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How to Shrink Leather Shoes

Updated April 17, 2017

Do you have a pair of leather shoes that are comfortable and attractive--but just too big? Before toting those leather loafers to the local donation bin, try these simple do-it-yourself techniques for shrinking leather shoes.

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  1. Soak a pair of old socks in white vinegar. Place a vinegar-coated sock in each leather shoe. Allow the vinegar time to thoroughly soak the insides of both shoes (1 or 2 hours).

  2. Remove the vinegar-soaked socks from your leather shoes and discard them. Place your shoes in a warm location where they can dry completely.

  3. To shrink your leather shoes more, wet them with water so that they are damp, not soaked.

  4. Place your damp leather shoes in full sun. Allow them time to dry thoroughly. Make sure to remove your shoes from the sun as soon as they are fully dry to prevent the leather from cracking.

  5. Try on your shoes. If they are still too big, repeat the first four steps to shrink the leather more.

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Things You'll Need

  • Leather shoes
  • Socks
  • White vinegar
  • Water

About the Author

Mary Beth Lentner has more than 10 years of writing and editing experience. Lentner's publications include dozens of articles for Record Publishing Company newspapers and magazines, as well as curriculum for the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Lentner holds a Master of Arts in teaching and Bachelor of Arts in English from Kent State University.

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