Last Updated on September 9, 2023 by Martina McKeough
Do you know how to tighten elastic slingback shoes that have started to slip off your heel?
If you don’t then I’m going to tell you some hacks you can use to stop the maddening problem of the strap of your shoe constantly slipping off your heel whilst you are trying to walk.
Slingbacks are notorious for the problem especially if elastic is used in the strap rather than a buckle but don’t despair because there are plenty of solutions to the problem.
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Walking in Loose Slingbacks Is Uncomfortable
The fact is that walking in loose slingbacks is uncomfortable and annoying. It is also a great way for your to twist your ankle or for your shoe to fall off your foot because it doesn’t fit properly.
Slingback shoes stay on your foot for two simple reasons. The first is due to the depth of the front section of the shoe where your toes are encased. If that is sufficiently snug your shoes you shouldn’t move around too much.
Then there is the back strap that goes around your heels. This should be sufficiently tight not to feel uncomfortable but tight enough to stop your heel from slipping out of the strap as you are walking.
When both parts of the shoe fit well you should be able to walk comfortably and without worrying about your foot moving around. The higher your heels are the more important that is.
If you want to know more about heel slip you can read my post on the topic to find out more.
Why Your Shoe Straps Are Too Loose
Whilst slingback shoes with a buckle that you tighten should generally be ok unless you have bought the wrong size it is another matter if part of the strap is elastic.
Elastic straps inevitably start to stretch over time. This means that once you have worn your shoes a number of times they start to get longer and looser and now the strap no longer fits over your heels properly.
Clearly the elastic is never going to shrink back or tighten so here is what you need to do if you want to make your shoe elastic feel tighter again.
How to Make Slingback Shoes Tighter
I am always a lover of taking the easy route first if you have a problem with a shoe rather than the difficult option.
Anything that involves having to take your shoe apart (even in a small way) is not an easy option especially if you don’t have the expertise. I certainly don’t do anything to shoes that is beyond my capabilities as that is what cobblers are for.
So my first recommendation is to use some strappy strips and see if they will do the job.
Using Strappy Strips for Slingbacks
If you have never heard of strappy strips they are just thin pieces of foam that have adhesive on one side that can be stuck onto the straps of your shoes.
Strappy strips come in different colors to match your shoes but as they fit on the inside of the strap you shouldn’t be able to see them when you are wearing your shoes.
To put them on all you need to do is peel off the plastic on the adhesive side of the strappy strip and stick it to the inside section of your strap and wait for the glue to set.
The foam section of the strip should give you just a little extra cushioning which will hopefully be enough to stop your straps from slipping. It will also help with making your shoes feel more comfortable.
DIY Strappy Strips
If you want to know how to tighten elastic slingback shoes and want to do it without buying strappy strips you can make your own if you have moleskin at home.
Moleskin fabric can be cut into the exact shape your want and stuck onto the strap of your shoes to stop it from moving around.
You can also use double-sided tape or fashion tape to help your slingback shoes stay in place. Just be aware that some of the DIY methods may need to be repeated each time you wear the shoes. This is because, unlike strappy strips which are designed to stay on your shoes for a long time things like double-sided tape will only be good for one outing.
Using Shoe Pads to Keep Shoes On Your Feet
My next solution doesn’t involve doing anything to the strap at all. Instead, it involves using a shoe insert inside your shoe to change the position of your foot to prevent slipping.
If you insert an insole or half insole into your shoe it will make the shoe feel slightly snug. It will also cause your heel position to change slightly at the back of your shoe.
The extra room it takes up will hopefully mean that your slingback strap now fits properly.
Toe filler inserts can do a similar job provided that the shoes that you are wearing don’t have an open toe where they can be seen. Using these just push your foot back slightly in your shoes and means that the slingback should be a better fit.
Using a Transparent Shoe Strap For Loose Shoes
If you want to know how to tighten elastic slingback shoes without doing anything with the elastic you could also use a transparent shoe strap. These sit across the top of your foot and keep your shoes on your feet.
This doesn’t actually solve the problem of the loose slingback but it can help you keep your foot in your shoe to make it easier to walk.
Personally, this isn’t my preferred solution because I believe the transparent strap looks visible but for some people, it might work.
Fixing Elastic Shoe Straps
If you don’t like any of my simple methods then your next choice is to start conducting a shoe repair on your slingbacks to tighten the elastic.
Personally, I would only do this if I knew that I had the skills and capability to make an invisible repair otherwise your shoes could be ruined. I think this is beyond my capability but I know plenty of you have sewing skills that I don’t!
The obvious fix is to simply replace or shorten the elastic section of the slingback. This can be done by using a seam ripper to take off the old thread that is attaching the elastic to the strap. Once the elastic is removed either cut it shorter or replace the elastic with another piece to suit your needs.
This new elastic then needs to be sewn back into place either by hand or by a sewing machine with the appropriate needle. Remember that trying to sew leather by hand won’t be easy if it is thick hence why a sewing machine is often needed.
If you think this is too hard for you to do then it makes sense to bring your shoes to a cobbler who should be able to do it with ease.
So if you want to know how to tighten elastic slingback shoes there are plenty of solutions out there and some are really easy to do. Try the easy solutions first as they will save you time and money but if you need to use a cobbler don’t hesitate as they will repair this type of problem with ease.
More Information on Shoe Repairs
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