Comfortable Women's Flats

Published on October 29th, 2014 | by Kirsten Borrink


Shoes for Top of Foot Pain | Reader Request

I suffer horrendously with top of the foot and toe pain! So much so that I can’t even wear an athletic shoe that laces up, yet I need arch support and deep toe box on any shoe for a wide or extra wide foot. I’m a 74 y/o woman that prefers a cushiony shoe that offers comfort if it means wearing the box the shoe came in! Can you offer any suggestion? Many thanks! I so appreciate your wonderful website!

Dear reader,

I wonder what’s causing the pain on the top of your foot? Do you have a high instep (the raised middle part between toes and ankle)? I’d recommend visiting a podiatrist or foot orthopedist if you don’t have a diagnosis yet. In the meantime, allow me to recommend footwear with features such as: adjustability over the instep, a wide toe box and good arch support. Each shoe featured is available in wides; some extra wides. (I’d also recommend these featured shoes for anyone that suffers from plantar fasciitis–good arch support, cushioned insoles and a 1″ shock-absorbing heel).

aetrex corinne

Aetrex Corinne: Aetrex has gone all out this season to design a shoe with good-looks and tons of foot-friendly comfort technologies. The Corinne features an adjustable instep strap, removable Lynco orthotic insole, wide toe box, and metatarsal pad to relieve ball-of-foot pain. Available in medium and wide widths. $129.95 at Zappos, free shipping and returns. Also check out Aetrex Berries Helen, a mary jane with a stretch-fabric upper.

Earth SavinEarth Savin: Here’s another slip-on option with an adjustable instep closure that you can loosen or tighten easily over the top of your foot. The Earth Savin has a multi-density latex foam cushioned footbed with extra padding at the heel to absorb shock. It also features a reinforced arch support and roomy toe box. Available in medium and wide widths. $89.95-109.95 at Amazon, free shipping and returns; $99.95 at, free shipping and exchanges.

david tate stretchyDavid Tate Stretchy: If you don’t like the look of the velcro closure, try this classic slip-on by David Tate. The vamp features stretchy elastic goring at the instep to allow some give when walking. The removable gel-cushioned insole provides shock-absorption. You can always add a more supportive insole if needed. Available in extended sizes and four widths. $117.95 at Zappos, $114.95 at

Cobb Hill REvmuse

Cobb Hill REVmuse:
Cobb Hill is a New Balance company so they know a thing or two about comfort technologies. The REVmuse is a 2″ wedge with
REVlite® midsole foam pods in the heel and forefoot
(30% lighter than traditional foams, REVlite® offers a lightweight ride without minimizing construction or sacrificing cushioning or stability). A removable contoured insole allows for a custom orthotic. The stretch lycra allows for a secure fit with give.  The Cobb Hill REVmuse is available in narrow, medium and wide widths. $100 at Zappos, $99.95 at

I’d also like to recommend FootSmart Stretchables as an option for sensitive feet. A stretch synthetic upper and stretch topline accomodate bunions, hammertoes and overlapping toes. Available in medium, wide and extra wide. For readers that wear a medium width, try the ABEO 3530 from The Walking Company. Other Abeo shoes have been reviewed through

I’m always open to more suggestions, readers! Do you have pain in your foot tops, your instep? What shoe brings you relief?

About the Author

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12 Responses to Shoes for Top of Foot Pain | Reader Request

  1. cedar says:

    I am going to cast a “yes/aye,” vote for Aetrex. I have a pair of their sandals, and also a pair of the berries toggle oxford, and they are so so comfortable. Lightweight, great support, just a very well made shoe.
    I will also suggest the Arcopedico LS. Love this shoe, wearing it right now. Great support, super lightweight, very forgiving of various touchy areas on anyone’s foot.

  2. Lavender says:

    I’m new to the blog and to feet problems, so excuse me if I’m asking something that many others have already asked. I’m spending time looking through all your great reviews, and I wonder if others have the problem I’m having. I have high arches and neuromas on both feet, so need a lot of support from my orthotic, and the vast majority of shoes are now not tall enough to fit the orthotic! The only thing I can do is buy a 1/2 size bigger and find just the right shoe (like, 1 out of 30 pairs) that fits the height of the orthotic.

    I *think* this is similar to what you’re discussing in this blog post, right? One boot I did just find which seems good so far, but just purchased, is the Teva De la Vina, which comes in ankle and high boots.

  3. Sherry says:

    The pain on top of the foot described is (at least in my case) due to midfoot arthritis. Any pressure on top of the foot makes walking very uncomfortable. Lace up shoes in particular (i.e.-tennis shoes) are painful. I’ve tried to adjust the laces without much success; plus, by doing so, the shoe becomes less stable. I like to be active- walking & hiking – but I’m having difficulty doing so because I can’t find a shoe/boot to accommodate my problem. I’m currently trying to find a hiking boot. Any suggestions?

  4. Kathleen says:

    My top foot pain results from a Liz Franc injury to my R metatarsals in a car accident. Undiagnosed for nearly two years by orthopedic specialist. Finally was recommended to a world class specialist, surgery due to delayed diagnosis partially successful. He warned me. He was so disgusted and sad for me. The metatarsal bones on the top of my foot has overgrown, thus the pain. Foot rolls inward, too so I need arch support. Like other readers, lace ups are horrible. I need maximum flexibility on top but with arch support and ball of foot support. I may be developing neuromas. Recommendations? Oh, for dress shoes, no more than 1.5 in. heel. Thanks so much.

  5. Kirsten Borrink says:

    Off the top of my head, I’d look into Abeo footwear by the Walking company. Most come with a choice of three footbeds for varying support. Some very nice dress casual shoes. I’m so sorry for your pain 🙁

  6. Jackie Stuart says:

    I’m having the same issues as you are! Was beginning to think,I was the only one!

  7. Claire Smith says:

    There is a deformity called “Saddle bone deformity” or, by its medical term, metatarsal cuneiform exostosis. It is very painful when a shoe presses on the top of it. I want to buy some Western booties and the only kind that doesn’t hurt is a Frye bootie with a low heel. I got Ariat boots for Christmas and I have to send them back because they touch the bone and hurt. My sister has the same thing. We both have very high arches and this seems to be a defining cause of the condition. 🙁

  8. Anita says:

    I am struggling with all this now. I love to walk as my principal form of exercise, but lately it’s almost too painful. I need very supportive shoes, so lace-ups or firm-sided shoes work well, but the pain on the top of my foot brings me to tears some days! Now I am starting to get severe pain in the space where my foot meets my ankle. It’s all arthritis – I did karate for years and loved to kick hard.
    I have invested in Hotter and Earth brands, but it seems that as soon as I find a comfy, secure, supportive shoe – it often becomes painful within a short while. Shoes that are too loose don’t work as my foot can twist a bit, making the pain worse.
    Any suggestions are appreciated. I’m wondering if a rocker sole might work? I don’t know too much about them but they’ve come up in my research.
    I’m so glad to see a discussion about this particular foot problem here!
    Thank you for any suggestions!

  9. Jean Ager says:

    My main activity is walking and I have struggled for years to find a comfortable walking shoe. When I am simply trying on various shoes, they are all comfortable– but then the arthritic pain in my upper forefoot kicks in and nothing works! I have flat feet with a large bone spur where my arch should be and pain concentrated at the inside upper joints of my forefoot.
    While I need shoes to counteract pronation, I can neither handle ties or a loose shoe. Ankle support is key, but I may need a wider space for my splayed out toes in the forefoot.
    I have the best luck with Danskin’s XP clogs, but even these are not a lasting solution. Sometimes a small heel helps as this takes pressure off the forefoot.
    I am so grateful that this discussion is happening.
    Any suggestions are more than welcome!

  10. Rad Benton says:

    I have mid foot arthritis, bunion, Morton neuroma and wide feet, and have tried zillions of shoes. The best fit I’ve found is Alegria, but sadly they give me vertigo!
    I’m currently wearing Waldlaufer with my own orthotics, Heliette range.

    I need sports shoes and winter shoes. No luck so far for 2 years!
    I don’t think you appreciate how lucky you are in the States, shoe selection and variety is really poor in the UK.

  11. Kay says:

    I have the same issue.

  12. Mary Welker says:

    It’s nice to hear someone else talk about the pain they have on the top of the foot. Sometimes the pain after being on my feet to long is horrific and I just want to cut it off. I also have a high arch, arthur in my big toe which I would also like to cut off, haha. The pain in my big toe is top, side & bottom. I also have burning in all my toes and ball of my foot. I had a special MRI on my feet that showed the arthritis in the toe and top of my foot, which has a big knot on it. It also showed a stress phenomenon in the crease between the top of my foot and the bottom of the toes which he said would take a very long time to heal, that was two years ago. I have also tried several types of shoes. HELP!!!

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