Stylish Shoes for Women with High Instep – Extra Deep and Comfortable for Your Tall Feet!


Editor’s Note: This post has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy on May 2022 and reflects an up-to-date selection of stylish shoes for women with high instep.

Are you having a hard time finding a pair of stylish shoes to accommodate your high instep? Women with high insteps are limited to only wearing certain shoes, and as far as stylish shoes are concerned, they may have to redefine what they consider “stylish.” However, I have put together a list of the best stylish shoes for women with high instep, and I will show you these shoes shorty.

Some women refer to their high instep as having “tall feet”. Simply put, the instep is the top part of your feet, and when it’s “tall” or “high”, it makes it a lot more challenging to find shoes that fit.


Some women with high insteps literally cannot even get their feet inside the shoes most of the time. They feel like it’s Cinderella’s stepsister the one fitting the shoes! All jokes aside, you are not alone! There are several other women out there with high insteps who struggle to find shoes that they like and feel comfortable at the same time.

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

In previous posts, some women told me how the shoes I recommend are so ugly that they look like “punishments”. The issue is that there are not many options of stylish shoes that can accommodate a high instep, and I don’t want to waste your time and money buying shoes that won’t fit your high instep. Just so you know, I have been working a lot behind the scenes putting together a selection of shoes that are functional and stylish at the same time.

What Makes the Shoes I Recommend Effective for High Insteps?

All of the shoes I recommend provide extra depth, which is going to allow 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.


You will notice that some of the shoes I recommend come with a buckle strap while some of them come with velcro closure. Several women have told me how shoes with buckle straps tend to work a lot better compared to shoes with velcro closure.

Can Women with Narrow or Wide Feet Have High Insteps?

Some women have narrow feet and high insteps, while some others have extra wide feet and high insteps, which makes it a lot more challenging to find shoes that fit. It’s important to note that having a high arch doesn’t automatically mean that you have a high instep.

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.

Are You 100% Sure that you Know Your Foot Size?

Before I show you a selection of the best stylish shoes for women with high instep I want to make sure that you know your exact foot length and shape. You won’t be able to order the correct shoe size online if you don’t know what your exact foot length and shape is to begin with.

Do you know whether you have narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet? Do you know whether you have a high instep or not? These are all factors that determine what shoe brands and shoe styles you can wear.

Most women always buy the same shoe size simply because that’s the shoe size that they have worn for years. Did you know that just because you have worn a certain size for most of your life that doesn’t mean that your foot size has not changed? As we age the body’s ligaments and tendons lose their strength and ability to spring back, which means that our arches decrease, which flattens and lengthens the foot and toes. This often results in an increase in shoe size by a half-size or more.

Since most specialized shoe stores are closed now I came up with a system that helps women determine their exact foot size and shape from home:

How to Measure Your Foot Shoe Size – The Most Simple and Effective Way!

Now that you know your exact foot size, let’s take a look at the best stylish shoes for women with high instep. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

Stylish Shoes for Women with High Instep ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

How effective these shoes will be in accommodating your specific foot shape directly depends on individual foot anatomy. With that said, these shoes have worked for hundreds of women with high insteps, and hopefully they will work for you as well.

What Shoe Size Should You Order?

Take a look at the description below the shoes that I recommended to find out what shoe size you should order.

If you are looking for a pair of sneakers to accommodate your high instep I suggest that you take a look at the article below:

Extra Depth Sneakers for Women – Best Sneakers for Women with High Insteps and Foot Conditions!

Are Any Other Shoe Styles Available?

Do not hesitate to contact me if you are having trouble finding a different pair of shoes to accommodate your high instep. I will do my best to help you find it: 

Have you found a specific stylish shoe brand or style that has worked well in accommodating your high instep? Let us know your feedback in the comment section below so other women can benefit from your experiences.


Do You Buy Your Shoes Online?

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

Shoe Sizing Chart


  1. Help . all these shoes look like grandma shoes. I am so tired of trying shoes. Is somebody making decent shoes for people with issues.

  2. I agree that these are pure granny shoes. I’m looking for clogs – like Dansko – to fit my high instep. If it’s wide in the front, that’s fine, but I also have a narrow heel.

  3. Hello! I have a puzzle for you if you would oblige me. 🙂

    I have wide feet that are getting wider with middle age and a connective tisssue disorder, a high instep prone to swelling, and a narrow (or at least average) heel. I need strong but not hard arch support (a decent height on the arch but softness to the cushion) and some cushioning all over (in some shoes I am fine with adding foot petals for arches or swapping out an existing insole for a spenco Rx)

    I can find sneakers, I can find clogs, and I can find fully adjustable sandals (I have way too many of the latter and regularly commit the fashion crime of socks with sandals). I can even occasionally find booties (Earth or Cobb Hill 6.5D).

    Ever since childhood I have needed heel slips (corduroy with cushions) placed in all dressy shoes to accommodate my narrow heel relative to my wide forefoot. But I seem to have long since hit a point where there is no heel slip cushion that can begin to make up for the difference between the width my forefeet require in a shoe and the size of my heel.. What I really need are fashionable flats, low heels, and maybe Mary Janes that can accommodate (1) wide to extra wide forefeet, (2) narrowiish heels, and (3) high insteps (and (4) that come with cushioning and great arch support or can accommodate the same).

    Any ideas? Thank you.

    • Hello Deborah,

      I am happy to help.

      Fashionable flats are going to be really hard to fit the shape of your feet based on what you just described. I suggest that we focus on finding a pair of Mary Jane shoes first, as the strap that goes across the foot is going to help keep your narrow heels in place. I have some Mary Jane shoe styles in mind:

      Option 1 Choose the extra wide width. This shoe provides extra depth to accommodate your wide feet and high instep. This shoe also provides good cushioning and support.

      Option 2 This style can also accommodate an extra wide forefoot and it provides a narrower heel counter. It won’t provide the same cushion as Option 1

      Option 3 Same comment as Option 2

      Option 4 This Mary Jane shoe provides good support, it’s available in extra wide widths, provides extra depth, and the downside is that the heel counter is not as narrow.

      You will probably need heel slips for all of the Mary Jane shoe styles I recommended.

      Give me a couple of days to do more research on what fashionable flats might work for your foot shape.

      • Thank you for a prompt response! I traced and measured my feet, and I guess I am really just a plain wide and inbetween a 6 and 6.5 in length, depending on foot (so definitely buying 6.5). It’s just that I used to be able to get away with 7Ms in some dress flats that had a wider toebox while adding a grip cushion in the back. Now I have to buy the wide, which, as I’ve indicated, is a problem for my heels. And my foot volume has also become an increasing issue whether over the toes or over the instep. As I’m sure you know, in some brands, their dressier shoes are cut extra narrow, leading me to get triple wides in dress sandals (e.g., Trotters). And in some brands, it feels like their wides are scarcely wider in the punchy toebox while visibly gaping in the back. The more attractive models that you have suggested to me, and even some of the less attractive ones, seem to have gone way down in the reliablity of sizing and quality over the years according to the reviews. Repeat buyers are disappointed. Hmmm… I saw an old stock new SAS Mary Jane in 6.5W for resale online but don’t know how likely it would be to fit (??). Although a couple of slightly dressy flats would be most desirable, advice about Oxford type shoes that are a little classy would also be welcome.

        • Hello Deborah,

          I am not surprised that your feet might have gotten wider throughout the years. Your foot shape and size can change over time, and some of the factors that contribute to this change are pregnancy, aging and weight gain or loss. Over time and because of gravity, our feet might get longer and wider.

          I have noticed that even among the same shoe brands their styles tend to fit very differently.

          When it comes to the reviews of the shoes, I honestly don’t look at those. This is the reason why. Some people who tried the shoes leave reviews of the shoes fitting “too narrow” or “too wide”, but it’s unclear whether these people knew their exact foot size and shape to begin with. For example, some people believe that they have wide feet when in fact they have extra wide feet. So, sometimes, they try the shoes in a wide width (W) and because the shoes don’t feel wide enough for their feet, they leave a negative review saying that the shoes are not made wide enough. Some of these people might have high insteps as well and they are not even aware of it.

          • Thank you. Yea, the thing that was concerning about the Hush Puppies, for example, was that people who had previously bought the same model came back for another pair a year or two later or for another color and found it to be sized completely differently. I saw this reflected in the reviews on a couple of different sites. There was also a trend in the more recent variations of the shoe to falling apart quickly. This happened to me with the Saucony sneakers I used to buy. They changed the factory location, and the fit in the same line became a lot more narrow. But, yea, I am an example of someone who did not know my own size, lol.

          • Hello Deborah,

            You make such a great point! When shoe companies change their factories location, that directly has an impact on the fit of their shoes. The process of which a shoe is made can sometimes influence size and hence fit. Another example in addition to Saucony is the shoe company Keen, not sure if you have tried any of their sandals styles, but they are made in several different countries (Vietnam, China, Taiwan) and they all have a different fit even among the same styes.

            You are probably aware that while knowing our shoe size is obviously important, we tend to over magnify its importance by assuming that If the shoe is the right size it will automatically developer a proper fit.

    • Hello Deborah,

      My main concern about that specific Mary Jane style is that the heel counter might be too wide for your narrow heels, but you should definitely try them. Just make sure you can return them if they don’t fit.

      • Thank you. I would have to resell rather than return them, which doesn’t excite me, but I have sent the seller an offer for her to consider. Thank you for your help.

      • The seller gave me the model name after I expressed some doubts. There were hundreds of reviews from regular SAS customers for the shoe of that model with a smooth calfskin leather. And they all needed to go up or wider in size. And many noted that the heels slipped as well. I’m not sure if results would be the same for the snakeskin version, but back to the drawing board.

        • It seems like I will have to start more paying attention to the customers reviews. It seems that it can be really helpful when it comes to determine the quality and durability that the materials the shoes are made of. As promised, I will get back to you with some fashionable ballet shoe styles that might be capable of accommodating your foot shape.

          • Thank you. I actually looked into buying a larger size of that Mary Jane and also another by the same brand, but nothing made sense. And I started to explicitly see reviews from people with high or sensitive insteps saying that the straps weren’t really long enough to securely fashion or looked ridiculous if they could or caused pain (my main reason for steadfastly avoiding Mary Janes up until now). I even saw a complaint for those Mary Janes that the front top of the foot comes up so high (it’s definitely not a “toe cleavage” shoe) that this portion digs into her high instep. I realize reviews will vary greatly by person, but those weren’t encouraging, as they spoke into my exact typical problems. I did actually order a pair of clearance 7M ballet flats with elastic backs from Earth, whose 6.5W booties often work for me. Earth brand has a bit of cushiness and a bit of arch support and decent toe space. If I have to donate the ballet flats, oh, well. But just maybe they will work. In general if I knew of a brand (and country of origin, I suppose!) where their flats (or low heels) or oxfords tended to accommodate wide forefeet while having a narrow heel counter and, whenever they come up higher on the foot, accommodate a high instep, it would be so, so great for me. Btw, as the grandma oxfords go, it sounds like SAS Traveler has some potential for me. Thanks for the tip on Keen, whose hiking boots I have used. I hope this conversation will help others. Thank you!

          • Hello Deborah,

            Thanks so much, this is most helpful. I am sure many other women will benefit from reading about your experiences.

            I honestly feel like there is no universal shoe brand that is known for accommodating a wide forefoot with a narrow heel. There are certain shoe styles amongst shoe brands that do a better job accommodating a wide forefoot with a narrow heel. As promised, here is a resource abut the best ballet flats for women with wide feet: Flat Shoes for Women with Wide Feet – Stylish, Comfortable, and Available in Wide Widths!

            There are two styles in that article that can accommodate a wide forefoot with a narrow heel. Let me know your thoughts!

            Thanks again!

  4. Oh, and when I say I can find clogs, I’ve only been able to find backless clogs. I would consider full back clogs to be in the same category of desirability as attractive oxfords! With almost all my shoes fully adjustable (sandals) or backless I should be living in a dry warm climate, but it’s quite the opposite, lol. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.