Our top choices among the best shoes for metatarsalgia this year are:
- Neutral shoe: Brooks Ghost 14, a running shoe with a soft midsole material designed to take care of soft landings and smooth transitions.
- Support shoe: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21, a go-to support shoe with stability control that can align the foot and take the pressure off the ball of the foot during weight-bearing.
- Shoe insert: Spenco Total Support, an insole that offers total support through a Semi-Rigid Stability Cradle, with a Metatarsal Arch Support that offloads pressure from the ball-of-foot to help relieve forefoot pain.
Metatarsalgia (also known as stone bruise) is a painful condition caused by a compromised balance in the metatarsal bones. There is swelling in the ball of the foot that causes shooting pain in the forefoot and numbness in the toe.
Metatarsalgia is a common malady that affects athletes who play high-impact sports that involve a lot of running and jumping. The quick take-off and change of direction in sports can cause a sudden transfer of force to the front of the foot causing it to be more prone to injury.
But non-athletes can have metatarsalgia also when they often wear ill-fitting and high-heeled shoes. These shoes can put stress on the ball of your foot, causing harm to the metatarsals. Other factors that may add up are weight gain, aging, high arches, stress fractures, bunions, arthritis, and Morton’s neuroma.
Even though metatarsalgia is not a serious problem, this pain affecting the ball of the foot can take away your balance. But treatments like good rest, use of ice, and putting on supportive shoes can ease or get rid of the pain.
What are the Best Shoes for Metatarsalgia?
The best shoes for metatarsalgia are comfortable shoes with stabilizing features because they take the weight off the ball of the foot.
Here’s what to look for in a shoe:
- Enough cushioning in the ball of the foot.
- Support that can reduce stress on the metatarsal head and joint.
- Support that can help bring back the balance of your metatarsal bones so they can work together to help support your body.
If you have metatarsalgia, you may need to use metatarsal pads and orthotic shoe inserts for added cushion.
Note: There are plenty of shoes for metatarsalgia but in this article, we will focus on athletic shoes.
How We Choose an Athletic Shoe
We spend many hours testing new athletic shoes and reading discoveries, expert advice, and consumer testimonials on various foot conditions. And we choose the best athletic shoes for a specific foot problem.
Disclosure: We provide links to shoes mentioned in this article and use our affiliate links to earn commission income from qualifying purchases at no cost to you. This website is an associate of Amazon, Zappos, and Spenco.
Best Running Shoes for Metatarsalgia
– Brooks Ghost 14 –
Brooks Ghost 14 has a full-length DNA LOFT foam cushioning, which now extends from the heel all the way to the forefoot. This technology offers the softest midsole material, which takes care of soft landings and smooth transitions.
People admire Brooks Ghost 14 for its roomy and very comfortable toe box, which allows your toes to splay and generate power when pushing off to complete your step. This shoe now has a new engineered Air Mesh upper, which offers breathability and hugs your foot for a secure, locked-in fit.
– Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 –
The Adrenaline GTS 21 is Brooks’ flagship support running shoe. Although it doesn’t have the widest toe box, it has stability features that can take the pressure off the ball of the foot during weight-bearing.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 has GuideRails holistic support system, which are bumpers on both sides of the midsole designed to prevent unnatural calcaneal shifting and too much roll of the foot. It has a soft full-length DNA LOFT midsole foam, which delivers soft landings and smooth transitions.
– Hoka One One Bondi 7 –
The Bondi 7 is Hoka’s most cushioned neutral running shoe. And it has more stabilizing features than the Clifton models.
Hoka One One Bondi 7 has a comfortable, wide toe bed with good cushioning and shock absorption. It has a low heel-to-toe drop (only 4 mm), which offers more stability to your stride.
This running shoe has an early-stage Meta-Rocker, which offers a smooth ride and prevents too much bending of the forefoot at toe-off.
– New Balance 990v5 –
New Balance 990v5 is very comfortable and gives plenty of stability. It has an ENCAP PU ring with an EVA core, which wraps the lateral mid-foot through the heel and around the medial midfoot for enhanced stability. It uses a long-lasting Ortholite premium footbed, which provides cushioning and arch support.
– Altra Torin 4.5 Plush –
Altra Torin 4.5 Plush is arguably the most comfortable zero offset running shoe. It has a wider Footshape toe box, which offers plush cushioning. It has a new ultra-breathable engineered knit upper, which hugs your foot for a secure fit.
The Altra women’s shoes have Fit4Her technology, which caters to the specific form of the female foot. Having a 0 mm heel-to-toe drop, this shoe offers a balanced cushioning, which encourages a low-impact landing.
RELATED: Best Shoes for Morton’s Neuroma
Best Shoe Inserts for Metatarsalgia
If the support of metatarsalgia shoes aren’t enough, put on these metatarsalgia insoles:
1. New Balance 3720 Arch Stability
2. New Balance 3030 Pressure Relief Metatarsal Pad
3. New Balance 3810 Ultra Support
4. Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx
5. Powerstep Pinnacle Plus
6. Powerstep ComfortLast
7. Powerstep Memory Foam
8. Spenco PolySorb Heavy Duty
9. Spenco Total Support Max
10. Spenco Total Support Original
Some metatarsalgia insoles are arch support insoles designed to prevent the arch from collapsing during foot landing. An arch support insole is a deep heeled cup insole that can cradle the heel, provide stability, promote a fair distribution of body weight, and prevent the ankle from rolling/moving.
11. Spenco Total Support Thin
12. SOLE Active Medium
13. SOLE Active Thick + Met Pad
14. SOLE Active Thick
15. SOLE Active Thin + Met Pad
16. Birkenstock Birko Sport Insole
17. Birkenstock Birko Natural Arch Support
18. Sof Sole AIRR Orthotic
19. Sof Sole AIRR Performance
20. Sof Sole Athlete
See also: Best Shoes for Sesamoiditis
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best metatarsalgia shoes?
The best shoes for metatarsalgia are the ones that can protect the injured area, reduce stress on the metatarsal head and joint, provide enough cushioning and support in the ball of the foot, and help bring back the balance of your metatarsal bones so they can work together to help support your body during any walking and running activity. You may need a shoe with a low heel-toe midsole differential for low-impact landing and a rocker sole to reduce bending of the forefoot at toe-off. Best examples of such shoes are Hoka One One Bondi 6, Hoka One One Clifton 6, Hoka One One Gaviota 3, Altra Paradigm 4.5, and Altra Timp 2.
What are the best metatarsalgia insoles?
The best metatarsalgia insoles have metatarsal support that can absorb shock and help keep the pressure off the injured area.