Best Running Shoes For Metatarsalgia
This article lists the best running shoes for metatarsalgia that will reduce your ball of the foot pain.
Top Rated Running Shoes For Metatarsalgia (Men And Women) 2018
Best Men's And Women's Running Shoes For Metatarsalgia
1. Saucony Kinvara 7 Running Shoe
With it’s 4mm heel-to-toe drop, excellent ground feel and ample cushioning, the Saucony Kinvara 7 Running Shoe is one of the best running shoes for metatarsalgia.
The Kinvara is an extremely popular shoe and has been out in many iterations. Arguably none better than the Kinvara 7. But, you can choose any iteration from number 5 and up, and still essentially be wearing the same shoe.
This shoe is fast enough to do short runs in and cushioned enough to grind out the longer runs as well.
The Saucony Kinvara 7 Running Shoe does well as a short and long distance runner due to the following reasons:
Everrun – Saucony’s own EVA formulation offers excellent cushioning in the forefoot and heel. The stack height on this shoe is great too. It offers just enough padding over the forefoot area so as not to make the shoe too heavy.
Resiliant midsole – This is a shoe that you can train in, and then race in immediately after. It is durable and has holds up extremely well over hundreds of miles. Most of the popularity of this running shoe stems from the fact that it lasts a long time.
Strong durable upper – The upper is made of a breathable mesh material that accommodates your toes easily. The welded overlays hold the foot in place, comfortably allowing for sharp changes in direction when running.
Aparat from the aforementioned features, the low-drop, ample cushioning and flexible midsole make this one of the most versatile running shoes for metatarsalgia.
2. ASICS 33-M Running Shoe
The ASICS 33-M is a maximally cushioned running shoe that features a low heel-to-toe drop. This means that the large stack height is even across the entirety of the shoe.
Pairing maximally cushioned shoes with a low heel-to-toe drop makes running shoes excellent for metatarsalgia. Here’s why:
A low heel-to-toe drop not only gives the runner a more natural running gait, it also reduces pressure in the metatarsals. Low drop shoes have the ability to do this by keeping the forefoot and heel in roughly the same plane.
Maximal cushioning under a conventional shoe means heavy cushioning under the heel, but not under the forefoot. This is what causes irritation under the ball of the foot when wearing these types of shoes.
Being low-drop, the ASICS 33-M carries that maximal cushioning from the heel over to the forefoot area. Thus giving the forefoot all the padding it needs.
The midsole is also quite flexible and does not offer any resistance to the ball of the foot. Thus reducing further irritation in the balls of the feet.
The midsole is made of ASICS’ solyte mid-sole, one of ASICS’ most lightweight midsole compound.
While, the rubber outsole also has a lot of cushioning built into it, which adds to the cushioning in the shoe.
The upper is made of a seamless mesh material that is durable, comfortable and breathable.
The footbed is removable and can be switched out for your own orthotics or metatarsal pads.
These features make the ASICS 33-M one of the softest cushioned shoes for metatarsalgia.
3. Altra Torin Road Running Shoe
If you aren’t familiar with Altra, the company designs shoes that are meant to help mimic the natural running gait cycle.
This means their shoes come with ultra wide to-boxes and a zero heel-to-toe drop. These features are usually found in minimalist shoes, but Altra does things differently.
These shoes have maximal cushioning. That means, high stack heights that provide a lot of padding and comfort.
Their footbeds are also designed to map the bones of the feet, thus providing ample flexibility as well as rigidity at the right spots.
The wide toe-boxes on Altra’s shoes allows the toes to splay out naturally, thus providing stability and more effective load bearing capabilities than when in conventional running shoes.
The Altra Torin ticks all these boxes like an ace student in the classroom. The zero heel-to-toe drop puts the foot in natural alignment, thus reducing pressure hot spots in the metatarsals.
While the high stack height offers substantial padding and cushioning to the entire foot, heel-to toe. This means your metatarsals are well protected when on the run.
This is a great all-round road running shoe for metatarsalgia.
4. Saucony Mirage Road Running Shoe
The Saucony Mirage is a low-drop running shoe that offers arch support for the mild overpronator.
The Mirage 5 is one of the best running shoes for metatarsalgia and flat feet. This is due to a number of features that the shoe provides:
The low-drop of 4 mm is excellent for ball of the foot pain, as this reduces excess stress on the metatarsals by placing the foot in a more natural position.
The large stack height coupled with this low-drop makes for excellent cushioning under both the heel and the ball of the foot. This extra cushioning under the ball of the foot means the metatarsals have more protection. Thus reducing the pressure received through impact.
Where this shoe also shines is; in pressure mitigation through the arch of the foot. By providing arch support, the shoe allows the arch to absorb some of the pressure the forefoot would.
Add to this the flex grooves and you have a running shoe that will reduce as much pressure and pain to the midfoot.
This makes the Saucony Mirage an excellent stability road running shoe for metatarsalgia.
5. Altra Provision 2.0 Road Running Shoe
With a 25 mm stack height, the Altra Provision 2.0 is another excellent road running shoe for metatarsalgia.
With a zero-drop from heel-to-toe and a 28 mm stack height, you know you are getting a lot of cushion under the balls of your feet.
This high amount of soft cushioning under the metatarsals along with Altra’s foot-pod technology make this shoe gentle on the balls of your feet.
Altra’s foot-pod technology maps the bones and tendons of the foot. This allows the shoe to be flexible at the right areas and firm here you need stability the most.
The foot-shaped toe-box on these shoes are something unseen on regular footwear. The toe-box is ultra wide, allowing the toes to spread out, thus offering better balance and weight distribution.
The Altra Torin is a very versatile shoe that can be used for both running as well as walking with metatarsalgia.
It’s features help reduce and redistribute any excess pressure borne by the metatarsals to the other parts of the foot.
6. Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Trail Running Shoe
The Altra Lone Peak 3.0 is one of the best trail running shoes on this list. This is an excellent shoe for longer distances and can be used for both trail running and hiking.
With a stack height of 25 mm and a zero heel-to-toe drop, this shoe provides ample comfort throughout the foot.
The zero-drop helps keep the foot in a more natural stance. Thus reducing pressure build-up in the forefoot, thereby reducing metatarsal pain.
The cushioning and flexibility in the outsole make this one of those shoes that you can run in right out-of-the-box.
The lugs provide excellent traction on all surfaces, while the extra wide toe-box, allows the toes to sit in natural alignment.
This enhances weight distribution as well as balance, two attributes that will come in handy when on the trail.
Best Men's Running Shoes For Metatarsalgia
1. Hoka One One Bondi 5 Road Running Shoe
The Hoka Bondi 5 is the running shoe you’re looking for if you have metatarsalgia. With 37 mm of cushioning at the heel and 33 mm at the ball of the foot, this is by far the most padded low-drop running shoe on this list.
This is one of Hoka’s number one selling shoe and it’s all about comfort and cushioning. This shoe is basically designed to protect you from the impact of the ground.
The Bondi 5 is a very lightweight running shoe for the amount of cushioning it brings to the table. The midsole is made of compressed rubber, which is where a lot of the weight saving comes from.
Although, this is by no means a light shoe. The Men’s size 9 comes in at just about 10 ounces.
This along with the comfort and durability is what makes the Hoka One One Bondi 5 a high mileage running shoe. The outsole is extremely wide which not only helps with stability but also with pressure redistribution. This is because wider the shoe, lesser impact per square inch.
What Hoka does really well this shoe is it allows the rubber to cradle the foot. This enables the foot to be cradled into a sung and secure fit. Thus reducing the feeling of sitting on top of the ample cushioning as much as giving the feeling of sitting indie it.
You will be hard pressed to find a low-drop running shoe that is as durable, well cushioned and stable as the Hoka Bondi 5.
2. Hoka One One Constant 2 Stability Running Shoe
The Hoka One One Constant 2 is one of Hoka’s stability offerings that is excellent for those with metatarsalgia and flat feet.
The Hoka Constant 2 utilizes a blend of RMAT and EVA technologies to help guide the foot into a more natural gait cycle.
The RMAT is placed in strategic points throughout the shoe to offer ample arch support, while the oversized EVA offers maximum comfort.
This is further aided by the 4 mm heel-to-toe offset which places the foot in a more natural position. This natural position of the foot decreases pressure to the forefoot, thus reducing pain and irritation in the metatarsals.
Being low-drop and having so much cushioning means that the forefoot is maximally padded against ground impact.
This along with a wide toe-box mean that the metatarsals breathe easier due to pressure reduction in the forefoot.
The Hoka Constant 2 also hosts a late stage meta-rocker that makes toe off easier. Thus making this an excellent walking shoe for metatarsalgia as well.
Best Women's Running Shoes For Metatarsalgia
1. Hoka Arahi Stability Running Shoe
The Hoka Arahi is a light stability running shoe for overpronators with metatarsalgia. Overpronators are more prone to forefoot injuries due to the rolling-in nature of their gait.
A lot of stability shoes are stiff and uncomfortable. But the Hoka Arahi is super cushioned, relatively lightweight and stable.
The shoes comes with a one piece upper with welded overlays. This makes for a lightweight and breathable shoe that is comfortable on the top as well.
This shoe has a built-in late-stage meta-rocker that makes toe-off extremely easy. It basically feels like the shoe is doing all the work for you.
This helps such that you aren’t demanding too much from the metatarsals. This rocker will give ample energy return on your stride during toe-off.
The mixed densities on the medial side of the shoe help with overpronation. This redistributes some of the forefoot pressure experienced by the metatarsals to the arch of the foot.
The minimal heel-to-toe drop and the large stack heights are what make this one of the best stability running shoes for metatarsalgia.
2. Hoka Odyssey Women's Running Shoe
The Hoka Odyssey is a lightweight, heavily cushioned, neutral, everyday running shoe. This versatile running shoe can be used on both long and short distance runs.
The low-drop heel-to-toe offset helps redistribute weight more evenly across the foot. This results in reduced pressure build-up at the forefoot.
With a stack height of 29 mm at the heel and 24 mm at the forefoot, the Hoka Odyssey provides ample cushioning throughout the foot.
This performance running shoe also includes an early stage meta-rocker design that aids propulsion and reduces stress on the metatarsals during toe-off.
All these features including the wide base, help redistribute pressure more evenly across the foot. Thus reducing pressure to the forefoot and metatarsals.
This makes the odyssey and excellent all-round performance running shoe for the neutral runner with metatarsalgia.
How To Choose The Best Running Shoes For Metatarsalgia
Choosing the best running shoes for metatarsalgia is no simple task.
Manufacturers don’t intentionally make shoes for this specific injury. This is due to the lack of awareness around it. This is why, those with forefoot pain go back to wearing the same type of footwear they did before getting injured.
Conventional footwear includes features that completely disrupt the natural alignment of the foot. They constrict the toes, elevate the heel and thus place a lot of pressure on the metatarsals.
The shoes listed in this article, place the foot in a position that reduces excess pressure to the metatarsals. Thus reducing pain and irritation in the area.
These features include:
Hyper-cushioned mid-soles – Due to the low-drop on all these shoes, the maximal cushion carries over from the heel to the toe. This is of utmost importance, as the cushioning reduces forces experienced by the metatarsals during impact with the ground.
Wide toe-boxes – Shoes with wide toe-boxes help reduce a myriad of forefoot related problems. These problems range from metatarsalgia to bunions to sesamoiditis and so on. This is because constricting the toes give the foot a smaller footprint. This reduces optimal weight distribution in the forefoot, thus increasing pressure in the area.
Low heel-to-toe drop – Low heel-to-toe drops mean that the heel and forefoot mostly lie in the same plane. This compared to conventional footwear (that elevate the heel) help redirect pressure away from the forefoot. Elevating the heel also thins out the natural fatty padding under the forefoot. This reduces the cushioning under the balls of the feet, thus increasing impact forces. Low drop footwear helps bring that naturally fatty padding back under the metatarsals, thus increasing impact absorption during forefoot strike.
A good running shoe for metatarsalgia will have a wide toe-box, low heel-to-toe drop and have a maximally cushioned flexible mid-sole at the forefoot.
Staying away from high heeled conventional shoes will drastically improve the health of the balls of your feet. While wide toe-boxes allow the toes to bear the excess weight from the metatarsals.
If you are looking for the best running shoes for metatarsalgia, try to look for shoes with the features described in this article. Adding kinesio tape to your feet will only help speed up the recovery of your metatarsalgia.