Big Shoe Hacking
May 20, 2011 2:29 PM   Subscribe

For the 10th time in a row, I've bought shoes that are too big, and wear them out after I can return them. What are your best methods on making large shoes fit better?
posted by sandmanwv to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Big socks, thick insoles.
posted by milk white peacock at 2:31 PM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

2nd on the insoles, get gellin'
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:35 PM on May 20, 2011

Inserts. I have very narrow feet, and sometimes I just fall in love with a shoe that isn't made in a narrow width.

Get the inserts.
posted by bilabial at 2:38 PM on May 20, 2011

Inserts! heel inserts push your foot forward, toe inserts push your foot back, allover padded insoles push your foot up. Combine as needed.
posted by rmless at 2:38 PM on May 20, 2011

If you're consistently buying shoes that are too big, make sure you don't shoe shop in the afternoon, when feet tend to be their largest.
posted by charmcityblues at 3:24 PM on May 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

What charmcityblues said.

And don't go too far the other way and buy shoes that are too small. Sure, leather stretches. A bit. But from painful experience, not enough to make shoes that are too small stop being so painful that you hate wearing them. Life's too short to wear shoes that you hate wearing.
posted by finding.perdita at 4:09 PM on May 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Shoes are generally designed to flex at the ball of the foot, and nowhere else. If you buy shoes that are too big, the usual inclination is to push the shoe foward on the foot by use of thick socks, and perhaps tight lacing, to prevent heel slip and blistering, but this generally moves the ball of the too small foot back from the intended flex point, creating stress on the shank of the shoe, and may also get you into a pattern of trying to push the shoe to flex with your toes, leading to hammertoe. If you must wear shoes that are too big, better to use heel inserts or pads to move your foot forward in the shoe, so that the ball of your foot is at the ball break point of the shoe.

But, better yet, by far, to have an experienced fitter actually measure your feet, individually, with a Brannock device, and then, if your feet are within 1/2 shoe size and single width of each other, buy shoes in size of your larger foot. If your feet are different in size or width by more than 1 full size or width, you may have to consider custom made shoes, or buying different sizes for each foot, to get proper fit and wear. If you do have to buy separate sizes for each foot, and live in North America, you might make a note of the National Odd Shoe Exchange, and donate your odd foot "extras" as a tax deductible donation, thus lessening your cost of buying shoes that actually fit your feet.
posted by paulsc at 4:21 PM on May 20, 2011 [7 favorites]

soft sole insoles; you bake them in the oven and stand on them for about 10 minutes. Get the high volume ones, they should soak up the excess space. Available at REI. They have changed my life!
posted by flowerofhighrank at 12:17 AM on May 21, 2011

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