How to Make Loafers Fit Better (5 Easy Hacks)

Whether you’ve bought oversized loafers online, or someone has gifted you loafers that are too big, there are ways to make them fit better. You’re tempted to wear thick, long socks, but you don’t want the elegant shoes to look bulky. So what can you do?

Here are two simple tricks to make your loafers fit better:

  1. Stick heel liners onto the heel part of the loafers, which reduces heel slippage and fills the space to help keep your feet snug.
  2. Place padded inserts into the loafers, which grips your feet and lessens slippage.

Moreover, it’s important to note that leather loafers will stretch and change shape over time.

In this post, we will share with you the best tips on how to make loafers fit better, including ways to store them properly in the hopes of making them last as long as possible.

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How to Make Loafers Fit Better

Let’s explore some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding loafers and their fit.

1. Should loafers be tight or loose?

Ideally, loafers should not be tight or loose — they should feel snug but not painful. A well-fitted pair of loafers should have some heel slip, but should hug your feet like gloves.

As time goes by, the insoles should wear down and the heel cups will soften, conforming to the shape of your heels (both left and right).

If the loafers are too tight, you may have to twist and turn your feet just to get inside.

On the other hand, if the loafers are too loose, your feet will slip out easily when you walk, especially from the heel cups.

Remember, slipping into a pair of loafers may seem awkward at first, especially if you are used to wearing normal, laced athletic shoes — but loafers are supposed to take a small effort to get into because they do not have laces.

2. How are loafers supposed to fit?

Loafers are supposed to fit differently than laced shoes.

Generally, you will need to size down by ½ to 1 when buying loafers since they are narrower and are meant to fit closer than other styles of dress shoes, like oxford and derby shoes. Loafers do not have laces, so they rely on a snug fit to keep them from slipping.

Another factor to consider is the material of the loafers. Calf leather is slightly thicker and firmer than suede, so your suede loafers may be smaller in size than your leather loafers. 

3. How can I make my loafers that are too big fit snugly?

So you’ve got loafers that are too big. Here are five simple tricks you can do to “tighten loose loafers” and make loafers that are too big fit snugly:

1. Stick heel liners on the back of the loafers

The first thing you can do to make loose loafers fit tighter is to stick heel liners onto the back inside of the loafers. Essentially, these little strips reduce the gap between your heels and the back of the shoes, helping to keep your feet in place.

Heel liners come with double-sided tapes which allow you to stick them easily.

They cushion your heels (Achilles tendon) to prevent slipping and rubbing. Just be sure that the top part of the pad is not visible from the back of the loafers.

Dr. Foot Heel Grips (buy on Amazon):

The ergonomic heel liners above fit both men and women. Not only are they easy to apply, but they should fit seamlessly with your loose loafers.

2. Place padded inserts inside the loafers

The second thing you can do to make your loafers fit better is to place padded inserts inside the loaders. A high-quality pair of shoe inserts should line up to the bottom of the loafers and grip your feet to reduce slippage.

Ideally, you would want gel inserts with a lot of cushioning if your feet get tired quickly.

However, we personally recommend padded inserts that are non-gel and are made with EVA foam to wick any sweat and moisture from your feet.

WALK HERO Comfortable Insoles (buy on Amazon):

Padded inserts like the Walk-Hero should provide firm arch support and stability for all-day comfort. They fit both men’s and women’s shoes with 13 sizes to choose from.

3. Use a shoe horn when slipping loafers on

Even if your loafers already fit better, it’s good practice to use a shoehorn when slipping them on.

Otherwise, the back part of the loafers will break down sooner rather than later, and the loafers will eventually become loose again.

A shoehorn, also known as a shoe spooner, is a tool designed to be held against the inside back of a snug-fitting shoe so that the wearer can slide their heel easily along the inner sole of the shoe.

It is made of a short handle that flares into a longer spoon-like head.

Short shoehorn (buy on Amazon):

Long shoehorn (buy on Amazon):

Whether you go for a shoehorn with a short or long handle, both will help you easily slip into your loafers without pinching or bulging; even with wide feet. A short shoe horn is ideal for travel, whereas a long shoe horn is perfect if you have difficulty bending over.

4. Wear thick socks with your loafers

Ideally, loafers are intended to be worn without socks, however, you know that thick socks can make your loose loafers fit much better.

So you may be wondering, is it stylish to wear socks with your loafers?

It is, but only if you do it right. As Soxy would say:

Wearing socks with loafers is like having pineapple on pizza. Socks can mesh nicely with loafers, but the pairing must be done in a tasteful manner.

As a general rule of thumb, wear socks with neutral loafer colors like burgundy, tan, dark brown, navy, or grey since they are the most versatile. By wearing socks, loafers that are too big should fit more tightly, especially if the socks are thick.

Thicker socks that are textured, like merino wool and cotton socks, work best to keep your feet in place. Avoid materials like polyester and silk which encourage slippage.

It’s also a good idea to find socks with extra padding on the ball and heel area.

No-show cotton socks (buy on Amazon):

Alternatively, you can buy no-show socks to wear with your loafers if you want to go for a sockless look. They are “invisible” since they are below the ankles.

Choose no-show socks with non-slip strips at the heels, like the one above, which help reduce slipping.

5. Insert shoe trees when storing loafers

Last but not least, you should store your loafers with shoe trees. 

Over time, moisture will damage the materials of the loafers, especially if they are made of leather.

Shoe trees, especially ones that are wooden, are naturally absorbent and will dry the lining while keeping the structural integrity of your loafers intact.

Cedar Elements Solid Pine Shoe Trees (buy on Amazon):

Shoe trees made of Cedar Wood, like the one above, have a great fragrant smell. So not only are you keeping your loafers in tip-top shape, but you’re also deodorizing them naturally.

If you don’t feel like buying shoe trees, use crumpled newspaper instead.

Heads up! If you want something softer and more comfortable, why not consider the best slippers and moccasins made in the USA? They are made with supple sheepskin leather so you don’t have to worry about having a hard time with them. Give the article a read.

Bottom Line

And there you have it, simple hacks on how to make your loafers fit better.

Loafers that are too big will easily fall off your feet. But by applying the tips we have shared above, your loafers should fit just right. In the future, try to buy loafers that fit well.

As long as you buy loafers that fit just right, meaning that they are not too tight or too loose, the material of the loafers should soften as you wear and break them in. As time goes by, the loafers will conform better to your feet, and reduce the amount that your heel will pop out.