How to Stop Shoes from Gapping on the Sides: Snug Fit Tips

To stop shoes from gapping on the sides, select the proper size and use insoles or padding for a snug fit. Gapping shoes not only detract from a polished appearance but can also lead to discomfort and foot issues.

Getting the right fit is crucial when it comes to choosing footwear, as improperly sized shoes often lead to the gapping problem. Many individuals face challenges with shoes that do not conform well to their feet, causing unsightly gaps and potential walking hazards.

A well-fitted shoe should comfortably hug the foot without leaving excess space that might cause the material to bulge or gap. This brief guide provides simple and effective solutions to ensure your footwear provides both the style and comfort you deserve.

Introduction To Shoe Gapping

Shoe gapping might seem like a minor nuisance, but it can lead to a range of problems, such as blistering, discomfort, and even altering one’s gait. Gapping occurs when there is a space between the shoe and the foot, commonly on the sides. This often happens when shoes don’t fit properly, with the width being too large for the wearer’s feet. Shoes crafted from certain materials may also be prone to losing their shape, thus leading to gapping. To ensure optimal foot health and comfort, addressing shoe gapping is crucial; it not only improves the fit of the shoe but also enhances the overall wearing experience. By acknowledging the root causes, preventative measures can be put into practice to minimize or eliminate this issue.

Choosing The Right Shoes

Measuring your feet accurately is the foundational step to ensure that you pick shoes that fit perfectly without gapping. It’s vital to measure your feet periodically since their size can change over time. Always measure both feet at the end of the day when they are at their largest. For a more precise fit, consider getting measured with a Brannock device at a shoe store.

Selecting the appropriate shoe shape is paramount, respecting your unique foot morphology. Different styles suit different foot types; for instance, almond-shaped shoes may fit better if you have a narrow foot, while a wider toe box is beneficial for broader feet. Having an understanding of your foot’s arch type is also beneficial.

Choosing shoes made from the right material can play a significant role in preventing gaps. Shoes crafted from soft leathers or materials that mold to your feet can minimize the chance of gaps as they tend to conform more closely to your foot shape. Conversely, rigid materials may not accommodate your feet as well, leading to gapping on the sides.

Practical Solutions For Existing Shoes

Better shoe fit can often be achieved with the smart implementation of insoles and inserts. Specifically designed to fill up excess space, these accessories can significantly reduce gapping on the sides of the shoes. Choose a full-length insole to provide additional arch support, or targeted inserts to take up space where it’s most needed.

Another effective technique involves heel grips. These adhesive pads secure the heel and improve the shoe’s grip, preventing slippage that leads to side gapping. For those with narrower feet, applying padding under the ball of the foot can help the shoe fit more snugly, thereby minimizing the gapping issue.

Lastly, lacing methods can play a pivotal role in how a shoe fits. Tighter lacing techniques near the top of the shoe can bring the sides closer together, while certain lacing patterns can distribute pressure more evenly, keeping a tight fit without causing discomfort. Exploring different lacing styles is a simple yet effective step towards a gape-free shoe wearing experience.

Advanced Tips And Tricks

Shoe gapping often plagues even the most stylish footwear, but a professional cobbler can make custom adjustments to your shoes for a seamless fit. This could involve adding elastic insets or tailored padding to areas that are prone to gapping.

  • Tongue pads
  • or heel grips can be strategically placed to reduce excess space.
  • Double-sided tape, a temporary solution, can improve grip and minimize gapping for a quick fix.
  • Spongy materials tucked into the sides help to fill out the space, ensuring a firmer hold and curbing gapping.

Choosing tailored footwear is beneficial for those with unique foot shapes or sizes that off-the-rack shoes cannot accommodate. Custom-made shoes are designed to conform perfectly to your feet, significantly reducing the likelihood of gapping.

Maintaining Your Snug Fit

Maintaining a snug fit for shoes is essential to preventing gapping on the sides. Taking daily care of your shoes can make a significant impact. Ensure you clean them regularly to remove any materials that may stretch the fabric or leather. Use shoe trees or similar inserts when not wearing them to maintain the shape and counteract any tendency to widen, especially after wear.

Keeping an eye on your footwear for signs of stretching and wear is crucial. The first symptom of a loose fit may be increased movement of the foot within the shoe, leading to discomfort. Inspect your shoes regularly for any stretching around the widest part of your foot and consider getting a tighter grip from a cobbler if changes are noticeable.

For those curious about long-term storage solutions, it’s advisable to fill shoes with acid-free tissue, a shoe tree, or a shoe shaper. This strategy helps to preserve the original shape and prevent the sides from bowing out. Favor a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent the material from warping or losing color.

Conclusion: Embracing Comfort And Style

Ensuring a snug fit for your shoes can significantly improve your comfort and your overall foot health. A well-selected shoe with the right features can prevent gapping, offering better support throughout your daily activities. Quality insoles, proper sizing, heel grips, and shoe fillers are just a few solutions that can enhance the fit of your footwear.

Shoes that fit perfectly not only contribute to comfort but also help in maintaining balance, reducing the risk of falls and awkward walking patterns. The fashion industry is increasingly recognizing the need for shoes that cater to diverse foot shapes and sizes, thus encouraging the production of a wider range of better-fitting shoes.

Consumers now have access to ample resources that aid in making informed decisions about their shoe purchases. It’s not just about style; it’s about embracing the fusion of comfort and fashion, to ensure that every step taken is one steeped in confidence and poise.


Wrapping up, solving side gapping in shoes enhances both comfort and style. Remember, proper fit is key; consider insoles and heel grips too. For stubborn gaps, consult a professional. Stay comfortable and stylish by addressing shoe fit issues promptly. Keep strides confident and your footwear flawless.

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