How to Shrink Air Force 1 [Know Which Method Actually Works]

Written By Sunny

If your Nike AF1 sneaker is too big, you won’t be able to pace forward smoothly with that pair.

In that case, the best solution is exchanging that improper size and getting the perfect set. But how to solve this issue when the footwear changing option is invalid?


Well, Shrinking loose AF1 can provide you with a nice fit. In this write-up, I’m gonna explain how you can do this task.

So, let’s start off!

Shrinking Techniques of Nike Air Force 1

Since Air Force 1’s toe box is generally narrow, individuals come with the snug-fitting issue. And so they search for stretching of AF1.

But some guys, unfortunately, purchase the bigger fit and quest for a shrinking process. You can’t just follow any method without any explanation. Doing this can ruin the fabric and leather of your expensive Nike sneaker. So you must execute the proper ways of shrinking.

Here’s how to shrink Air Force 1:

Multiple Socks

Could you remember our old school days when we regularly used to wear socks with school-going shoes?

But when we put on the same footwear without socks, it fit somewhat loosely. That’s how the idea has evolved. Actually, it doesn’t make shoes smaller. Rather enhance the foot’s volume with one thick or two pairs of socks so that feet can easily adapt to the spacious shoe interior.

This is a pretty effective and risk-free trick as you don’t have to be concerned about shoes being damaged during this method.


Make sure your chosen socks are breathable and blister-free.

Otherwise, this Nike AF1 will hurt your feet and make them sweaty due to suffocation.

However, you may find it weird to fit shoes with more than one pair of socks. It may seem like it is having a negative effect on your styling. If so, pursue the next.

Additional Insole & Shoe Filler

Support and good fit can both be achieved by inserting an extra insole in your sneaker. The insole is a foamy and soft cushioned layer that can minimize the space between the footbed and the upper.

And when you position a shoe filler/ toe insert at the front end of your sneaker, it cuts off the length. You can also set balls of cushions as a knockoff to the toe liner.


For more length reduction, add a fluffy heel liner or heel pad at the back end of your shoe.

Voila! The oversize room is compressed from three sides of the shoe – front, back, and bottom. So, enjoy the fit!

Shrink in the Sun

As Crocs shrink in the sun by 2-3 sizes, Nike’s AirForces are also identical to that. In this approach, you will need help from two renewable natural resources – sunlight & water.

So let’s proceed with the following steps:

  • Make your Air Force 1 moist. Before that, remove the insole and laces.

You can either spritz water or use a water-soaked towel on the sneaker to dampen them. When each portion of the sneaker is properly wet, jump to the subsequent step.

  • Expose them under immense sun heat and leave them for the whole day.


  • Test the shoe’s fitting after sunset. Meanwhile, the pairs will be completely dried and shrunk.

Thus, you can hope to get the desired feet.

Blow Dry the Bigger AF-1

Suppose the atmosphere is cloudy, and it has been raining for one week at a stretch. So, you can’t take the help of sunlight.

A blow dryer is a savior in this case. Similar to the previous method, detach the shoelaces and inner soles from your Air Force One sneaker.

Carefully dab the pair with water. Now, switch on the medium setting of the blow dryer. Subsequently, begin applying heat with a back-and-forth motion. Continue heating until the shoe fabric gets dried.


At last, check the fit of your dry Air Force 1. Is it sized down? If not repeat the process sincerely.

Things to Remember: Time duration and dryer mode are crucial in this task. So you need to maintain a 15 cm distance from the sneaker & always heat them at a decent level. Any negligence can cause the leather to crack or burn.

Some footwear enthusiasts also suggest shrinking leather shoes with vinegar. However, I really don’t prefer it because of the vinegar’s odd smell.

Will Nike Shoes Shrink in the Dryer?

Yes, the heat from the dryer can shrink your Nike shoes. But it’s unsafe to put your beloved sneakers in the dryer as it can damage the shoe fabric, stitching, and glue. However, if no options are left, wrap the sneakers in a mesh bag & put them inside the dryer in low heating mode.

You might be wondering if keeping the Air Force One under the sun or blow-drying them is allowed. So, why leaving them in the clothes dryer is discouraged?

Well, in the case of the blow-drying method, the control is in your hand, and the process is visible. There you can continuously move the device and maintain a balance of heat application.

On top of that, there’s no fire hazard or shoe-burning issue when placing the sneaker in the daylight.

On the other hand, you can’t see what’s happening inside the tumble dryer. People say they’ve attempted to try this shrinking hack but stopped after a few seconds due to loud noise from the drying tool.


Even if you hang the footwear on the dryer’s rack or door, there’s enough chance of ruining the adhesive and leather. The same statement goes for the microwave oven also.

So don’t mess up your favorite footgear!

Bottom Line

You can size down Air force 1 by means of padding socks, insole, and shoe liners. Heating is also a solution; however, it requires more caution.

But I’ll mostly recommend visiting the outlet physically and alternating the poor fit with the ideal one.

Leave your feedback below!

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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