Best Shoes for Metatarsalgia Reviewed
A high percentage of the population are avid runners. They strap on their running shoes daily to rack up the miles pounded while hitting the pavement or gym. Walking every day is an activity enjoyed by many people. They usually never worry about problems that could occur with their feet; other than the occasional pain from wearing high heels or shoes that fit too tight. However, for some the pain that can result from simple, every day walking through the mall or around the house doing daily chores, is excruciating. The pain has been described as sharp and shooting pains in the foot. Also, symptoms may include numbness and tingling in the toes.
This sometimes debilitating condition is known as Metatarsalgia; a condition by which the side of one bone in the foot puts pressure on the other conjoining bone. Thereby, the nerve in between the two bone plates is pinched. It is more prone to affect the ball of the foot and sometimes upwards into the toes. The bones that connect the toes to the ankles are known as the metatarsals.
- OOFOS Original Thong
- Oofoam Technology
- Machine Washable
- New Balance M990v3
- Blown Rubber Sole
- Suede/Mesh Upper
- Skechers Go Walk 4
- Mesh For Breathability
- Tapered Midfoot Arch Support
Metatarsalgia seems to worsen when an individual stands or moves. This condition has readily been diagnosed in a wide scope of people. However, those that are more at risk for the condition tend to be those that apply too much strain and pressure on the foot. Those might be classified as people that are overweight, older individuals because of the bones thinning out as we age, and high-impact fitness lovers. Moreover, those that wear too tight of shoes, have had stress fractures in the foot, and persons with a second toe longer than the first are at higher risk than their counterparts because of the way more pressure is applied to the foot, thereby causing the painful condition known as Metatarsalgia. One last thing to point out about people with this type of foot pain is, it can be a sign of other health conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. Always consult with your doctor should you feel that your condition can’t be simplified into routine foot pain.
There are a few ways to treat Metatarsalgia, with the most extreme being surgery. However, before going that route, symptoms can be lessened by the types of shoes being worn. The most positive side effect of a properly fitting shoe is prolonging surgery for years and possibly indefinitely. When picking shoes to help alleviate the symptoms of metatarsalgia, it is important to look for shoes that cushion and support the ball of the foot. The goal is to lessen the stress that is placed on the ball to reduce the pinching of the nerves in the foot. This is achieved by providing adequate support and cushion under the metatarsal arch. Once supported it alleviates the pinched nerves.
10 Best Shoes for Metatarsalgia
1. OOFOS Original Thong
By designing the footbed of the shoe with texture points it gently massages the foot with each step. Not only does it massage the foot but the textures help to distribute pressure from the weight of the body on step throughout the shoe and foot.
Traditional shoes send reverse energy back into the foot. The OOFOS original thong does the opposite and it absorbs up to 37% more energy and force into the shoe alleviating the stress and impact that is sent back into the body.
Cost and value
The shoe is very affordable and will last a long time. It is even machine washable to allow for easy cleaning. It can be worn every day so buyers will get much use out of the sandal.
- Foam construction
- Machine washable
- Reinforced for durability
- Non-odor absorbing
- The piece between toe can rub the skin
2. New Balance M990V3
The midsole of this shoe was particularly designed to support and cushion the arch and ball of the foot. This helps to alleviate the pressure on the ball of the foot which is where the pain originates from for metatarsalgia sufferers.
Blown rubber outsole
Typically shoes that are tailored made with extra padding in the sole would usually be heavy and dense. Shoes like the New Balance 990v3 that are made with blown rubber in the outsole are lighter weight thanks to the technology of it. This makes a difference on tired feet and legs if the shoe is easier to wear and walk in.
Cost and value
While the 990v3 is at a higher price range than some of the other shoes in the category, buyers can feel confident in their purchase. First, it is manufactured from a top company that has been in business for over 75 years. Second, the sure is durably constructed to prevent it breaking down in a short time. The shoe is made to last. While the price is higher, it balances out with a strong shoe that will last a long time and through many miles.
- Suede/mesh upper
- Blown rubber outsole
- High arch support
- Reflective accents
- Padded tongue and collar
- Low breathability
- Runs narrow
3. Brooks Addiction Walker
For those that require a bit more protection and security when walking on any surfaces, especially a wet surface, Brooks produced the Addiction shoe to have ultra-slip-resistance. Therefore, this shoe is definitely made to be an everyday shoe. It can be worn in all conditions from rain to gravel while giving the buyer confidence in walking.
Support has been placed in all of the right places in this shoe. It was designed to support a wide range of arches as well as under and overpronators. The shoe has a reinforced shaft to add to the overall durability of the shoe.
Cost and value
This shoe is decidedly in the mid-price range. It is a great shoe for everyday wear and therefore will provide lots of use for the cost. It is also backed by a name that is well-loved and trusted in shoes. Brooks shoes have a reputation for being the best in their category so buyers need not worry about purchasing a shoe in the mid-price range that is from Brooks.
- Strong arch support
- Synthetic upper for easy cleaning
- Not made for strong overpronators
- Soles are squeaky on certain floors
4. Brooks Ghost 10
The shoe is constructed from a fabric upper which helps with the structure of the shoe and the breathability of the shoe. This shoe is going to provide firm and comfortable support for the entire foot. Falling in between mesh and leather, the fabric upper will give good air flow to prevent soggy feet while wearing.
The segmented crash pad on the bottom of the shoe will help runners and walkers feel the traction and grip as they move about. It is comparable to a slip-resistant sole with the added benefit of it absorbing the energy output of each foot strike on the ground.
Cost and value
While coming in at the mid-price range for a shoe, the name Brooks will help buyers to feel confident about their purchase. They can be assured that these shoes will be made to last and serve their purpose of eradicating foot pain caused by metatarsalgia.
- Fabric upper
- Strong support and breathability
- Segmented crash pad
- Dynamic and adaptive midsole cushioning
- Narrow toe bed
- Glue comes apart easily from sole to upper
5. Birkenstock Arizona Soft
Oven imitated but never duplicated is the footbed of the Birkenstock Arizona. However, they improved their own design by making the footbed softer and more supple for those that craved support and cushion. Made of contoured cork and latex, the footbed conforms to each individual shape to provide the best cushion and stability all throughout the shoe.
By putting adjustable straps times two on the shoe, wearers can tailor their fit on a daily basis. Some days the foot swells and it needs more room but typical shoes don't have a way to adjust the fit. If you want to wear socks with your Birks, you can simply adjust the buckles to give the foot more room to accommodate a sock.
Cost and value
Birkenstocks have been around for over 120 years and have a strong and solid name of dependability and comfort. They have been known to last for years so even though they are at a higher price point than some of the other shoes in the category, buyers can stand firm on the name and lasting capability of the shoes.
- Leather straps
- Cork sole for comfort
- Traction induced outsole
- No heel bracing or support
6. Brooks Glycerin 14
A rubberized sole is made to specifically reduce the weight of previously used materials for added ease of wearing. It also provides another layer of support and cushion to the innersole and footbed. By using rubber in the sole, the shoe properly absorbs the impact and traps the energy. It takes away much of the stress placed on the foot.
Segmented Crash Pad
The crashed on the bottom of the sole transforms the energy that is exerted into the shoe. Instead of the energy being sent back into the runner/walker, the shoe disperses the energy off of the ball of the foot in a more even manner to help with the pinching of the nerves in the foot due to bone pressure.
Cost and value
This shoe is at a comfortable price point so anyone can find room within their budget to purchase the shoe. It comes from a dependable company that has spent decades building a reputation of excellence. The shoe is made to last for a long time and the value of relief will outweigh the initial price.
- Synthetic and mesh for breathability
- Rubber sole
- Extra padded tongue and collar
- Flexible outsole for comfort
- Segmented crash pad
- Not good for overpronation
- Runs narrow
7. Asics Venture 6
Adding an extra gel layer in the rear foot portion of the shoe pads the sole to provide shock absorption into the heel upon strike instead of it generating through the shoe and then into the foot. The ASICS Venture is so technologically advanced it can help relieve the problems and pains associated with metatarsalgia because it prevents the pressure being placed on the ball of the foot.
ASICS knows that not every sockliner is going to mold exactly perfect to the foot. That is the reason behind the removable sockliner. This allows buyers to purchase customized inserts that provide more or less support on the ball of the foot. Some will need a thicker and more rigid sockliner and some might need a thinner or not one at all.
Cost and value
ASICS comes is at the lower end of the price range so they are a great shoe to purchase. With the option of being able to customize the sockliner, it allows a buyer to splurge on more expensive orthopedic sockliners. Also, the company has a great reputation for providing solid and durable shoes that will last for many uses.
- Removable sockliner
- Rearfoot GEL cushioned footbed
- Synthetic upper
- Rubber sole
- Strong traction bottom
- Runs large
- Glue comes loose from sole
8. Skechers Go Walk 4
Using bamboo in the construction of the shoe as it is known for its antimicrobial properties is second in line to being used for cooling comfort. Bamboo does not retain heat or moisture; therefore it prevents a hotbed of bacteria from growing inside the shoe.
The sockliner of this shoe is constructed of what feels like air. It is so soft under the feet and gives strong support of the arch and ball of the foot because it molds to the foot. Also, because it is thin, there is still room to add another insert should one need more support.
Cost and value
Skechers is an excellent value for the money. They are the lowest end of our price range and the best buy for the price. It makes a great shoe that fits within everyone's budget. Skechers is known for making durable, long-lasting, and comfortable shoes more many decades. They have developed a name for dependability and comfort.
- Mesh throughout
- Traction induced sole
- Tapered midfoot design for superior arch support
- Rubber sole
- Not as rigid as other shoes in category for upper support
9. Hoka One Bondi 5
The heel of the shoe has been strategically beveled to prevent the heel from slipping around inside the shoe.This is important because it ensures the heel is in the proper position for heel strike and shock absorption. That also alleviates the amount of stress upon roll through and the ball of the foot impacts.
Zoned Rubber Placement
Rubber is widely recognized as one of the most durable materials to make any product out of. It makes the perfect sole for a running shoe as they are designed to take a lot of action from running as well as walking. Using zone placement for the proper rubber portions keeps the shoe lightweight and improves lifetime durability.
Cost and value
The Hoka Bondi 5 is at the higher end of the price range but buyers can be confident in their purchase of these shoes. Hoka has built a great brand with a name that is synonymous with durability and comfort. Their shoes have a great reputation for going the distance and last a long time. Buyers can trust their shoes will give many miles of wear.
- Synthetic material for durability
- Reinforced rubber sole
- Sizing runs very true to size
- High arch support to perfect cradle foot
- Not as breathable as mesh uppers
- Stiff upper
10. Alegria Debra
The portion of the shoe where the foot lies is made from a soft but firm foam that initiates a reflective spring action when stepping. The shoe helps to alleviate the pain and pressure from the ball of the foot which is where the issues from metatarsalgia originate from.
The designers of this shoe took into consideration the appeal of having a shoe that supports the foot and encloses the heel all while being easy to take on and off. The Debra is made to slip easily on and off so it is a great option for those individuals perhaps with limited mobility that need easy shoes.
Cost and value
The Debra is at the lower end of the price range which makes it a great shoe for every budget. The shoes were created for professions that require a lot of standing and walking so they are made to take the brunt of walking and constantly being used. The shoes will hold up to tough conditions and the company has built a revered name for durability.
- Easy on and off
- Could be too rigid
- Does not fit very narrow feet
As you can see, suffering from metatarsalgia pain can make simple lifestyle things a difficult task. If you can be proactive in finding the proper fitting shoes it might help to reduce or annihilate the pain and symptoms of what metatarsalgia causes. Properly fitting shoes that are made to help metatarsalgia can potentially irradicate the need for surgery or other drastic measures that can sometimes be a result of requirement after years of dealing with the diagnosis. It is important to find a shoe that meets the specifications to counter metatarsalgia symptoms. You should select a shoe that does not pinch the toes because it has a wide toe box, has a very thick arch support (that doesn’t overextend your personal arch), has a reinforced sole that provides excellent padding, has a strong shaft to support the durability and design of the shoe, and one that has the most breathability.
Criteria for Evaluating the Best Shoes for Metatarsalgia
When evaluating the shoes that claimed to help metatarsalgia, we looked at very specific qualifications. If a shoe does not have the following criteria it is best to not include it in your personal choices as it will not do the best job of alleviating or lessening the pains and symptoms of metatarsalgia. Those with flat and neutral feet should look for the widest shoe for their foot as it allows for the most room for the foot to spread which will reduce the amount of pinching on the nerves and bones of the foot. If a person has a higher arch, it is a best decision to pick a shoe with very high arch built in as well as possible room and add additional supports if need be, while still keeping the foot from too much pressure against the top. Research has shown that the forefoot absorbs up to 110 tons of force total while on a one-mile run. The bones, ligaments, and nerves of the foot take a beating so choose a shoe that can absorb as much of the impact as possible.
The weight of a shoe is usually not too much of a concern as modern technology has provided shoemakers with the ability to produce shoes with the lightest materials possible. Having a lightweight shoe is important because it adds to the enjoyment of shoes. It also prevents the wearer from feeling fatigued from picking up heavy shoes all day or during the time being worn. For shoes that have special reinforcements, the shoe is sometimes heavier. Again, this does not just wear feet down, it can also tire the legs. If a runner does races competitively, it is also pertinent that the shoes are lightweight because a heavier and bulkier shoe can actually show a runner down. That would help to contribute to the longer time during a race. Even if the wearer is competing against his or her self, beating their own personal time cannot be done with heavy shoes. The times that a lightweight shoe is not a good idea, is if the shoe buyer is heavy set. That person would need a shoe that is more dense, i.e. heavy so that it can withstand the weight of the person upon impact. Otherwise, the shoe will bend under the pressure and then not provide adequate support of the foot and runner.
Also, shoes that are lightweight are generally made of mesh or a material very similar to mesh. The mesh is known for its high breathability. Having a light shoe with a high breathability prevents the growth of harmful bacteria and fungus inside the shoe from the moisture build up over time. Thereby, adding to the life of the shoe. Also, the bacteria and fungus can be transferred to the foot so it is vital to keep the foot as dry as possible. Dry feet equal healthy and happy feet.
The inner sole of the shoe is also known as the footbed. This is the part of the shoe that is the interior bottom. Sometimes the inner sole is removable and sometimes not. The inner sole is very important to a shoe designed for metatarsaglia because it needs to sufficiently cradle every nook of the foot or it needs to be removable so that a specially designed ortho insert can be put in the shoe that is tailored made for the individual’s foot. A mold is taken of the foot of that shoe owner and an insert is made exactly for their foot, should he or she require more insole support.
An inner sole for this type of shoe and also considering the height of the arch of the foot should be very thick in the arch bed. The ball of the foot area of the inner sole should be luxuriously padded and specifically designed for shock absorption. The ball of the foot is where the pain starts from so having a sole that adequately cradles the foot and radiates the energy back into the entire shoe. An inner sole that is very thin and hard will not do a proper job of supporting the ball of the foot.
Some inner soles have perforations placed in them and this is to add to the moisture wicking ability. Moisture is, of course, going to build up in between the foot and sole of the shoe. Having perforations promotes air circulation under the foot and helps to not have moisture trapped against the bottom of the foot. Blisters and fungus are only two problems faced by individuals with wet feet.
The outer sole is the part of the shoe that is visible. It encompasses the entire bottom of the shoe. Typically, the soles of almost all shoes are made of rubber. Rubber has been heralded to be one of the lightest weight materials to use as a sole. It is also very durable as well as shock absorbing. Rubber outer soles have traction grooves that make them very slip-resistant.
Rubber soles are virtually indestructible. They are made to take a beating and go mile for mile, especially for runners. That is the main purpose of rubber, to be a shock absorber and last for years. Rubber soles are excellent shock absorbers and take the brunt of force upon impact whether running or walking and disperse the energy through the foot. This prevents one part of the foot from taking all of the impacts. Typically the ball of the foot is where all of the energy gathers and the end of a step. This is also the part of the foot that is the instigator of the pains from metatarsalgia. By reducing the amount of stress the ball of the foot will not pinch the nerves in the foot.
Size and Width
A large contributor to the pains of metatarsalgia is wearing improper fitting shoes. This is shoes that are not wide enough, too wide, too small, or too large. Wearing shoes that are too large either in width or length means the foot is sliding around and moving inside the shoe. The foot is not landing properly because it is not secure. Added stress is being placed on the foot to try and adapt to every step. A shoe that is too tight crunches the foot up inside the shoe and adds stress to the foot and pinches nerves.
Having correct fitting shoes is what will hold the foot in place inside the shoe and keeps it from moving around inside. Be careful to avoid one that is too tight and thinking it will stretch out over time. If a shoe has that much elasticity in it, the shoe is not going to hold up its shape for long and will not secure the foot for long.
The width of a shoe and toe box is vital to making sure the toes and feet are not cramped. This will keep stress off of the bones of the foot and then the nerves will not suffer from being pinched.
Durability does not have to just do with how long the shoe will last when we compared it to the shoes. A durable shoe is one that is going to hold up every day under the conditions it is subjected to. That means can it withstand the force of walking or running and keep the foot supported. Is the construction of the shoe too soft to provide stability? Is the sole too weak and it does not stay underfoot? Do the footbeds stay in place inside the shoe? These are all questions that are important to research when looking at the durability of a shoe. These factors will add to the overall life of the shoe. However, they are important for day to day wear as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What causes metatarsalgia?
A: Metatarsalgia is caused by pressure that is applied to the foot is the wrong manner and places. It results in the bone plates rubbing against each other and then the nerves inside the foot get pinched. This can be caused by too tight of a shoe, high-heels, shoes that do not support the ball of the foot properly as this is where the pain comes from with metatarsalgia.
Q: What does metatarsalgia feel like?
A: Metatarsalgia has been described as having shooting pains in the ball of the foot that can extend up into the toes. It sometimes presents itself as numbness and tingling. Some would describe it as similar discomfort to a stone bruise. However, metatarsalgia becomes a routine pain, unlike a stone bruise that would eventually go away. However, some medical conditions start with foot pain so please seek medical attention if the pain is worrisome or does not alleviate with proper care.
Q: What are metatarsalgia shoes?
A: Metatarsalgia shoes are shoes that have special considerations that help lessen pain in the ball of the foot. The shoes will help keep the foot spread out by being wide enough and having good soles that support the ball. The shoes usually have a highly-supportive arch that perfectly aligns with the curves of the foot. Finally, the soles of metatarsalgia shoes will be highly durable and cushioned. They will need to be able to absorb very strong impacts from daily wear. The goal is to absorb as much pressure as possible and prevent it from escaping back into the foot.
Q: Are there any remedies to help metatarsalgia?
A: There are exercises that can help stretch the nerves and bones of the foot back into place. One thing is placing both hands on either side of the foot and stretching the outer portions up by placing pressure on the foot. The goal is open the stance of the foot up. Some people use a frozen water bottle and roll it underfoot when pain flares up. Some individuals might need orthopedic inserts specially designed for the curvature of their foot. This will help cradle to foot to exact precision. The most serious route to fix metatarsalgia is surgery. Often times symptoms can be manageable with proper shoes. However, after a long duration of the condition, it would be wise to consult with a surgeon to see if a surgery can improve your quality of life.
Q: Who is likely to suffer from metatarsalgia?
A: Metatarsalgia is a condition that can affect anyone. However, those that wear high heels frequently or shoes that are too small are at higher risk. People that are overweight have a higher prevalence of developing metatarsalgia because of the weight that is constantly applied to the feet in order to support the body. The bones of the foot are fragile but at the same time are the only shock absorbers we have. It is imperative to cushion and assist the bones.