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

Shoes For High Instep

If you don’t know what the instep of the foot is, then you can’t possibly be getting your kids’ the right shoe size!

When I tell parents that their child has a high instep, they tend to look at me blankly, as if they have never heard that word before!

I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe for over 6 years now, and we focus on helping children who have foot issues and we do regular fittings as well.

Please REMEMBER this when buying shoes for your kids: Most foot issues are believed to be genetic, but the type of shoes you get for our kids’ will certainly impact their feet for better or for worse!

Let’s start by answering this important question: What is a high instep? The instep is the top portion of the foot between the toes and ankles. If you were told that your child has a high instep, you must find either deeper or wider shoes!

There are 3 main things that need to be taken into consideration when buying children’s shoes!

  • Length of the foot.
  • Width of the foot.
  • Instep of the foot.

Online shopping is becoming more popular every day, and parents are more likely to purchase their kids’ shoes online. However, most parents look at the length of the kid’s foot and purchase shoe sizes accordingly, not knowing that this will hurt their kids feet!

High Instep Shoes

If you don’t take the width or the instep of the foot into consideration, you will get shoes that are too narrow for your kid, which will lead to several foot issues.

Have you ever worn a pair of shoes that were too narrow? Have you ever experienced having your toes cramped inside a shoe? A parent realize when their shoes feel too tight, but there is a large amount of kids that won’t say anything about their shoes feeling too tight, and they will keep on wearing the shoes even though they are too narrow for their feet!

This will lead to several foot issues such as blisters, corns, and calluses!

I will describe the best shoe styles for a child that has high instep and how to make sure you are getting your child the right shoe size!

Wearing Narrow Shoes Causes Harm To Your Kids’ Feet!

If your child has a high instep and they are not wearing shoes that are wide or deep enough for their feet, they will experience discomfort and pain! Keep in mind that a child that has narrow feet can still have a high instep! In this case is important that you find deeper shoes instead of wider ones!

Don’t worry! I have fitted hundreds of children’s feet that have high insteps and I know which shoes are best for them! However, I always recommendthat parents take their children to a local kids’ shoe store that they trust in order to have their kids’ shoes properly fitted!

This post is for parents who DON’T have a local children’s shoe store in their area that they trust!

There are several issues that come with wearing shoes that are too narrow:

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

If your child already has any of the conditions mentioned above, you can read a post I wrote about the several problems that poor fitting shoes can create and the best remedies to get rid of them! The post is called:

Foot Problems From Shoes – The Nasty Bits

Basically, wearing shoes that are too narrow can create all sort of foot problems! 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!

Kids Wearing Rainboots

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

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 when they were kids’!

Does Your Child Has A Wide Or Extra Wide Feet With A High Instep?

Do you feel like you are stressing out way too much over finding the perfect pair of shoes for your kids? If your child has wide feet and a high instep you will have a harder time finding shoes that fit!

Don’t worry! Shoe companies definitely make shoes for kids that have extra wide feet and a high instep! You just don’t know which ones they are!

I will describe these shoes below but remember that if you have a local kids’ shoe store in your area, you must take your kids’ to be fitted for shoes there! I am a firm believer of having your kids’ feet measured at your local children’s shoe store. By local I mean your independent, family owned small business shoe store that you trust!

Always avoid big retailers such as Nordstrom, Stride Rite, or Payless! These places don’t have experienced shoe fitters and you might as well look for the shoes yourself than expect help from them!

I actually wrote a post describing why you must avoid taking your kids to be fitted for shoes at those store here:

The Best Place To Buy Kids Shoes – Avoid Stride Rite, Nordstrom, Payless…

The Best Shoes For Children With High Insteps – Learn The Secret!

There are certain shoes that will fit a child that has a high instep better than others. They key is to find either a shoe that has a deep end (the foot will fit deeper inside the shoe) or a shoe that is wide enough to accommodate for the high instep.

HOWEVER, it all starts by getting the right shoe size!

When looking for new shoes for your kid, ALWAYS make sure that their toes are not cramped or pinching inside the shoe, and that none of their toes are being pushed overlapping the other toes.

Read this post where I describe to parents how to make sure that they are getting the correct shoe size for their kids:

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

The shoe styles I will describe below are the DEEPEST shoes that I have fitted before, and they will allow your child’s feet to sit deeply inside the shoes and accommodate their instep. Here is a selection of the best shoes for kids’ that have high insteps:

These shoe styles 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.

The shoes I described above have the support and structure a child needs to wear them for their everyday activities! I have fitted all these shoes at the children’s shoe store that I work for, and I know what type of support they provide, how they fit, and how well made they are!

How Can I Tell If My Child Has A High Instep?

In the picture below, a child is standing on the instep of the foot of the father.

Shoes Wide Feet 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 part o your child’s foot is high, it means that he or she has a high instep. If you try shoes for your child and he or she complains that they are too tight when there is plenty of width room and length room, it might be that he or she has a high instep and you need a wider or deeper shoe.

Did you know that  children with narrow or skinny feet who have a high instep might require a wider cut shoe? This makes things really complicated  because you want to accommodate for the instep, but you don’t want your kid’s foot to slip around the shoe too much!

I have fitted hundreds of children that have this issue, and I always like to go for a deeper shoe instead of a wider shoe!

Below you can find a selection of the best shoes for kids with skinny feet and high insteps:

All of these shoe styles fit “short”, which means that you need a whole size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.

Sport Shoes For Kids That Have High Insteps!

We went over the best type of everyday shoes for children that have high insteps. But what type of cleat should you get for your child that has a high instep and  plays soccer or baseball?

When children are playing sports, they are putting increased stress their feet and legs! Imagine wearing a cleat that feels too tight on your foot, besides creating all sort of foot problems, your child will not be able to perform at his best!

Wide Cleats For Kids

These type of shoes can be extremely hard to find since cleats tend to fit on the medium to narrow side. I wrote a post about the best soccer and the best baseball cleats for kids’ that come in wide widths and you can find them here!

Believe it or not, these are the ONLY type of cleats that are available in wide widths!

These types of cleats will fit your children with high insteps and allow them to play at their best and have fun on the field! They won’t have to worry about their feet hurting or cleats feeling too tight anymore!

The Best Shoes For Kids’ With High Insteps! Spread The Word!

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!!!

However, the shoes that I described here are especially made to fit a child with wide or extra wide feet and a high instep, or a child that has narrow feet with a high instep.

The problem is that most parents don’t know which shoes these are and have been going to the wrong place to find them!

I have provided you with a list of the best fitting shoes for high insteps and wide feet, and now you are ready to make the most informed decision!

Does your child have a high instep? Have you been having a hard time finding shoes that fit? 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

34 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!

  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!

  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!

  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.

    • Hello Kim,

      Yes, there is a shoe brand called Naturino that comes with a wide toed-box and will fit a child with a high instep. Below you can see how they look:

  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!!

    • Hello Megan,
      Is this the picture you are seeing? Shoes for high isntep

      Those are the actually shoes I recommend for children with high instep. Please let me know if this was what you were referring to. Also keep in mind that certain shoes are available in extra wide widths! I hope this helps!

  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

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