Editor’s Note: This post has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy on May 2022 and reflects an up-to-date selection of shoes for women with foot pain in the top of the foot.
One of the most common reasons why women experience foot pain in the top of the foot is from having a high instep. Do you feel like every single shoe style that you try rubs against the top of your feet? Finding a pair of shoes to accommodate a high instep can be a frustrating and time-consuming experience if you don’t know what shoe styles to look for.
How Does A High Instep Looks Like? – Let’s Find Out!
Do you know what the instep of the foot is? The instep is the top part of the foot, and when it’s high it can be challenging to find shoes that fit properly.
When women have a high instep there is a lot of extra foot volume that is going to take extra space inside the shoe.
If you have a high instep and you are not wearing wider or deeper shoes for your feet, you will experience pain in the top of your feet and you can also create several foot issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns.
The Complications of Having a High Instep – Foot Pain
Having a high instep means that there will be more pressure on the ball of your foot and the outside edge of your heel. While deeper shoes will take some of the pressure away from the ball of the foot and have your heel sitting deeper and comfortably inside the shoe, sometimes you will notice how you will need a wider shoe as well.
Some of the causes of having a high instep are:
✔️ Normal variant (i.e. some people just have higher insteps)
✔️ Hereditary (i.e. runs in your family)
✔️ Nerve trauma
One of the biggest issues with having a high instep and having a high arched foot at the same time is how the foot is unable to absorb the shock of heel strike during walking and running. This leads to creating more stress on the soft tissues of your foot and your legs.
This is how most women experience foot, knee, or ankle pain.
It’s important to choose shoe styles with good cushioning, depth and arch support that will definitely absorb more shock when you are walking and running, relieving the stress to your feet and knees and keeping your feet healthy.
If you have been experiencing foot pain in the top of the foot, you must start by checking the shoes that you are wearing. There are only a few shoe styles available that will accommodate your high instep, but the good news is that I know which ones these are from having fitted them before.
I am an expert when it comes to fitting women’s shoes since I have been working for a specialized shoe store for the last 10 years. Moreover, I have been helping women find the correct type of shoes and orthotics to reduce or fully eliminate the foot and leg pain that they were having. We specialize in women with foot and leg problems, but provide regular shoe fitting as well. Over the years I became familiar with the best shoes for women with high insteps.
Most people associate having a high instep with having a high arch and it’s important to understand that these are two very different things. While most people that have a high instep do tend to have a high arch, it doesn’t mean that if you have a high instep you will automatically have a high arch.
What Makes the Shoes I Recommend Effective for Women with High Insteps?
There are two key features that the shoes I recommend provide to accommodate your high instep, and most women are not even aware of them.
✅ Extra depth: This feature allows your feet to fit deeply inside the shoes and prevent the top part of your feet from rubbing against the top part of the shoes.
✅ Wider openings: This feature prevents your toes from overlapping each other or rubbing against the side or top of the shoes.
The issue is that shoes don’t come labeled as “extra deep” or with “wider openings” so women have a hard time finding them.
I will show you a selection of these shoes that will significantly reduce or fully eliminate the foot pain in the top of the foot shortly, but I want to make sure that you know your exact foot size first, in case you need to order the shoes online.
Do You Know Your Exact Foot Size and Foot Shape?
If you want to make sure you get your correct shoe size, there are three things you must consider:
☑️ The length of the foot.
☑️ The width of the foot.
☑️ The instep of the foot.
If you are unsure of your foot shape I suggest that you take a look at a different article I wrote where I help women determine their exact foot size from home:
Best Shoe Brands for Women Experiencing Foot Pain in the Top of the Foot
When it comes to women’s shoes, there are 2 shoe brands that you might want to start getting familiar with:
- New Balance
Both of these shoe brands make some of the best fitting shoes for women. They make the deepest shoes that are also available in narrow, medium, wide, and extra wide widths.
There is one particular style made by New Balance that is one of the best shoes for women with a high instep, and if you have wide or extra wide feet, you will notice a difference right away. This shoe style also comes with the roundest toe-box, to make sure that your toes don’t get cramped and squeezed against one another.
Orthofeet is another shoe brand that makes great shoes for women with high insteps. Also available in wide and extra wide widths, these shoes will provide all the features you need such as support, stability, and traction.
Bear in mind that I only review shoe styles that I have fitted before since that is the only way for me to tell how well-made the shoes, the amount of support that they provide, and how they fit.
I know which shoes are deeper and which ones will fit your feet with a high instep from actually having fitted them before. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.
The Best Shoes for Foot Pain in the Top of the Foot ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Below you can find a selection of the best fitting shoes for women who are experiencing foot pain in the top of the foot. All of these shoes are available in different widths so make sure that you order your correct shoe width.
Mary Jane/Casual Shoes
What Shoe Size Should You Order?
Take a look at the description below each shoe to find out what shoe size you should order.
Do you happen to have a child who is complaining about foot pain in the top of the foot? I actually created an article where I describe the best children’s shoes for pain in the top of the foot:
If you have a high instep and you are looking for casual shoes to wear, they must have similar features as the running shoes mentioned above. A good substantial outsole with arch support, good traction, and a firm heel counter.
The 2 most important features that your causal shoes must provide remain extra depth and wider openings. One added feature that your casual shoes must provide for you to feel more comfortable is to have an adjustable strap to hold your foot in place.
Flats and high heels are extremely hard to fit for a woman who has a high instep, since they don’t tend to be deep enough.
The casual shoe style that we want to look for a woman with a high instep is called the Mary Jane style. These will be the styles that will fit the shape of your feet the best, and you can wear them for longer periods of time since they provide support and stability for your feet.
Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you are having a hard time finding a specific shoe to accommodate the shape of your high instep:
I hope that his article has clarified what having a high instep means since most people are not aware of what it is and how it can affect the way your shoes feel. Finding shoes for women with high insteps is not easy, but I have provided you with a selection of the best shoe styles that will fit your high instep perfectly.
⚠️ Please remember that foot and leg pain is never normal, and you should always start by checking the type of shoes that you are wearing before you go visit your foot doctor. Something so simple such as wearing the correct type of shoes will keep your feet and legs healthy.
Have you found a particular shoe style that has reduced or eliminated the pain that you were experiencing in the top part of your feet? Please share your feedback below so other women can benefit from it.