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Foot Pain in the Top of the Foot – Stop Your Kids’ Foot Pain!


Has your child been complaining about foot pain in the top of the foot? 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 irritated, causing an enormous amount of pain? Children who have high insteps are more prone to suffer from pain in the top part of their feet.

The top 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. Take a look at the image below to identify how a high instep looks like. Does the image look familiar?


When a child has a high instep there is a lot of extra foot volume that needs to be fitted inside of the shoes:


The Importance of Fitting Your Child in the Correct Types of Shoes

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 shoes 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 deeper shoes, I refer to shoes that allow the child’s feet to fit deeply inside the shoes and take any pressure away from the top part of the foot.

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

New Balance has been consistent in manufacturing deeper shoes, and they make most of my go-to shoes for children with high insteps and wide or extra wide feet.

What Makes the Shoes I Recommend Effective for High Insteps?

They all provide extra depth. Let me show you the difference between a shoe that provides extra depth versus one that doesn’t. These shoes are the same length and width. Do you notice how the shoe on the right is a lot deeper than the shoe on the left?


I know which shoes are deeper than others as I have been working at a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now, and we specialize in helping children with “complicated” foot shapes as well as foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well.

Before I provide you with a selection of the deepest shoes I have fitted before, I want to make sure that you know your child’s exact foot size.

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

I always recommend parents 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 resource 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

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

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 the most effective way to figure out your child’s foot size from home:

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

In that article I help parents determine their child’s exact foot size and whether the child has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet. I also will be able to tell you whether your child has a high instep or not.

I always recommend shoelaces over 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 shoelaces.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at a selection of shoes for children who are experiencing foot pain in the top of the foot. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

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

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 can fit children with medium (M), wide (W), or extra wide (XW) feet. 

Unsure About What Shoe Size You Should Order?

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

How to Stop Foot Pain – Experiences from Other Parents

I helped a frustrated mother worried that her child kept complaining about pain in the top of her foot. This family took the child to the physical therapist and couldn’t find anything wrong with her feet, but the child kept complaining about pain.

“I started by checking her feet and shoes and quickly realized that the shoes weren’t deep enough for her feet. The top part of her feet (instep) was being pressed by the top part of the shoe. I ended up fitting the child in a pair of New Balance shoes that provided extra depth and it made a big difference. The mother came back two weeks later thanking me since the child’s foot pain was completely gone.”

Isn’t it amazing what a difference a shoe can make? Shoes play 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.

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.

Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

There are other types of shoes in addition to sneakers that can accommodate the shape of a child’s high instep. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly at 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: fittingchildrensshoes@gmail.com

Do you have a child who has been complaining about pain in the top of the 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.

Do You Buy Your Kids’ Shoes Online?

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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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