I decided to write an article to describe the best shoes for kids that are dealing with foot pain in their big toe, since I have been contacted by several parents that are dealing with this issue with their kids.
I have been fitting children’s shoes and orthotics for ten years at a premier specialty children’s shoe store, a leader in proper fit for over forty years. We specialize in fitting children with foot and leg problems as well as provide regular shoe fittings for all children, whatever their needs are.
In this article you will find out which are the best everyday shoes for children that are experiencing foot pain in their big toe.
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, and her pain went away as soon as she tried a pair the shoes I recommended.
I just found your website and it is very informative, I appreciate all the information but I decided to contact you directly since 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 even in the wider running shoe 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 at me as soon as you can!
I understand your concern. I have fitted children with all sort 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 not only comes with a nice round and wide toe-box, but the shoe must be deep as well. The deeper the shoes, the better. We want your daughter’s feet to sit deeply inside the shoe, that way we will be preventing her toes or the top part of her foot to rub against 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 are very deep, and these are the types of shoes that we need to look for your daughter.
Do you know what shoe size she needs? We definitely want to provide her with a New Balance shoe style, we just need to figure out exactly which shoe style.
Please get back at 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.
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. In fact, 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!
You probably had issues getting the shoes on her feet because Saucony shoes tend to fit really “short”.
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, specially 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:
These shoe styles fit “true to size” which means that you need to go a half a size longer of the size that your daughter measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.
Please follow up with me and tell me how the shoes worked out for her feet.
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.
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 type 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:
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 in order to allow for growing room.
Please follow up and let me know if the sandals work for your daughter’s feet or not.
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!
If you have any other questions in the future, please go to the “Search Bar” on my homepage and type a keyword of the question that you have before you contact me. For example, you can type “the best shoes for high insteps”, or “the best everyday shoes for kids with wide feet’ and all the related articles to that keyword will show up.
Here is a snapshot of my homepage and where you can find the “ Search Bar”:
Please let me know if you have any other questions!