7 Proven Ways to Stop Shoes from Rubbing the Back of Your Ankles

Stop Shoes from Rubbing the Back of Your Ankles

This article may contain affiliate links. For details, visit our Affiliate Disclosure page.

Stop Shoes from Rubbing the Back of Your Ankles

Wearing new shoes can rub against sensitive areas like the heel, ankle, and Achilles tendon, causing friction blisters, chafing, and ankle pain. Such painful conditions can make it difficult for you to work if you have to stand for long periods of time. So how do you stop shoes from rubbing the back of your ankles?

There are several ways to prevent shoes from cutting into your heels and ankles. If you have a larger shoe size, one way is to use insoles. The insole provides comfort and prevents heel slips. If the weather is not too hot, you can also wear moisture-wicking socks. If your leather or suede shoes are still too tight after breaking in, you can stretch and soften the rough edges of the shoes so they don’t scratch or poke into your heels.

You have a new favorite pair of shoes that will chafe and chaff your instep, and you’re thinking about getting rid of them to prevent injuries to your ankles and heels. Do not be discouraged. Let’s dive into each of the ways that shoes can help hurt the back of your ankle.

How to Stop Shoes from Rubbing the Back of Your Ankles

A few different remedies and solutions can prevent your shoes from touching your heels and ankles.

Here’s how to keep your shoes from rubbing on the back of your ankle.

  • Use soft insoles
  • Use moleskin
  • Use heel pads/cushions
  • Buy a pair of moisture-wicking socks that fit like a glove
  • Tighten the shoe with the last
  • Soften the sharp edges of new shoes with a leather or suede conditioner
  • Use a scuff stick

1. Good cushioning and orthopedic insole

The insole has proven to be very effective in supporting the ankle as its soft cushioning material easily adapts to the shape of the foot so it provides good cushioning. An insole with good arch support also prevents your feet from slipping inside the shoe when walking or running.

If the insole is not properly cushioned, it can rub against your Achilles tendon and heel, causing blisters. A properly sized insole also helps provide a good fit for your foot, reducing the movement of your foot in the shoe. Ultimately, it’s to keep the shoe from rubbing against your ankle.

When you’re an athlete or runner, your feet experience a lot of pressure from the ground. This impact transmits force to your foot, which tends to rub the ankle against the inner surface of the shoe. In this case, a well-cushioned insole will help absorb shock from the surface and prevent ankle and back foot injuries from rubbing against the shoe.

Also, if the footbed or insole of the shoe doesn’t match your arch, it can cause your foot to move unnecessarily in the shoe. Therefore, the gel-cushioned stabilizing insole helps keep your feet properly aligned when standing, walking, or running and prevents the shoe from rubbing against the back of the ankle.

2. Use moleskin

Moleskin is a soft and sticky cotton fabric that is placed inside the shoe and is gentle on the skin of the foot and ankle. The moleskin has adhesive on one side that adheres gently to the skin and a soft backing on the other side with extra padding and support to protect your feet.

Moleskin also improves the fit of the shoe by filling in the extra gap between the foot and the inner lining of the shoe, preventing the shoe from rubbing against the heel.

How to use moleskin to prevent shoes from rubbing the back of the ankle

  1. Take a piece of moleskin large enough to apply to the area of ​​skin you want to cover.
  2. Place a piece on the heel and draw the area with a pencil.
  3. Use scissors to cut out the shape of the moleskin.
  4. Make sure the skin area and shoes are free of dirt and dust.
  5. Next, peel off the protective padded moleskin backing and stick it to the skin on the back of your ankle or heel.

Some important tips

  1. Take a piece of moleskin large enough to apply to the area of ​​skin you want to cover.
  2. Make sure the skin area and shoes are free of dirt and dust.

3. Wear moisture-wicking socks made of soft material

Some shoes are made of very uncomfortable materials, such as rough cloth and synthetic textiles. These can cause irritation and chafing of the ankle and heel. Wear a pair of soft socks as a protective barrier between your shoes and your feet to prevent your shoes from cutting your ankles.

During high-intensity activities like jumping, running, or exercising, socks minimize blistering and friction in the ankle. The benefit of moisture-wicking socks is that they keep your feet dry by absorbing excess moisture and allowing your feet to breathe.

The moisture of sweat on the skin is known to increase friction, causing shoes to rub more against the foot and causing painful blisters on the back of the ankle. Not only that, but sweaty feet can lead to various foot problems such as foot odor and hallux valgus.

Thick cotton socks absorb moisture well. Polyester socks are also specially designed to wick moisture away from the feet and prevent the shoes from rubbing against the ankles. According to research, socks with 93% cotton content provide the greatest coefficient of friction between socks and shoes,

This way, the high coefficient of friction prevents your feet from rubbing too much against the shoe when you’re wearing thick cotton socks. In addition, the cotton material is soft and breathable, bringing comfort to your feet.

4. Elastic shoes

When you buy new shoes, they can be a little stiff and can rub against your ankles and heels. Well-fitting shoes are less likely to rub against the arch of the foot.

There are a few tricks to putting on your shoes to get them to stretch and stop rubbing on the back of your ankle and heel.

5. How to Break-in Shoes that Rub your Heel

# Use a hair dryer

This method works for leather shoes. This method requires you to wear a pair of thick socks, which temporarily cushion your foot and allow the shoe to stretch a little more. Here’s how you can stretch your shoes with a hair dryer by following these steps:

  • First, use the dryer to heat the shoes all up.
  • Wear shoes with thick socks.
  • Using a hair dryer, blow over the tight spots on the shoe again on medium heat for about 30 seconds.
  • Walk around clean surfaces, such as carpets, rugs, or hardwood floors, with your shoes on.
  • Repeat the process until the shoes no longer rub against your ankle and you are comfortable.

# Peeled potato crumbles

It sounds ridiculous, but it works. To use potatoes to stretch your shoes so they don’t rub against your ankles, follow these steps:

  • Cut potatoes into toe box shapes and towel dry.
  • Put potatoes in shoes overnight.
  • Peeled potatoes expand, making the shoe stretchy and comfortable.

Note: This method is only suitable for leather shoes because cloth shoes will absorb the juice of the potato and affect its quality.

# Shoes stretched by freezing

No leather shoes? Don’t worry…

Use this method if you have running shoes such as sneakers, jogging shoes, or loafers made of synthetic or textile materials. Did you know that water expands when it turns into ice?

So yes! We will apply the same principles…

You can stretch your casual or running shoes to prevent ankle rubbing by following these steps.

  • Take a ziplock bag and fill it with water.
  • Make sure there are no leaks in the bag.
  • Put the bag tightly in the shoe.
  • Put the shoes in the refrigerator overnight until the water freezes.
  • As the ice expands, it provides a comfortable stretch for your new tights.

Important: This shoe stretching method requires patience and some trial and error, as you don’t want to overstretch the shoe.

# Use shoe supports

The shoe industry is constantly trying to develop simple ways to stretch dress shoes. One of the ways is to use shoe braces. This is one of the most effective ways to quickly stretch your shoes.

With shoe stays, you don’t have to worry about damaging the material of your shoes. The last extends the length and width of the shoe. This tool comes with a handle and knob that you can turn to adjust the size of the shoe.

  • All you have to do is slide the shoe stretching tool into your shoe.
  • Tighten the knob until the shoe material is snug against the shoe support.
  • Let stand for about 8 to 10 hours. After that, take out the shoe rack and you will have a shoe that fits.

Note: This method works best with leather shoes, sneakers, and loafers. You can buy the best lasts here.

6. Soften the back of the shoe

How to soften the heel of a new shoe? This question may come to your mind when your new shoes start rubbing against the back of your ankle and heel when you put them on.

There are a few ways to soften the back and heel of your shoes so they don’t sink into your heel:

# Shoe conditioner

Shoe care is like a creamy wax or oily liquid that penetrates the roots of the shoe leather through wear and tear. It reacts with the leather and softens it so the shoe doesn’t penetrate deep into the heel and ankle.

So, dab the footwear care product on the entire upper of the shoe and let it work for a few hours. Afterward, blow-dry them with a hair dryer to heat up the shoes. Put on your shoes and walk around inside.

Note: This method only works with leather and suede shoes.

# Wet newspaper

This is one of the cheapest ways to soften leather shoes. Put a few drops of water on a piece of newspaper. Wrap it in the shape of a ball and fit it tightly into your shoe. Moisture from the newspaper can soften the leather.

This method can cause cracks in the leather. Then you can apply shoe care.

7. Use anti-friction rods to prevent shoes from rubbing on the back of the ankle

To reduce friction and prevent shoes from rubbing against your Achilles tendon, you can buy anti-chafing sticks at any drugstore. When applied to the skin of the feet, it acts as a protective barrier between the foot and the shoe. You can also buy it here.


Shoes rubbing against the back of your ankle and heel can be very painful because they can start to injure your ankle and form foot blisters that can lead to serious foot problems like Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.

To prevent these problems from happening, you can follow the tips discussed above. However, I always recommend that you only buy shoes that fit your feet perfectly. Before making any online purchases, please understand the return conditions of the respective shoe brand.

7 Proven Ways to Stop Shoes from Rubbing the Back of Your Ankles
Scroll to top