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How to Tighten Hey Dude Shoes? – 4 Simple Methods

Fact checked by Andrew Carnegie

how to tighten hey dude shoes

Comfortable and lightweight—these two qualities are Hey Dude’s unique selling points. Made of breathable materials, its iconic shoes allow users to skip socks and wear them bare feet.

But without half-sizes, many folks are given two options: Size up for a loose fit and size down for a tight fit. If you opt for the former, you’ll find the next bigger size a little too big. Well, we’re here to show you how to tighten Hey Dude shoes!

Step-by-step to Tighten Hey Dude Wally Shoes


Note that this tutorial is perfect for any Hey Dude shoes with laces that feature toggles or tabs, as these will be used to keep Hey Dudes tight.

Step 1: Grab the tabs on both ends of the Hey Dude bungee laces and pull them apart until the shoes feel snug but not overly tight.

Step 2: Tie a half knot by crossing the two ends of the lace over each other—the tabs will keep the laces in place without a knot.

Step-by-step to Tighten Wendy Lace-up Shoes


To tie Hey Dude Britt shoes, Wendy Lace-up, and other models with toggle-free shoelaces, then this tutorial is for you! Here, we will use the knots to prevent the uppers from opening wide when you walk.

Step 1: Tug on either side of the laces until you tighten Hey Dudes to achieve the desired fit.

Step 2: Undo the knots found on the shoelaces’ ends.

Step 3: Tie an overhead knot by creating a loop and threading the end through it.

Step 4: Pull the knot closer to the shoe to tighten. Then, repeat steps 3 and 4 on the other end of the shoelace.

If you find the laces too long, use a pair of scissors to trim them. To prevent the lace from fraying, slightly heat its end with a lighter.

That said, we recommend doing this only when your shoes are past their warranty coverage. Otherwise, don’t ​​cut Hey Dude laces.

Step-by-step to Tighten Hey Dude Mistral With Shoelaces

Unfortunately, the methods above do not apply to Mistral sneakers. Like tennis shoes, the Mistral features a standard lace-up design.

As kids, we were taught to tie our shoes using the reef knot. Well, it’s not the most secure way of tying a knot.

When you have a pair of shoes that is a bit larger than your original, you have to rely on your shoelaces to achieve the right fit.

This way, you can also prevent the knots from loosening up and causing your heels to slip.

Below you’ll find two ways to make Hey Dudes tighter:

Method 1: Reinforced reef knot


Step 1: Make a half-knot and pull the two laces apart to tighten.

Step 2: Pull both ends apart to tighten, then create two loops. Next, take the left loop over and under the right loop until you form a knot.

Step 3: Instead of tugging the right and left loops to finish the reef knot, keep them loose as we are threading them in the center loop.

Step 4: By now, the two loops have switched places, which is to say that the one previously on the left is currently on the right and vice versa.

Pass the loop that you’re holding with your left hand over the middle loop, then outward. Pass the right loop under and then outward.

Step 5: Lastly, pull the two loops to tighten.

Method 2: Double knot


Step 1: Again, pull the laces to adjust the Hey Dude shoes so that they wrap around your feet more snugly. Then, make a half knot.

Step 2: Form two loops using the left and right laces, and tie them together as you normally would when wearing your sneakers. This creates a reef knot.

Step 3: Make sure that the final bow of the reef knot has long loops so you can cross them.

Once these two loops form an “X,” pass the left loop over the right loop. This should form a center hole through which the left loop would come through. Finish off by tightening the bow.

Other Tips for Easier Tightening


1. If you own Hey Dude shoe models without laces, wear socks to fill in the spaces between your feet and the shoes.

2. Try to shrink Hey Dude shoes or any canvas sneakers by giving them a hot bath in the washer. Air dry them afterward.

Note that this technique does not give you any control over how much the fabric would downsize. Also, bear in mind that once you wear or alter your shoes, you void the warranty. We only recommend this for older footwear.

3. For Hey Dude shoes without laces, you should go for a size that fits as snugly as possible. Use a shoe horn so you can easily slip your feet into the shoes.

4. A double knot would be the best option if you’re worried the laces will come undone. It’s also ideal for keeping long laces from dragging without cutting them.

Related article: 

Do Hey Dude Shoes Fit Large or Small?


Hey Dude’s collection of shoes fits true to size. But since the brand does not offer half sizes, your only option is to buy the next smaller or larger option.We strongly suggest getting the smaller one mainly because you can loosen Hey Dudes canvas models by wearing them often.

Maintenance and Care for Hey Dude Shoes


Washing Hey Dudes

1. Brush off the superficial dirt and gunk from the shoes.

2. If you have one of those slip-on Hey Dudes without laces like the Misty Rise, you can toss them in the washer. Otherwise, be sure to unlace your shoes.

3. Here are two options to wash your shoes:

  • Machine-washing shoes

Put the laces in a mesh bag if you want to include them in the washer.

Set the washer to “Delicate” or the gentlest setting you have. Use cold water and 1 tablespoon of laundry detergent or less. 

Avoid powdered cleaners as they tend to be harsher than liquid detergents.

  • Hand-washing shoes

For suede, leather, and nubuck, use a shoe brush or suede to dislodge the dirt and debris.

Next, get a nail brush, soak it in water, and scrub the rest of the stain. Afterward, dab the shoes with a clean, dry cloth to absorb the excess moisture.

4. Regardless of your cleaning strategy, be sure to air-dry the footwear and place them away from any heat source, including harsh sunlight.

Make sure they are completely dry before storing them in a cool, clean, and dry place.

Maintaining your shoes

1. Apply the suede spray to protect the suede uppers. For best results, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. 

2. When not in use, place a shoe tree in the footwear instead of piling them up on top of each other. This should help retain their shape.

3. Choose a storage system that provides good air circulation in place of plastic containers. Otherwise, molds can grow on the shoes.

4. If the shoes fit you already, avoid wearing socks, especially thick ones, to prevent the footwear from stretching out. After all, Hey Dudes are designed to be worn without socks.

Helpful Tips


How often should I tighten my Hey Dude shoes?

There is no rule as to how often one should tighten Hey Dude shoes. But as with any type of footwear, it depends on how the shoes fit you, their lacing options, and whether re-tying is necessary.

Remember, the knots loosen when you slip your feet in and out of the shoes and walk in them. Adjust Hey Dude shoes’ laces as often as needed throughout the day.

How do I know if my Hey Dude shoes are too loose?

Your feet would constantly shift inside when you wear Hey Dude shoes in a size that is too large for you. Ideally, the uppers and soles should feel as if they are hugging your feet. Your heels shouldn’t feel like they’re slipping out of the shoes, either.

Can I use any type of lace to tighten Hey Dude shoes?

Right now, Hey Dude does not offer laces replacement. Because of that, its customers are turning to third-party brands to buy new shoelaces.

We lace Hey Dudes shoes with iBungee shoelaces, our favorite brand. You can also check out Diffwey and Amerlery for stretchable shoelaces.


As much as possible, refrain from submerging your canvas shoes in hot water. Because once they shrank, it will be harder for you to revert them to their former shape.

If your shoes are still covered by Hey Dude’s warranty, get them replaced. Alterations will only void the warranty.

Among the methods that we shared on how to tighten Hey Dude shoes, we recommend trying the least damaging ones, like tightening shoelaces or wearing socks. See how they work!

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