How to Shrink Converse Shoes: Ultimate Guide for Perfect Fit

To shrink Converse shoes, dampen them with water and wear them until they dry to mold them to your feet.

Understanding Converse Shoe Materials

To effectively shrink Converse shoes, it’s crucial to comprehend the materials comprising them. Different materials exhibit distinct properties, influencing their responsiveness to shrinking techniques. This guide delves into the various materials used in Converse shoes, aiding in the selection of appropriate methods for achieving a customized fit.

Types of Materials Used in Converse Shoes

Converse shoes are renowned for their iconic canvas uppers and rubber soles. However, the brand offers a diverse range of materials, each with its unique characteristics. Understanding the material is pivotal for successful shrinking.

  1. Canvas:

    • Commonly used and versatile material.
    • Durable, lightweight, and breathable.
    • Exhibits some elasticity, facilitating easier shrinking compared to other materials.
  2. Leather:

    • Adds sophistication to the classic design.
    • Strong and flexible, requiring careful handling during the shrinking process.
  3. Synthetic Materials:

    • Nylon and polyester are often used in specialized models.
    • Shrinkability varies, necessitating consideration of specific material properties.

Factors to Consider for Shrinking Methods

Choosing the right shrinking method is essential and should align with the characteristics of the shoe material to prevent damage. Several factors warrant consideration:

  1. Sensitivity:

    • Certain materials (e.g., leather) may be sensitive to heat and moisture.
    • Excessive exposure can lead to warping, stretching, or cracking.
    • Opt for gentle and safe methods to preserve material integrity.
  2. Stretchability:

    • Materials differ in stretchability; canvas shoes have more give than leather.
    • Consider the material’s inherent stretch to maintain the shoe’s shape and fit.
  3. Colorfastness:

    • Dyed materials may bleed or fade when exposed to water or heat.
    • Conduct a small, inconspicuous test before applying any shrinking method.

Preparing The Shoes For Shrinking

Before you can shrink your Converse shoes to the perfect size, it’s essential to properly prepare them. This will ensure that you achieve the best possible results and avoid any damage to the shoes during the process. In this section, we will guide you through the necessary steps to prepare your Converse shoes for shrinking.

Cleaning The Shoes Thoroughly

The first step in preparing your Converse shoes for shrinking is to give them a thorough cleaning. This will not only help to remove any dirt or stains but also allow the shrinking process to work more effectively. Here’s how to clean your shoes:

  1. Remove the laces and insoles from your Converse shoes.
  2. Mix a small amount of mild soap or detergent with warm water.
  3. Dip a soft brush or cloth into the soapy water and gently scrub the exterior of the shoes, paying extra attention to any dirty areas.
  4. Rinse the shoes with clean water to remove any soap residue.
  5. Pat the shoes dry with a clean towel or let them air dry naturally.

By cleaning your Converse shoes before shrinking them, you’ll ensure that the shrinking process is more effective and the end result is a pristine pair of shoes that fits you perfectly.

Removing Laces And Insoles

Once you have cleaned your Converse shoes, the next step is to remove the laces and insoles. This will allow for better circulation of heat during the shrinking process and prevent any damage to these components. Here’s how to remove the laces and insoles:

  1. Untie and remove the laces from your Converse shoes.
  2. Take out the insoles by gently pulling them out from the inside of the shoes.

By removing the laces and insoles, you’ll ensure that the shrinking process is focused solely on the exterior of the shoes, resulting in a more precise and effective shrink.

Stuffing The Shoes With Paper Towels Or Socks

One final step in preparing your Converse shoes for shrinking is to stuff them with paper towels or socks. This will help to maintain the shape of the shoes during the shrinking process and prevent them from becoming misshapen or deformed. Here’s how to stuff your shoes:

  1. Take several folded paper towels or socks and stuff them firmly inside the toe box of each shoe.
  2. Continue stuffing until the shoes feel adequately filled, but be careful not to overstuff as it may affect the shrinking process.

By stuffing your Converse shoes with paper towels or socks, you’ll ensure that they maintain their shape during the shrinking process, resulting in a comfortable and well-fitted pair of shoes.

Shrinking Methods

When it comes to finding the perfect fit for your Converse shoes, sometimes you may find that they are a bit too loose. But don’t worry, there are several methods you can use to shrink your Converse shoes and get a more snug and comfortable fit. In this article, we will discuss four effective methods for shrinking Converse shoes, including step-by-step instructions and important tips to ensure optimal results.

Method 1: Using Hot Water And A Washing Machine

If you have a washing machine at home, this method is a convenient option for shrinking your Converse shoes. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

  1. Start by removing the laces and insoles from your Converse shoes. This will prevent any damage or discoloration during the shrinking process.
  2. Place your Converse shoes in a mesh laundry bag or a pillowcase. This will protect them from direct contact with the washing machine.
  3. Set your washing machine to a hot water cycle and add a small amount of laundry detergent.
  4. Once the cycle begins, let the shoes agitate in the machine for a few minutes.
  5. After the agitation process, stop the machine and let the shoes soak in the hot water for around 10 to 15 minutes. This will allow the fabric to shrink.
  6. Finally, remove the shoes from the machine, reshape them to their original form, and let them air dry completely before wearing.

Following these steps will help you achieve the desired level of shrinkage for your Converse shoes.

While shrinking your Converse shoes in the washing machine, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Always use hot water, as cold water may not produce the desired shrinkage effect.
  • Don’t overcrowd the machine with other clothes or shoes, as this can interfere with the shrinking process.
  • If your Converse shoes have rubber soles, avoid exposing them to excessive heat, as it may cause damage.

Method 2: Using A Hair Dryer Or Heat Gun

If you don’t have access to a washing machine, you can still shrink your Converse shoes using a hair dryer or heat gun. Here’s how:

  1. Preheat your hair dryer or heat gun to its highest setting.
  2. Put on a pair of thick socks to protect your feet from the heat.
  3. Wear your Converse shoes and start directing the hot air towards the areas you want to shrink.
  4. Move the hair dryer or heat gun in a back-and-forth motion, making sure to evenly distribute the heat.
  5. Continue heating the shoes for a few minutes until they start to feel tighter.
  6. Take off the shoes and let them cool down completely before trying them on again.

While using heat to shrink your Converse shoes, it’s important to take certain precautions:

  • Avoid holding the hair dryer or heat gun too close to the shoes, as this can cause damage to the material.
  • Be cautious and do not apply excessive heat for an extended period, as it may lead to discoloration or deformation.

Method 3: Using The Boiling Water Method

The boiling water method is another effective way to shrink your Converse shoes. Follow these steps for best results:

  1. Boil a pot of water and remove it from the heat source.
  2. Place your Converse shoes in the boiling water, ensuring that they are fully submerged.
  3. Allow the shoes to soak in the hot water for about 30 minutes. This will cause the fabric to contract.
  4. Using a pair of tongs or oven mitts, carefully remove the shoes from the water and set them aside to cool.
  5. Once the shoes have cooled down, reshape them to their desired size and let them air dry completely.

While shrinking your Converse shoes with boiling water, it is crucial to follow these important safety precautions:

  • Handle boiling water carefully to avoid burns or injuries.
  • Keep a safe distance from the boiling water to prevent accidental spills or splashes.
  • Do not use this method for Converse shoes with leather or suede materials, as boiling water can damage these materials.

Method 4: Using A Clothes Dryer

If you prefer a hassle-free shrinking method, using a clothes dryer can be a great option. Here’s how you can shrink your Converse shoes in a clothes dryer:

  1. Remove the laces and insoles from your Converse shoes.
  2. Place the shoes in a mesh laundry bag or a pillowcase to protect them during the drying process.
  3. Set your dryer to the highest heat setting.
  4. Place the shoes, along with a few towels or clothes, in the dryer.
  5. Let the shoes tumble dry on high heat for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Check the shoes regularly to prevent over-shrinking or damage.

Follow these tips to avoid any potential issues while shrinking your Converse shoes in a clothes dryer:

  • Keep an eye on the drying process to prevent excessive shrinkage or damage caused by high heat.
  • Do not overcrowd the dryer, as this can affect the efficiency of the shrinking process.
  • Remember to let the shoes cool down before attempting to wear them.

Post-shrinking Care And Maintenance

Once you have successfully shrunk your Converse shoes to the desired size, it’s important to take proper care of them to ensure their longevity and continued comfort. In this section, we will guide you through the essential steps of post-shrinking care and maintenance for your shrunk Converse shoes.

Cooling Down The Shoes

After the shrinking process, your Converse shoes may still be warm. It is crucial to let them cool down completely before proceeding with any further steps. This will prevent any potential damage to the material or shape of the shoes. You can simply leave them in a cool or well-ventilated area for around 30 minutes, ensuring they are not exposed to direct sunlight or extreme heat.

Reinstalling Laces And Insoles

Now that your shoes have cooled down, it’s time to reinstall the laces and insoles. Start by carefully threading the laces back into the eyelets, ensuring they are evenly distributed on both sides. If you removed the insoles prior to shrinking, gently put them back into the shoes. This will help maintain the original shape and provide additional comfort while wearing.

Storing And Maintaining The Shrunk Shoes

Proper storage and maintenance play a vital role in preserving the quality of your shrunk Converse shoes. Consider the following tips to ensure they stay in excellent condition:

  1. Keep them clean: Regularly clean your shoes to remove dirt and stains. Use a mild soap solution and a soft brush to gently clean the surface, avoiding excessive scrubbing that may damage the material. Allow them to air dry naturally.
  2. Avoid excessive moisture: Moisture can cause the shoes to lose their shape or develop a foul odor. It’s crucial to store them in a dry and well-ventilated area. If your shoes become damp, stuff them with newspaper to absorb moisture and aid in the drying process.
  3. Prevent bending and misshaping: To maintain the shape of your shrunk Converse shoes, consider using shoe trees or stuffing them with tissue paper when they are not being worn. This will prevent them from bending or losing their shape over time.
  4. Rotate your shoes: Regularly rotating the shoes you wear can help prevent excessive wear and tear on a single pair. This will extend their lifespan and maintain their condition.

By following these post-shrinking care and maintenance guidelines, you can enjoy your properly fitted Converse shoes for longer periods, ensuring comfort and style every time you wear them.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Make My Converse Smaller?

To make your Converse smaller, try wearing thick socks or using shoe inserts like heel grips or insoles. You can also lace your shoes tighter or use elastic bands to tighten the fabric. Remember to test out these methods first to ensure a comfortable fit.

Will My Converse Shrink In The Dryer?

Yes, Converse shoes can shrink in the dryer. To avoid this, it’s best to air dry them or use a low heat setting.

Will My Converse Shrink In The Wash?

Converse shoes may shrink if washed. Follow the care instructions to avoid shrinking them.

How Do You Shrink Shoes That Are Too Big?

To shrink shoes that are too big, try using thick socks or inserts to fill up the extra space. Applying heat from a hairdryer or placing the shoes in the dryer on a low heat setting may also help. Remember to test on a small area first to avoid damage.


Shrinking Converse shoes can be a simple and effective way to achieve a better fit. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can confidently experiment with different methods and find the one that works best for you. Remember to take your time and be patient throughout the process, as rushing can lead to unwanted outcomes.

With a little effort and the right approach, you can enjoy comfortable and well-fitting Converse shoes for years to come. Explore and experiment, and happy shoe shrinking!

Travis Horton

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