Tight Ankle: Four Easy Ways to Fix Narrow Barefoot Boots

March 16, 2024Here are four ways to fix narrow barefoot boots, so your ankles have more room and padding.

Hello, my name’s Andrew and these are four easy ways to fix narrow barefoot boots, so that you ankles have more room and padding for hiking.


A few weeks ago I got a pair of Vivobarefoot Tracker Decon barefoot boots, which are super versatile for all season hiking, but the one thing I didn’t like about them was that the ankle felt kind of narrow.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to return them or suffer through annoying rubbing/pressure, because I managed to fix the problem for free with some simple at-home DIY hacks!

Barefoot Boot Tight Ankle Tracker Decon

1. Stretching

The first thing to do if you get a barefoot boot that’s too narrow in the ankle is to stuff an old sock or t-shirt into the heel whenever you get back from a walk or hike.

Especially with leather this can help to expand the back of the shoe over the course of a few days to a few weeks.

Barefoot Boot Tight Ankle Stretching

2. Lacing

Another easy fix is to simply tie your laces more loosely, because most higher cut barefoot boots already give a lot of stability and there’s no need to create a barefoot corset around your ankles!

Barefoot Boot Tight Ankle Laces

3. Socks

Thirdly, you can start with a breathable base layer sock, like the Injinji merino wool Outdoor (more on why I love toe socks here), and layer a thick Smartwool mountaineering sock over top.

While this doesn’t make the boot wider, it does give your ankles some extra padding, so that the stiffer ankle material doesn’t rub.

Barefoot Boot Tight Ankle Injinji Socks

4. Cuffs

Lastly, if it’s summer and too hot to layer socks, you can take an old pair of socks and cut off the bottoms with some fabric scissors to create a DIY ankle cuff.

This way you get some nice padding around your ankles, but your feet have more room to breathe with just a single layer of socks.

Barefoot Boots Tight Ankle Diy Sock Cuff Pad


So those are some simple ways to fix a narrow barefoot boot, but if you have questions about more DIY hacks for barefoot shoes, let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading, catch ya next time. Peace!

Andrew Folts

Andrew is a writer/filmmaker who creates video guides and reviews for a community of 25K+ creative rebels on YouTube.