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Foot Pain in Big Toe – The Best Shoes to Keep Your Kids’ Feet Healthy


Editor’s Note: This post has been updated and revised for accuracy on May 2022 and reflects an up-to-date selection of shoes for foot pain in big toe.

I decided to write an article to describe the best shoes for kids that are dealing with foot pain in their big toe, as I have been contacted by several families who are dealing with this same issue.

How to Retrieve Your Child’s Exact Foot Length and Shape

Shoes are a direct cause of toe pain. The most common reason why children experience foot pain in the big toe is from wearing shoes that are too short or too narrow. Let’s make sure that you know your child’s exact foot size, so you can order the correct shoe size online:

How to Measure Your Kids’ Foot – 2 Simple Steps to Determine Foot Length and Foot Width

My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes

I have been fitting children’s shoes and orthotics for the last 10 years at a specialty children’s shoe store where we specialize in fitting children with “complicated” foot shapes as well as foot and leg problems, and we provide regular shoe fittings as well. Over the years I became familiar with the best shoes for kids with foot issues.


What Makes the Shoes I Recommend Effective for Toe Pain?

If your child has been complaining about toe pain, a shoe that comes with a wide and round toe-box and that provides extra depth is going to be effective in reducing, or fully eliminating the pain that your child is experiencing.

Extra Depth: Shoes that provide extra depth allow your child’s feet to fit deeply inside the shoes and prevent the top part of your kids’ toes from rubbing against the top part of the shoes.


Rounder Toe-Boxes: Shoes with rounder toe-boxes prevent the child’s feet from overlapping or rubbing against one another.


I have spoken with several parents who have taken their children to see a specialist about their toe pain, but they haven’t managed to identify the problem.

Every time I recommend a particular shoe is because I have fitted that shoe style before, as that is the only way for me to know how well-made the shoes are, the amount of support that they provide, and how they fit. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

The Best Shoes for Foot Pain in the Big Toe ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Below you can find a selection of the best shoes for kids with foot pain in the toes that are available in medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW).

What Shoe Size Should You Order?

In each of the descriptions of the shoes I indicate whether you need to order a half a size or a whole size bigger than your child’s foot size to provide the correct amount of growing room.

Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

If your child has narrow feet you can send me an email so I can provide you with specific shoe recommendations:


Foot Pain in the Big Toe – Learn About Other Families with Similar Experiences!

Below you can find a conversation between myself and a parent who had a child that was dealing with foot pain due to her toes being far apart from the big toe. The pain went away as soon as the child tried a pair of shoes that I recommended.

Mr. Valenzuela,

I just found your website and it is very informative. I appreciate all of the information but I decided to contact you directly as there is an issue that concerns my daughter and I am really frustrated because I can’t seem to find the answer anywhere.

My daughter will be 5 years old in three weeks and her big toe is set so far apart from the rest of her toes that we can’t find any shoes that don’t hurt her feet!

The toe hangs over the side in every pair of sandals we’ve tried and rubs against the toe-box of the shoes, even in the wider styles.

Is there a specific way to measure her feet to help find a pair of shoes that will have extra space for her big toe? Do you have any recommendations for children’s shoes with a larger toe-box?

She has developed a blister on her toe – I believe it’s because the big toe keeps rubbing against the shoe, and from reading your articles I am aware that it can turn into a corn.

Please get back to me as soon as you can!

Barbara Watson

Hello Barbara,

I understand your concern. I have fitted children with all sorts of foot problems and the correct pair of shoes will make a huge difference and I already have certain shoe styles in mind for your daughter.

The key is to find a shoe that comes with a nice round and wide toe-box and that provides extra depth as well. The deeper the shoes, the better. We want your daughter’s feet to sit deeply inside the shoe, that way we can prevent her toes or the top part of her foot from rubbing against the front part of the shoe.

When it comes to her everyday sneakers, there is a shoe brand that you might want to start getting familiar with and it’s called New Balance. At the children’s shoe store that I work for, this is our most popular shoe brand especially for children who have wide or extra wide feet, or require an orthotic to be fitted inside their shoes.

There are certain New Balance shoe styles that have the roundest toe-boxes and provide extra depth, and these are the types of shoes that we need to look for your daughter.

Do you know what shoe size wears? We definitely want to provide her with a New Balance shoe style, we just need to figure out exactly which shoe one.

Please get back to me with her shoe size – in case you are unsure you can always trace her foot and send it to me and I will be able to tell you her size. Once we have her foot size, I will guide you to which shoe style will work better for her feet.

I also would like to know whether your daughter has a high instep or not.

Dear Juan,

She is currently in a US toddler size 8 shoe and is labeled as “XW” which I assume means extra wide. At the children’s shoe store that I took her to be measured I was told that she has a very high instep. They tried Saucony in a shoe size 8 XW and the shoes were not even going in her feet.

Thank you so much for your reply, we greatly appreciate it!

Hello Barbara,

You probably had issues getting the shoes on her feet because Saucony shoes tend to fit very short and narrow, even the styles that are labeled as extra wide.

For example, a shoe size 8 in a New Balance style in an extra wide width will fit extremely different from a Saucony shoe style in the same length and width.

The main reason for this is that New Balance shoes tend to have a much wider, rounder toe-box. So, you need to adjust depending on the shoe brand and the shoe style that you are trying.

Your daughter also has a very high instep, so there is only a small selection of shoes that will work for her feet.

I want you to keep something in mind, just because your daughter has extra wide feet, that doesn’t mean that all shoe styles in extra wide will fit the shape of her feet.

I do recommend that we stick with a New Balance shoe style for now, especially until her blister is fully healed. If you want to try the everyday shoes that I recommend for your daughter, you can find them here:

Supportive And Deep New Balance Shoe Style With Round Toe-Box: Option1

Supportive And Deep New Balance Shoe Style With Round Toe-Box: Option 2

To allow for growing room, I highly recommend that parents order these shoe styles half a size larger than the size their children’s feet measure. This translates to 0.3 inches or 0.7 centimeters of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes.

Please follow up with me and tell me how the shoes worked out for her feet.

Dear Juan,

I tried the style 680V5 and it fits the shape of her feet PERFECTLY! She says she even has room to wiggle her toes without them rubbing against the sides or front of the shoe! You probably have no idea how much this mean to me, I really appreciate your time and advice.

I have one more question though, is there a type of sandal that you would recommend for my daughter? If you can please just send me which shoe style to buy, I will greatly appreciate it.

Hello Barbara,

I am glad to hear that the shoes worked out for your daughter. I had a feeling that any of those shoe styles will make a tremendous difference. Please keep a close eye on her feet and keep asking your daughter how her feet feel.

Were you thinking of providing your daughter with a pair of closed toe or open toe sandals? I will provide you with both options and then you can decide.

The advantage of the open toe sandals is that you can adjust the straps and really avoid all types of pressure on her feet. However, the closed toe sandal option that I will provide you with comes in wide widths and has a very round toe box so it might work as well.

Here you can find a selection of the best sandals for your daughter:

Sandals for Girls with Wide Feet Closed Toe: Option 1

Sandals for Girls with Wide Feet Closed Toe: Option 2

These sandal styles also fit “true to size”, which means that you need to go a half a size or a whole size longer (sandals don’t come in half sizes) of the size that your daughter measures in the shoe measuring scale to allow for growing room.

Please follow up and let me know if the sandals work for your daughter’s feet or not.

Dear Juan,

I ordered both styles, the closed toe and the open toe and they both fit her perfectly since her toe is not hanging out to the side. Thank you for all your time, I think she is all set now!


I created this webpage to help parents understand the importance that shoes have in healthy foot development and how they can prevent foot problems in the future.Join the rest of the parents who are taking care of their kids feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.

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