How To Shrink Hey Dude Shoes – A Step-by-Step Guide

By Sophie Williams
Updated: June 25, 2023
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Have you asked yourself if shrinking and tightening shoes are the same? Because many people get confused between shrinking and tightening shoes. Shrinking a shoe and tightening a shoe are two different things. But these two are related when your shoes get stretched. Let’s make some clarifications on this matter.

What is meant by shrinking a shoe?

Shrinking a shoe, generally, is a process. In this process, the shoe material, such as fabric or leather, is intentionally subjected to conditions that cause it to shrink in size. You can do that to get a better fit if your shoes are too loose or have stretched over time. To shrink your shoe, you can use methods such as heat or water to reduce its overall size.

What is meant by tightening a shoe?

Simply adjusting the fit of a shoe to make it feel snugger on your feet can be defined as tightening. You can do it easily through various means, such as tightening laces, using thick socks, or using special kinds of insoles or heel grips to fill up any extra space inside the shoe. It’s simple; you do not have to alter the overall size of the shoe. For Hey Dude shoes, I’ve written a piece on How to Tighten Hey Dude Shoes.

How to Shrink Hey Dude Shoes: The Two Effective Methods

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You can use two effective methods if you want to shrink your Hey Dudes. The two best methods are :

  • Washing Hey Dudes in hot water, and
  • Shrink Hey Dude footwear using a hair dryer

Method 1 : How to Shrink Your Hey Dude Shoes by Washing Them in Hot Water

It is really possible to shrink your Hey Dude shoes by washing them in hot water. Here you have to remember that shoes that are made of suede, canvas, or socks can be shortened by washing them in hot water. You have to do this carefully; if not, you can damage your shoe. Here are some of the effective steps on how to shrink Hey Dude shoes by washing. Let’s see.

  • Step 1 – Remove the laces and insoles from your Hey Dude shoe.
  • Step 2 – Fill a large pot with hot water but not boiling water.
  • Step 3 – You can add a cup of vinegar to the water. You can also use salt and chlorine. These substances will help you shrink your favourite pair without any damage.
  • Step 4 – Soak your Hey Dude shoes in the water for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Step 5 – Place the shoes in a warm spot and let them dry completely.
  • Step 6 – Once your shoes are dry, you can now put the laces back in and wear them to see if they fit perfectly or not.

Dos and Don’ts of Washing Hey Dudes for Shrinking the Size

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  • Shoes that are made with suede, sox, or canvas can be shrunken only by washing with hot water.
  • You can use vinegar or salt and chlorine to shrink them perfectly without doing any damage.
  • If you use a washing machine, try to run the machine on low-cycle.
  • Try to use lukewarm water. Do not use boiling water. Because boiling water can damage your shoes.
  • If you want to wash the dirt during the washing process, please add liquid detergent to do that.
  • You can use a mesh bag for washing purposes if you choose to wash them in your washing machine.
  • Always air-dry your Hey Dude shoes and keep them away from direct sunlight.
  • Do not shrink leather or wool-made shoes in hot water.

Method 2 : How to Shrink Hey Dudes Shoes by Using a Hair Dryer

You cannot shrink Hey Dude shoes by washing them in hot water if they are made of leather or wool. Because hot water can damage leather or wool-made things.

If you’re having trouble with the fit of your Hey Dude shoes and they’re made of leather or woollen material, you can try shrinking them by heating them with a hair dryer.

When buying Hey Dude shoes, try to buy a size smaller because Hey Dude shoes are made of materials that stretch easily. And that’s why you can buy a shoe that’s a little smaller than a perfectly fitted shoe. Later, you can fit your shoes to your foot size with the help of a shoe stretcher.

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  • Step 1 – In the first step, you have to identify which parts of your Hey Dude shoes need to be shrunken. The part can be the toe box, the heel, or any other specific area. Once you identify the stretched areas, dampen those areas with cool water or a damp cloth. Don’t soak the shoes; you have to just make them slightly damp.
  • Step 2 – In this step, you can use a simple hair dryer like those that we use at home to dry our wet hair. First, set the dryer on medium heat. Now, you have to dry the wet part of the footwear. If you don’t obtain the desired fit the first time, repeat the process. This approach also applies to canvas, leather, and suede shoes.
  • Step 3 – Once the shoes have shrunk, let them cool completely. Now put the laces back in and wear them.

Shrinking shoes made of non-flexible materials, such as sneakers, dress shoes, or boots, may be hard. However, you can add padding for a better fit. This can be an excellent alternative.

You can add cushions to the inside of the heel or toe box to fill empty space, or you can wear thick socks to get a tighter overall fit.

You can also add a second cushioned insole or an orthopedic insert if there is too much room at the top of the boot.

Some Important FAQs on Shrinking Hey Dude Shoes

1. How to Make Hey Dudes Tight?

There are some pretty easy methods to tighten your Hey Dude shoes at home. You do not need to be a pro to make your shoes tight for a better fit. I’ve written a definitive guide to tightening Hey Dude shoes. You can enjoy that guide.

2. Why Hey Dude Shoes Stretch Out?

Let me discuss some reasons that can stretch out your hey, dudes.
Hey dudes, stretch out:
There are some reasons that can stretch out your favorite pair of Hey Dudes. The reasons are:
1. If you wear your Hey Dude shoes for longer periods, they can stretch out.
2. If you wear the shoes when they are wet, like if you walked for a long time or a longer distance while it was raining. This can cause this problem.
3. Machine washing can stretch out your Hey Dude shoes.
4. A shoe can be stretched out very quickly due to the material it is made of, like suede or leather.

3. Do Hey Dude Shoes Shrink When Washed?

Hey Dude shoes are typically made from cotton or a polyester blend. If you wash them in a washing machine, then they can shrink. That’s why this brand always recommends hand-washing the shoes.

4. Can You Put Hey Dudes in the Dryer?

No. Don’t do that. Do not put your favorite Hey Dude shoes in the dryer. Because if you do that, the fabric will shrink fast and the color of your shoes may fade.

5. Do Hey Dudes Fit Smaller?

The answer to this question is a bit tricky. It depends on some factors, such as the style of your shoes. Hey Dude, shoes can run small, and sometimes they can be stretched too. To get the best fit, you can order a size up from your normal shoe size.


Almost all of us suffer from the problem of shoes becoming too big after a few days of use. And the only way to solve this problem is to compress the shoe. I have written this blog entirely on this topic. I hope it will be very useful for you. If you like the blog, don’t forget to share it with your friends.

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Sophie Williams

Sophie Williams

Sophie Williams is popularly known as a dynamic and creative footwear specialist, and she sharpened her skills and developed a strong foundation at College for Creative Studies, especially in design principles, boot and shoe materials, and boot construction techniques.

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