Shoe Care & Comfort

How to Make Your Feet Smaller or Thinner (Cinderella Surgery)

The bones of your feet are rigid and strong. This makes it impossible to make your feet smaller or thinner without manipulating those bones in some way. Unfortunately, that can be dangerous. There are things you can do to make your feet look smaller, but shrinking them requires surgery or foot binding.

There can be significant risks to trying to shrink your feet surgically. But, some people who have feet that are disproportionate seek this option out. Cosmetic foot surgery is becoming more popular for people who don’t like having big feet.

But, surgery can be off-limits for some people who still want smaller feet. So, is it possible to shrink your feet? Or, do you know how to make your feet stop growing? The good news is some options may be able to help with both.

Keep in mind that the shape and size of your feet depend on a lot of different factors. Some of it is hereditary, some of it has to do with your lifestyle and how your feet have always been used. You may never be able to get the ‘ideal’ foot shape or size. But, if you want your feet to be smaller, there are things you can try depending on the risks you’re willing to take.

Can You Shrink Your Feet?

This guide will cover different ways to make your feet smaller. We’ll go over two of the most popular methods; foot binding and foot size reduction surgery. We’ll also give you some tips on how you can make your feet look smaller in appearance without having to commit to surgery.

Finally, we’ll offer advice on how to keep your feet from getting bigger. Usually, the problem people have with their feet is either they are too wide to fit in specific shoes, or too long and not proportionate to the body. Thankfully, there are ways of dealing with both of these issues. They may come with certain risks, but if you’re truly unhappy with the size of your feet, those risks may be worth it for some people.

How to Make Your Feet Stop Growing

You can’t make the bones in your feet stop growing as an adult. But, there are things you can do with the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These are more ‘natural’ solutions that don’t involve surgery or invasive procedures.

If you’re trying to get your feet to shrink, trying these methods are a great place to get them to stop growing:

  • Lose weight: If your feet are wide, try losing weight. The heavier your body is, the more your feet will spread (in length and width) to accommodate that weight. If your body is lighter, the feet won’t have to spread as much to support a lot of weight. Yes, you can ‘lose weight’ in your feet by doing this. Keep in mind that your bone structure won’t change. Some people have a wider bone structure in their feet than others. But, by shedding a few pounds, you’ll likely notice a difference in the size of your feet.
  • Arch supports: If you struggle with flat feet, they could appear wider. Weak arches can make your feet look even flatter and bigger. An easy and quick fix to something like this is to wear the best arch supports.
  • Strengthen your arches: If you don’t want to wear arch supports, consider arch-strengthening exercises. They will offer the same effect as the supports over time.
  • Elevate your feet: Sometimes, feet look larger because they are swollen. Feet naturally swell throughout the day depending on how much they are used. If you want your feet to look smaller for a night on the town, try spending an hour or so with them elevated. This will help the swelling to go down and your feet to look thinner.

These simple and quick tips can help your feet to look smaller almost instantly. But, if you want to reduce the length or width of your feet, more extreme measures may need to be taken.

How to Get Smaller Feet with Surgery

There are several reasons women (and some men) choose to shrink their feet. Sometimes, it’s because high heels have taken a toll on the feet over the years. Things like calluses, corns, and blisters have become too much to handle. Other people are more self-conscious about the size of their feet and don’t want to feel embarrassed anymore.

Whatever the case, there is now a cosmetic surgery that can reduce the length or width of your feet. The procedure itself is called Cinderella surgery.

Cinderella surgery is considered a cosmetic procedure. It corrects bunions and ends up resulting in a narrower foot. Women who struggle with wide feet can try this procedure if they’re embarrassed, or if they want to squeeze into stilettos.

As with any surgery, there are pros and cons to consider. Some of the benefits of Cinderella surgery include:

  • Improved comfort when wearing shoes or high heels
  • More shoe choices, including sandals
  • A boost in confidence for people with ‘big’ feet

How Much Does It Cost?

In most cases, foot reduction surgery is considered a cosmetic procedure. Because of this, insurance won’t cover the cost. It can cover bunion surgery if deemed necessary by a doctor. But, if you’re getting your foot size reduced because you don’t like the way they look, expect to pay out of pocket. Most surgeries like this can cost around $5,000.

Are There Risks Involved?

Any surgery comes with risks. When you have cosmetic surgery, it’s usually voluntary, but it can be just as severe as an invasive medical procedure. So, there are risks to consider before you go ‘under the knife.’

With any procedure where anesthesia is involved, you can face reactions. Some people get sick from anesthesia and may experience nausea, dizziness, or headaches afterward.

The risks of the surgery itself include:

  • Infection
  • Tissue damage
  • Nerve damage
  • Scar formation

In some cases, the feet may not heal correctly. This can lead to even bigger problems, including difficulty walking. Most podiatrists warn against foot surgeries unless they are used to help with pain or provide some kind of necessary correction. But, Cinderella surgery is becoming more popular than ever with people who want their feet to look smaller.

Talk with your podiatrist or a cosmetic surgeon if you’re thinking about this procedure for reducing your foot size.

Can You Get Your Toes Shortened?

There is another type of procedure for those who want smaller feet called toe shortening surgery. Toe shortening surgery occurs when a doctor takes the length off of longer toes. This can be done for cosmetic reasons but is usually done to prevent a hammer toe.

If a toe is too long, it can eventually become buckled. This results in a hammer toe where the toe itself can be in a permanently contracted position.

Toes that are too long can be painful, especially when you’re wearing shoes. Pressure from the shoe rubbing against your toes can cause calluses or hard skin to form. The toe can even become irritated or swollen. If your toes are always ‘banging’ into the front part of the shoe, it could even lead to trauma. Trauma or injury to your toes could put you at risk for toenail fungus.

Sometimes, these issues can be avoided by wearing different shoes and practicing proper foot hygiene. But, many people consider toe shortening surgery when they experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain on the tip of the toe
  • Thick, hard calluses
  • Toe deformity that gets worse with time
  • Pain when wearing shoes
  • Difficulty walking or performing daily activities

There are several ways to perform a toe shortening surgery. In most cases, a doctor will remove a small part of the bone from the toe at the joint and reconstruct it correctly. Again, as with any surgery, there are some risks to consider.

The dangers of this surgery include:

  • Infection
  • Pain
  • Difficulty walking
  • Blood clots
  • Nerve injury

Toe shortening surgery is usually an outpatient procedure. It can be performed with a local anesthetic, meaning the toe will be numbed. Because of this, there is less of a risk of feeling sick due to general anesthesia.

If there are no complications, it can still take about six weeks to recover fully. Your walking may be inhibited for that period of time. And, you may still feel quite a bit of pain until the toe has fully healed. The time it takes to heal depends on which toe(s) you have shortened.

The average cost of getting toe surgery is about $2,000 per toe. Again, insurance won’t cover this cost if it is considered a cosmetic surgery. But, if a podiatrist determines that it’s a medical need for your toes to get shortened, insurance may cover some if not all the cost.

can you shrink your feet?

Non-Surgical Treatments for Shortening Toes

If you don’t want to get your toes surgically shortened, you may still have options. Simple treatments that can be used right away include things like:

  • Shoes with a wide toe box
  • Arch supports
  • Supportive shoes
  • Limited activities

For some people, making simple changes like these can make a big difference in their comfort level. For others, more detailed treatment may be needed, but it still doesn’t mean surgery is always the best option.

More non-surgical treatments for long toes include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Cortisone injections
  • Custom orthotics

You can work with your podiatrist to find a solution that works best for you if you’re not willing to have surgery performed. If your big toes are causing you a lot of pain or affecting your life negatively, don’t feel as though you just have to ‘live with it.’ Even if surgery isn’t an option for you, there is more than one solution to finding the relief you need.

Foot Binding

Foot binding is a practice that originated in China centuries ago. It was always a controversial practice, and some people considered it to be a form of torture for young women. In the culture, small feet were considered desirable.

To make their feet smaller, Chinese women would ‘bind’ them. They did this by tightly wrapping their feet in different directions to change the shape and size. It was typically done by young girls, so the muscle and bone could form this way.

Unfortunately, there were (and still are) many side effects to foot binding that can lead to permanent damage. Some of the drawbacks include things like infection, toenail removal, and broken bones. In some cases, infections can become so severe they have led to death.

Thankfully, the practice of foot binding filtered out in the 20th century. In western culture, there is still a form of ‘foot binding’ that some people suggest trying; wearing shoes that are too small.

While wearing a pair of shoes that are a size too small may not seem as extreme as foot binding, it can create a lot of problems. First, it probably won’t give you the results you’re looking for, especially as an adult. Once the bones in your feet have fully formed, it’s never a good idea to try to cram them into something that is too small. This can lead to fractures, breaking, or deformities.

You’ll also be putting yourself at risk for things like toenail fungus, infections, and a lot of pain. You may even eventually have difficulty walking. It could damage the tissue or muscle structure of your feet and make them weak.

Any type of foot binding or constricting is unsafe. It’s a practice that is no longer popular for a reason and shouldn’t be considered if you’re trying to make your feet smaller. Never try to squeeze your feet into shoes that are too small for an extended period of time.

Can you get your toes shortened?

How to Make Your Feet Look Smaller

If you don’t experience any pain because of big feet, but you don’t like the way they look, you may be able to use a few tips and tricks to reduce how big they appear. That way you don’t have to worry about surgical procedures or shrinking methods.

Keep these tips in mind to make your feet look smaller:

  • Wear the right clothes: Clothes should draw attention away from your feet and focus on other areas of the body. Try wearing flare-leg pants to cover your feet. Or, draw attention to the top half of your body with brightly-colored shirts and interesting accessories. At the same time, focus on darker, more subdued colors on the bottom half of your body.
  • Choose the right shoes: Wear heels over flats (if it’s comfortable) as they can change the look of the alignment of your feet. You should also avoid wearing skimpy sandals. The less material the shoe is made of, the bigger your feet will appear. Sandals with wider straps are a good option. You should also choose shoes that are darker in color. Again, this will help to draw attention away from your shoes and allow people to focus on other aspects of your wardrobe.
  • Shoes with accents: You might think adding accents to your shoes would draw attention to the size. But, people’s attention will be drawn to the accent pieces and not the size of your feet. Things like tassels, flowers, bows, and buckles are great additions to your shoes that can make your feet look smaller.
  • Alternate your shoes: Though high heels can make your feet look smaller, you shouldn’t wear them all the time. It’s important to alternate the kind of shoes you wear for the general health of your feet. Continually wearing high heels can make your feet look swollen, which will defeat the purpose.

Making your feet look smaller can be easy depending on what you wear and the styles you choose. Don’t think that having big feet means you need to wear bulky-looking shoes. The slimmer the shoes you wear, the smaller your feet will look. Practice a few different style choices with your clothes and shoes to determine what works best for you in making your feet look thinner.

Can Your Feet Get Smaller?

The two main reasons people want smaller feet are because they are causing them pain, or they don’t like the way their feet look. If you think your feet are unsightly, there are a few things you can do to change the way they look or draw attention away from them. Surgical procedures can be expensive and painful.

If, though, you have a foot condition that is causing you pain, you can consider something like Cinderella surgery or toe shortening surgery. It’s important to understand the risk of any surgery. When you’re trying to alter your bone formation, muscles, and tendons, there are always risks to consider.

We hope this guide has given you some insight into how to make your feet look thinner and smaller. Try some of the tips listed here to provide the appearance of smaller feet, and you won’t have to live with embarrassment anymore.