The Best Back to School Shoes for Narrow Feet – The Top 4 Choices!

Are you having a hard time finding a pair of narrow school shoes for your child? Do you feel like you try on a whole bunch of different shoes and always end up empty-handed? Many busy parents report feeling exasperated and discouraged when shoe-shopping for their kids with narrow feet. I want to make things easier for you by showing you a list of the best back to school shoes for narrow feet.

Pro Tip: If you’re pressed for time, you can go straight to the selection of the best back to school shoes for narrow feet.

The Challenges of Finding Narrow Back to School Shoes for Kids

Parents seem to have one question in common: Why is it so hard to find well-fitting shoes for children with narrow feet? Most shoe companies stopped manufacturing school shoes in narrow widths, which makes it extremely hard for parents to find shoes that fit.

Finding a pair of narrow school shoes for children can be a frustrating and time-consuming experience if you don’t know which shoe brands to look for.  In addition to addressing schools’ style requirements, for example, specific colors or a non-marking outsole, parents are faced with the added challenge of finding shoes that fit the shape of their kids’ narrow feet.

When children with narrow feet wear a pair of shoes that are too wide, they are likely to suffer from blisters, calluses, and corns. The constant friction due to excess movement inside the shoe often leads to these painful ailments.

The good news is that there are still a few shoe companies that manufacture shoes in true narrow widths, and I am confident that their shoes will fit the shape of your child’s narrow feet perfectly, as I have fitted their shoes before.

Leveraging My Experience Every Back-to-School Season

For the last decade, every start of the school year, I have dedicated myself to helping parents find the perfect pair of shoes for their children online and explaining the key role that shoes play in keeping their kids’ feet healthy. I have become familiar with the best shoe brands for children with narrow feet and the best styles among those brands.

There are 4 particular shoes that I am confident will fit the shape of your kids’ narrow feet because I have fitted some of the narrowest feet in these shoes before, and I will show them to you shortly.

What Makes the Shoes I Recommend Effective for Narrow Feet?

The shoes come with a very narrow heel counter compared to most school shoes. The heel counter is the back part of the shoes that provides ankle support.  When children have narrow feet, there is usually a lot of extra space around this area, leading to foot problems.

The shoe styles I will describe below come with a very narrow heel and a pointier rather than round toe-box, fitting the shape of your child’s narrow feet more snugly.

Take a look at the picture below. Do you notice how much narrower the heel counter of the shoe on the right is compared to the shoe on the left? This narrow counter will prevent your children’s heels from moving up and down every time they walk or run.

The heel counter is one of the most important features that a shoe style must provide to fit the shape of a child with narrow feet. However, you can also see how the shoe on the right also has a narrower toe-box compared to the shoe on the left.

Now let’s compare a narrow pair of Mary Jane back to school shoes versus a wider pair.

Before I provide you with a selection of the best back to school shoes for narrow feet, I want to first show you what features these shoe styles will provide to your child’s feet.

Back to School Shoes – The 5 Most Important Features!

In addition to fitting the shape of your child’s narrow feet perfectly, the shoes I recommend provide the following features:

1️⃣ Substantial Rubber Outsoles: This feature minimizes the impact on your kids’ feet and legs. The outsoles of the shoes I recommend are resistant, which helps minimize the chances of your child falling, especially when walking on wet, slippery surfaces. Take a look at the picture below for clarification:

2️⃣ Firm Heel Counters: This is the part of the shoe that provides ankle support, and the firmer it is, the better.

Let me show you the difference between a soft and a firm heel counter. The first shoe style provides a firm heel counter. When I press on the heel it feels firm and doesn’t bend.

The second image shows a shoe with a soft heel counter:

3️⃣ Durable: Did you know that on average children wear their school shoes for over 1500 hours per year jumping, kicking and running around on multiple surfaces? In addition to providing arch and ankle support, it’s important that shoes provide durability as well. These shoes are made to last, since they come with a perpetual rubber outsole and a full grain leather upper. Therefore, your children will typically outgrow the shoes before wearing them out.

4️⃣ Lightweight and Flexible: The shoes must be supportive, but lightweight and flexible at the same time to prevent your kids’ feet from easily getting tired.

5️⃣ Breathable: This feature helps prevent the buildup of bacteria inside your kids’ shoes. Breathable shoes also prevent your kids’ shoes from getting too smelly.

I am always emphasizing to parents that it doesn’t matter how many features a particular shoe style provides — if the shoes are not fitted properly, your child won’t get any of the benefits that  they have to offer.

How to Order the Correct Shoe Size Online?

Before you buy a pair of shoes for your kids online, you must be 100% sure that you know their exact foot size. To assist parents in determining their kids’ shoe size at home effectively and with ease, I created an article on this important matter.

In that article I help parents determine their child’s exact foot length 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.


Please make sure that your children are always wearing the correct shoe size to prevent painful foot problems and injury.  In addition, ordering incorrectly sized shoes often leads to additional expenses for families as they need to replace the shoes prematurely.

I only review shoes that I have fitted before, since that is the only way for me to tell how well-made and supportive they are, and how they fit.

Below you can find a selection of the best back to school shoes for narrow feet. Disclosure: Some links in this post may be affiliate links and we may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) when you click our links and make purchases. This allows us to create free content and resources for many families around the world. 

The Best Back to School Shoes for Narrow 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 foot size to provide the correct amount of growing room.

Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

If none of these shoes are available in your child’s shoe size or if you need the shoes to be made of a specific color don’t hesitate to email me at:

[email protected]

Please keep in mind that I always recommend shoelaces instead of velcro closure when it comes to fitting a child with narrow feet. The shoelaces will “hug” your kids’ feet better and provide your children with more support and stability. In addition, providing your child with a pair of shoes with shoelaces will minimize any extra space around your kids’ heels, since the shoelaces will push your child’s feet back, securing them against the back of the shoe.

In addition, shoes that come with double velcro emulate a shoe style with shoelaces, since the double velcro strap will push your kids’ heel back and secure them against the back of the shoes.

Now that you know which are the best back to school shoes for narrow feet, you are ready to make the most informed decision.

Tongue Pads – Increase the Chances of the Shoes Fitting Your Child’s Narrow Feet

Fitting a pair of tongue pads inside your children’s shoes can highly increase the chances of the shoes fitting the shape of your child’s narrow feet.

A tongue pad is a self-adhesive backed pad that goes in the tongue of the shoes and works in all enclosed shoes.

Tongue pads are extremely effective, especially for children with narrow feet, since they push the heels back, protecting and securing them against the back of the shoes. This will fill any remaining gap inside the shoes and prevent your child’s heels from moving up and down.

You can view a selection of the best tongue pads and learn how to fit them inside shoes in this article:

Prevent your children from developing blisters and corns by providing them with shoes that fit properly. Remember that shoes that are too wide will make your child’s feet move too much inside the shoes, and that constant friction often causes a variety of painful foot ailments.

What Are the Best Sneakers for Children with Narrow Feet?

I created a different resource that showcases the best sneakers for children with narrow feet.

Have you tried either of the two shoe styles that I recommend? Is there another school shoe style that you can recommend for children with narrow feet? Please share your thoughts below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.