I bought a pair of boots this past summer that I thought fit me well. Now that I'm really using them for the first time, I've realized that they are approximately 1/2 size too big, and my feet move around in them while I walk. What are some methods to stabilizing my foot in the boot?

Things I've tried:

  • Returning the boots: I am beyond the return period, so this is not an option.
  • Two pairs of socks: While this method helped stabilize the boot, it gave my feet blisters.
  • Wear thicker socks: I put on the thickest socks that I own, but it was not enough to stabilize my foot (although it certainly helps).
  • Hello! Have you tried using newspaper, tissues or water wicking clothe to fill the toe? Also, maybe tieing the shoe tighter?
    – Pobrecita
    Jan 26, 2015 at 22:08
  • I'm always using 2 pairs of socks in cold weather, and no blisters.
    – J. Musser
    Jan 26, 2015 at 22:30
  • Not a hack really cos you need to buy them, but get some insoles (like trainer tamers or just foam padded ones), cut them to fit, and wear thick socks.
    – Bamboo
    Jan 27, 2015 at 11:37

2 Answers 2


Things you could try:

  • Put something in the toe to stop your foot from moving around, things like tissue, Newspaper or clothe work. For clothe use water wicking and odour reducing if possible. Soft objects like sponges work better, as it is more healthier for the foot.

    • Something I have tried is putting something harder in the shoe and then something softer to protect the foot.
  • Tie the shoes tighter if the shoes are to wide.

How do you fit into shoes that are too big?

Try using some of these inserts to fill out the extra space in a shoe that is too big. For instance, moleskin pads at the heel can help keep a foot from slipping out of a pump with a heel that's wider than your the foot. Gel insoles can raise the foot inside the shoe, reducing the amount of vertical space in a shoe that is too big. Additionally, the user may be likely to find that walking and standing are much more comfortable.

You could try to shrink them, but this will not work with the type of shoes you describe, probably:

  • Spraying with water and then letting sundry or using a hair dryer usually works.

  • You can sew elastic bands in the back of the cloth shoes.

Additional Info

How to Make Shoes That Are Too Big Fit- eHow

Insert stick-on heel grips cushions into your shoes. These padded inserts add extra grip to your heels, ensuring that your feet don’t slide out with every step.

To stop your feet from sweating in any of these methods try to wear breathable socks.


I always buy my hiking boots either 1/2 to a full size larger than my foot. The reason I do this is to create a buffer between my foot and the shoe, reduced blistering, more aeration for evaporation and cushion.

What I do is use two to three cotton socks or two wool socks.

As a hiker carrying relatively heavy packs for long distances and multiple days, I've found over the years that many others do this for the same reasons.

  1. Aeration - Assists with evaporation as your foot squishes and compresses the sock while walking it creates more circulation and accelerates evaporation.

  2. Cushion - I've had many ankle injuries from motorcycle crashes to climbing accidents. The extra cushion really helps my situation.

  3. Reduced Blistering - Due to less moisture and rubbing, considerably reduced chance of blistering. If your on day 2 of a 5 day hike and you get a blister. You have 3 days of suffering and misery ahead of you.

As well, a Dr Scholls insole or boot insert rounds out the package. It takes up space and provides and excellent cushion which is better for your ankles and knees.

Hope this helps. Best of luck.

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