How to shrink basketball shoes | Fitting Tips and Alternatives

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Basketball shoes are essential equipment for any player, but what if you buy a slightly bigger pair? While shrinking basketball shoes might seem like a quick fix, it’s important to understand the risks and explore safer alternative ways to shrink basketball shoes.

Can You Shrink Basketball Shoes?

Can basketball shoes shrink
Is it possible to shrink basketball shoes

It depends on the shoe’s material. Applying heat with a blow dryer or placing them in a hot dryer (check the care label!) might slightly shrink canvas shoes. However, this is risky and could damage the glue or cause discoloration. Leather and synthetic materials generally won’t shrink with heat.

Alternative Ways to Shrinking Your Basketball Shoes:

Method To Shrink Your Basketball Shoes
Alternative Ways to Shrink Your Basketball Shoes
  • Insoles and heel grips: Add insoles or heel grips to create a snugger fit. This is a safer and more affordable option.
  • Thicker socks: Wear thicker athletic socks for a tighter feel.
  • Shoe Lacing Techniques: Experiment with different lacing techniques to improve fit around the ankle and midfoot.
  • Sell or trade: If the shoes are brand new and unworn, consider selling or trading them for the right size.

Considering the Risks of Shrinking your shoes:

Considering The Risks Of Shrinking Your Basketball Shoes
The Risks Of Shrinking Your Shoes
  • Damage: Heat can damage the shoe’s materials, glue, or stitching.
  • Uneven Shrinkage: Shrinking might be uneven, leading to an awkward fit.
  • Voiding Warranty: Using heat might void the shoe’s warranty.


Shrinking basketball shoes is a risky solution. Explore alternative methods like insoles, thicker socks, or lacing techniques to achieve a better fit. If none work, consider selling or trading the shoes for the right size.

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