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The Best Shoes for High Instep – Stop Getting the Wrong Shoe Size for Your Child!


Do you have a child with a high instep and all of the shoes that you try on your child’s feet rub against the top of the feet? If you don’t know what the instep of the foot is, then you can’t possibly be getting your child the right shoe size. Finding a pair of shoes for your child with a high instep can be extremely challenging, especially if you don’t know which shoe styles are deeper than others. I have put together a selection of the best shoes for high instep based on my many years of shoe fitting experience.

My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes – Over a Decade of Shoe Fitting Experience!

I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe for over 10 years now, and I have helped hundreds of children with “complicated” foot shapes and high insteps find the perfect pair of shoes for their feet.


How Can You Tell if Your Child Has a High Instep?

Figuring out if your child has a high instep of or not comes with experience. There is no measuring device or way to measure your kids’ instep. Because I have been fitting children’s shoes for so long, I can look at a child’s foot and tell immediately if he or she has a high instep.

Basically, if the top portion of your child’s foot is high, it means that your child has a high instep. If your child always complains that the shoes feel too tight when there is plenty of width room and length room, that’s the first sign that your child might have a high instep.

Let’s take a look at a picture of a child with a high instep. Do you notice how high the top part of this child’s foot is?


As you can see there is a lot of extra foot volume that needs to be fitted inside your kids’ shoes.


There are only certain shoes that can fit a child with a high instep, and I know which ones they are because I have fitted these shoes myself.

What Makes the Shoes I Recommend Ideal for Children with High Insteps?

1️⃣ Extra Deep: 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?


The issue is that shoes don’t come labeled as “extra deep”, so there is no way for you to know which shoes are deeper than others. The good news is that I know which kids’ shoes are deeper than others and I will show them to you shortly.

2️⃣ Oversized Openings: This feature makes it easier for parents and children to get their shoes on and off. Children with high insteps have a hard time slipping into shoes that don’t easily open. You will notice that the shoes I recommend open up widely, which makes it easier for children and parents to get the shoes on and off:


If you don’t provide your child with a high instep with the correct type of shoes, then you can create all sorts of issues with your child’s feet since the top part of your child’s feet will rub against the top of the shoes. This can lead to your child developing blisters, calluses, and corns.

Before I show you a selection of the best shoes for high instep, let’s make sure that you know your child’s exact foot size. You won’t be able to order the correct shoe size online if you don’t know your child’s foot size.

I always recommend that parents take their children to a local kids’ shoe store that they trust to have their kids’ shoes properly fitted. The issue is that most children’s shoe stores have been closing down, and we are left with big retailers that don’t know how to properly fit children’s shoes.

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

That is the reason why I created a resource where you can check if you have a good-fitting children’s shoe store in your area:

The Best Kids’ Shoe Store in the United States – Where to go for Proper Fittings

If after looking at that resource you still can’t find a children’s shoe store in your area, then proceed to take a look at an article I created where I describe the simplest, yet 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. 

Without further ado, let’s take a look at a selection of the best shoes for kids with high instep. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

Best Shoes for High Instep ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The shoe styles I recommend below are the deepest shoes that I have fitted before. These shoes can fit children with medium (M), wide (W) or extra wide feet(XW) and a high instep. 

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.

The shoes I described above have the support and structure a child needs to wear for their everyday activities. I have fitted all of these shoes at the children’s shoe store that I work for and they provide great support but they are lightweight and flexible at the same time.

Did you know that between 75% and 80% of the adult population has experienced some sort of foot problem? Imagine how much lower this number could be if these adults started wearing good fitting-shoes from an early stage.

The following are some of the issues that come with wearing shoes that are too narrow:

  • Bunions
  • Corns
  • Hammer Toe
  • Crossover Toe
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Blisters

Most children like to run around all the time, they are filled with energy, and they like to play rough! Wearing poorly fitted shoes on top of all that activity worsens their foot problems.

Parents should allow their kids to perform their everyday activities without having to worry about their kids’ shoes feeling too tight.

Additional Resources for Children Who Have High Insteps!

We went over the best type of everyday shoes for children that have high insteps, but what about seasonal shoes and dress shoes? Are any specific sports shoes for children with high insteps?

If your child is involved in sports and has a high instep, it can make it very hard to find shoes that fit. Most sport shoes are extremely shallow and they don’t accommodate high insteps.

When children are playing sports, they are stressing their feet and legs at a whole different level. If you provide your child with a cleat that is too tight, you will be creating all sorts of foot problems and your child won’t be able to perform at his/her best.

I believe that you might find the following articles helpful:

Best Sandals for Kids with High Insteps – Deep, Supportive, Waterproof, and Durable!

Best Dress Shoes for Kids with High Insteps – Stylish, Comfortable, and Extra Deep!

Best Snow Boots for Kids with High Insteps – Extra Deep, Waterproof, and Insulated!

Best Soccer Cleats for Kids with High Instep – Extra Deep to Prevent Foot Issues!

I have spoken with several parents who have kids with wide feet and a high instep, and they have told me that finding shoes for their kids that fit properly can be a nightmare!

I have provided you with a list of the best-fitting shoes for high instep and wide feet, and now you are ready to make a better and more informed decision.

Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

Do not hesitate to contact me directly at my e-mail if you have any further questions or if you need a different pair of shoes for your child’s high instep. My e-mail address is: fittingchildrensshoes@gmail.com

Have you found a particular shoe style that has worked well for your child with a high instep? Please share your experiences below so other parents can 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?

Subscribe and get my personalized shoe size chart for free to help you find what size to order online.

Shoe Sizing Chart

80 Comments on The Best Shoes for High Instep – Stop Getting the Wrong Shoe Size for Your Child!

  1. Ohhh, the painful memories of wearing the wrong size shoes when I was a kid and dying to get them off my feet. Wished my parents had spent some time making sure I was fitted right, maybe it was just the way things were done back then. After reading your page, I am sure I had a high instep as a child. Hopefully parents will be aware of this and take the necessary steps to buy the right size shoe. Thanks!

    • Dan,

      Now that you know the importance of well fitted shoes, you can hopefully pass it on to your children. Most parents ignore or don’t even know what a high instep is. Now that you know, spread the word!

    • Thanks sooo much for this article. My little girl had sores all over the top of her feet for the longest time and I didn’t know why. The doctor was worried about it – and I bought like 10 different pairs at one time in desperation. She doesn’t get sores anymore – we found and use your guide to pick shoes. Thank you thank you!

  2. My daughter has a very high instep and it always takes forever to find her shoes that fit. She always complains about her shoes feeling tight even though she doesn’t have wide feet. Now I get why she kept complaining. Thanks for the review, I order her two pair of the shoes you recommend to see which one she likes. Thanks man!

    • Keith,

      You will see how much better the shoes will fit her and hopefully she will stop complaining about her shoes feeling too tight! Just please make sure they are the correct shoe size!

      • Hi Great article.My daughter has a really high instep which most shops do not cater for…Trainers are not too hard to get yet we always struggle with school shoes…Any suggestions please ?

        • Hi Helen,

          I am assuming your daughter needs to wear an all black shoe for school. You didn’t specify whether she needs a Mary Jane or a different style, but below you can find the 2 most effective back to school shoes for kids with high insteps:

          Option 1

          Option 2 I am not sure if she can wear this type of shoes to school.

          Option 3

          I hope this helps.

  3. Hey,

    Such a great article! I just bought new shoes for my 3 year old daughter for tennis ( I got her some tennis shoes) and the shoe shop measured her feet. I was shocked! For 6 months she was wearing shoes too small for her and she didn’t even complain!

    Flat fee run in our family, my wife has flat feet but it hasn’t seemed to affected her like it’s affected me, now my little daughters ankles are starting to role in like mine did when I was young. I asked the shoe shop for runners with higher arch support for my daughter and he said they don’t make them at this age as they believe it can be bad for the childs feet as they’re still forming.

    Do you know if this is indeed true? Do you know anything about flat feet and what I should be doing for my daughter?



    • Emrah,

      Good thing you took her to have her feet properly measured, otherwise you would have never found out! They do make good shoes at this age, maybe not as supportive as for when they are older, but there are definitely more supportive shoes than others. Read this post I wrote where I described the best shoes for flat feet! The post is called: Foot Pain In The Bottom Of The Foot – Stop Your Child’s Foot Pain!

      Start by trying a pair of good supportive shoes for her and then see if she starts walking better. If you don’t see any improvememnts, you should consider getting your daughter a pair of orthotics with her shoes.

  4. Hi Juan
    I am very happy I have found your website. It is full of very valuable information and I can learn a lot from you.
    Like in this post – I must admit it is the first time I hear about instep and its importance when fitting shoes. My boy has very wide feet but I have no idea about the instep of the foot. I will check it right away to make sure his shoes aren’t narrow. He is 8 years and I just hope this knowledge hasn’t come too late to me.

    • The good news is that he hasn’t been complaining about his shoes, but again, most boys don’t speak up when something doesn’t feel “right” as it should be. Most parents don’t even know what the instep of the foot is, but a shoe fitter will be able to tell you what type of shoes will fit the shape of your son’s feet the best! Please let me know anytime you have any specific questions!

    • My son has my high instep. I can’t for the life of me find any sandals that offer proper support and hit his instep. Any suggestions?

  5. Hi there,

    Thank you for such a great post! I usually have a hard time buying my children’s shoes because they complain whenever they are tight or hurting ahead, or behind, or up, etc.

    My daughter has a high instep, but I never thought of buying deeper shoes, rather than wider shoes! But I chose one of the ones you recommend, to see if she feels more comfortable!

    I went over your website and you give awesome tips for choosing the right shoes for the kids.

    Thank you so much!


    • Alex,

      I am quite confident that your child will feel a difference if you chose one of the shoes I described. They are much deeper than regular shoes so this guarantees that the top of her foot will not be rubbing against the top of the shoe. Let me know how it works out or if you have any other questions!

  6. I can’t find anywhere where you actually explain how to measure if your child has a high instep. You have a title that says “How can I tell if my child has a high instep?” but no actual information on how to tell if your child has a high instep, just recommendations for products…..

    • Susan,

      I explain in the post that there is NO way to actually measure the instep of the foot.There is not a measuring device that will tell you whether you have a high instep or not, I can tell because I have been fitting children shoes for over 7 years. I will try to incorporate pictures in the future to see if I can explain it better.

      The products I recommend are specific shoes that will work for a child that has a high instep, since they are wider and deeper shoes. You make it sound like I am recommending products that are not related to my post. I have written almost 150 posts which are filled with valuable information when it comes to caring for our kids’ feet and legs, so please don’t make it sound that I am just recommending products.

      The only way to tell whether your child has a high instep or not is to take him or her to your local kids’ shoe store, where a experienced shoe fitter will be able to asses his or her feet. I will try to incorporate pictures to see if I can make my point clearer. Thank you for stopping by.

  7. I don’t see any shoes — photos or names — where you say “… Here’s a selection … ”

    Where can I see your recommendations?

  8. Do you have any recommendations for flats for a little girl who has both a wide foot and a high instep, i.e., something other than tennis shoes. She is 8 years old.

  9. My daughter has wide feet and a high instep and we’ve always gotten her wide shoes, but never knew there were also “deeper” options. This makes so much sense. However, all of the shoe recommendations you make are covered by ads and I cannot see any. Could you send them to me via email or tell me how to better access your recommendations? Thank you!!

  10. This was a great post, thank you! I, myself, have a high instep with a narrow foot growing up. My four-year-old son also has a high instep but with a wide foot. Finding shoes that properly fit him has been difficult. Unfortunately, I do not have a locally owned children’s shoe store nearby to have his feet measured, but I try to do my best at home. When I do take him to places to get his shoe size measured, the clerks typically do not even measure his foot width and he ends up with shoes that are too tight width-wise. My question to you is, how should I measure my son’s foot to find whether it should be a W (wide) or XW (extra-wide) shoe width? Thanks!!

    • It’s hard to find the correct shoe size for a child when you don’t have a local shoe store that you trust. I am just wondering, what type of device do you use to measure your kids’ feet at home? At the children’s shoe store that I work for we use the Brannock Device, which is the most used measuring tool. I wrote a post where I explain how to get the correct shoe size in more detail and you can find it here:

      How Can I Make Sure My Kids’ Shoes Fit? – Learn The Secret Here!

      In order to get the correct shoe width, you must use the Brannock Device, but keep in mind that even after you find your child’s correct shoe width, you must take into account the instep. Your child might measure a wide width, but if he/she has a high instep, you might need an extra wide shoe to accommodate for the instep. I hope this clarifies!

  11. Thank you so much for your prompt reply. I truly appreciate it. I use a Brannock Junior device to measure my son’s feet at home. The model I use is an older version with a slide-out width tool. His foot length measures size 10.5, but his “arch length” is at size 11. So, then I align the arrows on the width slide to the 11 and his foot comes to the ‘E’ width measurement for that size. This is the largest width shown on the device, but what I am unsure of is whether this means that he has a W or XW shoe width. Any advice you can give will be appreciated. Thank you, again!

  12. My 16 month old has a high instep making it impossible to find good early walking shoes for the winter. Trying to find something to keep him warm and dry but able to run around in (not just for the snow). Any suggestions?

    • Hello Judy,

      Are you looking for a waterproof shoe that your child can use to walk and run around? A shoe that will keep him warm but at the same time a shoe that is lightweight and flexible? There is one shoe style by See Kai RUn that I have fitted before and it fits great for children with high instep. The shoe opens nice and wide to make it easy for your child to slide his foot in. You can find that shoe here:

      Waterproof Shoes for Kids with High Instep

      I hope this helps!

      • Hi Juan! Thanks for you advice. We ordered the shoes and were so excited to try these on my son. We saw that the shoe ran a little small so ordered two shoes to try – one half size and one whole size up. We got the whole size up shoe on my son and almost claimed victory but then he kept trying to tug the shoe off and would not even give it a lap around the room. He seemed uncomfortable. Any other ideas? Ironically he can get the Hunter boots on and walk around with them like a pro, but we just don’t think they will be warm enough for a cold winter day even with the boot sock. Thoughts? Thanks in advance!

        • Hello Judy,

          Did you order the correct shoe width for your child? Which shoe style did you try? Does your child has wide o extra wide feet? Please get back at me with the specifics so I can give yo a better response.

  13. This is so wonderful. I have a high instep and so do both my 4 year old and 10m old. I’ve always accommodated the 4 year old by only buying wide. Thank you for the tips!

    Any tips for a soft soled shoe for my 10 month old? She is beginning to take steps and I need something for her for outside. If I remember, the robeez still made marks on my son when he was little.

  14. Hello,
    Thank you so much for this helpful site!
    Is there another non-tennis shoe for high instep you can recommend besides Naturino shoes? I am looking for my 7 year old daughter.

    • Hello Kristen,

      In this article the shoes I describe for children with high instep are Saucony and New Balance,not Naturino.

      New Balance and Saucony tend to make the deepest shoes, which allow children’s feet to sit deeply and comfortably inside the shoes.

      I hope this clarifies!

    • Hello Kristen,

      I need some extra information before I provide you with a selection of shoes that are deep.Is your daughter already walking or is she still learning how to walk? The reason why I ask is that if she is fully walking then the shoes I will recommend will be different than the shoes I would recommend if she is learning how to walk.

  15. Hi Juan,
    My son is almost 9 years old. Ive always had a hard time finding him shoes that fit well. He has extra wide feet and a high instep. For tennis shoes I buy him new balance which seem to be a good choice as long as I get a whole size larger. But I have a hard time finding shoes for winter. He is in scouting and needs boots that are good for cold wet weather but also hiking. What would you recommend? I would appreciate any help. Thank you

    • Hello Jessica,

      It’s always hard to find seasonal footwear for children with extra wide feet. Please always provide me with your child shoe size when you are looking for shoes, since it allows me to send you specific recommendations. I am thinking to provide your child with a hiking boot that is waterproof and insulated to protect him form the cold. Please find below my recommendations:

      Hiking Boot for extra wide feet: Option 1

      Hiking Boot for extra wide feet: Option 2

      Choose the wide width “W” option when selecting his size.

      I hope this helps!

  16. My son just turned 8. He has extra wide feet with a high instep. He lives in his crocs during the summer, which I don’t think are very supportive, but it is the only shoe he does not complain about. I am having a hard time finding something for the winter months. We live in VA, where the weather is usually pretty mild, but I would like a little water resistance for rainy days. We bought some New Balance last year, which he wore for less than 3 months before proclaiming them too small. The New Balance shoes in your list for Wide Feet High Instep were $100. This is too much money for my budget. I am looking for something under $50. Any recommendations. I am an Amazon junkie, so any options on there would be wonderful. Thank you for your time.
    PS: If you are going to require a captia code to post, it should at least have an audible option for those who have visual disabilities.

    • Hi Cheryl,

      Crocs are only meant to be worn for couple of hours a day, since like you mentioned in your comment, they provide no support or stability.

      That particular shoe style that you mention for $100 dollars is for older kids, and that’s the reason why you see such a big price increase. The other shoe styles that I recommend are in the $50 range. For example, for little kids I recommend the 680V5, and you can also find that shoe style in your son’s size for a lower price. I actually find that shoe style in Amazon for $35. I hope that helps.

      Shoe for Boy with Extra Wide Feet and High Instep
      As far as a shoe for the winter months concerns, you can find my recommendations below:

      Waterproof Hiking Boot for Extra Wide Feet: Option 1

      Waterproof Hiking Boot for Extra Wide Feet: Option 2

      Most websites have captia code to prevent spam comments. I will look into the audible option, thank you.

  17. Hello! Can you recommend wellingtons for my son in the UK? He has wide, thick feet and a high instep. He is EU size 24 or UK KIDS 7. He only currently has one pair of shoes that fits ok enough, it’s a Nike pair that is mostly stretch mesh with velcro. He also has thick ankles and thick legs. Thanks so much for your help, I’m getting desperate!

  18. We are from England and i have been struggling to get shoes to fit my 3 year old son, he has a high intstep and it has been such a challenge. Thank you for providing this information, it has helped a lot.

  19. Do you have any recommendations for water shoes that are both wide and have a high instep? We have been able to find sneakers through a local kids shoe store that was able to fit him properly but I am struggling to find closed toe water shoes.

  20. I always have the hardest time getting my son’s shoes on and now I know why. I never though the top part of the foot could bring so many problems as all of the shoes my son wears leave red marks on the top of his feet. Why do you only recommend New Balance sneakers? What about Saucony? I noticed Saucony shoes are also available in wides and extra wide widths.

    • Hi Brendaliz,

      Good question. Even though Saucony does manufacture shoes in wide and extra wide widths their shoes are not as deep as the New Balance ones I recommend. When a child has a high instep the depth of the shoe makes all of the difference. I wish there were more options I could recommend.

  21. What summer shoes do you recommend for a boy with a high instep? I can’t seem to find a single pair of sandals that are deep enough for his feet. I need a sandal that is durable and supportive as he loves be in sandals all day when it’s hot outside.

  22. Hello Juan!

    Your recommendations came at the perfect time! My daughter has a high instep and every of the shoes I buy for her rub against the top of her feet and it really hurts her a lot. The shoes usually leave red marks on her feet whenever i pull them from her feet. 

    I will try the New Balance 680V5 style and follow up with you via email to let you know if they work for her feet.

    • Make sure you choose the correct shoe width. If she has wide feet order the wide width (W) and if she has extra wide feet order the extra wide width (XW).

      Good luck and keep me posted.

  23. Hello Juan

    We just recently had our 5yr old sons feet measured at a New Balance store and we were told one foot is a size 12 and one foot is an 11.5. He has wide feet, with a high arch and also a wide heel. It’s been difficult finding shoes that fit him comfortably and that are easy for him to get on himself (he needs velcro closure as he can’t figure out laces yet) We purchased a pair of New Balance sneakers in wide for him but would love other suggestions that may be a good fit to try. Stride Rite? Saucony?

  24. Good information. Not much of a list. Every single shoe on your “list” is New Balance. There really isn’t any other brand you can promote?

  25. Great article! I just realized our little lady has a high instep and the links to the shoes is very helpful!

    You don’t by any chance know the best ballet slippers for a 2 year old with a high instep do you? I can’t get her foot into any of them!

  26. My son kept complaining that his feet hurt so I took him to the pediatrician. They didn’t find anything wrong with his feet as he has a healthy arch and a good stride. The pediatrician recommended to maybe switch the shoes and that’s when I found your website. 

    It turns out that my child has a very high instep and that was causing his foot pain. I ordered a pair of the New Balance shoes you recommend and he stopped complaining about pain. I will be sharing this with friends. Thank you so much. 

  27. Hi Juan,
    Do you have any recommendations for boys school shoes and school trainers (all black) with high instep please? One of my boys has normal width feet and one with extra wide feet, but both have high instep. Everyday they are complaining the shoes hurt their feet, but I am so struggling to find anything and we don’t have any children’s shoe shop around! Thank you so much in advance!

  28. Hello and thank you for this article! Are there any slip on sneakers (similar to Vans) that you can recommend for an older boy (10y) with regular width but high instep due to very high arches? He has autism and loves his Crocs so the easier to put on the better. Thanks!

  29. Bless you for this! My 9yr old son has extra wide feet with a high instep. Every shoe I’ve tried has failed. I just ordered the new balance ones you recommended and I’m crossing my fingers for a win!

  30. This is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this all! My son is 5 and we have had THE HARDEST time finding any/all kinds of footwear for him since birth. Thank you so incredibly much for sharing this all!
    He is the ring bearer in his Aunty and Uncle’s wedding this summer so would you happen to have any recommendations for a dress shoe for him? He’s in a size 2 We are from Canada 🙂 Cheers and thanks again so much!

    • Hello Chelsea —

      I am glad you found the website informative! I am not exactly sure which shoe brands are available in Canada but below you can find some recommendations that might be wide and deep enough for your son’s feet:

      Option 1

      Option 2

      I also suggest looking at shoe brands like Hush Puppies which manufactures dress shoes in wide and extra wide widths.

      I hope this helps.

  31. This is amazing! I never knew the terminology. I’d often explain that she had thick feet to shoe store workers and we could never find anything 🙁 We have found some sandals this summer just by trying on every single option until we found one that worked, but now it’s getting colder and I’m very concerned I won’t be able to find something for her feet for the fall and winter months. Do you have a recommendation for toddler size 6 in a fall and winter shoe? We unfortunately don’t have any of the “good” stores with a lot of toddler options near us, so I have to order.

    • Hello Ashley,

      I am glad that you found the article informative! I am happy to recommend a winter shoe for your daughter but first I need to know whether your daughter has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet. The reason I need to know this is that children with narrow feet can still have high insteps.

  32. We live in winter boots for a good 3+ months and gumboots for 3+ month. Gumboots are a bit easier, but winter boots are so hard to find a good fit with. My daughter has wide feet with a high arch and is wearing about an 11T. Winter Boggs work for my son (with wide feet) but even when I size up for her, the arch isn’t high enough. Any suggestions would be so helpful!

  33. Hi! Our niece has a very high instep and H width feet. Mum and Dad are finding it very hard to find any wet weather wellies or other suitable alternative such as a boot for her. Size 4.5 UK child. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated please.

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