How to Make Shoes Tighter – Get the Best Shoe Fit for Your Kids’ Narrow Feet!
The most common reason why parents want to make their kids’ shoes tighter is to accommodate the shape of their narrow feet. However, I have also seen several cases of children who don’t have narrow feet but refuse to wear their shoes if they don’t feel tight enough around their feet. Either way, I am going to teach you how to make shoes tighter based on my many years of shoe fitting experience.
I get contacted by families from all over the world who seem to have one question in common: How can I make my kids’ shoes tighter? My first tip is to provide your child with shoes that come with shoelaces instead of velcro closure, since shoelaces provide better control over how tight your child wants the shoes to feel.
If you are in a rush, you can go directly to the guidance on how to make shoes tighter.
Assigning Kids’ with Narrow Feet
For many years, I have been part of a specialized sho store staff and this practical experience has taught me everything that I know about fitting children’s shoes. I know the challenges that parents face when it comes to finding shoes for children who have “complex” foot shapes such as narrow feet.
Does Your Child Have Narrow Feet?
Finding a pair of shoes for a child with narrow feet can be extremely frustrating and time-consuming. Keep in mind that shoes that are too wide allow for too much foot movement inside the shoes and that constant friction between your child’s feet and the shoes can lead to all sorts of foot issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns. Shoes that are too wide can also make your kids’ feet slip off the shoes which can lead to more serious issues such as sprained ankles.
There are certain shoe styles and shoe brands that are capable of accommodating narrow feet better, but the choices are very limited.
You should always start by trying shoe styles that fit narrower since that will highly increase the chances of the shoes fitting the shape of your child’s narrow feet. I have written several articles that describe the best shoes for kids with narrow feet, but there is one that parents love the most. While you might find the selection to be somewhat limited, you might be able to find a pair that your child really likes.
If after looking at that article you feel like the selection of shoes to choose from is limited, then let’s proceed to take a look at how we can make standard or regular width shoes fit the shape of your child’s narrow feet. I know how some children refuse to wear the same shoe brands and shoe styles and complain about not having enough good shoe choices.
Regular width shoes are shoes that come labeled as “medium” or “M”. If you can make a regular width shoe fit the shape of your child’s narrow feet, then the selection of shoes that your child can choose from opens up significantly.
Without further ado, let me show you how to make shoes tighter to fit the shape of a child with narrow feet. I have tested both methods in several shoes before and they both worked extremely well.
How to Make Shoes Tighter
1️⃣ First Method: Fitting a Tongue Pad Inside Your Kids’ Shoes
This is the most popular method that I use at the store where I work since it’s also the most cost-effective one.
Let me start by clarifying what a tongue pad is. A tongue pad is an adhesive-backed pad that is placed on the tongue of the shoes, and it works in all enclosed shoes.
Tongue pads are really effective since they push the feet back, which secures the heels against the back of the shoes and prevents them from slipping out of the shoes. They also help fill any remaining gaps inside the shoes.
It’s important that you place the tongue pads correctly inside your child’s shoes. Start by peeling the tongue pad and place the widest part of the tongue pad on the top of the tongue of the shoe as shown in the image below:
One awesome advantage of using tongue pads is that they can easily be removed as soon as your child starts complaining that the shoes feel too tight. This will allow your child to wear the shoes for a little longer.
Tongue pads are cost-effective and you might be able to find them in your local shoe shop, but I have found that Amazon offers them for the best price and provides the best quality ones compared to other online shoe retailers. Below you can find the best tongue pads for shoes:
Remember to remove the tongue pad as soon as your child starts growing into the shoes and complaining that the shoes feel too tight.
2️⃣ Second Method: Fitting an Extra Insole Inside Your Kids’ Shoes
This is the second most popular method that I use to make regular width shoes fit the shape of a child with narrow feet.
This method involves fitting an extra insole inside your kids’ shoes to fill any extra space inside the shoes. The extra insole which is fitted on top of the original insole of the shoes is going to raise your child’s feet a little bit and fill any remaining gap inside the shoes.
It’s important to find an insole that is made of high-quality materials and that is also affordable. You can also find insoles at your local shoe shop, but there is a particular insole offered also by Amazon that is comfortable, durable, and affordable. Below you can find the best replacement insoles for kids:
To make these insoles fit inside your kids’ shoes you just need to trim them to match your child’s shoe size. To do this correctly, I recommend using the original insoles of your kids’ shoes as a model to figure out how much to trim the new insoles.
You Should Also Apply This Amazing Shoe Lacing Technique
Remember how I mentioned that shoes with shoelaces are more effective in fitting children with narrow feet than velcro closure? Shoelaces help “hug” the child’s feet better, preventing excessive foot movement inside the shoes and securing the child’s heels against the back of the shoes.
If your child wears shoes with shoelaces, please refer to the following articles that will help you figure out the best way to tie shoelaces for children with narrow feet.
Keep in mind that certain regular width shoes fit much wider than others, and those are the styles that you want to stay away from. If you are unsure whether the shoes that your child likes fit on the wider or narrower side please do not hesitate to contact me directly. My email address is:
It’s important to make sure that your child’s feet don’t slip or slide around the shoes. Some children are clumsy and have to deal with stability issues, so fitting them in a pair of shoes that are too wide is going to make it extra challenging for them to walk.
If you notice that there is too much extra space inside your kids’ shoes and that your child’s heels are always slipping off the shoes, you need to take action immediately.
Remember that if you provide your child with shoes that are too wide, your child might develop several foot issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns. What’s even worse, wearing the wrong type of shoes can impede natural, healthy foot development.
Now that you know how to make your kids’ shoes tighter, you can prevent too much foot movement inside the shoes and avoid heel slippage. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you are having a hard time figuring out your child’s exact foot size or finding the correct type of shoes for your child. I have been helping families find the perfect pair of shoes for their children online for the last 5 years, and I can help you as well.
Have you tried using tongue pads or fitting an extra insole inside your kids’ shoes? Which method has worked better for your child’s narrow feet? Please let us know if you happen to know of another method that has worked well in making your kids’ shoes feel tighter.