“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” – Marilyn Monroe
A new pair of shoes cannot hurt anyone, what does hurt is the shoe bite that those tight shoes leave behind. Shoe bites are the painful sores that result from your skin constantly rubbing against the edges of tight or poorly fitting shoes.
Not only do they mar the appearance of your freshly pedicured feet, they also make it difficult for you to stand or strut around. Sometimes shoe bites can also result in inflammation, swelling, pain and unsightly dark spots.
The first step to get rid of a shoe bite is to stop wearing those tight shoes until the wound has healed completely. However, if those new shoes are a pair of Manolos, it can be difficult to keep your hands off them.
Don’t be disheartened. We’ve got you covered.
There are some pretty easy hacks to break in those tight shoes, without spending an extra dime. Also, if you are already in pain due to a shoe bite, you can use natural remedies to heal the bite and prevent scarring.
Read on to learn 10 useful hacks to prevent as well as get rid of a shoe bite.
- Prevent a Shoe Bite
- Method 1: Band-Aid or Duct Tape
- Method 2: Double Socks
- Method 3: Heat
- Method 4: Candle Wax
- Method 5: Freezing
- Treat a Shoe Bite
- Method 6: Dry Powder
- Method 7: Vaseline
- Method 8: Coconut Oil
- Method 9: Turmeric & Indian Lilac
- Method 10: Aloe Vera
Prevent a Shoe Bite
Method 1: Band-Aid or Duct Tape
The easiest way to prevent a shoe bite is to cushion your skin to avoid any friction. A Band-Aid can come in handy here. Not only will it prevent a shoe bite, it will also help heal an existing one.
You can also use duct tape for this purpose, but only if you don’t already have a sore.
Single-Step Method: Stick a Band-Aid or duct tape
- Stick a Band-Aid or a piece of duct tape where you might get sores from the ankle straps or the edge of the shoes.
Method 2: Double Socks
Create a buffer between your skin and the tight shoe by wearing an extra pair of socks. It will also provide extra warmth in the winter, so it can be a win-win.
Single-Step Method: Wear two pairs of socks
- Put on 2 pairs of socks and then slide into your shoes. This will help prevent a shoe bite and also help loosen the shoe eventually.
Method 3: Heat
You can use some heat to stretch out your shoes. However, use the heat treatment only on leather or suede shoes. It can damage shoes made of other materials, and you don’t want to end up with a pair of tight and ruined shoes.
Things you’ll need:
- Thick socks
- Tight shoes
Step 1. Put on a pair of thick socks
- Put on a pair of thick socks. If you don’t have thick socks, put on 2 or 3 pairs of regular socks. The tighter the shoes, the thicker your socks should be.
- Slip on your tight shoes.
Step 2. Blow-dry the tight areas of the shoes
- Blow-dry the tight sections of your shoes for a few seconds. Keep wiggling your toes and flexing your feet while you are at it to stretch the material.
- Switch off the heat and keep wearing the shoes until they cool off.
- Remove the socks and try on the shoes to test the fit.
The shoes should now fit comfortably. If you need to loosen them further, repeat the process.
Method 4: Candle Wax
Apply wax on the hard edges of the shoe to smooth out the areas and prevent shoe bites. Be generous with the wax, as it will wither off soon and the shoe might bite again.
Single-Step Method: Rub candle wax on the hard edges of the shoes
- Rub clean candle wax on the areas of the shoes that are causing discomfort.
- Repeat whenever the shoes begin to hurt.
Do it for a couple of days until the shoes stretch and stop hurting.
Method 5: Freezing
Another quick hack to prevent shoe bites is by putting a bag of water inside them and freezing it to loosen up the shoes. The water will expand upon freezing, and in turn stretch your shoes.
Things you’ll need:
- Large ziplock bags
- Tight shoes
Step 1. Fill the ziplock bags with water
- Fill 2 large ziplock bags with enough water to fill up the toe cap of the shoe. If you want to expand the whole shoe, prepare 2 bags for each shoe.
- Squeeze out all the air and seal the bags.
Step 2. Insert the water bags into your shoes and freeze them
- Place the bags of water inside your shoes.
- Put the shoes in the freezer for 4 to 8 hours, to allow the water to freeze.
Step 3. Remove the ice bags and check the fit
- Once the water has turned to ice, remove the bags from the shoes and put them on to check their fit.
- If needed, repeat the process to stretch them further until they are comfortable to wear.
Treat a Shoe Bite
Method 6: Dry Powder
More often than not, shoe bites are caused when your feet sweat, leading to friction and ultimately a nasty shoe bite. Dry powder will not only keep your feet dry but also reduce burning and irritation in an existing sore.
Single-Step Method: Apply dry powder on your feet
- Apply any dry powder on areas that are prone to a shoe bite.
- You can also coat an existing sore with the powder to prevent it from rubbing against the tight edges of the shoe and causing pain.
Continue doing so several times throughout the day to keep your feet dry and get rid of a shoe bite.
Method 7: Vaseline
Smear some petroleum jelly on the sore on your foot and doze off to get rid of the shoe bite overnight. The jelly forms a protective layer on your bruised skin, nourishing it and relieving the pain within a few hours. You can also make your own petroleum free jelly at home.
Single-Step Method: Apply Vaseline on the shoe bite
- Before going to bed, apply a generous amount of petroleum jelly on the shoe bite.
- Leave it on overnight. You can leave it as is or put on a pair of socks to prevent the jelly from rubbing off onto your bedsheets.
If it doesn’t heal after the first night, apply it 2 or 3 more nights to heal your skin completely.
Method 8: Coconut Oil
Coconut oil can also be used to get rid of a shoe bite, as it acts as an excellent moisturizing agent. It nourishes the skin and aids in faster recovery. It is also antibacterial and prevents any infection from developing in the wound.
Since coconut oil makes your skin soft and smooth, it also prevents further shoe bites caused by dry skin rubbing against the shoe.
Single-Step Method: Apply coconut oil on the shoe bite
- Apply coconut oil over the bruised skin and massage it gently until the oil is completely absorbed into the skin.
Do this twice a day for 3 to 4 days to get rid of a shoe bite.
Method 9: Turmeric & Indian Lilac
Both turmeric and Indian Lilac (neem) are age-old remedies for skin healing. Both have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that not only heal the wound but also protect it from infections. Blend some Indian Lilac paste and turmeric powder to treat a shoe bite quickly.
Things you’ll need:
- Indian Lilac paste (antibacterial) – 1 tablespoon
- Turmeric powder (anti-inflammatory) – 1 tablespoon
Step 1. Make a paste of Indian lilac and turmeric
- Put 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder in a bowl.
- Add 1 tablespoon of Indian lilac paste.
- Mix the two thoroughly. If needed, add in a few drops of water.
Step 2. Apply the paste on the shoe bite
- Apply the paste on the sore.
- Let it sit for 20 minutes, then wash it off with warm water.
- You can follow it with some coconut oil to keep the skin moisturized.
Do this twice a day for 3 to 4 days to heal the shoe bite completely.
Method 10: Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is another natural ingredient that helps get rid of a shoe bite. The clear gel derived from the aloe vera plant has a cooling effect on the skin, reducing the pain and burning of a shoe bite. It also helps keep the skin hydrated, thus aiding in faster recovery of the sore.
Single-Step Method: Apply aloe vera gel on the shoe bite
- Apply aloe vera gel on the shoe bite and let it dry completely.
- You can choose whether or not you want to wash it off with cool water.
Reapply several times a day to get rid of a shoe bite.
- It goes without saying – always try on shoes before buying them. Prevention is always better than the cure!
- If nothing has worked for you, take the shoes back to the store where you bought them. Most merchants will fix your shoes for free.
- You can also get your shoes resized by a professional shoe repair shop.
- Keep your feet clean and dry to prevent developing any infection in the wounded area.