Fashion & Style Shoes & Accessories

How To Trim the Heel on Shoes


When we find a pair of shoes that we love, but think the heels are too high for comfort, we often wonder if it is possible to the cut the shoes heel. If we are tall women, we might think the extra inch on the shoes heel is a tad too much. We don’t want tower over everybody because of the extra boost. There are also situations when we cannot stand to be in high heels because of foot problems and the discomfort.

Step 1

Taking your shoes to the shoe repair shop is the first step to check if there is a remedy to the high shoes heel. Unless you are a shoemaker and have the appropriate tools and machines at home, you wouldn't want to ruin the shoe heels of a perfectly good pair of shoes. Have a professional look at the shoes heel of your footwear.

Step 2

Most shoemakers will probably refuse to touch the shoes heel of your favorite footwear and will tell you that tampering with the heels can destroy the shoes or create an imbalance on the heels affecting the angles of the shoes heels. Others will tell you to forget it and say that if it isn’t broken then, it shouldn’t be fixed. Or, they will simply say the obvious to return the thing back to the stores.

Step 3

There are other shoemakers, shoe repair and specialists though who will take a careful look at the shoes heel and see how they could work on the shoes. According to shoe specialists, the way shoes are built is one factor to consider. Typically, the shoes heel is held together by pin lifts (also called dowel lifts or spike heels). The shoes heel is made of molded rubber and another piece of rubber is attached on the part of the shoes heel that touches the ground held by pins. Some shoe manufacturers put metal in the rubber mold, preventing shoe repair specialists to pare the shoes heel since there is no surface anymore to attach the pin lifts.

Step 4

When this is the case, the shoe specialist will take a look at another solution to shorten the shoes heel. The shoe shank is a material, usually made of metal, which shapes or reinforces the shoes. Your shoe doctor might be able to take the shoe shank and shoes heel apart and adjust the height of the heel. The shoe doctor will then reshape the shoe shank and shorten the heel. However, since shoes have different styles and quality, it is not always sure how the end result will look like. For instance, shoe shanks that are of poor quality will break apart once you try to open them. Putting it back is not the same as when it came from the factory, even if the shoe doctor will reinforce it with glue.

Step 5

Because of the limitations on the way the shoe shank and heels are fabricated, most shoe repairers will tell you that they cannot cut more than an inch for shoes without destroying the shoes. If this is good enough for you, then go for it. At any rate, the shoe specialists will tell you beforehand of the risks of lowering shoes heels and the impact that might have on the balance, shape, heel, and arch support of your shoes.


Wedges and stiletto heel might be easier to work on when cutting the shoes heel. If heel adjustment is too much trouble, just go and find another pair that suits you.

Sources and Citations


Vogue Forum Australia

By Marie, published at 03/07/2012
   Rating: 4/5 (11 votes)
How To Trim the Heel on Shoes. 4 of 5 based on 11 votes.