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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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7 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. 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. 🙁

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