Do you have wide feet with a high instep and have the hardest time finding comfortable running shoes? Do you feel like all of the running shoes that you try pinch your toes and put too much pressure on the top part of your feet? The top part of the foot is called the instep, and this is where the instep of the foot is located:
Here is another image of a woman’s foot with a high instep. Do you notice how there is a lot of extra foot volume that needs to be fitted inside of the shoes?
Women with wide feet and high insteps have the hardest time finding a comfortable pair of running shoes that doesn’t put too much pressure on their feet and toes. I know this because I get contacted by them daily. After having worked for a specialized women’s shoe store for many years, I now dedicate myself to helping women with “complicated” foot shapes (wide, extra wide, high instep) find the perfect pair of shoes for their feet.
I have helped hundreds of women with wide feet and high insteps find the perfect pair of shoes for their feet, and I believe I will be able to help you too!
First Things First – Are Your Feet Wide or Extra Wide?
Some women believe that they have wide feet when in fact they might have extra wide feet. For example, below is an image of a woman with wide feet:
Below you can find an image that looks similar to the one above but in this case the woman has extra wide feet:
It’s important to distinguish whether you have wide or extra wide feet to determine what shoes might work best for your feet. In addition, women with wide feet also face one additional challenge which is how their feet swell during a long run. This means that the shoes need to be made of mesh upper material that stretches to adjust comfortably to their feet.
If you are unsure of your exact foot shape I suggest that you take a look at this resource:
What Are My Go-To Shoe Brands for Women with Wide Feet and High Insteps?
My favorite shoe brands for women with wide feet and high insteps are:
- New Balance
Keep in mind that not all shoes made by these 3 shoe brands work well for women with wide feet and high insteps. There are only a few shoe styles among each of these shoe brands that do.
What Makes the Running Shoes I Recommend Ideal for Wide Feet and High Insteps?
1️⃣ Extra Depth
This feature allows your feet to fit deeply inside your running shoes and prevents the top of your feet (instep) and toes from rubbing against the top part of the shoes. Take a look at the image below for better visualization purposes.
Most women’s running shoes don’t come labeled as “extra deep”, so the only way to tell if a shoe provides extra depth or not is by having tried them or fitted them before.
2️⃣ Round Toe-Boxes
Your running shoes must come with a round toe-box to prevent your toes from overlapping and rubbing against each other or the side of the shoes, since this might lead to blisters, calluses, corns, ingrown toenails, and bunions.
3️⃣ Wide and Extra Wide Widths
All of the running shoes that I recommend are available in wide and extra wide widths. Below you can find a set of guidelines for women’s shoes:
- D: Wide
- 2E: Extra Wide (X-Wide)
- 4E: Extra Extra Wide (XX-Wide)
Do You Have a Specialized Shoe Store or Prefer to Shop Online?
It’s always advisable to visit your local shoe store to get a proper shoe fitting so you can try some different models to make sure you end up with a suitable shoe for your foot strike and foot shape. However, if you don’t have a local shoe store close by or simply prefer to buy online be assured that all of the running shoes I recommend are capable of fitting wide feet with high insteps.
You will notice that the list I have put together of the best running shoes for women with wide feet and high insteps is New Balance-heavy, as this shoe brand consistently offers the most diverse options in the wide segment. It’s a fact that New Balance tops the list of brands that specialize in wide feet.
Best Running Shoes for Women with Wide Feet and High Insteps
Take a look at the description below each running shoe to find out what additional features the shoe provides, the materials the shoes are made of, and the size you should order. Disclosure: We may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.
Keep in mind that everyone’s feet are different, and what might work well for some women with wide feet and high insteps might not work as well for others.
Are Any Other Running Shoe Choices Available?
Do not hesitate to contact me via the comment section below or at my email if you are unsure about which specific running shoe will work best for your wide feet and high instep:
Is Having High Arches the Same as Having High Insteps?
No, the arches and the insteps are unrelated. While most women with high arches also tend to have high insteps, I have seen women with flat feet who have high insteps. The image below might help you better visualize the difference between a high arch and a high instep:
Additional Features that the Running Shoes I Recommend Provide
1️⃣ Shock Absorption and Supportive Outsoles
Your running shoes should provide supportive outsoles with extra padding and a rigid stricture to provide constant support for the whole foot. Take a look at the image below for better visualization purposes. Do you notice how the running shoe on the right has a more supportive outsole compared to the shoe on the left?
You will notice that the running shoes that I recommend provide targeted cushion and support right below the heels and ankles:
2️⃣ Firm Heel Counters with Good Ankle and Heel Support
Running shoes that provide firm heel counters can help prevent some of the twisting motion if your ankles are supinated or pronated. Always press on the heel counter of the shoe and make sure that it feels firm. Do you notice how the shoe on the right has extra cushion and padding right below the heel area?
3️⃣ Correct Amount of Flexibility
Your running shoes should bend at the ball of the foot but no further. If you can flex your running shoes as a spiral then I suggest moving onto the next shoe.
Do You Have a “Complicated” Foot Shape or Foot Condition?
I created several resources for women who have “complicated” foot shapes or foot conditions that make it more challenging to find running shoes that fit:
If you have developed bunions, there are some additional factors to consider when embarking on a search for the perfect running shoes:
Women with high arches tend to put extra pressure on the outer part of their feet so it’s important to wear running shoes with firm heel counters:
If you have stability issues certain running shoes will help keep you more stable while running:
Let me know in the comments section below if you have a favorite shoe brand or shoe style that has worked well for your wide feet and high insteps.