Best Shoes For Metatarsalgia
Top Rated Shoes For Metatarsalgia - 2018
Best Running Shoes For Metatarsalgia (For Men And Women)
1. Saucony Kinvara 7
Granted the Saucony Kinvara 7 has evolved way more than 7 times, but the shoe has essentially remained the same with minor improvements throughout.
It’s probably for the best that the Saucony Kinvara hasn’t changed dramatically over the years. This is one of the best overall running shoes period.
The out sole on the Kinvara is one of the most durable on the market today. Getting more than 500 miles on this running shoe is not unheard of.
The foam around the collar and the tongue is lightweight and comfortable. It is coated with Saucony’s ‘RunDry’ fabric that will keep your feet feeling fresh and dry.
This is a versatile road running shoe that can take you anywhere, from your training days, to 5k’s, 10k’s or even an ultra marathon.
Why Is the Saucony Kinvara 7 a good running shoe for metatarsalgia?
The Saucony Kinvara 7 is an excellent running shoe for metatarsalgia for a bunch of reasons.
Firstly, it is a low drop running shoe. With a heel-to-toe drop of 4 mm, this shoe places your foot in a more natural position.
This means that there is less pressure being placed on the ball of the foot. Low-drop shoes are known to redistribute pressure away from the ball of the foot, to the heel and the toes.
The second reason why this shoe good for those with metatarsalgia is Saucony’s own Everun material that makes up the mid sole. Everun is a high end cushioning material that outperforms your regular EVA.
It provides superior shock absorption as well as responsiveness when on the run. This helps provide ample cushioning to the metatarsals, keeping impact forces to a minimum.
Saucony also designs their shoes with relatively wide toe-boxes. While their shoes are nowhere near as wide as any of the Altra’s on this list, the toe-boxes provide the toes with ample room.
This helps to further mitigate pressure being placed on the metatarsals by redistributing some of it evenly through the toes.
2. ASICS 33-M Running Shoe
The ASICS 44-M is part of ASICS natural collection which features low-drop running shoes that mimic the natural movement of the foot. The shoe was designed to work symbiotically with the 33 joints of the human foot.
What ASICS has done with their natural collection is to bridge the gap between minimalist and more traditional running shoes.
Minimalist running shoes feature zero heel-to-toe drops and almost no cushioning under the foot. This leaves your feet at the mercy of the environment. While the more traditional running shoes keep your feet into an artificial position that is clunky and unnatural.
With the 33-M ASICS wanted to make a lightweight shoe that was both flexible and responsive.
What makes the ASICS 33-M a good running shoe for metatarsalgia?
The ASICS 33-M engages your foots bio-mechanical structures with its low-drop positioning. The upper and maximal cushioning cradles the foot in a way that supports it without stifling it.
The Fluidfoam cushioning system with featherweight mid soles and out soles offers freedom and protection to your metatarsals while still providing a responsive ride.
The upper is built from a seamless mesh material that wraps around the foot snugly, offering excellent ventilation and support. The to-box on the 33-M is wide and offers ample wiggle room for the toes. This allows your toes to splay out, thus providing excellent stability and optimal weight distribution throughout the foot.
While this is a neutral running shoe, the arch does provide enough support for further pressure mitigation toward the forefoot. The foot bed is also removable and can be easily replaced with custom orthotics or metatarsal pads.
3. Altra Torin Road Running Shoe
The ultra-wide toe-boxes on the Altra Torin running shoes are truly a breath of fresh air. Literally and figuratively. They really allow the toes to sit in their natural alignment, providing ample space for them to splay out. This enables the toes to not only breathe easy, but also allows them to offload pressure from the balls of the feet.
Altra’s footpod technology maps the bones and tendons of the feet. This makes the soles of their shoes flexible at the metatarsals while providing rigidity at the arch and heel of the foot.
So what makes the Altra Torin a good road running shoe for metatarsalgia?
The Torin comes with all of Altra’s signature bells and whistles. The wide foot shaped toe box, the zero heel-to-toe drop and the maximal underfoot cushioning. These 3 features are what make for the perfect shoe for metatarsalgia.
Although the cushioning is nothing like that of the Hoka’s on this list, or even the Altra Torin, the cushioning is more than enough for light runs.
It makes the shoe an excellent option for those who have metatarsalgia but don’t want to be bogged down by a heavy running shoe. With a 27 mm stack height, this is still a heavily cushioned running shoe.
4. Altra Lone Peak Trail Running Shoe
The Altra Lone Peak is one of the best trail running shoes on the market today. This do-everything trail running shoe was designed to tackle tough terrain.
The stack height is in between maximal and minimal running shoes and comes in at about 25 mm. But the shoe comes with a rock-plate that will protect your feet from sharp stones on the trail.
The outsole has a lovely lug pattern that sticks to any type of terrain you throw at it. It is also extremely durable, with several owners getting much over the 500 mile mark with ease.
This durablility and traction is what makes the Altra Lone Peak an excellent choice for running long distances on the trail. It also makes for an excellent hiking shoe and comes in a mid version with ankle support as well.
The upper is made of super durable materials which makes it relatively puncture resistant to sharp rocks and twigs.
So what makes the Altra Lone Peak a good trail running shoe for metatarsalgia?
Let’s start with the underfoot protection. With a 25 mm stack height, this shoe has ample cushioning under the heel and ball of the foot. This makes for a comfortable ride on the trail, while the rock-plate helps protect the metatarsals further.
The zero-drop on this running shoe helps the foot stay in a more bio-mechanically natural position. Thus reducing pressure hot spots in the forefoot and mid foot areas.
While the wide toe-box up front helps with further pressure mitigation and weight distribution.
5. Altra Provision 2.0 Road Running Shoe
The Altra Provision is a high mileage road running shoe that is great for metatarsalgia. The shoe is designed to improve your running form with it zero-drop platform. It also provides stability and thus assists the arches and reduces overpronation.
The Altra Provision comes with a built-in stability wedge. This is what makes the shoe a rarity. It is almost impossible to find zero-drop running shoes that provide stability. This is because zero-drop shoes are almost always associated with minimalist footwear.
This is where the Altra Provision running shoe really distinguishes itself from the crowd.
It offers this zero-drop stability platform with an unbelievable amount of cushioning under the forefoot and the heel.
So what makes the Altra Provision a good stability running shoe for metatarsalgia?
The Altra Provision is an all-day-comfort long distance running shoe. It is extremely lightweight for the amount of features it offers. From the maximal cushioning to the stability arch support.
The Altra Provision makes for an excellent stability running shoe for the following reasons:
- The wide toe-box allows the toes to splay out and take pressure away from the metatarsals.
- The Zero-drop platform allows the foot to sit in a bio-mechanically natural position. This allows the entire foot to handle weight distribution more evenly. This reduces pressure hot spots at the forefoot or metatarsals.
- The stability wedge in this shoe provides arch support for over pronators and those with flat feet. It also adds further pressure mitigation by allowing the arch to absorb some of the pressure going to the metatarsals.
- Add to this the ultra cushioned mid sole and you’ve got a shoe that will take care of your feet for a long time.
Stuffing multiple features into a shoe like this is no easy task. But getting them all to work in unison with one another is what makes this shoe an excellent choice for those with flat feet and metatarsalgia.
Best Walking Shoes For Metatarsalgia
1. Saucony Zealot ISO (Men And Women)
The Saucony Zealot ISO is a beefed up version of the Saucony Kinvara listed in the running shoes section above. This is why it is listed in the walking shoe section of this article. Although it can very easily double as an excellent running shoe for metatarsalgia and vice-versa.
The upper on the Saucony Zealot is super breathable with a quick-dry mesh with strategically placed vents. This is one of the best fitting shoes on the list due to Saucony’s ISO-fit upper. This allows the mid foot to be held down evenly and comfortably by the shoe.
The collar and tongue offer ample cushion and are padded with Saucony’s Rundry material that will keep your feet cool and dry.
So what makes the Saucony Zealot ISO a good walking shoe for metatarsalgia?
Everun is the name of the game. This is Saucony’s much appreciated premium cushioning compound. And The Saucony Zealot ISO features that compound throughout the length of the shoe. Everun is being touted as one of the best mid sole materials on the market right now. It offers excellent feedback while still still being extremely forgiving on the foot.
The toe-box is relatively wide and allows for a wide range of foot widths. Add to this the stretchy upper material and you’ve got yourself a shoe that allows pressure to be distributed evenly across the toes.
The 4 mm drop places your foot in a position that allows for pressure mitigation to the ball of the foot. With a high stack height at the heel and toe, this makes forefoot and heel striking a breeze.
2. Saucony Peregrine 6 Trail Shoe (Men And Women)
The Saucony Peregrine is a technical trail running shoe that is built to offer maximum traction and protection. This shoe hosts a 4 mm heel-to-toe drop with an Everun top sole paired with Saucony’s power foam mid sole. This gives the shoe excellent cushioning along with increased responsiveness.
This shoe has a large stack height of 25 mm at the heel and 21 mm at the forefoot. This along with the aggressive lug pattern on the out sole will provide all the protection required to handle a variety of trail conditions.
The upper is made of an engineered mesh material that offers ample ventilation. While the synthetic overlays help stabilize the foot.
What makes the Saucony Peregrine Trail shoe a good trail walking shoe for metatarsalgia?
Stack height + Everun. With a 25 mm stack height at the heel, this shoe will handle any type of rough terrain you through at it. The stack height and aggressive hard rubber lug patterns offer ample padding to the heel and the balls of your feet.
Add to this the Everun top sole compound and you have yourself an extremely cushioned shoe.
The 4 mm heel-to-toe drop along with the relatively wide toe-box offer pressure mitigation to the metatarsals. Thus giving your forefoot ample time to rest and recover while still visiting the trails.
3. Skechers GoRun 5 Shoe (Men And Women)
The Skechers GoRun 5 comes from Skechers Performance division. This is the division of the company that deals with running shoes for runners and triathletes. It is a lightweight natural trainer with maximal cushioning. Coming in at about 8.5 ounces for a men’s size 10, this is a fast shoe.
The midsole on the GoRun 5 is extremely flexible and the upper is similar to the upper on the NIKE Flymesh. This is a one piece upper that is ultra lightweight and breathable.
What makes the Skechers GoRun 5 a good lightweight walking shoe for metatarsalgia?
The upper paired with this minimal design make the Skechers GoRun 5 a very fast feeling lightweight shoe. With the 4 mm heel-to-toe offset and maximal stack height, this shoe deloads the metatarsals and protects them at the same time.
There’s ample space within the shoe as it has no insole. This means that you can easily slip your own orthotic or metatarsal pad within the shoe for extra cushioning.
4. Brooks Pure Cadence 6 (Men And Women)
The Brooks Pure Cadence is a lightweight stability shoe that is great for overpronators with metatarsalgia. This is an agile walking and running shoe that has a DNA midsole that dynamically adapts to your stride, weight and speed.
The flexible midsole disperses impact away from the metatarsals for a plush feel during toe-off. While the integrated guide rails on this shoe support your arch for proper alignment during the gait cycle.
The upper is made of an engineered mesh material with supportive synthetic overlays.
What makes the Brooks Pure Cadence a good stability walking shoe for metatarsalgia?
With a 4 mm heel-to-toe differential, the brooks cadence is a rare breed of running and walking shoe. This is because it offers a natural riding position whist still offering plenty of arch support for the over pronator. This natural riding position take pressure off the forefoot, thus giving the metatarsals enough time to rest and recover. Brooks has made this stability running and walking shoe extremely lightweight with their seamless guide rail system. This system provides arch support while taking pressure away from the metatarsals. All this combined with a flexible midsole and a decent stack height make the Brooks Pure Cadence an excellent stability walking shoe for those with flat feet and metatarsalgia.
5. NIKE FS Lite (Men And Women)
The NIKE FS Lite is an unconventional shoe from NIKE. With a heel-to-toe differential of 3 mm, and a wide toe-box, this makes for an excellent walking shoe for metatarsalgia. The cushioning on the flexible misdole is impeccable and is what makes the shoe great for walking.
What makes the NIKE FS Lite a good lightwight road walking shoe for metatarsalgia?
The flynit upper allows the toes to splay out, while the 3 mm heel to toe offset allows fore pressure distribution away from the balls of the feet. The upper is seamless and extremely breathable.
Best Men's Sandals For Metatarsalgia
1. KEEN Men's Newport H2 Sandal
The KEEN Men’s Newport H2 Sandal is an excellent everyday walking sandal for metatarsalgia. The tread on outsole is sticky and offers good traction on multiple surfaces. While the upper is made of a quick dry water repellent material that keeps you feet cool and dry. The protective toe-bumper up front makes this a good option for medium to light hiking.
What makes the KEEN Men’s Newport H2 a good sandal for metatarsalgia?
The midsole on the Newport H2 sandal by KEEN comes with a wide footbed design. This offers ample room for the toes to splay out, even though this is a closed design sandal. One advantage of closed toe sandals is that you can use a metatarsal pad within in order to mitigate some of the pressure going to the metatarsals. Although, the footbed on the Newport H2 comes with a built-in metatarsal arch which is perfect for those suffering from metatarsalgia.
The low-drop footbed also places the feet in a position that reduces pressure on the metatarsals. Thus reducing pain and irritation in the long run.
This is an everyday athletic sandal that can be used in both wet and dry conditions from walking to hiking to canoeing.
2. KEEN Men's Rialto 3 Point Sandal For The Outdoors
The KEEN Men’s Rialto 3 Point is a rugged sandal built for the outdoors. The upper is built from a durable full grain leather and hydrophobic materials. These hydrophobic materials help keep your foot cool and dry. The upper is also lined with probiotic technology that keeps odor at bay. This allows you to wear your sandals in a variety of conditions and still have your feet feeling fresh at the end of the day.
The three point hook and loop locking system allows for a snug and secure fit. This keeps the foot locked in place even on rugged terrain.
So what makes the KEEN Men’s Rialto 3 Point Outdoor Sandal good for metatarsalgia?
The footbed on this sandal is wide and anatomically correct. The low-drop allows the forefoot to sit level with the heel. This allows for pressure mitigation in the metatarsals, thus allowing them to rest and recover.
KEENZorb is the cushioning compound that is responsible for the plush ride offered by these sandals. This offers ample cushioning and protection to the metatarsals.
3. Dunham Men's St. Johnsbury Sandal
Dunham partnered with New Balance to develop the Men’s St. Johnsbury Sandal. This is a durable outdoor sandal that sports New Balance’s cushioning technology.
The St. Johnsbury locks the foot in place with a 3 point hook-and-loop strapping system. These straps are made of a premium full grain leather and quick dry material. This quick dry material keeps the feet cool and dry.
What makes the Dunham Men’s St. Johnsbury Sandal good for metatarsalgia?
The open toe design and wide footed allows for a more even pressure distribution throughout the foot. This prevent pressure build-up at the metatarsals.
With New Balance’s EVA technology, the midsole offers ample cushioning to the metatarsals.
4. Teva Men's Omnium Sandal
The Teva Men’s Omnium Sandal is a waterproof athletic sandal that is great for long walks in the outdoors. It comes with 2 adjustable straps and a closed toe design, perfect for light hiking.
The upper is made of a premium leather that is waterproof. While the outsole features an aggressive lug pattern that offers excellent traction on all surfaces.
What makes the Teva Men’s Omium Sandal good for metatarsalgia?
The Teva Men’s Omnium sandal comes with an anatomically contoured footbed. This footbed helps redirect pressure away from the metatarsals and to other parts of the foot. Thereby reducing irritation at the metatarsals.
The closed toe design allows for the use of metatarsal pads that can further mitigate pressure to the metatarsals. These features make the Teva Men’s Omnium sandal on of the best men’s sandals for metatarsalgia.
Best Women's Sandals For Metatarsalgia
1. KEEN Women's Whisper Sandal
The KEEN Women’s Whisper Sandal is made from durable lightweight materials. The hydrophobic upper repels liquids and keeps your feet cool and dry under various conditions.
This is a durable outdoor sandal that can be used in a variety of situations, from long walks to hikes in the outdoors. The outsole is built of durable rubber with aggressive lugs that stick well to different terrain.
The bungee strap locks down the ankle, thus providing excellent stability on uneven terrain. While the KEEN’s patented toe-protector protects the toes from rocks and debris on the trail.
What makes the KEEN Women’s Whisper Sandal good for metatarsalgia?
The KEEN Women’s Whisper Sandal comes on a low-drop footbed that helps mitigate excessive pressure to the metatarsals. The closed toe design allows for the use of metatarsal pads, that can be an excellent tool when trying to heal ball of the foot pain.
3. Birkenstock Women's Mayari Sandal
The Birkenstock Women’s Mayari Sandal is one of the better looking Birkenstocks. With feminine crisscross straps, this sandal comes in a relatively svelte package and has several colors to choose from.
The upper comes with dual strap adjustability, that allows you to lock the foot in just right.
What makes the Birkenstock Women’s Mayari sandla good for metatarsalgia?
Birkenstocks are known for their anatomically correct footbeds. The metatarsal pads, foot arch and deep heel cup all allow for better pressure mitigation from the forefoot. This allows the metatarsals to rest better, thus speeding up recovery time. The open toe design and wide footbed allow the toes to splay out in natural alignment, thus enhancing weight distribution in the forefoot area.
4. KEEN Women's Rose Sandal
The KEEN Women’s Rose Sandal is a lightweight and comfortable outdoor sandal that is made in the USA. It features a feminine design over a rugged outsole.
KEEN’s patented toe protector helps protect the toes from getting stubbed on rocks and debris when on the trail. While the aggressive lug patterns on the outsole offer superior gripping capabilities on multiple surfaces.
What makes the KEEN Women’s Rose Sandal good for metatarsalgia?
The KEEN Women’s Rose Sandal comes with a low heel-to-toe drop that is excellent for those with metatarsalgia. This is because such footbeds place the foot in a position that reduces pressure on the forefoot/ metatarsals. This then allows the metatarsals to heal faster. The anatomically correct footbed also helps in forefoot pressure reduction. While the wide footbed and closed-toe design allow for ample toe space and the use of a metatarsal pad.
5. Rockport Cobb Hill Women's Fiona Sandal
The Rockport Cobb Hill Women’s Fiona Sandal comes in a slim athletic package. The upper comes with a 3 point hook-and-loop system that allows for a snug and secure fit. The durable outsole offers excellent grip on a variety of different surfaces.
What makes the Rockport Cobb Hill Women’s Fiona Sandal good for those with metatarsalgia?
The Rockport Cobb Hill Women’s Fiona Sandal comes with a contoured footbed that places the foot in an anatomically correct position. This helps redistribute weight and pressure evenly throughout the foot, thus reducing pressure concentration in the forefoot. The midsole is made of a comfortable shock absorbing material that heels cushion the foot with every stride.
Best Men's Flip Flops For Metatarsalgia
1. Olukai Ohana Sandal
The Olukai Ohana is an excellent outdoor flip-flop for men.
What makes the Olukai Ohana Sandal good for metatarsalgia?
It features a low-drop midsole design that helps keep the foot in an anatomically correct position. This anatomically correct position places less pressure on the forefoot, thus allowing the metatarsals to heal.
The open toe design and wide foot bed allow the toes to splay out, this allowing for optimal weight distribution and balance.
The deep heel cup helps keep the foot in place while the arch support also helps with pressure mitigation. The Olukai Ohana is also extremely comfortable and provides ample cushioning at the heels and at the balls of the feet.
2. OluKai Nui Slipper - Men's
Much like the Olukai Ohana Sandal, the OluKai Nui Slipper is an excellent outdoor slipper. The slipper is made from vegan friendly materials and comes with a quick dry upper.
What makes the OluKai Nui Slipper good for metatarsalgia?
Olukai makes low-drop products and the OluKai Nui Slipper is no less. The low drop foot bed places the heel and forefoot in the same plane. This helps reduce the pressure on the forefoot, thus helping the metatarsals to heal.
What’s more, the mid sole of the OluKai Nui Slipper is made of a lightweight and comfortable EVA material. This offers ample impact protection to the heel and forefoot.
Add to this the wide anatomically correct foot bed and the open toe design and the OluKai Nui Slipper is one of the best men’s flip-flops for metatarsalgia.
Best Women's Flip Flops For Metatarsalgia
1. Teva Women's Olowahu Flip-Flop
The Teva Women’s Olowahu Flip-Flop comes in multiple colors and offers a comfortable cushioned ride.
What makes the Teva Women’s Olowahu Flip-Flop good for metatarsalgia?
The Teva Women’s Olowahu Flip-Flop is a well padded low drop flip-flop. This reduces the forces experienced on impact while keeping the foot in a position that will reduce forefoot pain. The open toe design allows the toes to splay out on the wide footbed. This helps in optimum weight distribution and reduces pressure build-up in the forefoot.
These are the features that make the Teva Women’s Olowahu Flip-Flop an excellent choice for those with metatarsalgia.
2. Clarks Women's Breeze Sea Flip-Flop
The Clarks Women’s Breeze Sea Flip-Flop is excessively cuhsioned and comes in a variety of different colors. The underfoot padding is one of the best features on this flip-flop.
So what makes the Clarks Women’s Breeze Sea Flip-Flop good for metataraliga?
The Clarks Women’s Breeze Sea Flip-Flop has many design features that make it one of the best women’s flip-flops for metatarsalgia. To start with, the maximal padding and cushioning under the heel and forefoot areas provide ample protection to the feet. This reduces the risk of metatarsal injury through impact with the ground. The Clarks Women’s Breeze Sea Flip-Flop also has an extremely wide footbed and a low drop. This low drop helps place the feet in a position that reduces metatarsal pressure. The open toe design allows the toes to splay and take some of the extra pressure away from the ball of the foot. Thus making the Clarks Women’s Breeze Sea Flip-Flop an excellent choice of flip-flop for those with metatarsalgia.
How Conventional Footwear Causes Metatarsalgia
If you want to heal your metatarsalgia quickly, then choosing the right footwear is of utmost importance. This is because the wrong footwear can aggravate the tendons in the ball of the foot, thus making the pain worse.
The problem with traditional footwear is that they got you here in the first place. These new age contraptions place the foot in bio-mechanically compromising positions.
High heel-to-toe ratios place the heel in an elevated position. This then places the weight of the body almost entirely on the balls of the feet. The foot was designed to distribute weight evenly across 3 points on the foot. This is known as the foot tripod.
This foot tripod consists of three ‘legs’, these include; the heel and the first and second metatarsal bones.
If one leg of this tripod is not working properly, stability and balance is immediately compromised. Not only this, but taking one leg out of the equation places a lot of stress on the other two.
This is what happens when the heel is raised off the ground as with conventional footwear. The elevated heel now also places a lot of uneven pressure on the metatarsals thus overloading them and causing pain.
Another problem caused by elevated heels in unconventional footwear includes the displacement of the natural fatty padding under the ball of the foot. This fatty padding is supposed to shield the metatarsals from impact damage.
Elevating the heel automatically lifts the toes and spreads the natural fatty cushioning under the balls of the feet thin. This inhibits natural impact protection for the metatarsals thus putting them at a higher risk of injury.
The other problem with conventional footwear is that they constrict the toes. Constricted toes can lead to all sort of foot defotmities and injuries, the most common one being bunions.
But constricted toes also pose another major problem and that is the problem of uneven weight distribution. A shoe with a constricted toe box with squeeze the toes together. This will cause pressure build up because of the now narrower profile of the feet.
This means the feet will not have to handle more pressure per square inch, specifically in the forefoot. This overloads the balls of the feet and is another cause of metatarsalgia.
How To Select The Best Shoes For Metatarsalgia
The idea for picking the best shoes for metatarsalgia is to offload the metatarsals. Taking as much load away from the metatarsals helps reduce inflammation allows for faster recovery.
In order to offload the metatarsals, look for shoes with the following features:
- Low heel-to-toe drop – Having a low heel-to-toe drop, places the heels and the balls of the feet in the same plane. This helps with even pressure and weight distribution throughout the feet. Thus reducing stress in the metatarsals.
- Wide toe box – Wide toe boxes let the toes splay out in their natural alignment, this enables the toes to take some of the load off the metatarsals.
- Minimal Toe-Ramp – The toe ramps at the front of the shoe lift the toes up. As a consequence of this, the natural protective fatty pad under the metatarsals gets spread thin. This reduces the natural impact protection capabilities of your foot. Look for shoes that keep the toes, metatarsals and heels in the same line. Much like they would be if you were to stand barefooted on the ground.
- Cushioning – Quite simply, maximal cushioning helps provide impact protection to the metatarsals. Highly cushioned shoes cradle the metatarsals and protect against sharp objects on the ground.
All the shoes mentioned on this list have all or a combination of the attributes mentioned above. While the selection is limited, these shoes are your best option to heal your ball of the foot pain.
Using the tips and tricks mentioned in this guide should help you find the best shoes for metatarsalgia. Mixing this with the best taping techniques for metatarsalgia will put you on the path to a speedy recovery.