If you’re suffering from pain and inflammation in the ball of your foot, you could be suffering from a collection of symptoms known as metatarsalgia. For some, finding appropriate footwear can help them reduce their pain and get back to their life. Here’s what we recommend when it comes to the best metatarsalgia shoes to reduce foot pain.
What is metatarsalgia?
Your metatarsal bones are the five long bones in between the tarsal bones and the phalanges in your feet. There are five metatarsal bones and they give your feet their distinct arch.
Where the metatarsal bones meets the toes is a joint known as the metatarsal head, sometimes known as the ball of the foot. When the joint gets inflamed it causes a sharp, aching, or burning pain in the ball of your foot that worsens when you stand, walk, run, or flex your foot.
How can metatarsalgia shoes and insoles help me?
Metatarsal inflammation is most often caused by:
- High impact, repetitive stress on the foot
- Over pronation
- Ill-fitting footwear
Finding a proper pair of shoes for metatarsalgia can provide the support your feet need to help relieve your pain so you can continue with your daily activities.
How do I find the best metatarsalgia shoes?
When shopping for metatarsalgia shoes there are many individual features to consider. These will depend on your feet and lifestyle. However, the most important feature to look for in shoes for metatarsalgia is extra support and cushioning, especially for the arch of the foot.
If possible, speak to an orthopedic specialist to find out exactly what type of shoe your feet needs. Additionally, many shoe stores provide a complimentary professional fit analysis to help ensure you find the perfect shoe for your needs.
Always take your time, try shoes on, and do not be afraid to return shoes if they are not working. Here are some of the best metatarsalgia shoes and insoles for foot pain relief.
Note that PainDoctor.com does not endorse, nor do we make any money off the sale of these products. This information is provided for the benefit of patients based on patient reviews. Always ask your doctor if you have questions. Prices shown are at the date of the post’s publish date, and may differ.
3 of the best running shoes for metatarsal pain
If you’re a runner, you know how important it is to take care of your feet. Here’s some of our favorite metatarsalgia shoes for running.
The Saucony Zealot running shoe features their patented ISOfit design and PWRGRID+ cushioned insoles allowing for a uniquely comfortable fit. Their wide toe box is an excellent feature for people with metatarsalgia as it allows your toes plenty of room to splay out. Available for both men and women.
Price: Starting at $67.55
What users say: “These are amazingly comfortable. I have big, wide feet and they seem to fit true to size I wear a men’s 11. Nice wide toe box. I wear Saucony running shoes for my neuropathy and foot pain. I do not have as much pain in my legs or feet because of how well their shoes are made.”
Average user review: 4.4 stars out of 5
The Brooks Ghost 11’s have won the Runner’s World’s Editor’s Choice award for 7 years in a row. Loved by new runners and marathoners, the Ghost 11s are lightweight, comfortable, and supportive. They feature the revolutionary BioMoGo Shock Absorption midsole, which responds to the individual style and supportive needs of the runner. Available in mens and womens.
Price: Starting at $120.
What users say: “Coming from someone who struggles with knee pain on most running shoes these are hands down the best shoes for me. I tend to over pronate and I’m also flat footed. These shoes offer the best support for my feet. On a side note these shoes are deceptively light. They look like they should weigh a ton but when you pick them up they’re very light for the amount of cushion and material”
Average user review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
The HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 5 running shoe is one of the best running shoes for metatarsal pain. They have a thicker hard rocker sole and midsole, giving more support to the arch and heels of the feet. And while being firm, the soles have 2.5 times more cushioning than a regular running shoe which helps to reduce stress and pain. Available in mens and womens.
Price: Starting at $120.00
What users say: “I wear size 14 EE. It is difficult to find shoes that fit correctly. I took a shot after researching shoes that fit my needs, like walking 5 miles daily, high arches, metatarsal issues, and the fact that I’m a big guy, 6’5″ 270lbs. I got the shoes and wore them right out of the box, with the stock insoles. By far, the most comfortable shoe I have ever worn. Like walking on clouds.”
Average user review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
3 best walking shoes for metatarsal pain
If you need shoes for regular activities or long walking trails, check out these options.
The highly rated MW928 by New Balance feature a wide toe box, a stiff sole which is very important to relieve metatarsal pain, as well as a rollbar that holds the foot in a proper position to prevent pronation.
Price: Starting at $120
What users say: “I have wore and tried a lot of shoes for Comfort and Support. I work in Pharmacy and stand all day and never able to sit while on duty. I have had a real bad case of Plantar fasciitis with very painful heal spurs. Have taken meds, gotten shots of cortisone in my heals etc…. These New Balance MW928 shoes give awesome Arch support the heel and sole design is made with the Roller Ball action inside. The Roller Ball forces you to walk heel to toe, heel to toe the correct way your feet are suppose to function. Thanks so much!”
Average user review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
The women’s Vionic slip on is a great shoe for all types of exercise. These lightweight shoes have a bouncy sole and come with an EVA insert providing superior metatarsal support. As a bonus, they are easy to slip on and off.
Price: Starting at $60.00
What users say: “Oh my goodness… my aching feet were in heaven as soon as I slipped these shoes on! After having bought Vionic flip-flops and Birkenstocks last year due to major pain in my arches and heels (ex-ballet dancer here), I thought I’d give these a try and I’m SO glad I did. Feels like I’m walking on clouds. Now if only the snow would go away so I could wear them outside.”
Average user review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Skechers Shape Ups are designed specifically for people who spend a lot of time on their feet. They have midfoot rockers with an elevated heel and toe area. The thickest part of the sole is in the midfoot region, making them excellent at relieving metatarsal pain. The design of the Shape Ups also helps tone muscles and increases the intensity of your physical activities.
Price: Starting at $79.99
What users say: “I finally found the fix to my dilemma. I have major metatrsal arthritis due to a talus bone fracture and an arthrodesis that happened 12 years ago. After researching the best shoes for my impairment, I purchased a pair of Shape UPS. They fit perfectly, even with my diabetic socks. I am ecstatic because I can now take my dog for a walk without paying for it later or shopping without wearing a boot that keeps my foot flat. For anybody who experiences metatarsal foot pain due to arthritis, I highly recommend Shape Ups. They’re pretty cute too, and the price was within my budget. I could not be happier with my purchase”
Average user review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
3 best work shoes for metatarsal pain
Metatarsal pain doesn’t take a break when you’re at work. Whether you need professional shoes for an office or work boots that can protect and support your feet, these are some of the best.
The ABEO booties feature enhanced arch support to relieve foot pain and pressure. They come with an orthotic insole that conforms to your foot, adding additional ball-of-foot support. These leather ankle booties are also on trend and can easily be dressed up or down.
What users say: “These shoes are extremely comfortable and very cute. I have gotten lots of compliments on them and people asking where I purchased them. They fit true to size. I have a slight bunion on 1 foot and the width was fine. It did not irritate my bunion. I purchased Medium width. You won’t regret buying these. I loved the grey color. Goes with everything!”
Average user review: 4.5 stars out of 5
With the look of an everyday cross-trainer, these Reebok shoes provide a padded tongue and collar to reduce ankle movement. They are also light enough to wear running. The sole is sturdy but flexible and has ample cushioning for the ball of the foot to prevent metatarsal injury and pain.
Price: Starting at $50.00
What users say: “I waited a month to write a review, because i think that is enough time to accurately rate footwear…. bought these for work (usps rural carrier), and i have to say these shoes are awesome! the construction is sound and well made, the fit is great and the memory foam insoles are like standing on air…. i definitely would buy again, and again, and again.”
Average user review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
The Twisted X Boots combine the safety of steel toe work boots with the style of men’s moccasins. The leather boots are perfect to wear to work as well as to more formal occasions. They feature slip resistant soles, moisture wicking fabric, and an internal met-guard that protects the top of your metatarsal bones from anything being dropped on them.
Price: Starting at $99.00
What users say: “Sharp looking shoe for work and has the needed safety features. Comfortable right out of the box, which is rare. Insert makes them comfortable all day. Only had them a few weeks but if they continue to do well, I will definitely be buying a second pair. They look good enough to wear outside of work to.”
Average user review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
2 best sandals for metatarsal pain
People who suffer from foot pain need easy-to-wear sandals as much as anyone. Unfortunately, too often sandals don’t provide the support you need to prevent metatarsal pain. These do.
If you’re looking for a more casual shoe, the Oofos thong flip flop is for you. Normally flip flops offer very poor support, but the Oofos is made of foam that absorbs energy from your steps. This results in less stress and less impact on your feet and body.
Price: Starting at $39.95
What users say: “Plantar Fasciitis sufferers, SUFFER NO MORE! My Feet have been in agony for months. I’ve stopped working out, stopped jogging, stopped walking the dogs, and bought orthotics, and multiple pairs of shoes, massage devices, foot rollers, tried frozen water bottles and everything else I could think of, and NONE of it helped me find the kind of relief I have gotten from these flip flops. I wish I could buy a work shoe version. I never want to take them off. If you suffer from this condition, if you have felt the excruciating pain, and have had to crawl to the bathroom on your knees for not wanting to step on your feet, Get over it, and buy a pair of these.”
Average user review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
The Birkenstock has been a go-to sandal for over 100 years. Now, they have a new softbed version of their classic sandal that is loved by people with metatarsal pain. The softbed sandal contains all of the great features of the classic Birkenstock: the contoured footbed, arch support, a roomy toe box, and a deep heel cup with the addition of a layer of super soft foam cushioning to soften the impact of walking.
Price: Starting at $135.00
What users say: “I love these sandals and wear them around the house in the winter and everywhere in the summer. The soft footbed makes a big difference in the comfort of the shoes since I need the support but have pain in my feet from arthritis. It’s just enough padding to help them feel soft without giving up the classic birkenstock support. I now have 3 pairs of different birkenstock soft footbed sandals, but this pair is my most frequently used and they do get better with wear.”
Average user review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
2 of the best insoles for metatarsal pain
If you’re not ready to buy new shoes or want to wear some you already own, metatarsalgia insoles can provide additional cushioning and support for less money.
The New Balance 3030 Pressure Relief insoles bring the support from their shoes to any shoes in your closet. They have ample cushioning for the entire foot, and the arch support and heel cradle work together to redistribute pressure. These insoles have also been designed to reduce friction and prevent blisters.
Price: Starting at $24.00
What users say: “These have been the most effective metatarsal supports I’ve ever tried. Bottoms of my feet get achy in regular sneakers, esp when running. No other inserts have prevented that as well as these. I’ve been using this insert specifically for over 10 years. I only replace them when I replace my shoes, about every year or so, and they probably still have many miles left in them even after that long.”
Average user review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
The Powerstep Pinnacle orthotic insoles feature a layer of EVA foam base and a plush top layer. The arch support is firm yet flexible, which provides ample support and stability when walking or running. They are also made out of anti-microbial fabric to keep your feet cool, dry, and odor-free.
Price: Starting at $30.73
What users say: “I wasn’t sure what to expect ordering these online without trying them on but they immediately eliminated pain in my left foot. I was having arch pain, metatarsalgia across the ball of my foot in the second and third metatarsal. The arch of the inserts seems a little aggressive when I first put the shoes on in the morning but after 15 minutes, my arch seems to adjust and the inserts help distribute my weight evenly across the foot. By midday, I don’t even notice it. These inserts are an answer to the problem I was having with pain. I am able to walk miles again with almost no discomfort and no pain where before I was hurting just walking around the grocery store. Well worth the money for me.”
Average user review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
Get help for your metatarsalgia pain
While metatarsalgia shoes can relieve a lot of foot pain, if your foot pain persists, is severe, and damages your overall quality of life, it may be time to get specialized help.
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