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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 part 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 narrow or too shallow. 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.

If your child has a high instep and is wearing shoes that are not deep enough, the top part of the feet will rub against the top part of the shoes, which will lead to foot pain. The good news is that I know exactly which shoe styles provide extra depth, as that feature is going to allow your child’s feet to fit deeply inside the shoes and prevent the top part of the feet from rubbing against the top part of the shoes.

By deep shoes I mean shoes in which your child’s foot will go deep down inside the shoe, taking any pressure away from the top part of the foot.

Take a look at the picture below to identify how a high instep looks like.

Kids With High Insteps

Does that picture look familiar?

That child has a high instep and a very wide feet. In order to fit that child’s feet in a pair of shoes you will need a wide or extra wide shoe that is also deep.However, children with narrow feet can also have a high instep.

I have been working at a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now, and we specialize in children with foot and leg problems but we provide regular shoe fittings as well.

Foot pain in children can really affect their daily activities and the simple things they enjoy doing.

Did you know that when children place repeated pressure on a particular area of  their feet, that area and nerve can become irritatedcausing an enormous amount of pain? Fitting your child in a pair of properly fitted shoes will significantly reduce or fully eliminate the pain.

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

I always recommend parents to take their children to be properly fitted for shoes at their local children’s shoe store. The issue is that most local kids’ shoe stores have been closing down, and parents end up purchasing their children’s shoes online.

Start by taking a look at a map I created to see if there is a good fitting children’s shoe store in your area:

The Best Kids’ Shoe Stores – Where To Go For Proper Fittings

If you still can’t seem to find a shoe store in your area, then proceed to take a look at an article where I describe exactly how to make sure that your child is wearing the correct shoe size:

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.

Intermittent Pain Top Foot

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

If your child is experiencing foot pain in the top of the foot I will show you a selection of the best shoes for a child with a high instep.

How to Stop Foot Pain – Experiences from Other Parents

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 his feet, but the child kept complaining about pain.

I started by checking his feet and shoes and quickly realized that the shoes weren’t deep 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 feet better. I ended up fitting him in a pair of New Balance shoes that came in extra wide, and that were very deep end.

The child had a high instep and extra wide feet. 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 from now on.

Isn’t it amazing what a difference a shoe can make? Shoes pay a key role in your kids’ lives and they can have a positive,or negative effect depending on what style you choose and how they are fitted.

     How Can you Find Deeper Shoes? – Learn the Secret!                 

The issue with finding deeper shoes is that shoes don’t come labeled as “deep”. I know which styles are deeper than other from actually having fitted them myself.

There is a company that has been consistent in manufacturing deeper shoes, and they make most of my to-go shoe styles for children with a high instep and wide or extra wide feet.

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.

Certain shoe styles are going to be much deeper than others, let me prove it you by showing you the difference between a pair of shoes that provides extra depth versus one that doesn’t. For better visualization purposes there is an orthotic fitted in both of the shoes below . Do you notice how in the New Balance shoe style (image on the right) the orthotic is sitting much deeper than in the Asics shoe style (image on the left)?


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.

The Best Shoes for Kids with High Insteps  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The best shoes for a child who has a high instep are shoes that are deep 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 shoelaces 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.

Please keep in mind that I only review shoe styles that I have fitted before, since that is the only way for me to tell the quality and support that the shoes have to offer, and how they fit.

Below you can find a selection of the best shoes for a child that is experiencing foot pain in the top of the foot and has a high instep. The shoes below will fit a child with medium, wide, or extra wide feet.

Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

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In order to allow for growing room, I highly recommend that parents order this shoe style a 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.

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 a lot of time and money in the long run. Sometimes you may worry that your child has severe foot or leg issues because he/she is complaining about pain, and you end up taking your child to your doctor, when all they really needed was to wear a different shoe style.

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

There are other shoe styles in addition to sneakers that will accommodate the shape of a child’s high instep. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly to my e-mail  if you are having issues finding a particular shoe style to fit your child’s high instep. My e-mail address is:

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? 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 kids feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.

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14 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.

    • What cleats can you recommend for my son who appears to have a high instep, but has narrow feet? He only seems to complain of the pain when he plays baseball and Lacrosse, sports with cleats! Thanks!

  6. Hi. My daughter always complains the top of her feet hurt. But it’s never red. Would a child with painful instep related problems have red, sore feet? Can this cause leg and knee pains too?

    • Hi Cami,

      A child who is suffering from pain in the instep of the foot doesn’t necessarily need to have red marks on the top of the feet. I have noticed red marks on children with high insteps because of the constant rubbing between the child’s instep and the top of the shoes.

      We need to find out why your daughter has pain on the top of her feet. Are her shoes fitting the shape of her feet correctly? Have you tried deeper shoes tin order o accommodate her instep? What is your daughter’s foot width? Does your daughter has a high arch?

      When there is a foot imbalance, the pain can be transferred to the knees, legs, and lower back.

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