Leather sandals are great in the summer. However, sometimes they become loose fitting over time and with wear and tear. We may own them for at least a year or two and then they begin slipping and sliding over our feet and heels. When this happens it is time for action and to find a way to shrink those leather sandals. This is possible to do on your own, without having it professionally done. When you’ve finished, you will have your old comfortable shoes that actually fit.

Things You'll Need

Soak your sandals in water for about two hours. Then set them in the sun until the sandals fit your feet. Check often by trying them on to see if they fit properly. Then wear them to form to your feet, even if they are still a bit wet. This will mold them to your feet.

Use heat to shrink your leather sandals. Some factories use heat to speed up the drying stage of leather. You could use your hair dryer or the sunlight without water. You can also set them over a furnace vent to dry them. The length of drying time is uncertain for it varies from the size of the shoe to the type of leather that was used to make the sandals.

Take your shoes to a shoe shop and let them cut and size your sandals to fit. Unless you are skilled in sewing leather, it’s best to let a shoe repair person fix them.

Dry clean your sandals. Believe it or not, dry cleaning isn’t all about “dry” cleaning. They use solvents and liquids chemicals to remove stains, and this works to tighten leather.

Put them in a dryer. The heat from the dryer will help to shrink your leather sandals just like it shrinks other materials. Leave them in for approximately twenty minutes, more or less. Adjust the time according to your shoe size and the type of leather.

Take your sandals to a trained leather worker. They are skilled in how to shrink leather, re-size them and tighten the leather without causing any damage to your sandals.


  • Make sure that you do not over dry your shoes. This may cause cracking in the leather. You may want to use a leather treatment once they are dried to keep them looking smooth and polished.

    Avoid letting others wear your shoes. This can cause stretching and then you have loose ill fitting shoes.