Imagine this: you are having a wonderful time at a charity party, standing at your table, talking with interesting people. All of a sudden, you recognize your old nemesis is back, a.k.a. sharp ankle pain. Now you want to know how to prevent shoes from cutting ankles, so you can enjoy your pain-free life.
We have all been there, right? No matter how many times we check the size of our shoes, somehow we always end up with ankle blisters after a while.
How does that happen?
Well, truth be told, most of the time, the size of your shoes is not the problem. Sometimes it’s the sweat or the fact that your shoes have stretched over time that’s causing your feet to have too much wiggle room, thus creating friction between your ankles and your shoes.
So, the question arises: is there a way you can put an end to it? Let’s find out!
How to prevent shoes from cutting ankles?
1. Use insoles for a better fit
Even though you know your shoe size, and you’ve picked out the right size for you, over time your shoes can lose their original shape and stretch. That’s just the sad reality. Shoes that are too loose can also rub and chafe against your ankles, but that’s when proper insoles come in handy.
Generally speaking, insoles are created to add to the comfort of your shoes and offer the right arch support you need, especially if you struggle with flat feet.
They can also be used to make your shoes tighter. By adding them to your shoes, your feet will remain stable and firm, their movement will be restrained, and the overall friction reduced.
Therefore, if you wonder how to prevent shoes from cutting ankles, using insoles may just be the way to go. However, you cannot get just any type of insole. Make sure you take into consideration your specific needs and if needed, consult an expert for professional advice.
Also, ensure your insoles are always properly taken care of. Clean them regularly (preferably by hand to maintain their longevity and durability) and always air dry them to get rid of any nasty odor.
2. Try wearing two pairs of socks
I remember my mom always used to tell me to wear socks with a new pair of heels around the house to stretch them and make them more comfortable later.
This hack has stuck with me and is truly one of my favorites because it really works! Any time I forget to wear socks with my new heels I always end up having blisters on my ankles.
Socks do an amazing job when it comes to ankle cut prevention. They offer an additional layer of protection and cushioning, and they are also great for stretching and making the shoes fit better.
So, imagine what two pairs of socks can do! If you want to try this hack, make sure you wear a “normal” pair of socks over a thinner one. These two layers will create a barrier between your skin and the back of your shoes, and will significantly reduce the friction, thus minimizing the chances of cutting your ankles.
3. Use heel pads
Another thing you can try is using heel pads. They are usually placed at the back of your heel and can be reused in other shoes.
Heel pads offer a good amount of cushioning to your heels and prevent them from slipping out. They are also good at preventing your ankles from rubbing against your shoes.
4. Try using moleskin
How to prevent shoes from cutting ankles? Well, have you thought about moleskin?
This strong cotton fabric comes with two sides – one’s smooth, and the other is sticky. By cutting a piece that fits inside your shoes, and gluing it at the back, you’re going to create a protective layer that will ensure your ankles are safe.
Just make sure that, before gluing a piece of moleskin down, your shoes are properly cleaned and completely dry.
5. Or, even bandages or band-aids
Not everyone has a piece of moleskin lying around their home. But I’m pretty sure most people have a bandage or band-aid in their medicine kit.
If you do, then that’s another great way you can prevent your shoes from cutting your ankles. Just place them on the area of your leg where the ankle is touching your shoe, and you’ll be good to go.
6. What about some good old duct tape?
If you don’t happen to have a moleskin, bandage, or band-aid in your home, I’m almost one hundred percent sure you have some duct tape somewhere in your garage. If not, then you seriously have to stock up on all those (un)necessary household items ASAP.
All jokes aside, duct tape is another great hack you can use when your shoes are putting you through hell. Although it may not be as effective as other methods, it can still serve as a temporary way for you to relieve yourself from discomfort.
Just place a piece of duct tape on the area where your shoes are cutting your ankles and that’s it – you’re ready to seize the day. On your way though, I suggest you stop by the nearest pharmacy and buy some band-aids or even insoles, just in case…
7. Apply some heat to your shoes
I’m not sure if you knew this, but heat can be seriously detrimental to your shoes, in a way that it can loosen the material and cause it to stretch. However, sometimes that stretching is just the thing you need in order to prevent your shoes from cutting your ankles.
Here’s how you can do it. Put on a pair of thick fuzzy socks alongside your shoes. Take your hairdryer and turn it to medium heat, and aim it at the back of your shoes. Keep warming your shoes until you notice they’ve become malleable.
Make sure you don’t keep your hairdryer too close to your shoes and never leave it in one place for too long since you can risk the material of your shoes melting.
After a couple of minutes, start moving your feet and walking around your home while your shoes are still warm. Switch between these two steps until you notice your shoes have molded to the shape of your feet.
This method works wonders with shoes that are made out of suede, leather, and canvas.
8. Maybe freezing them would help
If that doesn’t work, you can always try something that’s the polar opposite of the method above.
From cleaning dog poop off shoes to stretching them, freezing is a method that has proven itself many times to be very efficient. And here’s how it can help you regarding this ankle-cutting matter.
Take two plastic bags and fill them with water. After you properly seal them ensuring no water can spill out, place the bags inside your shoes, near the heel and ankle area, and put them in the freezer.
If you want to be more hygienic, take another (empty) plastic bag and place your shoes inside. This way you won’t risk getting your freezer dirty. Or, you know, you can just clean your shoes before any of these steps.
Anyway, leave your shoes in the freezer for a couple of hours, preferably overnight. In the morning, take your shoes out of the bag, remove the plastic bags with now frozen water, and try your shoes on to see if there’s any difference.
Your shoes should be stretched enough to not cause any cuts to your ankles. However, if they’re still rubbing against your ankles, then you have to turn to another method.
9. Try using some antiperspirant
“What? You’re telling me I should use antiperspirant on my feet to prevent shoes from cutting my ankles?”
Yup! That’s exactly what I’m saying. Sometimes, your feet are slipping and sliding inside your shoes because they’re overly sweaty. Due to the excess moisture, there’s constant friction between your heels and ankles and the back of your shoes, which causes unpleasant cuts.
But a trusty antiperspirant can save the day! Spray a small amount on your feet before you put your shoes on. It will block out moisture and minimize your feet from sweating.
10. Apply some leather oil
Some leather oils work wonders when it comes to making the lather softer. Therefore, you can use any leather oil of your choice, and apply it to the inside of your shoes, focusing it on the areas where they’re touching your ankles.
When the area is fully saturated, wait for your shoes to fully absorb the oil and then try them on. Maybe you’ll have to wait a couple of hours, maybe a couple of days. It all depends on the oil you’re using. In some other cases, maybe you’ll have to apply an additional layer.
Note: Always make sure your shoes are cleaned before you rub any type of oil on them.
11. Visit the cobbler for advice
Lastly, when all else fails, you can always visit your local cobbler and ask for his professional advice. They’ll know exactly what to do and will most certainly have all the tools and items you probably don’t have at home.