40 Best Shoes for Metatarsalgia (Athletic Shoes)

At its core, the best shoes for metatarsalgia have excellent support in the ball of the foot.

best shoes for metatarsalgia

Metatarsalgia (or 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 area.

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 swift transfer of force to the front of the foot causing it to be prone to injury.

Non-athletes can have metatarsalgia by wearing ill-fitting or high-heeled shoes. These shoes can put stress on the ball of the 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 such as good rest, ice, and putting on supportive shoes can ease or get rid of the metatarsal pain.

Since running can make your feet receive a heavier impact of at least three times your body weight, the best solution for metatarsalgia is to put on your most supportive shoes when you run.

What are the Best Shoes for Metatarsalgia?

The best shoes for metatarsalgia are comfortable shoes with the following features:

  1. They offer enough cushioning and support in the ball of the foot.
  2. They can reduce stress on the metatarsal head and joint.
  3. They 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 a shoe with a rocker sole (for pain relief) to reduce bending of forefoot when pushing off to complete your step. For an added cushion, you may use metatarsal pads and orthotic shoe inserts.

Important: If your support type is neutral to supination (and high arches), your best shoes are neutral shoes because they are flexible and supportive. Neutral shoes can give support up to mild overpronation with no foot problems. But if you have issues with overpronation and flat feet, your best shoes are stability shoes because they have the most overpronation correction.

Plus, if you have tight calves and an aggressive heel strike, you may need a shoe with a higher heel-toe drop (8-12 mm) to stay comfortable on your foot, ankle, Achilles, and calf. But having a higher drop shoe may direct more stress to your knee and hip. So if you also have knee and hip issues, you may choose a heel-toe drop between 4 mm and 8 mm. Although the lower the shoe differential, the more calf flexibility and ankle mobility you need.

Note: The foot is a complex unit, but the right shoe feels good right away. If the shoes you are using aren’t comfortable and you experience pain while running, you should try a different pair.

best shoes for metatarsalgia

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40 Best Shoes for Metatarsalgia

Here’s a list of the best shoes for metatarsalgia (in no particular order):

1. New Balance 990v5
2. New Balance FF Beacon v3 – High energy return, RW
3. New Balance 1340v3
4. New Balance FF More – Best maximalist, RW
5. New Balance 840v4
6. New Balance FF 1080v10 – Editor’s choice, RW
7. Brooks Addiction 14
8. Brooks Levitate 4
9. Brooks Ghost 13 – Best for long runs, RW
10. Brooks Glycerin 18 – Editor’s choice, OutdoorGearLab

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

The best New Balance walking shoes for metatarsalgia are 847v3 and 928v3.

The best New Balance running shoes have ROLLBAR technology which prevents rearfoot movement and enhances the smooth transition from heel-strike through toe-off, plush and soft Fresh Foam which delivers optimal cushioning, ABZORB technology which disperses the forces out from the point of impact reducing the shock, and dual-density ENCAP midsole which gives long-lasting comfort.

11. Brooks Ricochet 2
12. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
13. Brooks Ariel ’20
14. Brooks Beast ’20 – Cushion for days, RW
15. Brooks Ravenna 11
16. ASICS GEL-Contend 6
17. ASICS GEL-Venture 7
18. ASICS GEL-Cumulus 22 – Best for marathon training, RW
19. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 23
20. ASICS GEL-Kayano 27 – Best for stability, RW

Brooks’ best walking shoe for metatarsalgia is the Addiction Walker 2.

The best Brooks running shoes have full-length Segmented Crash Pad and Plush Transition Zone technology for smoother landings and enhanced heel-to-toe movements, Progressive Diagonal Rollbar and Deeper V-groove in the outsole for better release and smoother transition, and HydroFlow technology which enhances cushioning and shock absorption.

The best ASICS running shoes have Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL Systems which reduce impact from heel-strike through toe-off, DURASPONGE and AHAR outsole which deliver greater cushioning in the forefoot, Dynamic DuoMax technology which improves stability and support for overpronators, and I.G.S. system which enhances natural gait.

21. ASICS GT-2000 9
22. ASICS GT-1000 9 – Affordable stability, RW
23. On Cloud X – Editor’s choice, OutdoorGearLab
24. On Cloudsurfer – The ultimate ride, On Running
25. Saucony Kinvara 11 – Most versatile, RW
26. Saucony Omni ISO 2 – Best stability shoe, RW
27. Saucony Hurricane ISO 5
28. Mizuno Wave Inspire 16
29. Mizuno Wave Rider 24 – Responsive and durable, RW
30. Altra Torin 4 Plush – Best for long runs, OUTSIDE

Saucony’s best walking shoes for metatarsalgia are Grid Omni Walker and Progrid Integrity ST2.

The best On running shoes have CloudTec cushioning which offers zero impact on the body, 16 Cloud-pods which allows the sole to adapt to your foot, and Deep flex grooves which maximizes flexibility without sacrificing support and comfort.

The best Saucony running shoes have Forefoot HRC technology which optimizes cushioning in the forefoot, EVERUN topsole which provides smoother landings in the heel and reduces pressure in the forefoot, seamless toe box which reduces irritation, and extended SRC Impact Zone technology which delivers smoother transitions.

The best Altra running shoes have FootShape toe box which allows the toes to relax and splay naturally. This design helps deliver optimal comfort. These shoes also have a fully-cushioned Zero Drop platform, a famous technology which provides low-impact landing.

31. Hoka One One Challenger ATR 5
32. Hoka One One Stinson ATR 6
33. Hoka One One Arahi 4 – Most stability, RW
34. Hoka One One Bondi 7 – Best for long runs, RW
35. Hoka One One Clifton 7 – Best for recovery runs, RW
36. Newton Running Gravity 8
37. Newton Distance 8
38. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37 – For everyday training, RW
39. Nike Air Zoom Winflo 7 – Most affordable, RW
40. Nike Revolution 5

The best Hoka One One running shoes have Meta-Rocker geometry which helps alleviate pain in the ball of the foot. Meta-Rocker supports your natural running gait and gives a smooth roll from impact to toe-off.

The best Newton running shoes have four-way stretch mesh metatarsal panels and prominent lugs which deliver optimal feedback. These innovative designs help relieve pain in the ball of the foot.

The best Nike running shoes have phylon foam in the midsole which delivers exceptional cushioning, Cushlon ST and soft Cushlon midsole for superior support, Cushlon crash rail on the lateral outsole which cushions transitions, and EVA Strobel which delivers a softer underfoot feeling.

RELATED: Best Shoes for Morton’s Neuroma

Most of these brands stay away from any orthopedic claim, but we have included their shoes in the list because of consumer reviews and testimonials. We hope that these shoes will work for you.

high arch insoles

20 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 for metatarsalgia 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 for metatarsalgia have contoured heel cup which provides stability and effective relief for heel and arch pain.

The best Spenco shoe inserts for metatarsalgia 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 metatarsalgia insoles 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 “40 Best Shoes for Metatarsalgia (Athletic Shoes)”

  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.

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  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?

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • 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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