Best Walking Shoes For Metatarsalgia
If you’re thinking the best walking shoes for metatarsalgia must be heavily cushioned under the heel and ball of the foot, then this article is for you!
While cushioning is important, it is NOT the most important feature required in walking metatarsalgia.
This article discusses and reviews the best walking shoes that will help heal your ball of the foot pain.
Best Walking Shoes For Metatarsalgia (For Men And Women) 2018
1. Saucony Zealot ISO (Men And Women)
The Saucony Men’s Zealot ISO is a shoe that provides excellent cushioning and fit. It comes with Saucony’s own ISO fit upper that allows for one of the best individual fits on any shoe.
This upper is made of a lightweight breathable mesh that has extremely supportive overlays that work together in order to provide a snug fit.
The midsole is built with Saucony’s Everun technology. This Everun cushioning runs along the full length of the shoe and is what provides the Zealot’s comfort.
The stack height of the heel comes in at 25 mm that provides more than enough cushioning for heel strike when walking. But it also comes with a 4 mm heel-to-toe drop which is that sweet spot for those with metatarsalgia.
Adding to the list of features, the toe-box is wide and allows the toes to splay out, which is great for those with metatarsalgia. Also, the mesh upper allows for a little extra stretch in the toe-box, while the ISO-fit over the midfoot offers excellent stability.
This is a lightweight shoe that works well for fast paced walking.
2. Saucony Peregrine 6 Trail Shoe (Men And Women)
The Saucony Peregrine 6 Trail Shoe has one of the best outsoles out of all the shoes on this list.
The “pwrtrac” oustole is covered in sticky lugs which are angled to provide grip when ascending and descending climbs.
It holds up extremely well on tough terrain and deals well with roots, rocks and whatever you decide to throw at it. The lugs dig deep into the ground, providing excellent traction on outdoor terrain.
This super outsole is also extremely durable and provides a lot of protection for the underfoot. It has a carbon plate that protects the feet from rocks and other nasty objects that are out on the trail.
This is hughe for those who want to go hiking when suffering from metatarsalgia.
The gripe with this shoe is the narrow toe-box.
As you’ve probably read throughout this article, wide-toe boxes are almost essential for those with foot problems. But there is a wide audience out there with narrow feet and this is one of the best trail shoes for metatarsalgia for those with narrow feet.
3. Skechers GoRun 5 Shoe (Men And Women)
‘Skechers Performance’ is a separate unit in the company that caters specifically to runners and tri-athletes. The Skechers GoRun is a product of Skechers Performance.
The Sketchers GoRun is a race ready running shoe that is lightweight and extremely flexible. It is that flexibility that makes this shoe a good option for walking.
The shoe bends in all directions, offering no resistance to the natural movement of the feet. This shoe helps you go fast while offering a comfortable ride.
In fact, while there is a plenty of cushioning for walking, we don’t recommend using this shoe for running. Especially if you have metatarsalgia.
This shoe is almost spartan-like in the sense that it is just the upper attached to some midsole material with no insole. The upper is also comfortable and breathable.
This is great for metatarsalgia as it allows you to use your own orthotics or metatarsal pads. Something that is highly recommended to cure this injury.
The M-step technology that Skechers is known for, keeps the foot rolling. This is another feature that makes this an excellent walking shoe.
The M-step technology guides your foot into easy toe-off, thereby reducing pressure on your metatarsals.
The 4mm heel-to-toe drop ont his shoe also allows your feet to disperse pressure evenly throughout your foot. Which in turn reduces pressure through the balls of the feet.
Theses features make the skechers GoRun on of the best walking shoes for metatarsalgia.
4. Brooks Pure Cadence 6 (Men And Women)
With a heel-to-toe offset of 4 mm, the Brooks Pure Cadence 6 is one of the best walking shoes for metatarsalgia and flat feet. This shoe offers just the right amount of arch support for mild over pronators.
Over pronators or those with flat feet often suffer from metatarsalgia. This is because the arch collapses and doesn’t support the load on the foot well enough, this load then gets carried over to the ball of the foot.
The arch support on the Pure Cadence 6 helps redistribute weight across the arch of the foot. This takes away the load from the front of the foot, thus allowing your metatarsals to rest and recover.
The upper is a mesh material that is breathable, while the overlays provide excellent stability to the midfoot.
The low drop on the shoe also allows the foot to sit in a more natural position from heel to toe. This places less pressure on the ball of the foot, thus reducing pain and aiding in recovery.
The cushioning on this shoe is not as heavy as many others listed in this article, but is one of the most lightweight stability walking and running shoes on this list.
5. NIKE FS Lite (Men And Women)
The NIKE Men’s FS Lite is an extremely lightweight shoe.
It is conventionally looked at as a running shoe, but in the case of metatarsalgia, this makes for an excellent walking shoe.
The NIKE Men’s FS Lite comes in with a heel-to-toe drop of a cool 3 mm. This is excellent for pressure redistribution and keeping the foot in an overall more natural position.
The cushioning on the shoe is ample at the heel, which is what makes it good for walking, as heel strike plays a larger role.
The upper is made of a super breathable flyknit material. This is a seamless design and helps negate irritation cause due to stitching.
The upper also allows the toes to expand within the shoe, thus allowing them to splay out more. The toe-box is surprisingly wide as well, which is an excellent feature for walking with metatarsalgia.
The low drop, wide and accommodating toe-box and upper make the NIKE FS Lite an excellent lightweight walking shoe for metatarsalgia.
6. ASICS 33-FA (Men And Women)
The ASICS Men’s 33-FA Running Shoe has been on the market for a while, and is a battle tested running shoe. But, the ASICS 33-FA is also an excellent walking shoe for metatarsalgia.
The heel-to-toe drop sits at a comfortable 4 mm which is great for redistributing pressure away from the ball of the foot. The stack height is 21 mm at the heel with provides ample cushioning for those long walks.
Asics have also done an excellent job at making the shoe wide at the front. This allows the toes to splay out, thus sharing more of the load from the forefoot than in shoes with tighter toe boxes.
What also makes this a great walking shoe for metatarsalgia is the wide outsole. This gives the shoe a stable platform from the forefoot to the heel. Which gives more stability at the midfoot, further reducing pressure at the balls of the feet.
These features also make it a viable option for those who stand on their feet all day. The shoe is a little heavy for running in but one shouldn’t really feel the weight when out on a walk.
Simply said, this is a surprisingly well cushioned and comfortable shoe that ticks all the right boxes for metatarsalgia.
The upper is made of a comfortable yet breathable mesh material which is mated to a super comfortable midsole. The inner is a seamless synthetic fabric that is soft to the skin and doesn’t provide any of the hot spots and chaffing that stitched uppers do.
The outsole is extremely durable as well and will last a long time.
Best Men's Walking Shoes For Metatarsalgia
1. Altra Men's Instinct Everyday Fashion Sneaker
When asked for the best ‘all-round’ walking shoe, I keep coming back to the Altra Men’s Instinct Everyday Fashion Sneaker. It is the do-it-all walking shoe.
The Altra Men’s Instinct Everyday Fashion Sneaker, isn’t a fashion sneaker by a long shot. Granted it does look great with a pair of jeans, but its beauty lies in it’s versatility.
The shoe comes wit a zero heel-to-toe drop, ideal for those with ball of the foot pain.
This helps keep your foot in a more neutral plane. Thus reducing pressure hot-spots at the ball of the foot.
Having an even heel-to-toe plane makes it easier to redistribute pressure more evenly across the foot. The Altra Men’s Instinct Everyday Fashion Sneaker also comes with Altra’s patented extra wide toe-box.
This enables the toes to take up an active role in weight distribution, thus reducing the load on the metatarsals.
With a stack height of 23 mm, the cuhsioning is impeccable. Add to this a 5 mm removable insole and the Altra Men’s Instinct Everyday Fashion Sneaker is one of the best walking specific shoe for metatarsalgia.
The outsole on all of Altra’s shoes have their footpod technology. This technology maps the bones and tendons of the foot. This makes the shoe flexible at the forefoot, which reduces any resistance to metatarsals while walking.
2. Hoka One One Men's Gaviota Running Shoe
The Hoka One One Men’s Gaviota Running Shoe comes in with a heel-to-toe offset of 5mm. This is as far as i would recommend going with walking shoes for metatarsalgia.
This is because higher heel-to-toe drops place unnecessary pressure on the balls of the feet. Something you want to avoid when dealing with metatarsalgia.
Although, having a 5 mm offset makes the Hoka One One Men’s Gaviota Running Shoe a good transition shoe for those coming in from the higher heel-to-toe drops of conventional shoes.
So what makes the Hoka Gaviota one of the best men’s shoes for metatarsalgia? Hyper-cushioning!
What makes the Hoka One One Men’s Gaviota Running Shoe a good walking shoe for metatarsalgia is the fact that it offers ample arch support for severe over pronators.
This means that the shoe allows the arch of the foot to bear some of the pressure going to the ball of the foot. This is one of the shoes on this list that might not need a separate metatarsal pad.
The upper is a breathable and supportive mesh material. While the outsole features durable rubber pads that will make this shoe last for miles.
Best Women's Walking Shoes For Metatarsalgia
1. Hoka One One Women's Vanquish 2
With a heel-to-toe drop of 5 mm, the Hoka One One Women’s Vanquish 2 makes for an excellent metatarsalgia walking shoe.
This is because of several reasons, the first being the stack height.
With a stack height of a whopping 35 mm at the heel and 30 mm at the ball of the foot, these are the most cushioned walking shoes on this list.
This makes heel strike when walking a breeze. While toe-off feel plush an pain free.
The 5 mm heel-to-toe drop will also help reduce the amount of pressure being borne by the metatarsals. You will definitely feel the bounce effect with every stride in these shoes.
The toe box is wide and helps with stability and wight distribution. While the rubber padding on the outsole helps with durability.
This is an excellent option for women looking to put in serious miles on the road in an ultra comfortable walking shoe.
2. Altra Women's Intuition Everyday Fashion Sneaker
The Altra Women’s Intuition Everyday comes with Altra’s patented wide-toe box. This is a versatile everyday walking shoe that can be used indoors, outdoors or simply on the road.
The only surface I wouldn’t recommend taking this shoe is on trails for obvious reasons.
Cushioning wise, this is an extremely comfortable walking shoe. With a 23 mm stack height from heel-to-toe, your metatarsals and heel will be thanking you every step of the way.
The zero heel-to-toe drop helps redistribute pressure away from the metatarsals, which will give your relief from metatarsalgia.
While not the prettiest women’s walking shoes for metatarsalgia, the Altra Women’s Intuition Everyday Fashion Sneaker works very well for women with metatarsalgia.
How To Choose The Best Walking Shoes For Metatarsalgia
Many believe that simply wearing shoes with heavy cushioning under the balls of the feet will help with metatarsalgia. And this is simply NOT true!
While heavy cushioning under the ball of the foot is a must, there are other features that are absolutely necessary to heal metatarsalgia.
These features include:
- Low heel-to-toe drop. Typically, you would want a zero-drop shoe. A zero-drop shoe is one in which your heel and ball of foot, sit in the same plane. But many zero-drop shoes on the market have minimalist soles. This means that their stack heights (amount of cushioning under the ball of the foot and heel) is minimal. This is an issue as the reason for metatarsalgia is lack of cushioning under the balls of the feet.
- Wide Toe-Box. Wide toe boxes help the toes do what they are supposed to do when in natural alignment. Wide toe boxes allow the toes to bear more load efficiently. Thus taking away some of the load from the metatarsals, while providing additional stability to the body. This will help reduce the pain in your metatarsals.
Even though some of the shoes on this list are branded as “running shoes”, the can be used for both running and walking. Low-drop shoes are extremely versatile.
The only caveat being, when we walk, we rely on heel strike a lot more than forefoot strike. So the cushioning under the heel of a walking shoe must be plush enough to provide ample comfort.
All the shoes on this list are maximalist shoes, meaning their cushioning is as much as, if not more than conventional footwear.
The difference being, these are low drop shoes and hence have obvious advantages for those suffering from metatarsalgia.
As you can clearly see, while cushioning is great, it is NOT the most important feature in walking shoes for metatarsalgia.
Heel-to-toe drop, along with stack heights and wide toe-boxes will help dissipate better. These are the features that you should look for in the best walking shoes for metatarsalgia. Taping the feet for metatarsalgia will only speed up the recovery process.