Best Shoes for Metatarsalgia 2021

Our top pick in the best shoes for metatarsalgia is Brooks Ghost 13.

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 a 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 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 new 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 site is an associate of Amazon, Zappos, Roadrunnersports, Runderwear, and Nursemates.

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Best Running Shoes for Metatarsalgia

Brooks Ghost 13

Brooks Ghost 13 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 13 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.

Nursemates – Shop work shoes that you can count on for optimal support and all-day comfort!

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21

The Adrenaline GTS 21 is Brooks’ flagship stability 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 foot. It has a soft full-length DNA LOFT midsole foam, which delivers soft landings and smooth transitions.

Another excellent option is Brooks Addiction 14.

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 amount of 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 EVA core, which wraps the lateral mid-foot through the heel and around the medial mid-foot for an enhanced stability. It uses a long-lasting Ortholite premium footbed, which provides cushioning and arch support.

Another excellent option is New Balance 928v3, a famous stability walking shoe.

Altra Torin 4.5 Plush

Altra Torin 4.5 Plush is arguably the most comfortable zero drop running shoe. It has a wider Footshape toe box, which offers a 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

The best New Balance shoe inserts have Abzorb technology which breaks up and drives off shock during foot landing until toe-off giving the runner soft and protective ride, arch shape features which move warm air out and cold air in, and extra deep heel cup which provides maximum support and natural shock absorption.

The best Powerstep shoe inserts have contoured heel cup which provides stability and effective relief for heel and arch pain.

The best Spenco shoe inserts have advanced arch support and deep heel cup which absorb shock and control pronation, as well as, extra cushioning under the ball of the foot which provides smoother transition.

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

The best SOLE shoe inserts have heat and wear moldable feature which provides a customized fit, cushioned support which cradles the plantar fascia, improves balance and natural foot alignment, and Polygiene odor control technology which helps create a healthy foot.

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.

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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 forefoot at toe-off. Best examples of such shoes are Hoka One One Bondi 6, Hoka One One Clifton 6, Hoka One One Gaviota 2, 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.

15 thoughts on “Best Shoes for Metatarsalgia 2021”

  1. you do not make it clear why your shoes are preferred for this problem. I need to see how they are made I walk on the bones of the pad of my foot. I need to see how your technology is going to eliminate my problem.

    • Hi Jay. Thank you for the feedback. We’ll try to incorporate the technology of shoes and why they’re included in the list.

  2. A neutral-cushioned shoe can also give sufficient support up to mild overpronation. So, if you overpronate slightly but is still very comfortable wearing a neutral shoe, you still have all the support you need to stay safe.

  3. Hi there, I’m having real trouble finding a women’s walking (power walking) shoe that has both great metatarsal support and is also provides for over-pronation? I’m going to invest in some good orthotics shortly, but feel I still need a good shoe regardless.

    • Hi Jacqui. You can choose either Brooks Addiction Walker or Saucony Omni Walker. Both are famous walking shoes for overpronators. But if you only have mild overpronation, ASICS GEL-Tech Neo 4 will be great.

    • Hi Beth. If you stand up to 10 hours a day, you’ll need an excellent walking shoe. A walking shoe is designed with the strike path of walking in mind. If you overpronate, your best walking shoes for metatarsalgia are New Balance 847v3 , New Balance 928v3, Brooks Addiction Walker, and Saucony Grid Omni Walker. If you supinate, your best neutral-cushioned walking shoes for metatarsalgia are ASICS GEL-Tech Walker Neo 4 and Saucony Progrid Integrity ST 2. Neutral shoes have excellent support up to mild overpronation.

  4. What is the very best walking shoe for metatarsalgia and mortons neuroma? I have both. I am not a runner anymore but I would buy a tennis shoe if that’s the answer. I have tried Keen’s, expensive custom orthotics etc with NO relief. What are the very best shoes on the market for my foot pain?

    • Hi Todd. We think your best walking shoe is a Hoka One One shoe because it has a solid/stable footing to ease pressure in ball of the foot. Hoka One One has a rocker sole technology that doesn’t bend on the front, therefore the ball of the foot and toes won’t receive pressure/friction at takeoff. It worked with one of our readers who went for a vacation and walked 8+ miles daily to see the beautiful places of Japan. We hope it will work for you.

      If you have neutral pronation to supination, we recommend the Bondi leather, Bondi 6, and Clifton 6. If you overpronate, you should try a stability shoe like the Gaviota leather, Gaviota 2, or Arahi 4. These are athletic shoes with maximum cushioning. In your particular situation, it’s best to try the shoe on before buying. Just remember that the right shoe feels good right away.

  5. Hi,
    I have Freiberg Infraction in my right foot, went trough so many different types of therapy that didn’t help. I have prescription shoe inserts which I didn’t use cause they are so bulky (ridiculous). Anyway, after buying so many pairs of shoes i only have one pair that works the best, but still don’t have enough cushion under the ball of the foot therefore, I am in pain everyday. I’m size 10.5-11, I was told that I need to wear wide shoes (not much to choose from women shoes) so the pair that I currently wear is mens size 10W. Please help!!! Which shoes would you recommend for me? Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Urszula. You need a shoe with a smaller differential to reduce the pressure in your metatarsal head and joint. The shoe with a low heel-to-toe midsole differential provides a low-impact landing. If you’ve tried a Zero Drop platform before, here are Altra maximalist shoes with spacious toe boxes which may work well with Freiberg Infraction: Paradigm 4.5, Timp 2, Duo 1.5, and Olympus 3.5. The shoe must be comfortable in every area of the foot so you can choose a wide width (D) for women because men’s shoes might not give you the perfect fit.

      A shoe with a rocker sole will also help because a rocker sole doesn’t bend on the front, therefore, the ball of the foot and toes won’t receive pressure/friction at takeoff. Here are Hoka One One maximalist shoes with the famous rocker sole and smaller heel-toe differential: Clifton 6, Bondi leather, Bondi 6, Arahi 4, Gaviota leather, and Gaviota 2. Hoka One One has an early-stage and late-stage Meta-Rocker and we think the late-stage Meta-Rocker is best for you because it provides a more stable base of forefoot support. But only a few Hokas have late-stage Meta-Rocker so try the early-stage technology also to see if it will work for you.

      If you have neutral to supination, your best shoes are neutral-cushioned shoes. For overpronation or fallen arches, your best shoes are stability shoes.

  6. I have Freiberg of the 3rd metatarsal with some flattening in the head. I have found that I cannot have any type of strap across the forefoot area. The actual post op shoe boot that placed me in irritated it even more. So no sandals or a lower it more. Now I am trying to find a shoe and a insole that I can wear. Need something that is more solid in the toe and forefoot area. The only shoe I have now I can wear is a New Balance 645 that is suede so the forefoot area is not very flexible, but it is not as comfortable for a long period of time. I tried a full turf liner but it is too hard and hurts the bottom of my upper foot area. Any suggestion in shoes and a insole, please.
    Thank you so much.

    • Hi Susan. The New Balance shoes similar in cushioning to the 645 are 840v2 and 577. These walking shoes have premium leather options, which are excellent in giving comfort and support. Suede and leather are among the most comfortable materials in footwear. And they can conform to the shape of your foot, giving you a custom fit while helping to lock your foot in through every change of direction. New Balance 840v2 and 577 have removable insoles, which easily accommodate orthotics. Another excellent choice is a leather/suede shoe with a toe-only rocker or double rocker sole. A rocker sole shoe can help prevent bending of the forefoot during the toe-off phase so it won’t irritate your metatarsals. You can continue using the New Balance 645 as long as it’s available. Just limit your activity if you experience pain.

    • Thank you for your suggestions. Do you have any recommendations for a over the counter insole also? Any shoes that you know whether is be a sneaker or regular shoe that is a toe rocker? I am desperately trying to find shoes and an over counter insole that will work.
      Thank you.

      • We have included in the above list 20 best shoe inserts for Metatarsalgia. I hope they are available in your location. I have found shoes with toe-only rocker but they are either stability shoes or trail shoes. Your current shoe (the NB 645) is a neutral shoe so I guess neutral shoes will work best for you. With that said, I recommend Hoka One One Bondi Leather, a neutral walking shoe with a rocker sole.

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