be running. Knowing what youre training for helps you narrow down your options. ;Your past running activities also determine what kind of shoes you need.
If youre new to running and you intend to do your first marathon, a more supportive pair of shoes is essential. ;Runners are classified based on the mileages they cover. Below 20 miles, they are termed as low-mileage runners, 20-40 miles are medium-mileage runners, and those who do 40 miles a week are considered high-mileage runners. The amount of stability of the shoe and the cushioning relies on the mileages you cover.
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How To Know If A Shoe Is Too Big
You may be able to get away with wearing a size too big, but its not the best option. First, your feet will slip when you walk and rub on your heels, causing pain while walking or even just standing in them for too long.
Second, the shoelaces are overlapped because they dont fit snugly enough around your foot, which leaves room at the front of the shoe that can cause blisters and painful rubbing against your skin there as well.
Finally, if you have more than a finger width or a lot of space at the back heel area, then these shoes are too big! It is better to go down another size rather than risk any discomfort from ill-fitting footwear.
Now that you have learned how to tell if shoes are too big, you need to go for a walk and check if any of the above situations happen. If they do, that means you need a smaller size.
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Effects Of Wearing Shoes That Are Too Big
Almost everyone is aware of the effects of wearing small shoes; blisters, bunions, and calluses are some of the common problems. However, big shoes also have their share of ailments:
According to podiatrists, big shoes are a contributing factor to the development of blisters. This condition is caused by a shearing force or sliding movement that occurs due to the shoes being too large for the feet.
Blisters are not exceptional issues when wearing tight shoes. Big shoes will constantly rub your feet and create friction. The same case applies to blood blisters, which occurs under the toes, creating friction and blisters.
Wearing big shoes can also interfere with your natural stride. That means you might end up walking in a dysfunctional way, your heels easily slipping out. You might also contract your toes every time this happens, leading to foot ailments such as hammertoes and bunions.
One interesting study examined a group of runners who wore too large shoes for their feet and individual muscle activity and forces. The results showed that shoes longer than appropriate size caused increased inactivity of the calf muscle and less propulsive force.
This is particularly common among individuals who wear too-large shoes, where they experience Achilles tendon problems.
Wearing shoes that are too big, especially heels, can trigger the development of foot corn. It is a condition that develops due to constant pressure on the forefoot.
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How Do You Know If Your Shoes Fit Right
If youre not sure if your shoes fit or if its time to buy new shoes, you can do a quick test at home.
- Put on your shoes. Stand up straight and wiggle your toes. If they have room to move, your toebox is big enough. But dont cheer yet! It could still be too big.
- Using your fingers, press down on the top of the shoe, right at the tip. You should have about one half of an inch of space between the front of your longest toe and the front of the shoe. If you have more than this, your shoes are too big.
- Make sure there are no thin spots or holes at the top of the shoe for your toes to poke out of. Worn spots may indicate a bad fit. This is often due to wearing a shoe thats too narrow for your foot.
- Check the inside of the shoe that cups the back of your heel. Is it worn and ragged? Your shoes may be too small. This is especially likely if you suffer from frequent blisters or sore spots on the backs of your heels.
- Check the bottom of the shoes for wear and tear. If the tread has worn down or you can see holes, its time for new shoes. If theyve worn down only in certain places, you may not be getting the right support. Try a different style or size.