16 Best Running Shoes For Metatarsalgia [Ball Of Foot Pain] Reviewed in 2020

best running shoes for metatarsalgia ball of foot pain reviews

Today we’ll be looking at the best running shoes for Metatarsalgia or ball of foot pain. Metatarsalgia is one of the conditions of forefoot pain.

After the success of the previous 2018 and the 2019 versions of this post, here’s the updated 2020 version and I hope it would be more helpful than ever.

The best running shoes for Metatarsalgia should:

  • Be super cushiony to keep your metatarsals as comfortable as possible and help absorb shock.
  • Give you good arch support to hold up the arch area, equalize pressure across the foot, and reduce the stress on the ball of your foot.
  • Have a soft roomy toe box for your toes and metatarsals to splay out.
  • Have a rocker bottom design.
  • Have a low heel-to-toe drop to reduce the stress put on the ball of your foot. (However, the Ghost is a 12mm drop and has helped a lot of runners with Metatarsalgia)
  • Not be too tight or too loose.

16 Best Running Shoes For Metatarsalgia Pain (Ball Of Foot Pain) Reviews

Before we dive right into it, these are five of the best Metatarsalgia running shoes compared.

brooks-adrenaline-gts-19-running-shoe

  • Brooks Adrenaline 19
  • Stability
  • 12mm heel-to-toe drop
  • Engineered mesh/3D Fit Print upper
  • BioMogo DNA/GuideRails/DNA LOFT midsole
  • Blown rubber outsole/Omega flex grooves
  • True to size

hoka-bondi-5-running-shoes

  • Hoka Bondi 5
  • Neutral
  • 4mm heel-to-toe drop
  • Pliable engineered mesh upper
  • Oversized EVA midsole
  • Firmer + softer blown rubber outsole
  • True to size

altra-paradigm-4-0

  • Altra Paradigm 4.0
  • Neutral
  • 0mm heel-to-toe drop
  • Quick-drying engineered knit upper
  • Altra Ego dual-nature compound midsole
  • FootPod technology outsole
  • True to size

New-Balance-fresh-foam-1080v10

  • New Balance 1080v10
  • Neutral
  • 8mm heel-to-toe drop
  • Engineered Hypoknit upper
  • Fresh Foam X midsole
  • Medium + firm strategic blown rubber outsole
  • True to size

nike-air-zoom-pegasus-35-running-shoe

  • Saucony Triumph ISO 5
  • Neutral
  • 8mm heel-to-toe drop
  • Jacquard mesh/ISO FIT upper
  • Full-length EVERUN midsole
  • Tri-Flex Crystal Outsole
  • True to size

Best Hoka Shoes For Metatarsalgia

Hoka One One Bondi 5

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Mark Henderson, Twin, i(arthro)Pod, and Tod W. on Amazon can’t recommend the Bondi 5 for Metatarsalgia enough. Read their reviews here.

The Bondi is the Hoka Original and the 5th version continues to represent a truly unique approach to designing running sneakers. It’s the most cushioned shoe in the Hoka lineup.

This amount of cushion and support makes the Bondi 5 one of the best running shoes for ball of foot pain.

The Bondi 5 is a neutral running shoe that is great for anyone looking for a very comfortable and forgiving ride for any distance.

Upper

For the 5th edition, Hoka really focused on streamlining the upper because they wanted to get the weight down around 10oz.

How did Hoka do that?

One of the ways they did that is by using super lightweight pliable engineered mesh in the upper. The upper creates a great lockdown for your foot and it helps minimize the weight at the same time.

The Active Foot Frame and the padded tongue provide a very comfortable and secure feel and give you the feeling of running inside the shoe vs running on the shoe.

Midsole

For those unfamiliar with the brand, Hoka makes maximum cushioned running shoes using an oversized midsole that provides comfort, unparalleled shock absorption, a tremendous amount of cushioning and impact protection for the runner

The midsole is 1.5 times the midsole volume of a traditional running shoe and it is made of EVA that is 30% softer than standard EVA.

This unique design makes for a different type of running shoe that just begs to be tried and tested.

With a stack height of 37mm in the heel and 33mm in the forefoot (4mm offset), this tremendous amount of cushion is still relatively lightweight for a shoe coming in at 10oz for men and 8.3oz for women.

The Bondi 5 uses a Meta-Rocker design that allows for a smooth transition from heel to toe decreasing impact forces and encouraging a more efficient and comfortable foot strike.

Outsole

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The outsole is the combination of rubber specifically placed over high-wear areas for better durability and traction. There’s also exposed EVA used to help keep the weight down.

The outsole also offers enough traction to allow for some light trail running.

Proper Foot Alignment

Every now and then, you kind of run improperly and the Hoka Bondi will help keep you right back into that proper foot strike. You can run a lot of miles in the Hoka and you’re not going to break down.

Hoka design running shoes to make running easier and injury-free for everyone.

Sometimes, highly cushioned shoes feel a little bit lethargic and slow but not the Bondi. It feels quick and super-lightweight almost like you’re flying.

Whether used as a daily trainer, ultra-distance racer, or easy-day recovery shoe, the Bondi 5 is an excellent choice for runners wanting a very soft ride for all of their running miles.

So you should definitely consider the Hoka One One Bondi 5 if:

  • you’re suffering from Metatarsalgia or Morton’s Neuroma.
  • you’re running short or long distances.
  • you’re walking for fitness.
  • you’re looking for the most comfortable shoe to wear at work.
  • you’re trying to come back from an injury.

Last but not least, the Hoka Bondi 5 is one of the best walking shoes for metatarsal problems.

Cons

  • The midsole is a bit stiffer than the previous model.

Hoka One One Vanquish 2

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The Vanquish is one of the best running shoes for Metatarsalgia and flat feet.

With a 5mm heel-to-toe offset, the Vanquish 2 is a premium daily sneaker built for the undepronator to neutral runner.

The goal of the Vanquish line is to provide an ultra-cushioned shoe while maintaining a springy and responsive ride.

This makes the Vanquish 2 one of the best Hoka shoes for Metatarsalgia (ball of foot pain).

Hoka Midsole

The first thing you’re going to notice is the oversized midsole that is the signature of Hoka cushioning.

This dual-layer midsole with a high rebound body and high cushioned top gives excellent energy return and a more steady stride from heel to toe.

The midsole is dual-layered and that’s what makes the Vanquish 2 unique. The Vanquish 2 is definitely a maximum cushioned shoe, but the construction of the shoe hides the cushion pretty well.

The midsole is extremely shock-absorbing but it also features an early-stage Meta-Rocker geometry.

What’s the Meta-Rocker technology?

This technology is common in many other Hoka One One shoes and it has to do with the shape of the outsole.

The outsole tapers out at both sides allowing the shoe to rock forward while running. It helps propel your foot forward with every stride.

Upper

The upper features a seamless air mesh design with an asymmetrical external web that provides a breathable yet supportive wrap. This seamless construction is going to help reduce irritation.

The mesh has some thickness to it which makes it more durable. So, the upper offers great comfort and breathability but it does lack the breathability you find in a thinner mesh.

The Vanquish 2 hugs your midfoot and forefoot nicely, but it’s definitely a more narrow shoe.

So if you like to have a roomier and looser upper, then this might not be the shoe for you. Yet, you may want to have a look at the Altra Torin 3. The Altra Torin 3 is also one of the best running shoes for capsulitis of the second toe.

Outsole

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Down on the very bottom, there’s a full ground contact outsole and strategic high-abrasion rubber zones where it’s needed the most. This provides optimal durability for the long miles on the road.

Inside

The inside lining is very soft and breathable with good padding around the collar.

It also features a removable insole that slides right in and out. The insole gives you some added cushioning while the perforations will help give you some underfoot breathability.

The Vanquish 2 is such a versatile shoe that you can use for easy days and hard days because it provides a smooth high cushioned ride and it’s just something you could use any day.

Being a very light shoe for the amount of cushion it has, the Hoka One One Vanquish 2 will help you cushion your Metatarsalgia and accelerate your next run. Make sure you read what other runners say about the Hoka One One Vanquish 2.

Cons

  • A bit narrow.

Best Altra Shoes For Metatarsalgia

Altra Paradigm 4.0

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Mr. Carson C. Smith got totally pain-free after wearing this shoe. His search for the best neutral shoes for Metatarsalgia led him to the Paradigm 4. Read his review on Amazon.

The Altra Paradigm 4.0 takes that cushion and takes it into an all-new level both in terms of max cushion as well as features.

This lightweight and versatile running shoe is built for the neutral to underpronator and it’s got maximum cushioning.

Upper

It’s got a really unique quick-drying engineered knit upper that has enhanced durability and tons of breathability to keep your foot nice and comfortable inside.

Of course, the foot-shaped toe box allows your toes to splay out naturally for a comfy cruise.

It also has a removable 5-mm sculpted footbed down inside that’s going to give you additional underfoot support.

Midsole

The midsole features the Altra Ego dual-nature compound that is responsive yet soft for increased energy return. The EGo technology was previously found in the Altra Escalante.

GuideRails

Altra kept the shoe in that guidance category through the integration of the awesome GuideRail system. The GuideRails act like a highway guide rail to provide guidance when you need it.

The GuideRail really wraps that medial side of the foot supporting it from overpronation and just providing additional support.

Altra has added stability pods called Stabilipods throughout the shoe to keep your foot naturally stable using the stability points of your foot.

The midsole keeps all the same features that make Altra running shoes unique. There’s a zero-drop platform, a foot-shaped toe box, as well as Altra’s Fit4her last for women.

The midsole continues with the Innerflex flex groove technology on the inside and really allows that big toe to engage which, in turn, enhances the stability as well.

Outsole

On the bottom, there’s the Altra grippy outsole that provides a lot of grip no matter where your run takes you.

The Altra Paradigm 4 is in Altra’s dynamic support category and with it, you can really just let comfort be your guide.

It is very comfortable, stable and it’s really great for rocking out those miles.

One last thing, the Paradigm is one of the best running shoes for Metatarsalgia and Plantar Fasciitis.

Cons

  • Zero-drop takes getting used to especially if you run in higher-drop shoes.

Altra Torin 4.0 + Altra Torin 4 Plush

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This is a tale of two Torins.

This is a legacy model from Altra, the Altra Torin 4.0 and the Torin 4 Plush. When Altra goes from .5 to .0, they do an outsole, midsole, and upper change to their models.

Torin 4.0 Regular

The Torin 4.0 is your lighter and faster neutral trainer that can be used for everyday runs.

It’s also great for an up-tempo run and it can even hold up to being your marathon shoe as well.

Altra has removed the Strobel layer with 26mm stack height making the shoe a little bit snappier.

The Torin 4.0 has become a little bit lighter with the introduction of the new Quantic midsole, a rubberized compression-resistant EVA, and a new engineered mesh upper.

Midsole

The Quantic midsole is just a cozy, compression-resistant, snappy midsole. One of the other reasons they call it the Plush is because it has 2 extra millimeters of the Strobel layer.

The Torin 4 is a little bit firmer, and if you want something a little bit softer, that’s where the Torin 4 Plush comes in.

Torin 4 Plush

When you want to turn up the comfort level on your run to 11, that is when the Torin Plush comes in.

Upper

What Altra has done from the Torin 4 regular is that they’ve added a really nice new knit upper.

This new upper is a little bit more breathable, lightweight, comfortable, and also has a structure that’s going to hold your feet like a sock while still being supportive. It also looks cool when you’re running or when you’re walking around town.

That in addition to a new Strobel layer which makes the Plush’s stack height 28mm as opposed to the Torin 4.0’s 26mm is all going to be about step-in comfort.

As soon as you put the Plush on, you’re going to feel that new Strobel layer that feels really nice under your metatarsals.

Heel

There’s two key components that these two amazing shoes share as well. Altra has rounded the heel off a little bit more from their previous models.

This is going to make the shoes a little bit snugger in the heel area to give you a little bit more natural stability in controlling your shoe as you are landing. That will help improve take-off and a more comfortable landing for you as well.

The other thing is they put a strap that’s going to come over the top of your foot into both models.

Previously, it was just available in the mesh version and what that actually does is as you leave the ground, it’s going to be nice and snug to hold you in there.

Outsole

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Also, for the first time in the Torin, they’ve added a full-contact carbon rubber outsole to increase durability, which proves Altra listens to their customers who have wanted this for a while.

Zero Drop

As always with Altra shoes, the Torin 4 has their zero-drop balanced platform which Altra says it puts your foot in its proper position and allows you to have proper posture while running and walking.

Altra wants to maintain that proper posture of the hips and back in order to keep stress off of those areas. So, the Torin allows you to do that with a whole lot of cushion.

Foot Shaped Toe Box

Altra shoes are also famous for their foot-shaped toe box, which allows your toes to splay and actually allows the bones and metatarsals of your foot to realign and help stabilize themselves.

Altra is all about allowing those toes to spread out and let them sit naturally. So, Altra is doing hard to make the healthiest holistically designed shoes.

In short, the Altra Torin 4.0 regular is snappy whereas the Torin 4 Plush is going to maximize comfort underfoot for all those miles.

Women’s Last

Altra is also one of the running shoe companies that build running shoes that are specifically designed for women’s biomechanics.

They did that by tracing hundreds of women’s feet that they eventually created their very own specific Fit4Her last.

How is the women’s last different from the men’s?

There’s a longer arch area, a higher instep, a little bit more of a narrow heel, and the flex points on the outsole are a little bit closer to the toe box.

So the Altra Torin 4 and the 4 Plush are going to make women and men feel more comfortable and be able to run a little more naturally.

Last but not least, runners with Hallux Rigidus and high arches also love the Torin.

Cons

  • A Bit Tight in the Mid-Foot
  • Zero-drop takes getting used to

Best New Balance Shoes For Metatarsalgia

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8 

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New-Balance-1080v8-Fresh-Foam-running-shoes-metatarsalgia

The 1080v8 is one of the best running shoes for Metatarsalgia and bad knees.

It is considered to be New Balance’s premium cushioned shoe, which makes it ideal for Metatarsalgia.

The 1080v8 doesn’t look too much different than the 1080v7, but here’s why I found different in the 8th iteration of the 1080 series.

Upper

Starting off with the upper, the NB1080 uses the engineered mesh that is fairly basic, but it works well.

The 1080v8’s mesh seems a bit softer on foot, slightly more breathable and just overall more comfortable.

There are some overlays that maintain the structure of the upper while the toe cap gives the front of the shoe a bit more reinforcement.

Combined with a modified heel counter, the upper is one of the most supportive uppers in the neutral category.

The cushion around the heel and tongue is moderate, which I think works well. Sometimes, too much cushion around the foot isn’t the best and this upper finds a happy medium.

Fresh Foam Midsole

The midsole brings back the Fresh Foam. Fresh Foam is one of the softest foams you can find in any shoe this year. The plushness is real.

The underfoot feel is great for those who need that extra comfort for their ball-of-foot pain or for their longer runs.

The Fresh Foam V8 has a slightly different look than the V7. The midsole patterns are a little bit different and the shoe has some small little engravings towards the heel.

I’m assuming this must help with the compression of the foam to be a bit softer or at least it feels softer when you’re running in it.

Outsole

New-Balance-1080v8-Fresh-Foam-running-shoes-metatarsalgia-outsole

The outsole looks very similar to the V7 with extended rubber throughout the shoe. The rubber near the perimeter of the shoe is a bit tougher compared to the parts of the outsole where the rubber is a bit softer.

This blend of hard and soft rubber helps the shoe have decent durability, great impact protection and added comfort.

The base is wide which really gives the shoe a stable platform, but the flexibility is pretty stiff, which I suppose helps the shoe be more stable, but I would prefer a bit more flex in my step.

The NB 1080v8 is a great running shoe for comfort. Yet, it’s still a bulky shoe but it has a very nice roomy toe box which is great for people with bunions.

It may not be a great everyday running shoe if you’re wanting to hit some faster paces and the responsiveness is lacking because it has the purpose of being a high cushion, high comfort road shoe.

If you need a running shoe that can do a long run, recovery runs, or something for everyday comfort, this can be your shoe.

But if you want to go fast, well you may want to check out the Saucony Kinvara.

Last but not least, this is one of the best New Balance shoes for capsulitis.

For more reviews, colors, and prices, go to Amazon.

Last but not least, this is a great New Balance shoe for Plantar Fasciitis.

Cons

  • A bit bulky and pricey.

New Balance 1080v10

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This is the 10th version of the 1080 Fresh Foam series and I wanted to include it for people who would want an updated version of the 1080v7 above.

Upper

The 1080v10 has a totally revamped upper. In this version, we have an engineered Hypoknit which is similar to what we’ve seen in shoes like the New Balance Zante Pursuit.

This knit has a very elastic stretchy feel to it. You may find it a bit snug around your toes at first, but once it adapts, it’s good to go.

Breathability in the 1080v10 has also improved in some ways with the ventilation on the toe box that helps with airflow, which is nice because nobody wants hot feet.

The 1080v10 still has that bootie-like fit which keeps the fit snug and simple. On the sides, there are some stitched-in overlays within the design to help give the midfoot some structure.

The other big change is the new heel design which New Balance calls the Ultra Heel. When the 1080 series fans first saw this heel design, they just thought it might just ruin an already great shoe.

Luckily, the new heel design causes no issues. It is still supportive with no slipping and irritation in the heel, and everything else is about what you’d expect.

Also, New Balance did put some padding into the tongue, which is fine.

Midsole

Something that is also good and that interests runners with Metatarsalgia more is the underfoot cushioning. The NB 1080v10 is all about giving you guys more cushion for the pushin’, the pace.

The midsole features a revamped Fresh Foam called Fresh Foam X. This Fresh Foam is straight up comfortable. If you’re into the plush soft compressive ride feel, then this is your shoe.

This foam provides a nice bounce that just saves your knees, feet, and metatarsal heads from that pounding that many of us go through during those longer runs.

While the Fresh Foam X is supposed to have more energy return in a bounce-back feel, this Fresh Foam setup in the 1080v10 is not meant for speed.

The stack-height and the softer feel just encourages us to use this shoe for longer or slower runs, not for speed and tempo runs. So for the purpose of the 1080v10, it is a great job underfoot.

Outsole

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The outsole has a mix of medium and firm strategic blown rubber. This combination seems to help with cushion even more.

Traction-wise, it gets about what you would expect. It’s great on road-like surfaces, light dirt paths, and it’s actually not too bad on wet roads.

As a max cushion shoe, the new New Balance 1080v10 is great. It comes with narrow and wide options, feels pretty light for the amount of cushion that you’re getting, and as long as you have a neutral foot strike, the ride is pretty smooth.

Some runners who wear stability shoes claim that the compressive midsole really does not do much as far as providing pronation support.

So for those needing more support, you may want to try the Fresh Foam Vongo which is a soft supportive option.

When it comes to long and recovery runs, the 1080v10 can definitely be a go-to shoe. I think New Balance took some risk with this new update and I think it paid off.

Chris says the NB 1080v10 is great for his Metatarsalgia, narrow feet, and high arches. Read his review.

One last thing, the v10 is also one of the best running shoes for Metatarsalgia and wide feet.

Cons

  • Fresh Foam X is a bit firmer than previous foam.

Best Brooks Shoes For Metatarsalgia

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19

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Nalissa bought the GTS 19 based on the recommendation of her podiatrist. Read her story on Amazon.

The GTS 19 is a shoe for anyone. GTS actually means Go-To Shoe. It’s a shoe for you if you do a 5k or 10K more frequently or if you’re a marathon runner.

The Adrenaline 19 is for someone who needs protection and wants to make sure that they can continue running and have the appropriate amount of support regardless of the mileage.

Midsole

The key updates from the GTS 18 include adding DNA Loft to the heel area. DNA Loft is Brooks’ new premium cushioning system that will make for a smoother transition while running or walking.

Brooks has also added more air and added polyurethane to offer a really bouncy landing.

GuideRails

The big change for the GTS 19 is the addition of the GuideRails. This is an on-demand holistic support system integrated on both the inside and the outside of the shoe.

The idea behind the GuideRails is Brooks wanted to influence your foot to move as it would naturally and NOT alter it. So GuideRails activate ONLY when your feet need them to.

Upper

The big changes in the upper have to do with an updated internal booty and an added design on the mesh.

The engineered air mesh on the upper is really lightweight and breathable and pretty much disappears as soon as you put on your foot.

The heel area sees the addition of a heel pad.

Outsole

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The outsole on the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 has carbon rubber on the heel. Carbon rubber is really hard-wearing and because most runners are heel strikers, that area of the outsole is going to hold up really nicely.

The forefoot features blown rubber which is a bit softer and a bit more responsive.

Last but not least, the Adrenaline GTS 19 is one of the best running shoes for Metatarsalgia, shin splints, and Achilles Tendonitis.

Cons

  • Ride might feel different for lifetime fans.

Brooks Ghost 11

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As one of the most popular shoes within the Brooks run line, the Brooks Ghost 11 is a neutral daily trainer that has been around for many years and the 11th iteration won’t disappoint.

The Ghost is back with several changes to improve fit and performance while still maintaining the same feel runners have come to know and love.

Upper

The upper is also reconstructed and features a new engineered mesh with targeted zones to offer the perfect blend of stretch and support.

With the 11th iteration, it was the first time Brooks really expanded to their 3D stretch material because they wanted to make all of their uppers feel more like a sock.

This is great because some people might need a narrow or a wider width and the Ghost 11 expands and contracts around the foot perfectly.

The forefoot is not scrunched like you can get in some more narrow shoes. This shoe has a nice splayed forefoot to give you plenty of room and the engineered mesh is nice and flexible so you’re not going to have any pinching, blisters, or hot spots.

The midfoot wraps around your foot really nicely. It’s seamless except you have a little bit of welded overlays for security and durability.

Finished off with an updated heel counter, the shoe further enhances heel support while keeping your foot locked in place.

Midsole

One of the biggest updates to the shoe is the addition of DNA Loft foam in the heel which works together with BioMogo DNA to offer a soft and adaptive underfoot experience.

It offers plenty of stability, not in terms of like an overpronation wedge but just in terms of being a solid platform.

The Ghost 11 is a bit heavier than the 10. The weight difference seems to be the addition of the new DNA AMP, which is what’s putting the shoes to kind of make it a little more bouncy.

This must be a heavier blend and all of the new shoes tend to be heavier. This new technology is definitely a benefit to the shoe and the added weight is not a hindrance whatsoever.

Outsole

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On the outsole, only small modifications are made to the rubber to keep the ride smooth while still providing the necessary durability for long miles on the road.

Swiss Army knife

One of the things why the Ghost 11 is such a popular shoe is it’s like the Swiss army knife of shoes meaning you can really put the shoe on almost any runner.

The Ghost 11 is:

  • Good for somebody who’s maybe a new runner who wants to get into it.
  • Cushioned enough for somebody looking to do a half marathon or a marathon.
  • A good price point for a high-school runner who wants to start getting into running
  • Good for somebody who wants to go to the gym.

The Ghost 11 is not built for someone who severely overpronates or someone with a flatter foot and needs a little bit more stability.

Besides that, it’s just a great all-around running shoe and it’s why it’s one of Brooks’ best-selling shoes year after year.

Because it can fill so many boxes for so many different runners, this shoe gets really high scores from everybody who’s ever tried it.

Rosemary Litchfield says the Ghost 11’s cushioning helps with her Metatarsalgia. Read her review.

The Brooks Ghost 11 is one of the best running shoes for Metatarsalgia, wide feet, and bunions.

Cons

  • Upper lacks some structure

Brooks Beast 18

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Drillman says The Brooks Beast 18 provides good relief for his Metatarsalgia pain. Read his review here.

This is a motion control running shoe so it’s a super stable shoe for overpronators’ needs.

The newest improvements for the Beast 18 are the new improved fit with the upper, the updated external heel counter, and a brand new last.

Upper

The new fit on the upper with the engineered mesh gives you a lot more space for your toes.

It’s a very nice spacious toe box which helps with the natural toe splay that you’re going to have inside your shoes.

The new updated external heel counter offers more reinforced stability in the heel to help for that stability aspect of the Brooks Beast.

The heel counter also gives you a nice locked-in fit so your heel doesn’t slip in and out of the shoe itself.

The last

The other new update is the new last. A last is the shape of the shoe and the one on the Beast 18 mimics the shape of your foot giving you a lot more room in the forefoot area.

Again, this will really help spread out your toes and really give you that nice sense of natural motion when you run or walk.

Outsole

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Around the entire shoe is the full-length segmented crash pad that gives you a smooth heel-to-toe transition when you’re on your long runs. It really helps absorb all that shock on the crash pad.

All of this cushioning and motion control features do add to the weight of the shoe, but it’s a really stable shoe that’ll really help you get through in your long runs no matter where your foot strikes on the ground.

Last but not least, Brooks has listened to all of the runners from the previous Beast 16. Accordingly, the Brooks Beast 18 has a widened toe box to give the runner a lot more space in the forefoot.

It’s also one of the best running shoes for Metatarsalgia and overpronation issues.

Cons

  • It’s on the heavy side, but only because it’s a motion control shoe that’s loaded with tons of motion and severe overpronation control.

Brooks Transcend 4

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With an 8mm heel-to-toe offset, the Transcend 4 is a premium daily running shoe designed for moderate to severe overpronators who are looking for stability and maximum cushioning.

The amount of underfoot cushioning the Transcend 4 offers provides superior comfort for the metatarsal heads.

Upper

The upper features a new mesh design that utilizes 3D Fit Print technology. The 3D Fit Print technology does not only look great but it applies strategic stretch and structure for a better feel. It also provides a secure and seamless fit.

The Transcend 4 also features a synthetic midfoot saddle built into the lacing system which allows for a really custom fit.

There’s a plush tongue and collar to really give you that comfort around your ankles and a Pebax External Heel Counter that helps reduce heel rotation.

Inside

There’s a soft element fabric lining as well to give you a great in-shoe feel and a profile sock liner that is removable to give room for your own custom orthotics.

Midsole

Not only that, but there’s a full-length S-257 Cushsole midsole compound that utilizes an insole board for increased plush and flexibility.

Utilizing an improved GuideRails system to help further reduce overpronation, this trainer is built to take on the demands of daily training.

Outsole

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The bottom of the shoe features quite a few things going on. There’s a rounded heel that promotes better alignment and helps to minimize the stress in your joints.

There’s also blown rubber in the forefoot and abrasion-resistant HPR+ throughout the outsole to give it long-lasting durability.

There’s even Ideal Pressure Zones that evenly disperse impact away from the body for an easier ride.

Not only will the Brooks Transcend 4 transcend your expectations, but you can get ready to transcend your competition as well, which by the way should always be yourself 🙂

Cons

  • Less arch support in the women’s version compared to the previous model.

Best Saucony Shoes For Metatarsalgia

Saucony Guide ISO 2

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The Saucony Guide ISO 2 is a high-mileage shoe with some stability that can take you through long runs to fast workouts.

Being a stability shoe with a medial posting through the medial side, the Saucony Guide ISO 2 is a lightweight shoe for its stability class.

It’s a moderate stability shoe and not an overly aggressive stability shoe. If you overpronate moderately, you’re going to stay really healthy on the Guide.

So if you’re looking for a stability shoe that’s cushioned, fast, and lightweight, this is what you want.

Upper & ISO FIT

Saucony introduced a seamless jacquard breathable mesh upper, the ISO FIT treatment, and a FORMFIT contoured footbed.

The ISOFIT lacing system is set on the midfoot area to really lock you down in that kind of cockpit and it’s adjustable to give you the perfect fit. This means that you can tighten a section and then loosen up another section.

The Guide ISO 1’s forefoot was not that deep and the top of the shoe would rub on the big toe and across the top of the foot.

Compared to that, the Guide ISO 2 is a little bit deeper and Saucony fixed this issue.

The Guide ISO 2 does run a little bit wider through the toe box, which is great but it’s something to note if you’re a person with a narrow foot.

The shoe has a really nice heel collar and combined with the jacquard mesh and the ISOFIT, what you get is a shoe that you step in and it just fits like a slipper.

Inside

Inside the shoe, there’s the Performance Contoured Footbed to cushion your ride and ball of your foot. It’s layered with one small layer of the EVERUN material so that you have more cushion throughout your long runs.

Midsole

The Guide ISO 2 carries over the POWRFOAM midsole and EVERUN topsole cushioning to give you energetic cushioning while the second-density medial post guides the foot towards its natural gait.

When the EVERUN topsole came out, it was really spongy and pretty responsive but really soft. Saucony tuned that a little bit and now EVRUN feels a little less spongy but still responsive.

Outsole

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The outsole is full-ground contact and it’s pretty sticky. A lot of other running shoe companies try to make their outsoles too durable and what happens is it’s not grippy as it should be and you, therefore, lose a lot of traction.

The outsole on the Guide ISO 2 feels good and you can stick the landing even in the wintertime if you’re hitting some roads with ice and snow on it.

The Guide ISO 2 is back to fitting and feeling like the Guide has always felt, which is the perfect combination of lightweight but high-mileage stability.

This is an ideal shoe for a longer run on easy days. For a Saucony shoe, it’s a little bit on the softer end but it’s also nice and light considering it’s in the stability category.

The Saucony Guide ISO 2 is available in a wide for men and women and trail version for the first time.

As Saucony says, stability or cushioning? The answer is why not both.

Y. Alexander finds the Guide ISO’s thick sole to be adequate for his Metatarsalgia and arthritis. Read his review.

Finally, the Guide ISO 2 is one of the best running shoes for Metatarsalgia, knee, and back pain.

Cons

  • Lack of breathability.

Saucony Triumph ISO 2

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Note: The Triumph ISO is at its 5th iteration, but I still find the 2nd version to be the best option for Metatarsalgia. Read what Lillith and ESedlin say about the Triumph 2 and their Metatarsalgia.

The Saucony Triumph ISO 2 is for the runner who’s looking for a premiere plush neutral shoe that they can do all their mileage in. So it’s designed for a runner with a neutral gait style and it’s great for metatarsal pain.

Upper

The Triumph ISO has 3 major components that will represent the update to the wide-open mesh upper, the ISO Fit that’s designed to make the shoe fit like a glove no matter what your foot shape is.

The first component is the ISOFIT. There’s a sleeve that you would slip your foot into and it conforms individually around the shape of your foot.

The second component is the cradle of little fingers that come up around the foot on either side. So when you lace the shoe, it will adapt to the shape of your foot not only during the fit process but also in motion.

The third component of the upper is the seamless construction of the toe box. This will enhance the user experience to provide a lot of comfort and, again, personalize the fit and the feel of the shoe.

The ISO lacing system grips the foot to reduce rubbing and movement within the shoe.

So,  Saucony will be continuing with the ISOFIT upper, the support straps that come around and cinch around the foot giving a nice kind of personal customized fit.

Again, the upper is an air mesh that’s very breathable. This construction allows for a very conforming fit.

Midsole

One of the key updates to the Triumph ISO 2 is the use of EVERUN. EVERUN is a cushioning compound that is placed within the shoe to complement the existing PWRGRID+ midsole.

EVERUN is actually contained within the shoe under the sock liner and is a continuous piece of material.

What it does is it offers continuous cushioning from heel to toe for the overall experience of the runner.

It also provides a more resilient, more lively, more responsive feel on top of the shoe as the runner goes forward from heel to toe.

Saucony also uses EVERUN within the landing zone to absorb the initial point of contact as the runner hits the ground and then transitions forward.

Outsole

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A key update to the outsole of the Triumph ISO 2 would be the TriFlex outsole. The TriFlex outsole was modified to provide a little bit more surface area for weight distribution as well as increased flexibility to make for a very efficient push-off for the runner.

To summarize the three updates of the Triumph ISO 2:

  • The improvement of the ISOFIT upper
  • The addition of EVERUN within the shoe
  • The TriFlex outsole

Cons

  • Runs a hair small.

Saucony Triumph ISO 5

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Saucony-Triumph-ISO-5-running-shoes

There’s a reason why this series keeps coming back and that’s because runners love it.

The Triumph ISO 5 is a neutral shoe and it’s built for the neutral to underpronator. So, if you are an overpronator, the Guide ISO offers the same cushioning with that added stability medial posting.

Upper & ISOFIT

The upper has an engineered jacquard mesh that looks and feels much more premium than the Triumph ISO 4’s upper.

The upper has enough stretch to accommodate even wide feet but still supportive enough to keep your feet in place.

The ISOFIT lacing system is like a segmented cage lacing system that does the job of providing a comfortable personalized fit and wrap around feet without causing pressure, which is great for people with top-of-foot pain.

The fit of the Triumph ISO 4 was a bit narrow, but Saucony must have listened and they’ve widened up the shoe across the board. Your feet won’t get cramped and your toes have enough room to splay out.

The inside is lined with a smooth fabric lining with a padded footbed that’s going to keep your feet comfy and all day long.

Midsole

The Triumph ISO 4 felt firm, which is not a bad thing for some. However, when competing with other shoes in the same market like the New Balance 1080, the Brooks Glycerin, or the Asics Nimbus, you have to be able to keep up with the cushion.

So, Saucony added an extra bit of EVERUN to give the Triumph ISO 5 a bit more room for compression.

This made the Triumph ISO softer than the previous version, which helped it compete with the gurus I mentioned earlier.

With all this cushioning, the Triumph ISO 5 still provides a good amount of response and still offers a nice sense of feedback for your foot strike.

The EVERUN topsole and EVERUN midsole combo would help you run forever.  There’s so much cushion underfoot that the ball of your foot and your metatarsals are going to feel really comfortable.

The Triumph 5 is by no means a fast-day shoe but more so a protective shoe that you can pick up the pace if you want to.

Outsole

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The Tri-Flex outsole got an upgrade with the use of Saucony’s crystal rubber. This is the same rubber used on that outsole on the Saucony Freedom and Saucony Liberty ISO series.

This crystal rubber outsole is one of the most durable outsoles out there. Thanks to this new outsole, the traction has improved on wet surfaces compared to the previous model. However, the flexibility is just a tad less than the Triumph ISO 4.

The crystal rubber outsole just keeps you moving forward all the time while still getting that nice responsive and cushioned ride the entire time.

So what’s great about Saucony is they really listen to us, runners. In the Saucony Triumph ISO 5, they fixed the fit by making the shoe a bit wider, they added to the softness, they gave us their premium outsole material, and they gave us a modern look.

Cons

  • A little heavy and a bit wide for narrow feet.

Saucony Zealot ISO

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saucony-zealot-iso-running-shoes

At Saucony, one of the things they pride themselves on is listening to their runners. A lot of runners who have been enjoying running in a lower offset running shoe wanted to do so with a responsible degree of cushioning. That’s what the Zealot is and that’s the role it plays in the ISO series line.

This is a great option for a runner who wants to transition into a lower offset shoe that’s going to help them become a more efficient runner but doesn’t want to sacrifice cushion.

The Zealot gives you a wonderfully lightweight plush experience so you can get the best of both worlds, lightweight flexible upper and a super-cushioned platform.

Upper

The upper is ISOFIT. The ISOFIT component will help to isolate the fit around the foot to adapt while the foot’s in motion and also to give a great supportive feel even just standing or walking. The ISOFIT lacing system provides an amazing fit experience.

Also, the Zealot has Saucony’s dynamic fit that really powers the runner through a tremendous running experience.

Midsole

Like the other ISO series shoes, the Zealot features the PWRGRID+ platform that Saucony says it has 20% more cushioning than a standard midsole. The offset is 4 millimeters with 21mm in the forefoot and 25mm in the heel.

The Zealot gives a light responsive and yet protective feel for someone who wants to go fast and really go quick outdoor for their everyday run.

saucony-zealot-iso-running-shoes-outsole

The bottom is engineered to give a dynamic transition and responsive feel underfoot.

By definition, the Saucony Zealot ISO is a neutral plush highly-responsive trainer for everyday running and when you want to go fast.

The Saucony Zealot ISO is for a runner who is adamant and passionate about pursuing the best running experience that they can possibly have.

Cons

  • Unappealing for runners with narrow feet

Best Adidas Shoes For Metatarsalgia

Adidas UltraBoost 19

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adidas-ultraboost-19-running-shoes

You’ve probably seen or heard a lot about the new UltraBoost and how it looks with skinny jeans and joggers.

But what you would want to know is how does it fare as a running shoe especially for Metatarsalgia sufferers.

The Original UltraBoost was designed to be a performance running shoe. But before you know it, the shoe became one of those popular lifestyle shoes around essentially making it seem less of a running shoe.

Apparently, Adidas wanted to go back to the drawing board and make some functional changes.

Upper

The upper now has what Adidas calls their PrimeKnit 360. It’s woven throughout the shoe to fit the foot a bit more precisely and securely.

Off the bat, I would say it fits better performance-wise than any of the UltraBoost’s before.

While the PrimeKnit is fully adaptable, it is not as stretchy as the previous models. Combined with a translucent mesh cage, the midfoot stability is much improved.

The older UltraBoost’s had plastic cages that seemed to irritate some runners. The UltraBoost 19 doesn’t have that problem, but as far as how it looks, that’s your call. Fit and breathability-wise, this UltraBoost is one of the best by far.

The heel counter uses what Adidas calls their 3D Heel Frame. It gives the shoe some support as far as giving it a bit more integrity.

It also works as somewhat of a sidewall to help with the overall stability of the shoe. It is not life-changing, but you could feel the difference when picking up the pace or taking tighter turns.

The overall fit of the one-piece upper is very comfortable and the toe box feels pretty good with no hot spots. The PrimeKnit quickly adapts to your foot very nicely.

The only real change to the upper besides that is the tongue. The tongue used to flare outward, but now it is tapered inwards towards the foot.

Midsole

The midsole has full-length Boost which is super-comfortable and has that nice balance.

When landing or coming off your midfoot, you can feel it’s a tad more cushion compared to the other UltraBoost’s, which is great news for runners with Metatarsalgia.

Considering the amount of cushion the UltraBoost has, it’s definitely going to be a slower to moderate pace shoe.

Outsole

The outsole features a full Continental rubber setup that has been modified just a bit. Other than that, it’s the same idea.

The stretch web keeps the UltraBoost stabilized and traction on road surfaces is good. However, it performs poorly on grass.

The updated Torsion Spring Support system does a good job of guiding the foot through transition.

The overall Adidas UltraBoost 19 as a running shoe is the best that it’s ever been.

  • The overall fit is improved
  • The shoe just feels more secure
  • The new PrimeKnit just works better for running
  • The Boost feels as good as ever.
celt67 on Amazon says the UltraBoost is awesome for his Metatarsalgia issues. Read his review.

Cons

  • Color schemes might seem awkward and bland for some.
  • The weight. Boost might be life, but it is also on the heavy side of the spectrum.

Best Nike Running Shoes For Metatarsalgia

Nike VaporFly 4% 

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NIKE-VAPORFLY-4-running-shoes-metatarsalgia

The Vaporfly 4% is Nike’s leading consumer model in the breaking 2 series of shoes.

Now that the 2-hour barrier in the marathon has finally been broken, the idea that Nike actually helped Kipchoge do it really excited the running world.

The Vaporfly is Nike’s new premier long-distance road racing model. The marketing of the shoe is that the shoe should enable runners to run 4% more efficient than a traditional shoe on average.

But what does that actually mean? Is it just marketing? Probably.

Upper

The upper of the Vaporfly 4% uses very light FlyMesh and I say lightweight because the FlyMesh is super-lightweight, super-breathable, and adaptable.

It’s one of those things you really start to notice when you’re running in the heat and your foot isn’t melting.

The fit of the shoe is pretty snug in the midfoot but opens up nicely to allow your toes to have enough room when you need it.

Typically, FlyMesh is coupled with the use of FlyWire, but not this time. This shoe simply uses the FlyMesh and some very small overlays to help with the structure of the shoe.

I think having the FlyWire would have helped a bit more with the stability of the shoe because the upper can feel a little bit flimsy at times. Yet, that isn’t bad considering how lightweight the shoe is.

The heel cup isn’t really that structured, but it’s flexible and not very invasive. Your foot will stay in the shoe with no problem – no slipping, no complaints.

In short, it’s a very simple upper and simple design that gets the job done.

Midsole

The Vaporfly is the first commercial shoe to introduce Nike’s new midsole technology called Zoom X.

So what makes Zoom X so different?

Zoom X for me is pretty much the best thing I’ve ever felt in a running shoe because the energy return on this shoe is probably on par with the Adidas’ Boost.

The Zoom X is not quite as soft as Boost but it was comfortable. This will be subjective, but for me, Zoom X provides a better feel for running.

Either way, I’m loving this new midsole and I’m hoping that Nike will use Zoom X on other models in the shoes in the near future.

The VaporFly feels fast although you might be slow. You’ll feel as if you could hold a faster pace a bit easier.

Outsole

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What makes the Vaporfly a fast shoe?

This is likely because of the full-length carbon plate that almost works as a lever to help transition you off your stride and into the next ride.

The plate gives the shoe a responsive feel while maintaining a high stack height.

The outsole is almost identical to the Nik Zoom Fly. There’s rubber on the forefoot and on the heel of the shoe.

Similar to the Zoom Fly, the Vaporfly 4% is not very flexible, but I believe the design of the shoe takes that into account.

So I think you’ll get the Nike Vaporfly 4% if:

  • You’re someone who’s already in great shape and like that extra edge in your races.
  • You’re someone who loves running but suffers from Metatarsalgia and want to experience the cushioning and comfort of the Zoom X technology.
  • You’re someone who has a little extra money and doesn’t mind the price tag.

But if you’re someone who runs casually, I think this shoe may be more of a cool thing to have than what it’s worth.

The shoe is cool but the Zoom X technology is what stole the show for me, and maybe for you, too.

As I said, I’m hopeful that Nike will put Zoom X in other models of shoes eventually, for a cheaper price.

But outside that price tag and based on the performance of the shoe alone, the Nike Vaporfly 4% is an awesome running shoe.

Cons

  • None, except for the price tag

Another shoe that packs tons of cushioning is the Nike Epic React. I’ve recently done a comparison review of the Nike Epic React Vs Adidas Ultra Boost 4.0.

Best Asics Shoes For Metatarsalgia

Asics 33-M

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Eric Chapin was able to run for the first time in weeks with no metatarsal pain. Read his story on Amazon.

The 33 line is under Asics wholesale change. With the ‘M’ standing for maximalism, the 33-M is a new entry into Asics’ brand new natural series.

One of the features you’ll notice right away about the 33-M is the fact that it doesn’t feature GEL which Asics features in pretty much every shoe.

Upper

On the upper, a natural 33 last is combined with a seamless upper to provide a secure glove-like fit.

It also has a nice wide toe box which is great for toe splay for natural running.

It also has a great ComforDry sock liner on the inside on top of a ComforDry lasting making for an extremely soft cushioned natural running shoe.

Midsole

Instead, Asics introduced a brand new midsole called AmpliFoam. AmpliFoam is an incredibly soft yet durable and responsive material.

It will cushion the ball of your feet and your ride all the way from the heel to the forefoot.

One of the great features of AmpliFoam is Asics was able to use less AmpliFoam to recreate more of a cushion.

AmpliFoam comes in at Asics’ lowest Durometer ever, 45 degrees. For those of you who don’t know what that means, it means it’s super soft.

It also features a regular Durometer of Solyte on the bottom which is 53 degrees while the support medial post is 63 degrees. All of this offers an incredibly soft responsive ride.

What makes it even more special is that Asics can make the FluidFoam top layer at a very low density and very soft without it breaking down really fast. It stays really durable while still providing really great cushioning.

It has quite a bit of flexibility but more importantly, it’s not only flexible for the 33 joints of the foot, but it has maximum cushioning.

The drop on the 33-M is 4mm with 24mm in the heel and 20mm in the forefoot. This makes it the lowest drop you’ve ever had in a running shoe.

Outsole

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The midsole works together with a Dura Sponge outsole to enhance cushioning and durability in the forefoot and provide additional traction.

The 33-M is for someone out there who wants to play around a little bit in that natural running aspect of shoes but still wants a very well-cushioned shoe while also still being able to expect the amount of mileage you would normally get out of your everyday trainer.

So with a 4mm heel-to-toe drop and maximally cushioned ride, the Asics 33-M will be sure to keep your legs feeling fresh after logging long miles on the road.

Cons

  • A bit heavy.

So there you have it. These were some of the best running shoes for Metatarsalgia pain (ball of foot pain).

If you’ve run in any other running shoe that has helped ease the pain or heal your Metatarsalgia, please share your experience in the comments section below.

Best Running Shoes for Forefoot Pain

Common injuries and conditions that cause forefoot pain include bunions, Hallux Rigidus, Morton’s Neuroma.

Metatarsalgia FAQ

Our feet have 5 metatarsal bones and they run from the arch of the foot all the way to the toe joints.

Approximately, 20% of the population places too much pressure towards the front of their foot when they walk or run.

This excessive pressure can make you susceptible to many common foot problems including Metatarsalgia or ball-of-foot-pain.

What is Metatarsalgia?

Metatarsalgia is a term used to describe forefoot conditions that cause pain, burning, or discomfort under the ball of the foot or the metatarsal bones. Basically, in a nutshell, Metatarsalgia is a big long word for pain at the ball of the foot.

What causes Metatarsalgia?

Repetitive loading to the ball of the foot or overuse, intense activity, low arches, metatarsal drop where the middle metatarsals drop down a little bit further and then become more of a prominent area to put pressure, very high arches (Pes Cavus), overpronation (foot rolling inward), underpronation (foot rolling outward), tight calf muscles or a stiff ankle may cause increased pressure through the ball of the foot, tight toe extensor muscles, weak toe flexor, muscles, hypermobile (extra flexible) 1st toe, callus formation, Arthritis, improper footwear, degeneration of the cushioning fat pads under the metatarsal heads, bunions, claw toes, hammertoes.

Can I run with Metatarsalgia?

Yes, you can still run with Metatarsalgia only after wearing super-cushioned running shoes to off-load the pressure on your metatarsals. If you still experience pain under the ball of your feet, you have to rest your feet for a while, switch to a low-impact workout, reduce your mileage, or switch to softer surfaces to help absorb impact. When you feel the pain is significantly less and that the symptoms are starting to go away, put on the super-cushioned wide toe box running shoes you’ve bought and just have a quick run. If you feel you’re not getting the pain you used to have, then it’s a good sign your new running shoes are really helpful. If, on the contrary, the pain starts to come back or even get worse, then it’s a sign you need to see your foot doctor and have an x-ray to make sure it’s not a stress fracture or whether or not one of your metatarsals is longer and causing the pain.

Are zero-drop shoes good for Metatarsalgia?

Yes. Zero-drop shoes are really good for Metatarsalgia. But why? Higher-drop shoes place more weight on the ball of the foot. Zero drop shoes actually decrease the pressure on the ball of the foot and disperse body weight across the toes, therefore, off-loading the metatarsal heads.

How long does it take for Mtatarsalgia to go away?

Actually, the recovery time really depends on a number of variables like how severe your Metatarsalgia is, how early did you start treating it, your overall health, strength of your leg muscles, age, other foot deformities you might have like bunions, hammertoes... Mild pain can be treated with cushioned shoes and can disappear after a few days or a few weeks, whereas severe pain can take longer especially if it requires you have surgery.

What are the best shoes for ball of foot pain?

The article itself reviews 16 great running shoes for Metatarsalgia. They are Hoke One One Bondi 5, Hoka One One Vanquish 2, Altra Paradigm 4.0, Altra Torin 4.0 + Altra Torin 4 Plush, New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8, New Balance 1080v10, Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19, Brooks Ghost 11, Brooks Beast 18, Brooks Transcend 4, Saucony Guide ISO 2, Saucony Triumph ISO 2, Saucony Triumph ISO 5, Saucony Zealot ISO, Adidas UltraBoost 19, Nike VaporFly 4%, Asics 33-M

How do I know if I have Metatarsalgia? (Symptoms)

The symptoms of Metatarsalgia include pain or a burning sensation at the ball of the feet when standing, walking or running, which then feels better when you’re at rest, sharp-shooting pain at your toes, numbness, or tingling at your toes, pain in the area around your second, third or fourth toes, or only near your big toes, callus and thickening of the skin underneath the ball of your foot, swelling.

How do you tape a metatarsal?

How-do-you-tape-a-metatarsal

A lot of runners, especially marathon runners, have found that taping your sore balls and arch of the feet helped in a certain way that they did not feel as sore as before.

How is Metatarsalgia Diagnosed?

Well, it’s diagnosed by taking history, doing a physical exam, X-ray, and F-Scan.

Physical exam

With a physical exam, essentially, you look for areas of tenderness in the forefoot. You’ll typically see them at the base of one or more of the toes.

X-ray

An X-ray can be helpful to make sure there’s no stress fracture and if the metatarsal bone is longer, which is something known as a risk factor for Metatarsalgia.

F-Scan

In addition, there are certain devices that will look at how weight is distributed across the front of the foot like the F-Scan Dynamic pressure Study.

An F-Scan is a way to measure dynamic pressures during walking or running from heel to toe.

It’s also a great tool to really determine how effective an orthotic is at reducing the pressures through the ball of your foot.

What Does Metatarsalgia Feel Like? (Symptoms)

  • Pain or a burning sensation at the ball of the feet when standing, walking or running, which then feels better when you’re at rest.
  • Sharp-shooting pain at your toes, numbness, or tingling at your toes.
  • Pain in the area around your second, third or fourth toes, or only near your big toes.
  • Callus and thickening of the skin underneath the ball of the foot.
  • Swelling.

How is Metatarsalgia Treated

There are various other methods you can utilize to help ease your pain and you can actually treat Metatarsalgia at home.

Rest

Protect your foot from further injury by not stressing it.

First, you need to avoid any aggravating activities and just stay off your foot as much as you can.

Elevate

Remember to elevate your foot after standing, walking, or running.

Activity modification

Another thing you can do is activity modification. Try to look for ways to decrease the repetitive loading through your foot.

Ice

Ice your feet several times a day for 20 minutes each time.

Wear shoes at home

The first thing to do is to start wearing shoes both inside and outside the house. I usually recommend purchasing some kind of a slip-on comfortable shoe for wearing around the house that you put on as soon as you come in the home.

By doing so, your shoe allows for pressure to be relieved and cushioned over a longer period of time.

Often, the swelling and the pain that has developed under the ball of the foot will disappear by wearing a cushioned shoe around the house.

These cushioned shoes cushion the ball of the foot and allow the metatarsal heads to be able to sink in and be a little bit cushioned.

The best shoes to wear at home aren’t too flexible and have a stiffer sole to actually reduce the pain that you might have in your metatarsal head area.

Running shoe selection

What runners who have Metatarsalgia really need to do is reduce the pressure in the ball of the foot during running.

The very first thing you should think about is cushioning in your running shoes. So shoe construction including cushioning is very important.

So make sure your running shoes or the running you’re going to get have adequate midsole cushioning built into it.

What you should also be looking at is the toe rocker design. The toe rocker really is the bending that occurs in the construction of the shoe beginning at the metatarsals.

A shoe with an adequate toe rocker actually allows more of a rocking motion during running and therefore doing a great job decreasing pressure through the ball of the foot.

Metatarsalgia insoles

Another thing that can be really helpful is an appropriate insert. You can either an over-the-counter soft insert or a custom insert.

An orthotic or an arch support device transfers pressure energy away from the ball of the foot and places that pressure in the relatively low impact areas of the arch.

A condition-specific orthotic is essentially an orthotic with modifications built into the orthotic that really help reduce pressure through the region of concern.

There are some good orthotics that are good for Metatarsalgia in the second metatarsal. These have a semi-rigid plastic material shell which contours the arch.

They have a foam-based metatarsal that will reduce pressure fairly evenly through the ball of the foot. They also have a recess underneath the second metatarsal to actually offload the second metatarsal.

This pressure reduction will go a long way to help relieve pain and the symptoms associated with Metatarsalgia.

There are other condition-specific orthotics designed more specific to someone who has a generalized Metatarsalgia through the ball of the foot or the metatarsal region.

They have a semi-rigid plastic material shell that helps contour the arch. This decreases pressure through the ball of the foot. Then the foam-based metatarsal pad is also designed to place more pressure just behind the metatarsals.

This kind of orthotic has no specific padding or modification to the ball of the foot because what they’re really designed to do is reduce pressure from the metatarsals by the use of this pad.

Another condition-specific orthotic is designed more for people who have diffuse Metatarsalgia. The area of concern involves the second, third, and fourth metatarsals.

This kind of orthotic is modified by placing a metatarsal pad that will further decrease pressure through the ball of the foot as well as added cushioning in the form of a soft foam cushion padding under the ball of the foot to decrease pressure and improve comfort.

New Balance Pressure Relief Insoles with Metatarsal Support IPR3030

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The New Balance Pressure Relief insole with metatarsal support is a great full-length arch cushion insole that is trimmed to fit. It’s also available in a wide size.

If you give an area that’s inflamed or calloused a little bit of relief behind it, you off-load pressure and that’s going to help with Metatarsalgia.

It’s great with all arches and helps with:

  • Arch pain.
  • Heel pain.
  • Back pain.
  • Knee pain
  • Pain associated with Plantar Fasciitis and Arthritis.

It features a deep heel cup for added stability as well as a metatarsal pad to help keep your metatarsals aligned and help off-load them.

The bottom of the insole also has extra ball-of-foot and heel cushioning.

It’s made of a triple-layer foam material that is EVA, PVC, and latex-free. It features custom airflow channels for added breathability.

This insole is great for walking, running, standing, or for use in casual or dress shoes as well as general athletic shoes. It’s also great for military boots, work boots, and hiking or backpacking footwear.

Do metatarsal pads work?

metatarsal-pad-for-metatarsalgia-ball-of-foot-pain

You can also use a metatarsal pad that has a dome of relief, but make sure you place it right behind the metatarsal area.

If it’s positioned in the right place, it can really help off-load and help de-stress the area of pain and can be quite helpful in controlling the symptoms.

Where do you put metatarsal foot pads?

You can:

  • Add it to the footbed of your running shoes and it might provide you with a little bit of extra relief.
  • Put the pad inside your sandals and slip-on home shoes.
  • Add it to your arch support insole.

Read a study by Kuopio University Hospital “The Effect of Metatarsal Padding on Pain and Functional Ability in Metatarsalgia

How to make your own metatarsal pads

Cluffy wedge

cluffy-wedge-for-metatarsalgia-ball-of-foot-pain

If you have a lot of pain in the outer half of your foot behind the metatarsal heads, it could be because your big toe is not functioning properly.

A device that works particularly well for that is a device called the cluffy wedge. It’s a piece that attaches to the insole of the shoe and provides just enough relief to allow your big toe to function normally.

When that happens, pressure is equally distributed across your entire foot instead of allowing your foot to roll out.

The cluffy wedge is also good for Capsulitis of the second toe.

See a doctor

When you feel the pain is significantly less and that the symptoms are starting to go away, put on the super-cushioned wide toe box running shoes you’ve bought and just have a quick run.

If you feel you’re not getting the pain you used to have, then it’s a good sign your new running shoes are really working for you.

If, on the contrary, the pain starts to come back or even get worse, then it’s a sign you need to see your foot doctor and have an x-ray to make sure it’s not a stress fracture or whether or not one of your metatarsals is longer and causing the pain.

Your doctor will usually get an X-ray of your foot to determine whether the length of your metatarsals is appropriate.

The X-ray can also determine whether or not you’ve had a drop with your metatarsals or other deformities of the foot that might have led you to develop this pain.

In addition, your doctor will often put a pad in your shoe behind the area that allows it to lift up so that you don’t have pressure.

Your doctor will then sometimes use a custom orthotic that is contoured to your foot to allow a reduction of pressure.

If you have a hammertoe, he or she will show you how to tape the toe and reduce pressure from it.

Metatarsalgia Capsulitis (inflammation of the second metatarsal)

One of the common locations would be the second Metatarsophalangeal joint. When people get inflammation here, this is called Capsulitis of the forefoot.

People with bunions can be prone to Capsulitis. When you have a bunion, the whole first metatarsal is out of alignment and then it goes out and up. Consequently, the second metatarsal joint is overloaded and gets too much stress.

Metatarsalgia treatment exercises

Morton’s Neuroma

Metatarsalgia can be confused with other forefoot conditions like Morton’s Neuroma and Metatarsophalangeal Synovitis. The latter is a big word that really just means inflammation of the joint at the base of the toe.

The symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma are similar to Metatarsalgia and can also contribute to forefoot pain. Morton’s Neuroma can develop if you have flat feet, or feet that roll inward, or overpronate.

You may feel numbness or a stinging sensation at the ball of your foot usually between the third and fourth toes. This condition is typically caused by an enlarged pinched nerve.

It’s often the result of:

  • Wearing high heels, shoes that are too tight
  • High-impact activities such as jogging and aerobics.

People who have bunions or hammertoes are also at a higher risk. The following solutions can help relieve the pain of Morton’s Neuroma:

  • Metatarsalgia lift pads
  • Gel wraps and cushions
  • Shock-absorbing insoles that redistribute body weight across the bottom of your feet.
  • Shoes with a wider toe box can also help to decrease pressure on the inflamed nerve and lessen the symptoms.

I recommend you consult a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis if you feel you may have Metatarsalgia or Morton’s Neuroma.

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