Why are my Slip-on Vans so Tight?

So, you got yourself a new pair of slip-on Vans sneakers and found out that your shoes feel a little too tight for you to wear on your feet?

That can be a very unfortunate situation to be in, especially when you are really eager to test out your new shoes.

Why are my Slip-on Vans so Tight

You don’t need to worry anymore about this because there are sure remedies available to help you fix the situation.

In this article, we will not only tell you about the most likely reasons for your Vans Slip-ons being so tight but you will also be provided with the solutions to those problems and issues.

Vans slip-ons are very fashionable and durable skate shoes that are made from a canvas material that will feel looser and fit your feet more comfortably after you have worn the shoes for a while.

These shoes run true to size so if you find out that your Vans slip-ons are too tight for you, it is most likely because of inaccurate size measurements in either length or width.

Some of the reasons why your Vans slip-ons are so tight are

  • Improper Sizing and Measurements
  • Rigid slip-on Vans heels
  • The Overall Design of Vans Sneakers in General
  • Wearing your Pair of Slip-On Vans without Socks
  • The Shoes have not been Broken in and/or Stretched

Improper Sizing and Measurements

As earlier mentioned, slip-on Vans sneakers are shoes that run true to size; therefore, if you have a problem with your shoes due to them being so tight, it is most likely because you have gotten the wrong size of shoes for you.

Any sizing/measurement mistakes in either the length and/or width of the shoes can really lead to you facing problems with the comfort of the shoes.

When you got the wrong shoe size, your slip-on Vans are bound to cause you some discomfort and pain simply because they do not fit you well enough.

Slip-on Vans can be gotten at their stores in half sizes. For the right fit, you should try sizing up and down your Slip-on Vans around your regular feet size and measurements until you find the perfect fit that you can wear with or without socks.

When sizing up, just make sure that you don’t get a size that is too big for you to wear or you might find your feet slipping off the back of your slip-on Vans.

To be on the safe side, you should get your shoes a half-size up over your regular shoe size.

Rigid slip-on Vans heels

Over the years, since the first sales of the slip-on Vans, people have been reporting that anytime they get ill-fitting slip-on Vans, the problem area is mostly the heel of the shoes.

The heel area, as well as most of the other parts of the slip-on Vans, tends to be a bit stiff and rigid when you first get the shoes, but, after a while, the heels of the slip-on Van will soften up and become more accustomed to your feet as you walk around in them.

If you attempt to force your feet through the shoes when the heel area feels stiff, you might end up permanently damaging the shoes in a way that can’t be remedied.

The best solution for the problems associated with the heel area of the slip-on Vans is to use heel liners to make that area comfier.

Cushioned heel liners/ heel pads should be stuck to the inside part of the back of the shoes and then the heels will feel more comfortable for you to wear.

Wearing your Pair of Slip-On Vans without Socks

Vans are casual sneakers that are designed for skateboarding and as such, they may not be as comfy as you would want them to be.

The fact that Vans (including the Slip-on Vans) are skate shoes makes them not have too many cushioning elements and/or arch support.

This is because those characteristics will take away from the expectations of what skate shoes are supposed to be and feel like.

Slip-on Vans are, like most skate shoes, designed to offer a solid feel and elements of control and balance when riding a skate board.

These elements that are present in all the Vans sneakers ensure there is enough traction for skateboarders to feel at ease when they are doing tricks on the skateboard.

Vans sneakers come with a flat canvas-covered foam that is ideal for skateboarding. If you are not wearing your Vans for skateboarding and other such activities, you can add some cushioned insoles to the sneakers so that you get more balance and comfort.

Vans even have a relatively new line of sneakers called the ComfyCush Vans. These ComfyCush Vans come with specially-prepared insoles that fit the shoes perfectly.

Vans are designed specifically to give stability and balance to skateboarders; if you want some more comfort, you might need to add some cushioned insoles to your pair of slip-on Vans.

Wearing your pair of slip-on Vans without socks

Wearing socks with your new pair of Slip-on Vans may very well be the difference between if the shoes fit you well or not.

Good quality socks help you to slip your feet easily into the shoes without much strain.

Also, when you wear your shoes with socks on, you are significantly reducing the risk of you getting foot fungus and other feet infections that might arise from wearing shoes and having sweaty feet.

The best kinds of socks for the job are thick woolen/cotton socks because they have the best material to fit the slip-on Vans in a comfortable and fashionable way.

When you wear socks before you put on your slip-on Vans, you will find out that they fit you better than when you wore them without socks.

The great thing about this is that Vans has specific no-show socks that are designed for people to wear their shoes with.

Some of the best types of socks you can get today are the following:

The Shoes have not been Broken in and/or Stretched

This is actually one of the most common reasons for your slip-on Vans being uncomfortable when you first wear them.

Your shoes need to have gone through appropriate breaking-in before you start feeling very comfortable wearing them.

Slip-on Vans are made from canvas material that loosens up and fits your feet more comfortably after they have been worn for a while.

On the sides of the shoe’s tongue are two wedges of elastic material that are tight at first, but become more comfy and flexible after they have been broken in.

The simplest thing you can do when you find out that your shoes are a bit too tight is to wait for the material to stretch properly and feel looser.

You can break your new slip-on Vans by wearing them around for some time and then, the shoes will mold to your feet shape and get more flexible.

The slip-on Vans will first be snug and then the canvas uppers will stretch and relax a bit after you have worn them for a bit.

Breaking in your new pair of Vans slip-ons will most likely solve the issue of stiffness and discomfort for you – if you are sure that you have the correct size and measurements.

What to do when your slip-on Vans are so tight

Why are my Slip-on Vans so Tight

The first thing you need to do when you have found out that your shoes don’t fit properly is to go and re-check your measurements and see if you have gotten them wrong somewhere.

You can use some of your old shoes to test out your calculations and then estimate just how much is required to make up for the needed space.

As earlier stated, your shoes should have enough space for your toes and socks unless they won’t fit you well.

Also, your new pair of slip-on Vans should have enough room for you to add attachments like insoles and liners which make the shoes more comfortable.

If you find out that you have made incorrect measurements, see if you can return the shoes to the store you got them from and get a pair that fits you better.

Alternatively, you might not have made any errors with your measurements. If so, your shoes just need some breaking in and frequent wearing so that they get accustomed to the shape of your feet.

If you have gotten the right measurements for your slip-on Vans, then you need to do some things to make them fit better.

Some of the things you can do when your new pair of slip-on Vans don’t fit you well enough are:

  • Wear thick socks
  • Break the shoes in by wearing them often
  • Stretch and widen the shoes to fit your feet perfectly
  • Freeze the slip-on Vans to make them less stiff
  • Heat the slip-on Vans

Wear thick socks

When you put on thick socks before you wear your new pair of Vans slip-ons, you will then have the ability to easily slide your feet easily into the shoes.

Thick socks made from cotton or wool will do better in aiding you to make the slip-on Vans comfier for you to wear.

Thick no-show socks are the best kind of socks to wear with your slip-on Vans at this time. To make matters less complicated, Vans even have no-show socks that are really great to wear their shoes with. You can check for these socks online.

Break the shoes by wearing them often 

The next thing you should definitely do is to wear your new shoes as often as you can so that you can break them in.

Breaking in your new shoes is very important because it helps the shoes to mold around your feet better and prevents future blisters and feet aches.

Breaking in the new slip-on Vans also helps to make the shoes less stiff and rigid.

You can make a stretch and widen your Vans slip ons with your own feet or you can also stuff as many socks or old newspapers in the shoes and leave it overnight.

When not wearing the shoes, make sure to add some bulky materials (like socks, thick clothes, or newspapers) in order to break the shoes in even more while you are not wearing them.

Stretch and widen the shoes to fit your feet perfectly

Vans are textile shoes that have long-lasting materials and sturdily designed rubber soles that can be softened a bit with the hands because they are designed to offer long-term durability and support.

For most instances, the heel area of the shoes seems to be the main comfort problem most people have when they first get the shoes.

What you need to do is to gently bend the shoe inwards so that the soles of the Vans adapt to your feet and the heels will be softened.

Apart from using your hands to do the job, you can stretch, soften and widen the size of your shoe to fit your feet perfectly by using equipment like the ball and ring stretcher to do the job.

You can use shoe stretchers like the Dasco Hardwood Two-Way Shoe Stretcher to adjust both the length and width of your slip-on Vans shoes.

Freeze the slip-on Vans to make them less stiff

Freezing your slip-on Vans is another way for you to make them fit you better by making them less stiff.

This method has a high success rate and many people have attested to its credibility and good results.

All you need to do is to fill up two sandwich bags with water and then, but these water-filled bags in the shoes. Make sure the water doesn’t leak when you put it in the shoes.

Once you stick the shoes in the freezer, the shoes will expand along with the water as it freezes.

Keep the shoes in the freezer overnight (or for a maximum of 12 hours) and then take them out. Dry the slip-on Vans up and then try them on to see if they still feel stiff and rigid.

Heat the slip-on Vans

This is another simple solution for the rigidity and stiffness of your new pair of slip-on Vans.

When you heat up your slip-on Vans with a hairdryer, the shoes will then mold better around your feet.

Put the heat of your hair-dryer (or any other appropriate heater) on medium and heat up the shoes till they are warm and soft.

While heating the shoes, you should focus more on the problem areas like the heel area, and any other areas causing discomfort.

Once you have done the right kind of heating for the shoes, your slip-on Vans should stretch and soften well enough to accommodate your feet in a way that’s more comfortable for you.


Another way for you to create more space in your slip-on Vans and wear them more comfortably is to remove the Vans insole so that you have more room in the shoes.

Apart from that, all you need to do is to break the shoes in well enough to feel flexible and cool while putting them on.

The truth is, the most likely reason for your Slip-on Vans being so tight is that you have gotten the measurements and sizing wrong when you went to purchase them.

When you get either the length or width of your shoe sizing inaccurately, you will face problems with the comfort and flexibility of your shoes.

When measuring your shoes, you should take note of the fact that your toes shouldn’t touch the front of the Slip-on Vans, and there should always be extra space for socks.

Shoes that are uncomfortable for you to wear with socks on are not your true size.

When getting your new pair of slip-on Vans, make sure that there is enough space for socks, attachments, and further feet growth.

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