Can shoes be made narrower?
March 4, 2008 7:04 PM   Subscribe

What can be done if my shoes are too wide?

I just bought a pair of shoes from Zappos that I absolutely love. However, they're heels and they're too wide; my foot slides forward a decent bit and hits the end of the shoe when I walk and then my heel lifts out at the back. So I'm pretty sure they're not too long, because if they were any shorter my toes would be hitting the end all the time. Nope, they're definitely just too wide for my creepily skinny little feet.

How much can be done (either by a pro, or by those little inserts you can buy) to make a wide shoe narrower? How much is this likely to cost (keeping in mind I live in a spendy neighborhood, so it'll be the high end of any range)? They weren't cheap shoes but they're beautiful and I'd love to keep them if I can, but I'm not sure how much more investment I can justify. I'd rather go to the cobbler with some idea of what it'll set me back because I know if I'm there, looking at the shoes and a person who would love for me to spend money on the shoes, I'll cave.

I know this kind of question is something that could be resolved by calling around in the morning but I figure any cobbler I talk to will say "Bring 'em in!" and I want to know if they actually do anything I can't do with duct tape and nerve. Personal anecdotes gladly welcomed.
posted by crinklebat to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I had a similar problem with a pair of too wide Fluevogs. I took them to my neighborhood cobbler and he stuck an insert--a sticky backed pad-- in each shoe for free while I stood there. Even if he had charged me, how much could they have cost? Not much, I'm sure.

He was ready with inserts of various thicknesses in case the first one didn't work.

The pad went on the inside of the upper, or vamp. The pads hold my foot in position so it doesn't lunge forwards or move around.

Maybe you can stick some moleskin if you have it, into the inside top of your shoe to achieve a similar thing.
posted by subatomiczoo at 7:34 PM on March 4, 2008

Foot Petals! These things are a lifesaver for my too-wide or too-long shoes. Try Tip Toes for the sliding forward thing and Heavenly Heelz for the heel-sliding-out-the-back thing. You can get similar products at the drugstore from Dr. Scholl's or other brands, but Foot Petals come in different colors so you're not walking around with band-aid colored things in your shoes. They're also made out of some material that keeps them from getting stinky. Always a bonus. (They sell Foot Petals at Nordstrom - I see you're in Palo Alto, and there's one in Palo Alto if you want to check these things out in person.)

I've also found that sticking one of the ones meant for the heel slippage into the top of the shoe, like subatomiczoo said, can help with the slipping if the regular front pad isn't enough.

You can take the shoes to a cobbler, but they will pretty much tell you the same thing. They can stretch out shoes that are slightly too tight, but I don't think they can do too much for shoes that are already too big.
posted by bedhead at 10:05 PM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

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