Best Walking Shoes for Metatarsalgia (ball of foot pain) 2019

Are you suffering from pain in the balls of your feet? Maybe you feel like you constantly have a small pebble in your shoe when you walk. It could be you need the best walking shoes for metatarsalgia.

best walking shoes for metatarsal pain

Many people suffer from this painful condition, but wearing the right shoes can help remedy or prevent it. We look at what metatarsalgia is, what causes it, and how you can treat it. Lastly, we detail or top choices of shoes for metatarsal pain.

 

Here are our top picks for the best walking shoes for metatarsal pain

1. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19

Brooks brings us shoes that are loaded with patented technology to support and cushion your feet. The mesh uppers are lightweight and breathable, while the rubber sole is sturdy, yet flexible and responsive.

Sale
Brooks Men's Adrenaline GTS 19 Grey/Blue/Ebony 7 D US
459 Reviews
Brooks Men's Adrenaline GTS 19 Grey/Blue/Ebony 7 D US
  • The new streamlined construction, supportive cushioning and reliable responsiveness of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 running shoe makes it the Go-To Shoe of the season!
  • Predecessor: Adrenaline GTS 18.
  • Support Type: Overpronation/Stability.
  • Cushioning: High energizing cushioning.
  • Surface: Road. Differential: 12 mm. Please click here for more information about Adrenaline GTS 19 technology. Engineered mesh and the 3D Fit Print upper provide a streamlined structure and a modern, comfortable fit. Features Brooks holistic GuideRails support system that helps protect the knees by keeping excess movement in check. Adjustable, asymmetrical mid-foot saddle creates a more secure, customizable fit. Lace-up closure. Plush tongue and collar. Comfortable fabric lining offers a gr

Sale
Brooks Women's Adrenaline GTS 19 Blue/Aqua/Ebony 8 B US
10 Reviews
Brooks Women's Adrenaline GTS 19 Blue/Aqua/Ebony 8 B US
  • The new streamlined construction, supportive cushioning and reliable responsiveness of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 running shoe makes it the Go-To Shoe of the season!
  • Predecessor: Adrenaline GTS 18.
  • Support Type: Overpronation/Stability.
  • Cushioning: High energizing cushioning.
  • Surface: Road. Differential: 12 mm. Please click here for more information about Adrenaline GTS 19 technology. Engineered mesh and the 3D Fit Print upper provide a streamlined structure and a modern, comfortable fit. Features Brooks holistic GuideRails support system that helps protect the knees by keeping excess movement in check. Adjustable, asymmetrical mid-foot saddle creates a more secure, customizable fit. Lace-up closure. Plush tongue and collar. Comfortable fabric lining offers a gr

 

2. Skechers Go Walk Shoes

Comfort and support abound in these lightweight slip-on walking shoes from Skechers. They’re known for their roomy toe boxes and these mesh shoes have a seamless interior. Cushioning is provided right through the soles to protect your feet.

Skechers Performance Men's Go Walk Max Sneaker,black,11 M US
650 Reviews
Skechers Performance Men's Go Walk Max Sneaker,black,11 M US
  • Lightweight, responsive 5Gen cushioning
  • Skechers Goga Max high-rebound insole for maximum comfort
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Soft fabric lining
  • Skechers

Skechers Performance Women's Go Walk Joy Walking Shoe,coral,12 M US
1,843 Reviews
Skechers Performance Women's Go Walk Joy Walking Shoe,coral,12 M US
  • Lightweight and flexible
  • Responsive 5Gen cushioning
  • Skechers Goga Max high rebound insole
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Soft fabric lining and padded collar

 

3. Saucony Zealot Iso 3 Running Shoes

Available for men and women, Saucony Zealots are designed to hug your feet and give plenty of cushioning. With only 3mm difference between the height of the forefoot and heel, they take the pressure off the balls of your feet.

Saucony Men's Zealot ISO 3 Running Shoe, Blue Orange, 7 M US
65 Reviews
Saucony Men's Zealot ISO 3 Running Shoe, Blue Orange, 7 M US
  • 3mm EVERUN Topsole construction provides and energized ride
  • Engineered mesh upper for a more dynamic, adaptable fit
  • Updated TRI-FLEX outsole for the optimal blend of flexibility and protection
  • Saucony
  • 7

Saucony Women's Zealot ISO 3 Running Shoe, Navy Purple, 5 Medium US
75 Reviews
Saucony Women's Zealot ISO 3 Running Shoe, Navy Purple, 5 Medium US
  • 3mm EVERUN Topsole construction provides and energized ride
  • Engineered mesh upper for a more dynamic, adaptable fit
  • Updated TRI-FLEX outsole for the optimal blend of flexibility and protection

 

4. Altra Vali Sneakers

A soft knit upper on these shoes makes them comfortable and breathable. The soles have premium EVA to help keep your feet cushioned and supported. They also have a Zero Drop platform, meaning your heel and forefoot are level.

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Altra Men's ALM1884A Vali Sneaker, Blue - 7 M US
94 Reviews
Altra Men's ALM1884A Vali Sneaker, Blue - 7 M US
  • Weight: 8.9 oz / 252 g
  • Insole: BLOOM Foam
  • Midsole: Premium EVA, Segmented lines
  • Outsole: Full Rubber
  • Stack Height: 23 mm

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Altra Women's VALI Sneaker
63 Reviews
Altra Women's VALI Sneaker
  • Uses: Everyday wear, Work place shoes
  • Premium EVA midsole
  • Engineered knit upper
  • FootShape Everyday Comfort
  • Altra

 

Reviews of the best walking shoes for ball of foot pain

Walking can be an issue when you have metatarsalgia. Here are our top picks of the best shoes to keep you on the move, in comfort.

1. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19

Brooks is another brand that has been trading for 100 years and more. They created the GTS (go-to-shoe) for people looking for traction, support, and flexibility in a running and walking shoe. Originally launched in 1999, this is the updated 2019 remodel of this classic.

For men:

 

There are styles for men and women in these shoes. Men’s sizes are 7 to 15 and ladies, 5 to 13. Several colors are on offer, 10 for men in shades of blues and greys as well as black.

For women:

 

Brooks offers 11 choices for women in different colorways including purples, blues, greys, and pinks. Broader widths are available in some colors and sizes, up to an X-wide.

The engineered mesh uppers are bolstered with proprietary 3D Fit Print, designed to give them some structure and improve the fit. They encompass the heel through to the midfoot.

Cushioning comes from DNA Loft, which is a mix of air, foam, and rubber. This is further enhanced by BioMoGo DNA, a biodegradable EVA midsole. They combine to give you softness under your feet while remaining durable and letting your feet feel responsive.

The midsole adapts to the way you walk supporting your feet just where you need it and providing shock absorption.

There are GuideRails in the soles to keep your feet in line and walking naturally. An integrated Segmented Crash Pad provides a smooth heel-to-toe strike.

The material uppers on these shoes might not be very durable; they could show signs of wear after a few months.

 

Pros

  • Loaded with Brooks technology for cushioning and support.
  • GuideRails for motion control.
  • Choices of color.
  • Broader widths on offer.

Cons

  • Uppers could wear quickly.
Brooks has used many of its patented technologies in these walking shoes which benefit those with metatarsalgia. They have lots of cushioning and support to help keep you walking naturally.

 

2. Skechers Go Walk Shoes

If you’re looking for lightweight, slip-on walking shoes, these could be just the ticket. Skechers has loaded them with features to keep your feet comfortable.

For men:

 

Five color choices are on offer in men’s sizes 7 to 16. There’s also an extra-wide option available. Women get nine color choices in sizes 5 to 13, with wide fittings in some colors.

For women:

 

Skechers has the cushioning, and arch support nailed down on these shoes with its 5GEN midsoles and Goga Max memory foam insoles.

The air mesh uppers are designed to expand along with your feet as you walk. They’re also seamless and allow your feet to breathe for added comfort. These could be a great walking shoe for summer months.

The heel panel has an overlay for support and a tag to help you pull them on. The collar is padded to protect your heels and ankles.

A patterned outsole will help give traction and absorb shock.

It seems these shoes tend to run large and wide, so you might need to size down, and choose a narrower option.

 

Pros

  • Lightweight air mesh uppers.
  • Cushioning throughout.
  • Arch support.
  • Traction sole.

Cons

  • Tend to run large.
These lightweight walking shoes from Skechers have loads of cushioning and support from their proprietary midsole and insole. There’s a choice of sizes, colors, and widths for men and women.

 

3. Saucony Zealot Iso 3 Running Shoes

Saucony has 120 years of experience in manufacturing sports shoes. Worn by many marathon runners and top athletes, it’s a popular brand for footwear. The company also launched the Run for Good Foundation in 2006 to reduce the increase in childhood obesity.

For men:

 

The Zealot is a lightweight, flexible, breathable shoe available in styles for men and women. Sizes range from 7 to 15 for men and 5 to 12 for women, with three and four color choices respectively.

For women:

 

Engineered mesh in the uppers is enhanced with molded heel collars to lock your feet down and keep them in place.

EverunTM in the topsole provides 3 mm of cushioning for shock absorption and the return of energy to your feet. The outsole is made from proprietary Tri-Flex, which gives protection and flexibility.

These shoes have a 4 mm offset between the soles and heels — designed to promote natural movement. The heels being 26 mm high and the forefoot 22 mm.

Arch support in these shoes is middle to high, meaning if you have flat feet, you might find them too aggressive.

 

Pros

  • Offset of 4 mm.
  • Flexible sole with traction.
  • Cushioning for forefoot.
  • Secure fit on the heels.

Cons

  • Arch support might be too high for some.
Saucony brings us a breathable, lightweight, flexible shoes with plenty of cushioning for the balls of your feet. The offset is 4 mm, and they have a middle-to-high arch support.

 

4. Altra Vali Sneakers

Altra is a new kid on the block for running shoes. It all started with an experiment to level the inner soles of running shoes to “zero drop” in a toaster oven. The shoes were heated and the midsole was cut out so the platform that cushions your feet was flat.

For men:

 

Meaning, the shoe then had zero drop between the heel and toe. From there, Altra designed and now produces shoes with no difference in height between the heel and forefoot for natural motion.

For women:

 

You can learn more about their story from one of the founders, Golden Harper, in this video.

The Vali sneakers are designed for everyday wear. They have a premium EVA midsole and a BLOOM arch support foam insole to cushion your feet evenly.

The uppers are one piece — they’re engineered with a breathable knit fabric and secure with laces.

A patented Zero Drop platform encourages a low impact on your feet as you walk. The Footshape toe box makes sure you have plenty of wiggle room, letting your feet relax and taking the pressure off the balls of your feet.

Available for men and women the sizes run from a 7 to 15, and a 5.5 to 12 respectively. There are six colors for men, including black, grey, red and blue, and six for women including two shades of blue, grey and black.

When first wearing these shoes there might be some heel slippage which could go away once the shoes are worn in.

 

Pros

  • Patented Zero Drop level footbase.
  • Footshape roomy toe box.
  • Lightweight knit fabric.
  • Full-length cushioning.

Cons

  • Heels might slip at first.
A relative newcomer to the market, Altra brings us shoes which have a level footbed — this means no pressure on the balls of your feet. There’s plenty of cushioning and support, and the uppers are lightweight and breathable.

 

You may also be interested in:

What Is Metatarsalgia?

This condition affects the balls of your feet. They can become inflamed and painful. Although it’s not usually serious, it can make running and walking uncomfortable, and can even lay you up.

What Are the Symptoms of Metatarsalgia?

The symptoms of metatarsalgia are:

  • Sharp, burning or aching type pain, generally felt behind your toes in the ball of your foot.
  • Pain that gets worse when you walk, run, stand or flex your feet, but improves when you put your feet up and rest. Walking on hard surfaces might exacerbate it, as can wearing tight-fitting shoes, heels or pointed-toe shoes.
  • Tingling or numbness in the front of your foot and your toes.
  • A feeling that a pebble or stone is stuck in your shoes under the ball of your foot.

This video from HeelThatPain details some of the symptoms of this condition.

 

The Causes of Metatarsalgia

Several things can set off the pain from metatarsalgia. These include:

  • Intense training, sports and activities: When you run your forefoot absorbs most of the impact as it hits the floor with each stride. This can leave you at risk of metatarsalgia. Similarly, taking part in high-impact sports like HIIT training, soccer, or basketball can put pressure on your feet, resulting in metatarsal pain. This is especially the case if your shoes are worn or ill-fitting.
  • The shape of your feet: High arches or your second toe being longer than your big toe can put added pressure on the bones in the forefoot (metatarsals). There are five of these long bones which connect your midfoot to your toes.
  • Foot deformities: Painful bumps on your big toes (bunions) or toes that curl up or down (hammertoes) can leave you at a higher risk of metatarsalgia. These two conditions can happen if you wear shoes that are too tight or are a lover of high heels.
  • Being overweight: Carrying excess weight means more pressure on your feet, especially the forefoot. This results in added tension on delicate metatarsal bones when you walk.
  • Ill-fitting shoes: We’re back to those high heels or pointy toes again. Are you guilty of being a victim of fashion? The latest trends might put additional pressure on your forefoot, wreaking havoc. It’s not just the heels either, athletic shoes that don’t give you enough support can also affect those metatarsals.
  • Stress fractures: These are tiny breaks in the bones located in your forefoot. It could be the metatarsals or the toes. This type of injury can change the way your weight is distributed through your foot, leading to pain.
  • Morton’s neuroma: This condition happens when tissue thickens around nerves leading to your toes. It causes a burning, sharp pain in the ball of the foot.

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

 

Can Metatarsalgia Be Treated?

Making some simple changes, like wearing shoes which have shock absorbency, cushioning, and arch supports can ease this condition. It’s also essential to make sure your shoes fit properly and aren’t worn.

Finding out precisely what’s causing the pain in your forefoot is essential, so make sure you see your podiatrist or healthcare provider.

 

Things to Look for in the Best Shoes for Metatarsalgia

Choosing the best shoes to prevent or help ease metatarsalgia is vital for your comfort. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Cushioning: The forefoot takes the most impact when you walk. Look for a good cushioned pad under the ball of the foot to protect those metatarsals.
  • Heel support: A deep heel cup will help to hold your foot in alignment, so you walk naturally. This can help prevent pressure on your forefoot and toes.
  • Arch support: Having the correct support for the arches of your feet, and your particular arch type can help prevent or ease pain in the forefoot. It relieves pressure making it easier to walk.
  • Breathability: Hot, sweaty feet can cause friction in your shoes, leading to blisters — and smelly feet! Look for moisture-wicking fabric or uppers that let your feet breathe. If they have antimicrobial treatment, this is a bonus.
  • Fit: Wearing shoes that are tight, pointed in the toes, or high in the heels can cause metatarsalgia. Consider a roomy toe box, heels that are level with or only slightly higher than the forefoot, and make sure they fit well.
  • Stability: Your feet will need lots of support if you have this condition. Flimsy soles which bend a lot won’t provide this. Make sure the soles of your shoes are firm enough to give support, and your heels are well-encased.
  • Shock absorption: This will help relieve pressure on your feet by lessening the impact of your steps.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Arch Support Help Metatarsalgia?

Correct support on your arches can help relieve pressure on metatarsals by holding your foot in the right position. The weight-bearing on your feet exerted by your body is changed and might prevent injury to your feet when walking.

 

Can Shoes Make Metatarsalgia Worse?

Wearing the wrong type of shoes or ones that are ill-fitting can worsen this condition. Make sure you choose your shoes wisely. The balls of your feet should be cushioned and supported to help alleviate symptoms and prevent a recurrence.

 

Is Metatarsalgia More Common in Women or Men?

Both women and men can get this condition, but it’s the ladies who are more likely to suffer from it. It all comes down to fashion, and those lovely Louboutin or Jimmy Choo heels that you just couldn’t resist.

The toe box in these types of shoes tends to pinch your forefoot — and the higher the heels, the more pressure on the ball of your foot. It’s hardly surprising you can’t wait to take them off after a night out!

 

Can You Recover from Metatarsalgia?

You can, but this could take a few days, a few weeks or even longer. Factors that come into play include how bad the pain is, your health, your age, and your previous medical foot history.

 

Is There a Home Treatment for Metatarsalgia?

As well as making sure you’re wearing the right shoes there are a few things you can do to ease your pain. Resting and applying ice packs might help. You could also take some over-the-counter anti-inflammatory painkillers.

 

Take Off The Pressure

There are many features in these shoes that can help prevent and relieve metatarsalgia. A low heel-to-toe drop as well as cushioning, arch support, and wide toe boxes are a few things to look for.

Having the best walking shoes for metatarsalgia will take the pressure off the balls of your feet and have you striding out in no time.

Any of the shoes we’ve detailed will be a good choice. The ultimate decision is yours depending on your style preference, and which features work best for you.

We hope you found our guide useful and have identified some shoes that will help relieve your pain. Let us know how you get on and don’t forget to share.

 

 

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