What Is A Heel Slip? How Much Heel Slip Is Normal? - The Jacket Maker Blog (2023)

Have you ever experienced heels slipping out of the shoes? Most probably yes. But, do you know how much heel slip is normal?

Heel slips in running shoes can be really troublesome, especially if you are a sportsperson or a weight lifter. Not to mention, heels slipping in shoes not only hinder your athletic performance and can cause some serious foot issues and injuries in the long run.

Figuring out the right shoe size can be a tough task at times, especially for men’s heel shoes. Therefore, In this article, we will be discussing all about heel slips and how much heel slip is normal while choosing the right shoe size for your feet.

So, Let’s begin!

What To Expect In This Article?

What Is Heel Slip?

Heel slip on shoes happens when your heels start coming out of your footwear randomly during various instances. The intensity of the slip can differ in various instances depending upon the physical tasks, your foot structure, and the design of your shoes.

For Instance, If your everyday shoes have poor fitting then you may encounter heel slipping at all times. However, if your shoes fit well but the shoe design does not support your foot well, you will experience some minor inconvenience while doing high-intensity workouts and training.

Why Do Heel Slips Out Of The Shoes?

Now that you know what heel slip actually is, let us understand why heel slips occur in the first place. Here are the two most common reasons for shoes slipping at heels.

Poor Fitting Shoes

The ill-fitting of shoes is the most common reason for heel slips on shoes. This could mean either you didn’t pick the right size and your shoes are way too big in length for your feet or the toe area has some extra space for your feet to squeeze in while walking, making your heel slip out of the shoe.

The latter case is more common in people with a wider or more narrow foot than a standard foot structure and is more prone to heel slipping with certain shoes. They cannot get away with any shoe style and design because of their particular size measures.

Poor Boots Design

Shoes or boots heel slip sometimes may be a result of the poor or low profile shoe structure. The boot styles with poor design will mostly have a thinner sole that may lose its shape over time making more room in the shoes for your feet, resulting in heel slips.

In other cases, the design of the toe may be a reason for the heel slip. For Instance, some shoe styles have a narrow toe area, so you have to choose a size bigger for your foot to adjust properly which may cause your foot to slide-in while walking, making your heels pop out of the shoes.

How Much Heel Slip is Normal?

Heel slips out of the shoes do not necessarily mean your shoe size is bigger than your feet. Sometimes, the size of your toe, thumb, or any other finger is bigger than the rest of your foot and your feet are flexible to move inwards while walking and doing other day to day activities.

It is normal for your foot to bend a little while stepping on the new shoes. So, heel slipping is not always a bad thing. Therefore, having a heel slip between ⅛ to ⅓ of an inch is normal.

These loose shoe slip on heels will not cause any blisters or serious problems, unlike the tight ones that may become uncomfortable because of friction in the long run.

Does The Heel Slipping Bad For You?

Here are a few reasons why wearing shoes with heel slips is bad for you.

Decreases Performance

Trainers or running shoe heel slips may be a measure problem for athletes, as it hinders their workout performance. The looser the shoe fit, the more resistance it causes for proper foot movement.

Foot Inflammation

Foot inflammation such as blisters on the ankle area and Achilles tendinitis is a side effect of heel slips especially in leather cowboy boots. Friction from the shoes constantly slipping away from the ankles is a major cause of blisters.

These may not only be a painful experience but will also stain your socks and boots. So, you better be careful.

Movement Mechanics

The change in your movement mechanics is a long-term side effect of wearing shoes with heel slips. When we get used to wearing heel-slipping shoes, it may alter our feet ‘reflexes subconsciously over time, decreasing the overall training performance.

How To Stop Heel Slipping In Shoes?

Heel slippage is a real problem, especially for people who are more involved in physical work such as athletes and sportsmen. Here are a few ways how to keep the heel from slipping out of the shoe.

Sizing Down

The first possible solution to heel slip is to try going a size down. This may seem to be the easiest potential way to go for those who are facing heel slips due to excessive space in the toe area.

However, sizing down is not always an ideal fix for heel slip issues, especially if your shoe fits well in length to your feet, and sizing down may make your shoe even more uncomfortable and tight.

So, in this case, try to go for other alternative options that align well with your shoe design and foot anatomy without causing any more trouble.

Using Lace Lock

The lace lock is another potential fix for the running shoes heel slip. This style of lacing will tighten your feet, restricting any unnecessary movement of feet in the shoes.

Apart from heel slips, this technique works best to prevent blisters and other inflammations due to friction and provide you with a snug fit. Here are a few steps you can follow to lace-lock your shoes.


Firstly, create a loop with the laces by fastening them in and out of all the lace eyelets back to the top.


In the second step, take the opposite sides of the lace and pass them through the loops you created previously, in a way that the left side’s lace runs through the other side loop.


Once the laces are locked with the opposite loops, pull them tight for a snug fit. This will eliminate all the extra space in your shoes keeping your foot and heels in place.


Now that your foot is locked in the shoe, lace your shoes as normal and you are all set for your next workout session.

Non-slip Socks

Non Slip socks are one of the easiest quick fixes for your boots heel slip. These socks have non-slip raised surfaces on the bottom, usually made of rubber material to provide necessary friction and heel grip for boots.

While these socks may limit the heel slip in your combat boots or other shoes, they cannot eliminate the problem entirely. They are the most affordable way to resolve heel slip, but they may not work in every case.

Toe Pads

Toe pads are another viable solution to eliminate heel slip temporarily. They are small gel inserts that are placed in the toe box to effectively cut down the extra room in your shoes for a more snug fit.

These are a simple and on the go solution for all your heel slip problems, just insert them into your shoes and you are all set.

Heel Pads For Boots

Heel cushions for boots are another viable heel slip solution. These pads have an adhesive bottom side to grip your shoes like any other insole for maximum comfort.

They not only minimize the extra space in your heel area but also have a soft upper surface to avoid foot exhaustion due to excessive physical activity.


Like heel and toe pads, insoles fill out the extra space in your shoes to make them go a size down from all dimensions, making less room for the feet to move around and fixing the heel slip problem.

Insoles are a great option for people with flat feet, as they provide extra support to your feet, especially if your job requires you to stand a lot during the day.

FAQs – How Much Heel Slip Is Normal

How To Fix Heel Slippage In Boots?

You can fix heel slippage in boots by inserting insoles, heel pads, and toe pads into your shoes which will eliminate the extra space, making your feet feel snug in your shoes temporarily. However, going a size down or choosing a shoe design that supports your feet anatomy are the better option to nullify the chances of heel slip permanently.

How To Stop Heel Slippage?

You can stop heel slippage by going a size down or selecting a shoe design that sits well with your feet. Alternatively, toe pads, heel pads, and insoles are some of the other good options to prevent heel slip.


Heel slipping out of shoes is a common problem, especially among athletes and other sportsmen. Poor-fitting and low-profile shoe designs are the most common reasons for heel slipping in shoes. which can become a cause of serious foot inflammation in the long run.

However, do you know how much heel slipping is normal? About ⅛ to ⅓ inch of heel slipping in shoes is harmless. Apart from that, you can also insert toe pads, heel pads, or insoles into your boots to minimize heel slipping by reducing the space inside your shoes.


How much heel slippage is ok? ›

Therefore, having a heel slip between ⅛ to ⅓ of an inch is normal. These loose shoe slip on heels will not cause any blisters or serious problems, unlike the tight ones that may become uncomfortable because of friction in the long run.

Is some heel slippage OK? ›

If you have a flexible, pronated, or loose-jointed foot, a properly fitted shoe will tend to slip at the heel. This is particularly true until the shoe conforms to your foot.

How much heel slip is normal in work boots? ›

There are five areas to check. They are: the flex point, the heel, the width, the arch, and the toe box. Your boots should not feel tight. They should feel snug on the forefoot, they should have plenty of room in the toe box, and the heel should not slip more than a quarter of an inch.

How much heel slip is normal in new boots? ›

When the boot is new, the heel slipping may feel excessive because of the stiffness of the new sole. Your heels should slip up to 1/4-1/2 inch.

What is the average heel drop? ›

Heel drop is the difference between the height of a shoe's heel and forefoot. A shoe's heel drop ranges from 0 mm to 14 mm, and 10 mm remains the most common heel drop available.

What is typical heel drop? ›

The heel drop measurement is given in millimeters and usually ranges from about 0 to 15 mm for most running shoes, though most conventional running shoes fall somewhere between the 6 to 13 mm heel to toe drop range.

Does heel slippage mean shoe is too big? ›

Generally speaking, there are two types of heel slip: 1. The shoes are simply too big and your heel falls right out of them and, 2. The shoes fit but the heel counter is stiff, the new leather is slippery, both causing a bit of movement on your heels but you are not really falling out of the shoes.

Should my heel slip out of my shoe? ›

It could even cause foot issues that didn't exist before. Blisters are just one small example of what can pop up. When your heel slips, it's generally a sign that the shoe isn't the right fit for you. It could be that the shoe is simply the wrong size, the toe box is too big, or the shoe is too wide.

How much heel lift is too much? ›

The amount of elevation you need can affect your choice of a heel lift or external shoe heel or sole additions. It is generally accepted that it is unwise and uncomfortable to add more than 12mm (1/2") of heel elevation inside a shoe using inserts, and many people are uncomfortable with that much in the shoe.

How much heel is comfortable? ›

The average heel height is around 3 inches, or 7.5cm. This falls into the mid-height range, which usually measures in at 2-3 inches, or 5-7.5cm. This is the most classic heel height, and mid-height heels should be comfortable enough to wear all day.

How should slip on boots feel? ›

It should not pinch across the ball of the foot or the toes, but should be comfortably snug in the instep area of your foot. Just like a good handshake. A new boot may slip some when new, but if it is snug in the instep, that slip will come out, after it is flexed from wearing.

What is the most comfortable boot heel height? ›

The best height heel height is between one and two inches. If the shoe is extremely tall, it will cause jamming of the toes and ball of the foot every time you walk. Pay attention to the shape of the toe box, whether it's pointy or curved. A pair that's too sharply pointed will squeeze your foot.

How much space should be between heel and shoe? ›

Generally speaking, there should be about one finger's width of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. Another way to check this is to slip a finger between the heel of your foot and the heel of your shoe. There should be just enough space for your finger to fit nice and snugly.

How much heel is appropriate for work? ›

In general, the most appropriate heel height for work is about 3 to 4 inches. Anything higher than that may seem unprofessional and can be bad for your feet. Though many women claim to wear 5-inch heels at work.

Is 12mm heel drop too high? ›

Is a 12mm Heel Drop too High? It really depends on your goals. For runners who deal with Achilles pain, it's actually an ideal shoe drop. It lessens the amount that the tendon needs to stretch and can help them run more pain free.

Is 8mm heel drop too much? ›

8-MM: This is a compromise zone—midfoot strikers will enjoy this shoe the most, but you'll start to notice a slightly more prominent heel. Light heel strikers may be able to get away with running in these shoes, and it's a good place to start if you're trying to develop a more natural gait.

What is considered low heel drop? ›

A low heel drop in shoes means the heel part of the shoe is at the same level or less than 8 mm than the ball part of the shoe. The opposite is true when there is a high heel lift in the rear foot of the shoes, when one compares it to the front part of the shoes.


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