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7 Narrow Heel, Wide Forefoot Shoes for Combination Feet

Do you refer to your foot shape as duck-like? Do you walk right out of ballet flats, loafers and other shoes without straps? The narrow heel, wide forefoot combo is a nuisance when it comes to shoe shopping. We’re here to ease your frustration with a list of stylish shoe brands and styles with built-in features to keep your heels snugly in shoes without pinching the forefoot.

Mary jane shoes are often a smart solution for the narrow heel, wide forefoot combination with the instep strap offering a secure fit. Here are a few of our favorites:

Narrow Heel, Wide Forefoot: Taos Ta-Dah

Taos Ta-Dah

Taos Ta-Dah

The Taos Ta-Dah has a slim profile that we adore. As described by a Zappos customer, “It’s almost a ballet flat!” The same reviewer comments that she has a narrow heel with bunions that need a roomy toe box and the Taos Ta-Dah works!

More features to love: removable contoured footbed with arch and metatarsal support, small one-inch heel for a little lift, rubber outsoles for shock-absorption and a hook and loop closure (velcro). Find the Taos Ta-Dah in sizes 6-12 for $125 from Zappos, Taosfootwear.com, and Amazon.

Narrow Heel, Wide Forefoot: Dansko Loralei

Dansko Loralei

Narrow Heel, Wide Forefoot: Dansko Loralei

Dansko Loralei

Do you prefer a real buckle to velcro closures? The Dansko Loralei has it and so much more. The leather-wrapped wedge and thin instep strap add to the sleek, slightly dressy look of the Loralei.

While the toe box may not be as roomy as what you’d find in Dansko clogs, it still accommodates a wider forefoot. A happy Nordstrom customer states, “I have a narrow heel so I tend to step out of shoes that do not have a strap–but that’s not a problem with these mary janes.” A removable contoured footbed with memory foam cushioning and arch support ups the comfort factor of the Loralei. Find the Dansko Loralei in euro sizes 36-43 (5.5-12.5) for $149.95 from Zappos and Amazon.

Narrow heels wide forefoot : Keen Sienna MJ

Keen Sienna MJ

Keen Sienna MJ in leather

The Keen Sienna mary jane is a classic! Its no-fuss, simple style goes with any casual outfit and fits the narrow heel, wide forefoot combo well. A satisfied Zappos customer raves, “These are the perfect shoes if you have a “triangle” shaped foot – wider at the front (or bunions) with a narrow heel. They really hug my foot in the best way and are very comfortable to walk in. It’s a miracle to have my heel stay in the shoe even when I stand on tippy toe.” Find the Keen Sienna MJ in sizes 5-11 for $89.95 from Zappos, Find deals on the Keen Sienna at KeenFootwear.com, and Amazon. Also available in leather.

Narrow heels, wide forefoot: Camper Right Nina

Camper Right Nina flat

Camper Right Nina

We love Spanish brand, Camper and all of their eclectic styles. The Right Nina flat happens to be one of their more subdued flats–like a dressed up version of the Keen Sienna featured above. The leather uppers are buttery soft and conform to bunions, hammertoes, or a generally wider forefoot.

Zappos customer Rebecca states, “I have feet that are pretty wide across the toes, narrow at the heel, with a super high instep and arch. 99% of shoes just don’t fit me. These do and are super comfortable. I can pass them off as business casual at my office.”

We recommend ordering up a size as this shoe runs small. Find the Camper Right Nina in euro sizes 35-42 for $145 from Zappos and Camper.com. Find a deal at Amazon.

Kork-Ease Bellota

Kork-Ease Bellota

Do you dislike the girlish look of a mary jane, but need an instep strap to keep a shoe on your narrow heels? Consider the Kork-Ease Bellota–a grown-up twist on a classic style.  Dress them up or down; wear them with your favorite socks.  The rounded toe covers the bunion area and provides room for toes to spread out. A removable cushioned footbed may allow the use of an orthotic. Find the Kork-Ease Bellota in sizes 6-11 for $139.95 from Zappos and KorkEase.com.

Other comfortable mary jane styles for the narrow heel, wide forefoot combination: Naot Matai or Kirei (comes in wides), Dansko Fawna,

We understand that ballet flats and classy loafers provide a leg-elongating profile and are currently on-trend. However, as you well know, they can slip right off a narrow heel. But good news!  We’ve found a few with gathered elastic around the back of the heel that may secure the shoe to the foot. Take a look.

Taryn Rose Kristine

Taryn Rose Kristine

Taryn Rose Kristine

Five-star reviews continue to usher in for the Taryn Rose Kristine driving moc. The elasticized collar holds narrow heels in place while the roomy upper prevents cramped toes. A Zappos customer says this about her new Kristine loafers: “This in an overall great shoe. I have really challenging feet with a high arch, a wide forefoot but more narrow from the arch to the heel (so wide width shoes don’t fit right). To boot, my left foot has neuromas so in having to buy regular width shoes, I need shoes wide enough in the toe box to not agitate the neuromas. These shoes hit all the marks and they are also nice and cushiony on the bottom.”

Find the Taryn Rose Kristine in nine lovely colors, sizes 5-11 for $150 from Zappos, TarynRose.com. Find a deal at Amazon and 6pm.com.

ONO Free

Other brands that work well for the narrow heel, wide forefoot combination: Munro (available in extended sizes and multiple widths), SAS footwear, Gabor (european footwear often fits a narrow heel better), Aravon (many styles feature adjustable straps; available in multiple widths), Taos Trulie sandal, Aetrex Jillian sandal.

How about you? Do you have a favorite shoe for your narrow heels, wide forefoot combo? Leave a comment and let us know! We also have a Facebook discussion about this topic with many helpful recommendations.


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33 Responses to 7 Narrow Heel, Wide Forefoot Shoes for Combination Feet

  1. Jennifer says:

    Would any of these shoes work if you also have hallux limitus? I’m looking for some great fall/winter shoes and would love to hear your thoughts

  2. Wordlady says:

    Initially excited at the title of this article “Seven Narrow Heel, Wide Forefront Shoes for Combination Feet”. However, most of these shoes are not true Narrow Heels, just narrower heels than the forefront. If you need a combination last shoe such as a B/C or wider, these selections may work, but not if you need a truly narrow heel, like AA TO AAAA.

    Doesn’t anyone in Europe have narrow feet?

  3. Ione Farrar says:

    This summer I found the Teva Encanta fisherman style sandal. So comfortable I bought a second pair. With a close back I could yes my Viva mini orthotic with a metatarsal pad (halux limitus).

  4. Mary says:

    I can’t afford any of these shoes. I have hard to fit feet.

  5. Priscilla CLEMENT says:

    Very helpful for summer but now I need boot recommendations.

  6. Julie says:

    For athletic shoes, try Altra! Super wide and fit all five toes. What a relief!

  7. Kirsten Borrink says:

    Yes, Julie, you are right! Altra is a great recommendation for wide forefoot, narrow heel. I have the Escalantes and love the fit.

  8. Jennifer says:

    Do you think the Keen maryjanes would work for people with Hallux limitus?

  9. Jennifer says:

    Would the Keen maryjanes would work for Hallux limitus?

  10. Kirsten Borrink says:

    I think too flexible in the forefoot.

  11. kay says:

    look for outlet stores such as dansko outlet

  12. Patty B says:

    I’ve given up completely on ever finding dress heels, pumps, ballet flats, or even sharp professional looking shoes to wear with a business suit. None have both a narrow heel, and wide toe, never mind high arch support.

    The only thing that works to wear with a business suit is to buy a normal width and stretch the heck out of the toe area. Even then it has to be equivalent to a loafer or low boot to hold my foot from slipping out.

    I see all the straps and they will hold my feet snugly, but that just doesn’t say, senior director, to me…

    For athletic shoes, my favorite is Brooks, Ghost in wide width. Ghost 9 with a high arch orthotic was one of the best ever. Ghost 10 is comfortable but not as stable hiking. For slip on casual shoes, I like LL Bean comfort moc leather slide, again with an orthotic.

  13. Ellen Humphrey says:

    For “Hallux Limitus” (a stiff big toe joint) that makes it painful to move from midstance to late stance phase, you want to find a shoe with a good stiff sole, such as a clog or boot. Believe it or not, you can also stretch your big toe joint (look at images of your “first MTP joint” or go see a physical therapist who specializes in feet) to improve your big toe bendability! Custom foot orthotics or “off the shelf” foot orthotics such as the Vasyli Dananberg can be made with a “first ray cut out”. This is a depression in the orthotic under the big toe, which allows it to drop down so that it isn’t subjected to so much bending pressure when you walk. I am a physical therapist specializing in feet, foot orthotics, and gait evaluation of runner’s and walkers. I’ve been at it for 30+ years. I think I’ve seen and treated just about every problem foot out there.

  14. Kirsten Borrink says:

    Thank you for the helpful info, Ellen!

  15. Christy says:

    While my feet may look normal, their specifics are incredibly freakish – it’s nearly impossible to find any type of winter shoes besides tall boots. I have long, slender toes, a high arch, a wide base, and a narrow short heel. Basically, my only options are slingbacks, flip-flops, boots, or ballet flats that have an elastic back. Forget wearing any type of cute pump, unless it has a slingback. They flap on and off, and I spend the whole time concentrating on how to hold the shoe onto my foot. I’ve tried those heel gripper inserts, which do help a little bit. The problem is getting them to stay in place! Nobody wants to suffer the embarrassment when a long stick grey thing comes flying out the back of your shoe. The flimsy adhesive on the pads doesn’t really work, so I’ve resorted to affixing them with Gorilla Glue.

    Sadly, I look horrendous in Mary Janes, unless they’re the 1990’s platform kind. I normally wear leggings, paired with a long tunic or sweater/cami combo, so pairing that with Mary Janes makes me look like I have clown feet. What’s also frustrating is the pricing! Any type of shoe that fits me right costs a minimum of $100, if I don’t want to look geriatric. I’ve had luck with these 2 types of shoes at Payless: 1)Airwalk’s Legacee Sneakers with an elastic-topped heel and 2) DexFlex Comfort Flats. Now I feel like Homer Simpson, continually wearing the same shoe year after year, because the DexFlex Flats are the only shoes I’ve found that fit right and are suitable to wear to work. Luckily, I can break from my Homer-esque style during the summer, when plenty of cute flip-flops and slingback sandals appear on shelves.

    Two other brands I’ve had success with are: Amelie Block Heel Slingbacks, which were $60 online at a company called J. Jill (a nice dressy shoe for office-wear) and Keen’s Slingback Water Shoes (which are great for hiking and walking). I love summer activities, but finding shoes for that was also torturous. Years ago, I had 1 pair of Sketchers that did not make my heels bleed. After they wore out, I haven’t been able to find any that don’t cause massive pain and injury. But, once I discovered slingback hiking sandals, I was again able to enjoy the outdoors in something other than flimsy flip-flops.

    Anyways, just writing this little note in the hope it will help some of my other troubled soles out there LOL 🙂 Good luck on your shoe hunt!

  16. Shelly says:

    I always wore a slingback with a box/ snipped toe 2 sizes larger than normal when I worked in an office. Also, they were 100% leather for maximum comfort, upper & sole. Maybe that can work for you.

  17. Shelly says:

    I have the exact same problem with shoes & wear the same type shoes you do. Except my foot is the opposite of yours. My family always said I had fred flinstone feet. Short toes, fat front foot and a quad heel, basically flat foot as well. I also pronate for an added issue. I try my best to wear 100% leather shoes except for running shoes & beach flip flops. I have never gone to the foot doctor but I should. My bunions are not the best. Altra running shoes are wonderful for me, the wide toe box and cushion is a relief. I also wear Asics & Brooks. I just looks for the shoes that are made for pronate feet. I also wear Birkenstocks often. I have both the closed toe & open toe versions, they are available in narrow which is just women’s medium width but fit me well. I also have a pair of Red Wing Boots restraunt shoes I am not a waitress but I stand a lot. They are cute according to other people, pretty comfortable only in blackgreat with jeans or pants for work . Another option we always have is the nursing clogs, they come in a multitude of designs & colors. Some are slingback I believe. I have not tried that route yet just a thought.

  18. Arletta says:

    Hello. I find, in general, Propet sandals do a good job. I have very narrow heels and an ever-widening foot, from then on out. So much so that it makes doing exercises – really getting the right muscles working on my legs – really hard, because, so many of them tell you “put your weight on your heels” and, that takes a lot of mental effort to keep it going.

    I don’t know about all Propet sandals, but, most of the ones I have purchased have an adjustable heel strap and good, strategic straps in other parts of the shoe, which are also adjustable. The last pair I bought seemed to be getting a bit chintzy on the length of the strap for the ankle, but, I don’t know. It’s been so long since I wore shoes with a strap around the ankle that the problem may be all my own.

  19. Mary says:

    Okay, where can I find long (size 12) medium width shoes with a narrow heel? Hey, manufacturers, I need shoes too and I’m pretty used to paying more. Don’t want to but if I find a pair that sort of fits, I settle.

  20. Joan says:

    What about shoes for women with 4E width? Everything I find looks like Frankenstein shoes.

  21. Judy Ristity says:

    Wide feet; narrow heel. Bunions and hammer toes! So need mesh top. Looking for a Mary Jane or something I can wear with a skirt but can use in Italy in September. Don’t want to buy on internet; need to try them on. Help!

  22. LINDA NAYLOR says:

    I like my little strappy sandals. I wear a 61/2 but get a 7 because my feet hurt all the time. I have narrow heels and wide through toes. My big problem is my toes slant from big to little so when walking my silly little toes come out from under strap and start rubbing. I have given thought to tape little toe to other toes to hold under the strap

  23. Maria says:

    I am looking for stylish evening heels to accomodate for wide clawed feet, bunion, neuroma and bad balls of feet. I will be in London so where can I buy please very desperate.

  24. Kirsten Borrink says:

    Try to find a Hotter store in London and try the Donna heel–or any of their heels–roomy toe box, cushioned footbed, lower heels.

  25. Lynn J. Sorlie says:

    Hi – Thank you for your b!og. Morton Foot prob!ems, wide front feet and narrow heel. I’m home! Welcome, fellow travelers!.It’s been a long road and many discarded pairs of shoes. Oh, also. A high instep. Solution? Mary Janes, of course. Is Ros Hammerson availab!e to you? Cross-cross elastic in the front on a snappy navy narrow heel leather wedge pump. Putting padded insoles in shoes and washing them saves wear. Elastic heel mini-wedge.helps.

  26. Jan says:

    Hi, I also have wide toes long toes and a very narrow heel. The only off the rack shoes I’ve found that feel good on my feet are the old Brooks Ghost style – the Ghost 8 & 9. The new Brooks Ghost fits well but hurts under my arch because they put a stabilization bar under the arch. (stupid, ruined the shoe) I have a pair of Ms Mooz boots with a wide toe box and relatively narrow heel. I’m able to stuff a sock around my ankle to hold the boots on so they work well. I’d love to find a good boot for snow shoeing. Any recommendations?
    I just broke down and ordered a pair of custom made shoes to wear in the office.

  27. Pat says:

    The only loafer I’ve been able to find that fits my wide, bunion, hammertoe feet (RA) are by SAS (San Antonio Shoes). They have some elastic in the heel which makes them stay on. The style is Hope. They’re a little pricey, but well worth it.

  28. Julie K says:

    After yet another day slogging around to local speciality shoe stores and hearing every cockamamie sales pitch and advice for my ‘spatula’ feet (ugh – what idiot thought up that lovely term), I still haven’t found a good boot, but at least I see now that I’m not the only person with these odd fit issues! For the next Morton’s feet ladies, I’ve had luck with these shoes: https://www.zappos.com/p/calvin-klein-gella-pump-desert-sand-nappa/product/8564393/color/779336 , and recently bought a new pair for the ones I wore out. Corso Como and Lifestride also currently have a very similar version. The footbed is just average size, but the cross straps hold this pretty pump on my heel more comfortably than a single thin Mary Jane strap, most of which cut uncomfortably across the front of my ankle because this one skinny strap has to bear the weight of holding up the entire shoe whenever I lift my foot. Also, the pump I’m recommending looks sophisticated, and I get a lot of compliments. Nobody has to know that I’m wearing it because I can’t keep any other kind of pump on my feet. 😉

  29. Lori says:

    Have you found any shoes? I wear a size 12 with narrow heel and wide toe box.

  30. bcapp says:

    I’m another “spatula” footed friend. Thank you for all the comments. I will check them out.

  31. Liz says:

    I have a wide toe box, narrow heel, bunions and need good arch support because I have issues with pronation (feet turning inward).

    I have had good luck with Ecco shoes, and booties, Dansko, Naot, and Asics. Yes these are pricey, but I’ll spend to get well made, comfortable, stylish shoes and save money on other items. I’ve studied anatomy and feet are so important and can affect knees, hips and spine so I take care of them!

  32. Ruth says:

    Everybody by BZ Moda make a range of shoes that fit my duck shaped fit. Nicely for them, they make almost the same design of flat Mary Janes every season in a range of smart colours that work with jeans and work clothes. They are just a little on the expensive side though.

  33. Jackie Morgan says:

    I have weird feet: my toes seem wide, with my third toe the same length as #2 and very narrow heels. Trying to find a classic black shoe to wear with a dress or suit (multiple dressy occasions) and I could cry out of sheer frustration. I have black pumps (9 west, I think but brand doesn’t matter). They pinch my toes, especially on the right foot, and I walk out of them from the back. If I manage to keep them on my feet (which is in itself a challenge), I have rub blister on my third toe on my right foot. My husband thinks I have way too many shoes, but I’ve told him I won’t be caught dead in a nice dress with sandals and tights lol. Would slingbacks work, where I can tighten up the back strap? The grip things don’t prevent my feet from going forward. I’m tempted to put double sided tape on the bottom and just buy new panty hose but I don’t think it’ll work.

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