The Best Insoles for Metatarsalgia (Ball of Foot Pain) Reviewed 2023

Are you experiencing a sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot? Do you feel like you have a small stone under your foot when you walk? You might need to take a look at the best insoles for metatarsalgia.

best insoles for metatarsalgia

This painful condition affects many people and can be remedied by wearing the correct insoles in your shoes. Here are our top six picks of the best insoles for ball of foot pain that could help you.


Best Metatarsal Insoles Featured Recommendations

1. Physix Gear Sport Full Length Orthotic Inserts with Arch Support

Physix Gear brings us a pair of insoles with good arch and heel support. They can help with many foot problems including metatarsalgia. They are made of ultra-thin, semi-rigid EVA foam and polyurethane. A non-slip heel helps hold them in place.

Physix Gear Plantar Fasciitis Feet Insoles Arch Supports Orthotics Inserts Relieve Flat Feet, High Arch - M
  • ✅ STEADY ARCH SUPPORT: Physix high arch insoles are designed to be the best shoe inserts men & women need as a soothing solution for Flat Feet, Runner's Knee, Overpronation, Shin Splints, & Achilles Tendonitis. These plantar fasciitis insoles relieve Metatarsal Arch & Heel Aches, Metatarsalgia (Ball of Foot Pain), Patellofemoral Syndrome (Knee Pain), & Low Back Pain!
  • ✅ LOW PROFILE, LIGHTWEIGHT, ULTRA THIN SOLES: Physix flat foot orthopedic insoles are more supportive than thick cushion insoles and won't alter the way your shoe fits. Our plantar fasciitis inserts allow more room in the toe box to ensure comfy fit in most shoe types: boots, booties, slippers, dress shoes, running shoes, sneakers.
  • ✅ ERGONOMIC, NON SLIP DESIGN: Physix orthotic insoles are meticulously designed to reduce pain & discomfort, with semi-rigid arch support & heel cup for added support & stability while on the go. Plus each shoe insole has a non-slip heel to hold the insert securely in place throughout the day!
  • ✅ SUPERIOR MATERIALS: Physix inserts are the best shoe insoles men & women love! Dual Base Layered High-Performance EVA foam & PU material helps correct abnormal walking patterns, relieves metatarsalgia, heel spurs, & knee pain.
  • ✅ DEEP HEEL CRADLE FOR STABILITY ensures your feet get the best tender loving care they deserve, use after use. Ideal as overpronation insoles and perfect for improving performance & physical activity.


2. New Balance Insoles 3030 Pressure Relief Metatarsal Pad

These are contoured insoles designed to relieve pressure that is associated with metatarsalgia. They have airflow channels to keep feet fresh and cool. They are recommended for all day use.

New Balance Insoles 3030 Pressure Relief Insole-with Metatarsal Pad-Wide Shoe, Beige, Medium/M 10.10.5, W 11.5-12 4E US
  • External heel stabilizer
  • Separate heel and forefoot cushioning
  • Molded arch support
  • Metatarsal pad


3. Pedag Holiday 3/4 Semi-Rigid Orthotic with Metatarsal Pad

Made from leather, these insoles from Pedag are three-quarter length and have a small metatarsal pad to cushion and lift the forefoot. They have cushioning and support for the heels and absorb shock.

Pedag Holiday | 3/4 Length Sheepskin Orthotic Inserts | Handmade in Germany | Arch Support | Metatarsal Pad | Heel Cushion | Fits Low Profile Tight Shoes | Tan | 1 Pair | US Women 9 / EU 39 Men 6
2,632 Reviews
Pedag Holiday | 3/4 Length Sheepskin Orthotic Inserts | Handmade in Germany | Arch Support | Metatarsal Pad | Heel Cushion | Fits Low Profile Tight Shoes | Tan | 1 Pair | US Women 9 / EU 39 Men 6
  • LOW PROFILE ARCH SUPPORT - For many decades German made pedag Holiday insoles have been providing the perfect level of support for low profiles tight shoes, such as loafers, oxfords and flat ballet.
  • ARCH SUPPORT & PLANTAR FASCIITIS RELIEF - Thin 3/4 length insoles with metatarsal pads and heel cushion provide arch support and relief from plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia & mortons neuroma.
  • QUALITY MATERIALS & HANDMADE IN GERMANY - Each pair of insoles are made from lambskin leather and expertly crafted by hand in Germany to ensure a perfect fit and long lasting durability.
  • MEDICALLY RECOGNIZED - The pedag Holiday has been awarded the APMA Seal of Acceptance, which is the recognition by the American Podiatric Medical Association for promoting foot health.
  • UNIVERSAL FIT - From Women's 5 through 12, and Men's 6 through 18. For the best fit, choose the size that corresponds closest to your own shoe size. For half sizes, order the next size up.


4. Emsold Ultra Thin Orthotic with Metatarsal Pad and Deep Heel Cup

This is a three-quarter length, semi-rigid insole with arch support and cushioning to help relieve the pain of metatarsalgia. Made from leather and thermoplastic, they are lightweight and thin. They wick moisture from the feet to keep them fresh and comfortable.

Emsold Ultra Thin Orthotic with Metatarsal Pad and Deep Heel Cup – Semi-Rigid Arch Support Insole for Men and Women – Relieves Pain from Plantar Fasciitis, Morton’s Neuroma and Metatarsalgia
  • THIN MEN’S AND WOMEN’S INSOLES: These therapeutic, functional orthotics are comfortable and thin enough to fit into most shoe styles. The 3/4 length semi-rigid arch support with deep heel cup and metatarsal pad provides proper biomechanical support from your heels to the balls of your feet. These insoles are perfect for men and women affected by foot pain from Plantar Fasciitis, Metatarsalgia, Arthritis, or Flat Feet.
  • METATARSAL PADS: The integrated metatarsal pad can help relieve forefoot pain from Metatarsalgia, Morton’s Neuroma, Sesamoiditis, and Arthritis. The soft metatarsal pad will cushion, spread and support the metatarsal heads to relieve the pain and burning sensation in the balls of your feet. Our 3/4 length design will provide proper biomechanical support of your feet during your favorite athletic activities, running workouts or normal daily use in your casual shoes, boots, sneakers or dress shoes
  • PLANTAR FASCIITIS RELIEF: The semi-rigid arch support will provide relief from Plantar Fasciitis by supporting the medial arch and the deep heel cup design can help to prevent mild pronation and/or supination by keeping the foot in proper alignment during the gait cycle.
  • GENUINE LEATHER COVER: With a genuine leather cover, these orthotic insoles are both durable and comfortable. The leather cover helps to keep your feet dry all day no matter how your boots, sneakers, or shoes are made.
  • RELIEF FOR MULTIPLE SYMPTOMS: These insert pads slip right into most shoe designs and are perfect for most individuals suffering from forefoot pain from metatarsalgia and/or heel pain from Plantar Fasciitis. Whether the balls of your feet, your heels, or your arches are suffering from pain or inflammation, these orthotics will provide relief for your tender feet.


5. FootMatters Metatarsal Pads Spandex Gel Comfort

These gel pads are designed to cushion just the balls of your feet to help with metatarsal pain. They are thin and can be worn inside any shoes or even when you are barefoot. The gel pad is encased in a breathable stretchy sleeve that fits over the forefoot.


6. Powerstep Pinnacle Shoe Insoles

This full-length insole has a heel cradle and arch support for all arch types. It is cushioned throughout and has an antimicrobial upper to keep feet odor free. They are suitable for any shoes for both men and women.

PowerStep Pinnacle Insoles - Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis Relief - Full Length Orthotic Insoles for Arch Support with Moderate Pronation - #1 Podiatrist Recommended (M 3-3.5 W 5-5.5)
  • Designed for Daily Comfort, Stability & Pain Relief - We designed our Pinnacle inserts for plantar fascitis relief. They can be used as daily shoe or work boot insoles, and provide moderate cushioning to help stabilize your foot and ankle while relieving foot pain.
  • Podiatrist-Recommended Orthotic Insoles - Pinnacle arch support insoles are the #1 podiatrist-recommended shoe inserts for relieving, and preventing, foot pain from Plantar Fasciitis, heel spurs, and other common foot, ankle and knee injuries.
  • Clinically Proven - These plantar fasciitis inserts feature a podiatrist-designed PowerStep arch that cradles your foot and heel to add stability and motion control. This clinically proven shape works with dual-layer cushioning to limit stress on your joints and tendons, and improve foot function.
  • Fits Most Shoes Without the Need to Trim - These arch support inserts are ordered by shoe size, no trimming is required. Plus, they're easy to move between shoes, so they can serve as your go-to plantar fasciitis insoles for work boots, running shoes and other casual footwear.
  • Proudly Made in the USA - The majority of our shoe insoles are designed and produced at our Ohio facility. Discover more HSA and FSA eligible orthotics for plantar fasciitis, running and pronation at the PowerStep Amazon store.


Also read our buying guide for the best insoles and inserts for shin splints here

Reviews of The Best Insoles for Metatarsalgia

Insoles that cushion your feet and support your arches along with metatarsal support can help with foot pain. These are our top six picks of the best insoles for ball of foot pain.


1. Physix Gear Sport Full Length Orthotic Inserts with Arch Support

Physix Gear is a family run business founded in 2015 that believes in putting you, the customer, first. The company is confident in its products—offering a 100 percent replacement or refund policy if customers aren’t happy with their purchase.



These insoles come in five sizes, extra small through to extra large. These cover men’s sizes from 3 through to 14.5 and women’s sizes from 5 through to 16.5.

Made from two layers of EVA foam with a semi-rigid heel cup and an antimicrobial material upper, these insoles are slim but supportive.

They might help with many foot problems including plantar fasciitis, heel pain, and pain in the ball of the foot. They are cushioned for comfort throughout and ergonomically designed to place your foot in the correct position.

While some find these insoles come up a little wide, they can be trimmed to fit for length.


  • Firm arch support.
  • Can be cut to fit for length.
  • Cushioned throughout, especially in the heel and ball of the foot.
  • Thin and lightweight.
  • Antimicrobial uppers for odor control
  • 100 percent money back guarantee.


  • Might be too wide for some.
A slim and lightweight insole with support for heels and arches and full-length cushioning. Might help with foot issues including metatarsalgia.


2. New Balance Insoles 3030 Pressure Relief Metatarsal Pad

New Balance is a US based company offering many solutions for healthy feet. They also give back through their foundation which supports many non-profit organizations.


These insoles come in medium and wide fittings for both men and women. They are available in sizes 9 through to 16 in one and a half size increments. They can be trimmed to fit if they are too big.

Designed to relieve pressure on the foot, they have arch support to redistribute weight. The deep heel cup cradles the back of the foot and provides support.

It has cushioning throughout, with added padding at the ball of the foot to help with metatarsal pain.

The airflow channels in the base and padded upper help keep feet fresh and dry. They can reduce friction on the foot, preventing blisters. The top layer is made from a proprietary material, Plastazote, and uses the heat from your body to mold the insole to your foot.

On the downside, these insoles are thick so if you don’t have a lot of room in your shoes they might not be suitable for you.


  • Padded metatarsal cushion
  • Arch and heel support.
  • Cushioned for comfort.
  • Airflow to keep feet fresh.


  • Might be too thick for some shoes.
This is a supportive cushioned insole with extra padding for the ball of the foot. It has airflow to keep feet fresh and is suitable for both men’s and women’s shoes.


3. Pedag Holiday 3/4 Semi-Rigid Orthotic with Metatarsal Pad

Designed for comfort, this insole is suitable for any shoes from flats to dress shoes, to heels and athletic shoes. You can even put them in shoes with open toes.



It’s slim at just 0.15 inches thick and is a three-quarter length. This means it leaves more room for your feet in your shoes while giving them support.

It’s available in 14 sizes for both women and men. They start at a size 5 right through to a 15. The company recommends you size up to a full size if you happen to have a half size foot. It seems however that these insoles run on the small side, so it might be a good idea to size up anyway.

It’s available in beige or black and the upper is made from tanned leather. This allows your feet to breathe naturally, keeping them fresh.

Support and cushioning in this semi-rigid insole can be found at the heel, arch, and metatarsal pad. There is also an adhesive pad below the heel to help hold them in place

For those of you that want a lot of arch support, these might not be suitable.

The benefits of Pedag insoles are outlined in this video.


  • Available in two colors.
  • A wide range of sizes for men and women.
  • Natural tanned leather breathable uppers.
  • Pad to alleviate metatarsal pain.
  • Heel and arch support


  • Might not run true to size.
This three-quarter length insole is suitable for any type of shoes, even sandals. Its natural leather upper lets feet breathe while padding and support help relieve foot pain.


4. Emsold Ultra Thin Orthotic with Metatarsal Pad and Deep Heel Cup

This insole from Emsold is three-quarter length with semi-rigid foot support. It aims to provide relief from foot pain caused by metatarsalgia and plantar fasciitis.



It’s available in 15 different sizes covering from a woman’s size 5 through to a men’s size 16. They are made from ultra-thin thermoplastic and finished with natural leather uppers.

There is good arch support and a foam pad in the ball of the foot to cushion the metatarsal bones. This makes them a good option as insoles for ball of foot pain. A deep heel cup helps hold the foot in place and prevents it rolling in or out.

The leather uppers absorb moisture to keep feet dry and fresh.


  • Slim and lightweight inserts.
  • Cushioned pad at the ball of the foot.
  • Leather breathable upper layer.
  • Arch and heel support.


  • Might take a few days to get used to the metatarsal pad.
This is a slim and lightweight three-quarter length insole. It’s semi-rigid with heel and arch support. A firm cushioned pad supports the metatarsal to relieve pain.


5. FootMatters Metatarsal Pads Spandex Gel Comfort

These insoles from FootMatters are a little different from the rest. They fit over your toes a little like the thong of a flip flop and have a gel pad in the base of them. This makes them ideal for wearing with any type of shoe, even the aforementioned flip flops.



They are made from a stretchable Spandex poly sleeve which holds the metatarsal gel pad in the right place. They can be hand washed in warm water and air dried to keep them fresh. There is a small mesh bag included you can place them in for storage or carrying.

Available in two sizes, they cover foot sizes from women’s 5 to 10 and men’s 6 to 11. The nude color means you can wear them unobtrusively with sandals and open-toed shoes. You can even wear these when walking around barefoot.

They might help relieve pain from calluses on the balls of the feet or metatarsalgia.

It seems these pads run a bit large so if your feet are narrow you might want to size down.


  • Can be worn with any shoes or barefoot.
  • Stretchable for comfort and fit.
  • Gel metatarsal pad.
  • Good ball of foot pads and cushions.


  • Some find the pads are prone to move.
This is an insole that fits over the toes to hold a gel pad in place on the ball of the foot. It’s stretchable and can be hand washed to keep it fresh.


6. Powerstep Pinnacle Shoe Insoles

Powerstep is a company founded by a podiatrist who saw a gap in the market for ready-to-wear inserts for shoes. They have been in business for over 25 years and make a cheaper and more convenient alternative to custom-made orthotics.



The Pinnacle is a thin full-length insole. It is available in sizes 3 through to 16 for men and 5 through to 15.5 for women. They can easily be moved from one shoe to another.

These are made from two layers of EVA foam and there is semi-rigid support at the heel and the arch. They are designed to alleviate problems with foot pain from the heels through to the toes, including metatarsalgia.

Powerstep’s patented variable cushioning technology ensures that your foot gets the support it needs in targeted places.

An antimicrobial upper layer inhibits the growth of bacteria to keep foot odor at bay.

Although these insoles provide full foot support where you need it, they might need replacing every few months. Some might find the arch support too firm and it may take a bit of getting used to.

The technical details of these insoles are outlined in this video.


  • Good range of sizes.
  • Patented cushioning throughout
  • Anti-microbial uppers for odor control.
  • Support for heels and arches


  • Fabric uppers might wear out quickly
A thin, cushioned insole available in many sizes and ready to wear from the box. Support at the heel and arch feet stability helps to alleviate pain and fatigue.


What Is Metatarsalgia?

This is a painful condition that happens when the ball of your foot becomes inflamed and painful. It’s not usually a serious condition but it can nevertheless lay you up and make walking and running painful.

what is metatarsalgia

What Are the Symptoms of Metatarsalgia?

The symptoms of metatarsalgia include:

  • Burning, sharp, or aching pains in the ball of your foot, generally in the area behind your toes.
  • Pain that improves when your feet are rested but gets worse when you run, stand, walk, or flex your feet. This might be particularly noticeable when you walk on hard surfaces. It can also appear worse if you wear high heels, pointy-toes, or tight-fitting shoes.
  • Numbness and tingling or sharp shooting pains in your toes.
  • A feeling like you have a stone or pebble stuck under the ball of your foot in your shoes.

This video outlines some of the symptoms of metatarsalgia.


What Are the Causes of Metatarsalgia?

There are many things that can trigger the onset of pain in the ball of your foot. These include:

insoles for ball of foot pain

  • Sports, activity, and intense training: People who run risk getting metatarsalgia as the forefoot absorbs a lot of impact when it repeatedly hits the floor. Likewise, anyone who does high impact sports can develop this type of pain, particularly if you wear ill-fitting or worn shoes.
  • Some foot shapes: Certain things like high arches or having a second toe longer than a big toe can put added pressure on metatarsals. These are five long bones that run from the midfoot to the toes
  • Foot deformities: Things like bunions (painful bumps on your big toes) or hammertoes (a toe that curls down) can contribute to metatarsalgia. These conditions can be the result of wearing high heels or shoes which are too tight.
  • Obesity: Carrying extra weight puts extra pressure on your forefoot when you walk, resulting in more pressure on those metatarsal bones.
  • Badly fitting shoes: Being a fashion victim can take its toll on your feet. Those ultra high heels might look good but the extra pressure they put on your forefoot can wreak havoc. Likewise, wearing narrow pointed shoes or athletic shoes with insufficient support can cause metatarsal pain.
  • Stress fractures: Tint breaks in the bones of your toes or metatarsals can change the weight distribution on your foot and cause pain.
  • Morton’s neuroma: This is a non-cancerous growth of tissue around a nerve. It generally happens between the heads of the metatarsal bones, and causes pain and can contribute to metatarsalgia.


Are There Treatments for Metatarsalgia?

Simple changes like wearing correctly fitting footwear or using insoles with arch supports and shock absorbency can help minimize this condition.

Pads which cushion and support the metatarsals can also help by relieving the stress on this area.

Identifying the cause of your ball of foot pain is also important so you should seek medical advice.

This video describes the metatarsals and some of the causes of this condition.


Things to Look for in the Best Insoles for Metatarsalgia

metatarsal inserts

When choosing insoles for your painful feet, or to prevent metatarsalgia, there are a few things to look out for. These include:

  • Cushioning in the ball of the foot: We have mentioned that this lower part of your foot faces impact when you walk. A good cushion pad in this area will help protect the delicate bones in your feet and prevent or improve pain.
  • Arch support: Proper support for the arches of your feet can help minimize stress on the metatarsals. Many insoles have arch support built-in.
  • Heel support: A good heel cup helps support your foot by holding it in the right position.
  • Breathability: Your feet need to breathe so they don’t sweat and become uncomfortable and smelly. Look for antimicrobial treatments or fabric that wicks moisture away from your feet.
  • Thickness: Shoes that are too tight can contribute to metatarsalgia. Make sure you choose thin insoles that won’t add bulk to your shoes. It might be if your shoes are on the large side and don’t fit properly that an insole which is slightly thicker can take up the slack.
  • Rigidity: Many over-the-counter insoles are semi-rigid with added cushioning for comfort. Look for stronger support at the arch and heels to take the pressure off the metatarsals.


Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take to Recover from Metatarsalgia?

This largely depends on how bad the pain is and other factors like age, health, and previous injuries to your foot. It could take a few days up to a few weeks for mild foot pain to go. Severe pain could take much longer.


Can Insoles Make Metatarsalgia Worse?

While it’s not impossible, it’s highly unlikely that inserts for your shoes will make your condition worse. Even the most basic insoles with cushioning for the ball of the foot can make a difference to this condition.


Is Metatarsalgia More Common in Women or Men?

While this condition can manifest in both men and women, it’s the ladies that are prone to it. It’s down to those Louboutins, Manolo’s, and other vertiginous high heels, among other things. Insufficient room in the toe area of shoes and the pressure on the ball of the foot caused by heels can result in this painful outcome.

Standing on your feet a lot can also contribute to metatarsalgia.

Wearing insoles or pads to cushion and protect the balls of your feet can help reduce pain.

ball of foot pads and cushions


Can Supporting Arches Help with Metatarsal Pain?

Using inserts in your shoes with arch support might help keep your foot in the correct position and relieve the pressure on metatarsals. They change the way your feet bear the weight of your body and can prevent injury to your feet when walking or jogging.


Stepping Out

Metatarsalgia is, without doubt, a painful condition that can affect anyone. Wearing ill-fitting shoes, high heels, and pointy toes can all contribute. Carrying out any form of exercise with insufficient support for your feet is also a major factor.

The good news is there are many insoles for ball of foot pain available. Of the ones we have detailed, our favorite is Physix Gear Sport Full Length Orthotic Inserts with Arch Support.

This full-length insole has cushioning throughout and good arch and heel support. It has an antimicrobial treatment in the fabric layer to keep feet fresh and odor free. Available in a wide range of sizes for men and women, there is sure to be one that fits your shoes.

We hope you enjoyed our insights into the best insoles for metatarsalgia. Of those we have detailed, any could help relieve the pain from this condition. Whichever you choose, please leave us a comment with your thoughts and experiences and don’t forget to share.


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