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Foot Pain In The Top Of The Foot – Stop Your Kids’ Foot Pain!

Instep Foot Pain

Has your child been complaining about foot pain in the top of the foot? That part of the foot is called the instep, and children tend to complain about pain in that area when they are wearing shoes that are too tight or don’t fit properly! When a child has a high instep, it basically means that the top part of the foot is very high and this makes it very difficult to find shoes that fit properly.

In order to fit a child with a high instep, we must find deeper, or wider shoes. By deeper shoes, I mean shoes where  your foot will go deep down inside the shoe when you put your foot in, taking any pressure away from the top of the foot.

Foot pain in children can really affect their daily activities and the simple things they enjoy doing. Our kids’ feet are one of the hardest working parts of their bodies, and we must take proper care of them. Foot pain in the top of the foot is NOT normal, and you shouldn’t ignore it!

Did you know that when we put repeated pressure on a particular area of our feet, the area and nerve can become irritated, causing an enormous amount of pain? Changing to a pair of properly fitted shoes will STOP the pain!

You are probably asking yourself, “How can I make sure my children shoes are fitting properly?”

I wrote a post where I describe exactly how to make sure that your child is wearing the correct shoe size and the post is called:

How To Measure Kids Shoe Size From Home – In Less Than 30 Seconds!

Take a look at the picture below. Do you notice how the top of the foot is feeling pressure from the top of the shoe? The shoe is clearly not deep or wide enough for the child’s foot. Every time you notice your child’s top of the foot being pressed by the top of the shoe, ask your shoe fitter for a wider shoe, or try a different shoe style!

Even if your child doesn’t complain about feeling pain right away, they will start feeling pain in the long run!

Intermittent Pain Top Foot

Stopping Your Kids’ Foot Pain – Finding The Right Type Of Shoes!

I helped a family that came to the shoe store with a frustrated mother tired of her child complaining about pain in the top of his foot. She explained me that they took the child to the physical therapist and couldn’t find anything wrong with the shoes, but the child kept complaining about the pain!

I started by checking his feet and shoes and quickly realized that the shoes weren’t wide enough for his feet. The top of his foot was being pressed by the top of the shoe so I showed the mother different shoe styles that were going to fit the shape of the child’s foot better. I ended up fitting him in a pair of New Balance shoes that came in extra wide, and had a very deep end.

The child not only had a high instep, but he also had an extra wide foot. The mother came back two weeks later thanking me since the child’s foot pain fully disappeared. She kept saying how she would always bring her children to our shoe store for now on. Isn’t it amazing what a properly fitted shoe can do for your child’s foot? Shoes pay a key role in our kids’ lives and they can have a positive,or negative effect depending on how they are fitted!

Why Is My Child Having Pain In The Top Of The Foot?

The most common cause of foot pain is wearing the wrong type of shoes. Wearing shoes that don’t fit properly can lead to several foot problems such as calluses, corns, blisters, and ingrown toenails! Shoes that are too tight, or too narrow will also lead to developing foot problems.

What I always recommend to parents when their child is experiencing foot pain is to make sure that the child is wearing the correct shoe size. If the child is wearing the correct type of shoe and the pain persists, I would recommend taking your child to a physical or occupational therapist to have their feet evaluated. They might recommend a shoe insert or an orthotic for extra support in your kids’ shoes.

Parents tend to make a very common mistake when buying shoes for their kids, which is measuring the length of the foot, the width, and then buying shoes according to what the measuring device says! Just because your child measures a certain shoe size in the measuring device doesn’t mean that all shoes in that size will deliver a proper fit.

In addition measuring your kids’ feet properly, parents must also pay close attention at the instep of the foot (top of the foot), since you will need to find deeper shoes if that part of the child’s foot is high. Are you still not sure what the instep of the foot is?

Take a look at the picture below where the person fingers are touching the foot, that is what is called the instep of the foot!

Pain In The Instep Of The Foot

What Are The Best Shoes For A Child With A High Instep?

The best shoes for a child who has a high instep are ones that are deeper, or wide enough to accommodate for the instep. In order to take away the pressure from the top of the foot, the child’s foot needs to fit deeply inside the shoe. I always recommend shoe laces instead of velcro closure for a child who has a high instep, since you can control the pressure on the top of the foot better with a pair of shoe laces.

I created a post about children with high insteps that describes the best shoes for them and the post is called:

The Best Shoes For Children With High Insteps

     How Do I Find Deeper Shoes? – Learn The Secret!                 

It is hard to find two pair of shoes that fit alike, even when they are made by the same shoe company. Some parents will come to the shoe store and say:

“My son needs a shoe size 11”

I proceed to offer to measure the child’s foot, just to make sure it is the shoe size the child needs as well as to have a better idea of the shape of the child’s foot. The thing is, shoe companies make shoes differently. Just because your child measures a certain size that doesn’t guarantee that they will need that shoe size in all shoes!

“But my son wears a size 11 in New Balance”

Even among the same shoe brands, shoes will fit differently. I have fitted most of the styles of children’s shoes that New Balance has to offer, and I KNOW for a FACT that certain shoe styles fit differently than others. STOP thinking about the numbers so much, the size that your child measures is just an starting point in determining the shoe size they will end up wearing.

Pain In The Top Of The Foot

New Balance offers certain shoes that have rounder toe-boxes than others and certain shoes that are deeper than others. I know exactly which ones they are because I have fitted them before! I have been working at a children’s shoe store for over 6 years now, and I have fitted children with all different types of foot problems.

Some of these children require shoes with orthotics, and in order for the orthotic to fit properly inside the shoe, the shoe MUST have a DEEP end. If the shoe is not deep enough, the orthotic will raise the kids’ foot up, giving them the impression that their feet are coming out of the shoe!

Below you can find a selection of the best deeper and wider shoes for a child that has a high instep!

The shoes below will fit a child that has narrow, medium, or wide feet (choose the width accordingly).

This first selection of shoes fit “short”, which means that you need to go a whole size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.

The shoes below will fit a child with medium, wide, or extra wide feet.

This selection of shoes fit “true to size”, which means that you need to go a half a size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.

I have fitted several children who were experiencing foot pain in the top of their feet, and after wearing the correct type of shoes for a while, the pain fully disappeared. NEVER underestimate the importance of well fitted shoes, they will save you many headaches and a lot of money in the long run. Sometimes you may worry that your child has severe foot or leg issues because he is complaining about feeling pain, and take them to a professional, when all they need is the correct pair of shoes!

When our children complain about foot or leg pain, we automatically think that they are having growing pains. ALWAYS start by making sure that they are wearing the correct shoe size. Something so simple as providing our children with the right pair of shoes can have an enormous impact on their daily lives!

Do you have a child who has been complaining about pain in the top of his foot? Have you found a way to reduce or eliminate the pain? What about you, parent, are you or have you experienced foot pain in the top of your foot? Please share your experiences below so we can all benefit from them!


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 kid’s feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.

Join the rest of the parents who are taking care of their kids’ feet and get my guide for free: The 5 Most Common Mistakes Parents Make when Buying Their Kids’ Shoes

10 Comments on Foot Pain In The Top Of The Foot – Stop Your Kids’ Foot Pain!

  1. Every time my child complains about foot or leg pain , I know I ALWAYS automatically think it’s growing pains. I noticed my child has a high instep and the shoes were putting so much pressure on the top of his feet. Do you have any recommendations on where to buy shoes for him?

    Please let me know asap,


  2. Thank you so much! Now I know why my child kept complaining about the shoes bothering him. I am done taking him to the mall to be fitted for shoes. It seems like they are always putting him in the wrong pair of shoes! They have very wide feet, do you know if they sell extra wide shoes online?

  3. Hello,

    My child used to have the biggest red marks around the top of his feet. At first I thought it was because he wasn’t drying his feet thoroughly. Then I though he was making the velcro straps of the shoes too tight. Now I know why! I ordered pair of the shoes you recommend in extra wide. I never paid attention before about how high his instep was and how wide his feet are! Thank you I am so happy I found your website!

  4. Thanks for the great information. I’ve always said my little girls feet are blocks. short, wide, and high! And when fitting shoes its not about the width of her foot that makes it difficult to find shoes, but the instep! I will definitely try some new balance next time. Thanks!

    • Hello Joy!

      Several parents can relate to what you are saying! Some parents come to the shoe store and tell me their kids feet look like frying pans! Anyways, there are shoes out there for children with wide feet and high insteps, and I describe the best kind in my website! Drop me a line anytime you have a specific question!

  5. I can’t believe that all this time that my child was complaining about foot pain in the top of her foot was due to wearing the wrong pair of shoes! I tried one of the pairs you recommend in your article and they worked! She stopped complaining! I just wanted to drop you a line to tell you how thankful I am for all the information you provide to us!

    • Hello Yancey,

      I am glad you found shoes that work! They make all the difference and they keep our kids’ feet and legs healthy! I hope you keep coming back to my website to find everything that relates to kids’ feet and their legs! Also feel free to drop me a line when you have questions about specific shoes or any other question about your kids’ feet.

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