Can A Cobbler Make Shoes Smaller? [Know The Verified Info]

Written By Sunny

When getting new shoes, most people buy big shoes instead of tight-fitting ones. And they do this because they want to use the shoes for a long time.

However, what if one day you get the most perfect shoe with some extra room but when you wear it, you realize that it’s just too big for you.


Thick socks might save you the trouble for a good fit momentarily, but for a permanent solution, you need a cobbler to adjust your shoe size. But can a cobbler make shoes smaller? Well, you’re about to find out.

What Exactly Do the Cobblers do?

Whether your shoes are smaller or big, or they have loose heel grips or rough tongue pads, rush it to a shoe repair shop today. The cobblers will make sure to fix and modify your pair of shoes to fit correctly.

Be it the most casual shoes or fancy faux leather shoes, these cobblers know their ways. It doesn’t matter if the shoes are leather shoes, working boots or small shoes or the big ones. You can even have the shoe re-soled.

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The service they provide is underestimated to a good extent. Since these cobblers are so intricate with their craftsmanship skills, they will literally fix shoes in no time.

Go through our epic guide on how to Make Shoes Non-Slip.

Can a Cobbler Make Shoes Smaller?

Cobblers stretch shoes that are smaller and sometimes even shrink bigger shoes. The ideal-sized shoes are those that have some extra ½ inches of room from your longest toe.

Mostly, it is about the size of the tip of your index finger. However, there are limitations to it, if you buy a pair of shoes half the size of your actual size, we got a problem.


For example, if you buy shoes of a size 9, you can get the cobbler to make it 8, but do not expect them to make it a 7, that is virtually impossible and it is only wise to return the pair of shoes. So yes, cobblers can modify your shoes as long as they are not half size as big or small as your actual size.

Cobblers do not apply some magic or cut shoes apart to size them properly. They just re-sole, attach soles, add more volume by adding gel padding or extra padding to make shoes a bit tighter so that the shoes fit.

Follow our guide to know how to Prevent Acrylic Paint From Cracking On Shoes.

How Can a Cobbler Make Shoes Smaller?

Cobblers will firstly study your foot area and ask you if you’re feeling any discomfort in a specific area. Is it the heel? Is it your toe box? Or you’re having problems with the heel tips?


Depending on your answer, the cobbler will start working on your shoes. There are some methods that a cobbler uses to make your large shoes smaller.

Quickly check out my new post on how to Clean White Mesh Shoes.

Adding Gel Pads to Your Foot Area

Many cobblers will always try to add more volume inside your shoes by adding extra padding to the foot area. You might wonder why it’s important anyway? You can easily stuff your shoes with tissue paper as toe box fillers and use other DIY shoe filler techniques.

Yes, true. But to be honest, these DIY techniques won’t give you any permanent solution. All you’re getting is short-term comfort.

Adding Heel Grips

Heel grips are a big save when making shoes smaller. Why? Because the heels might feel slippery and you can trip over anytime. By adding heel grips that come with stickers, the heels won’t feel slippery as they stick from top to bottom. This technique will make your shoes snugger and feel better.

Read more on how to Disinfect Shoes.

Hacks to Make Shoes Smaller When You do Not Find a Cobbler

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We understand that not everyone can find the time to get a cobbler in times of urgency. In such a case, you might play your part to make the shoes smaller all by yourself.

How? Here are some easy hacks.

Use Half Inserts

Buying half or full inserts from a shoe accessories store might save you the trouble of going to a cobbler to get shoes smaller. These half inserts are thicker than basic half insoles as they are made of gel and are easily removable as well. These shoe inserts are perfect for sandals, alright with dress shoes but sadly they do not work for boots.

DIY Shoe Fillers

Even though DIY shoe filler methods might not be the most accurate for you, you can wear thick socks and store-bought tongue pads. BUT remember that these methods are only temporary and you might get blisters if you end up with a way tighter fit than expected.

Can a Cobbler Make Sandals Smaller?

Yes, they can! Sandals are comparatively easier to make smaller than making shoes smaller. Here are some easy steps a cobbler usually follows to get the job done.


Tightening the Straps

The cobbler fixes shoe straps by tightening the sandal strips while having them tucked inside. It is easier to fix straps of sandals than closed-toe shoes.

Sewing Straps

Another way the cobbler can make sandals smaller is by cutting them down, trimming straps to the correct size and sewing them back into the sandals.


1. Can Cobbler Stretch Shoes?

Yes, they can! Cobblers have stretching machines that are designed to extend the shoe material. The result might differ depending on the shoe material. Attaching more soles or old show re-soles are also a famous extension technique.

Flat shoes are the easiest to stretch since shoe heels are a tricky business. Leather shoes or tall shoes that are made of leather can be stretched as well.

2. Can a Cobbler Replace an Entire Heel?

The answer is yes! Replacing heel is a very common cobbler job. They might replace some parts of the heel if not the entire heel but yes that can always replace your old high heels by making them wider or narrower.

3. Can a cobbler replace heel tips?

Yes! Most heels have heel tips that are made of plastic which causes issues very frequently. Cobblers can easily replace heel tips for you as well. Again, many people try to do it on their own at home but do not forget that with one misplaced hammer swing, you will need to rush to the doctors instead of the cobblers.

4. Can a Cobbler make shoes?

It is subjective. All shoemakers are cobblers but not all cobblers are shoemakers. Some cobblers have mastered the art of making shoes from scratch but their primary job is to fix shoes. For example, they make shoes smaller.

5. How much can a Cobbler charge?

It depends. Depending on the damage and detail of work required to give life to your shoes or fix worn-out parts, the cobbler will charge a price according to his anticipated labor.

The area you live in also matters. If you live in the suburbs in the countryside, the price might be a bit less if compared to the prices of the cobblers in New York City.

Wrapping Up!

So, can a cobbler make shoes smaller? You’ve got the answer. We recommend to tip cobblers if they can fix or work on your shoes to suit your wants. There are also modern hacks to fix your shoe size without a cobbler, however, if you can afford it, having a cobbler do it for you would save your time and effort.

About The Author
Sunny is all about action and activities. He finds it difficult to contain himself. Be it motorcycling, playing football, or exploring the great outdoors, he loves to keep his legs busy.Sunny quickly realized the importance of footwear to keep himself going healthily. This was when he decided to share all his knowledge and expertise regarding different footwear and their significance.Now, he’s on a mission with this humble platform by his side. With time he plans on doing bigger and better things.Apart from his writing and other hobbies, he loves spending time with his cat Sophie. He loves to cook for his friends and family too.

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