Best Shoes for Metatarsalgia – Ball of the Foot Pain

Some people have pain in the ball of the foot. One of the common conditions that affect the feet is Metatarsalgia. This painful condition is the irritation and inflammation of the metatarsal joints which can lead to swelling of joints, stiffness, and loss of movement of the joint. Wearing incorrect shoes that put too much pressure on the ball of the foot can cause pain in the metatarsal region. Moreover, the pain is often experienced under the second, third and fourth metatarsal head, although there are instances when you can feel discomfort in the area near your big toe.  It is ideal to wear the best shoes for Metatarsalgia that can offload the pressure on the metatarsal joints area with ample support and cushion to your feet.

best shoes for metatarsalgia

Some factors such as an intense pressure on the ball of the foot for an extended period can cause pain in the ball of foot known as Metatarsalgia. This condition may be aggravated by standing for hours or wearing a type of footwear that is too tight or restrictive. For instance, shoes with a narrow toe area may cause the metatarsal head to force into such a limited space. The same holds true for wearing high heel shoes where your toes can press to the front part or toe box of your footwear.

Other people experience this condition as they become actively involved in the high impact activities. When they wear shoes that have poor arch support, they can be prone to this painful foot condition. Lastly, aging has some influence to acquiring Metatarsalgia. Since the fat pad of the foot thins out as you get old, you may encounter pain on the ball of your foot.

How will Right Shoes help to Relieve Pain of Ball Of the Foot?

To minimize that pain, you need to have extra support and padding under the metatarsal arch which will spread the metatarsal bones and will help in relieving the pain. That will relieve any pinching of the nerves between the bones. The Metatarsal pad in Birkenstock’s footbed will help in lifting and separate the metatarsal bones by supporting the metatarsal arch. That will relieve pressure and pinching of the nerves in the metatarsal area.

Alongside the application of the Metatarsal pads for Metatarsalgia, you should consider wearing the properly fitted shoes.  Best shoes for Metatarsalgia and insoles with good arch support and cushioning will help in alleviating the pressure on the metatarsal bone. People having neutral and flat arches should consider buying shoes with wide toe box, and people with high arches should insert shock absorbing insoles to relieve pressure in the metatarsal area.

Also, avoid soft midsole shoes ( flexible) without arch support. Wearing stiff sole shoes with rocker sole bottom will help in reducing pressure at the ball of the foot. The extra cushioning at the ball of the foot will relieve pain by elevating the metatarsal bones. Shoes with wide toe box will help because tightly fitted shoes can worsen Metatarsalgia.

How can Tight Shoes Cause Metatarsalgia? – My Story

I developed Metatarsalgia after wearing Skechers Go Walk 3 for about a month. I thought shoes were too flexible. I was wrong. The shoes were tight in the toe box area, and I have underpronation which made the condition worse.

I spent a lot of money to try different brands of shoes such as Birkenstocks, Alegria, Crocs, and Dansko. My foot pain got worse after trying all these shoes. Now I also started to feel arch pain and Plantar fasciitis. I also felt more pressure on the outside of my foot. That means I have underpronation. I did the wet test. My arches are either average or on the high side. I have a family history of high arches. I tried Asics Cumulus( felt OK but not too comfortable), Asics Nimbus( better, but felt hurt on the top of one foot), Asics Kayano( too stiff for my feet). Then I tried my old Skechers Go Walk 3. They were comfortable, but after two days Metatarsalgia pain got worse. I also felt tightness in the toe box.

I called Skechers, and they recommended me to try Skechers Go Walk 4 Kindle but a half size larger. I am wearing these shoes for about two weeks. My foot pain (Metatarsalgia, Arch pain, and Plantar Fasciitis) are almost relieved. They are comfortable.

I bought Finn Comfort shoes because they offer medial, lateral side as well as Metatarsal support to correct overpronation or supination. I am amazed the comfort they provide and how they helped to correct my posture. I highly recommend Finn Comfort sandals or shoes to anyone who has foot pain. The insoles are removable, and you can insert orthotics. The Finn Comfort shoes also offer soft footbed. These shoes are expensive but worth the money.

Do the following if you have foot pain.

  1. Wet test
  2. Check the bottom of old shoes. If worn out on the outside, then you may have underpronation. Try Neutral Cushioning shoes. If they are worn out on the inside, then try Stability and Motion Control Shoes. Keep trying different brands and shoes until you find a comfortable pair of shoes for your feet.
  3. You can also go to the local running shoe store for free foot evaluation.
  4. See the Podiatrist if none of those as mentioned above work.

Best Shoes for Metatarsalgia

The following are among your great options when you want to ensure all-day comfort and convenience with the best pair of shoes for your condition.

Hoka One One Bondi 4 Neutral Running Shoe for Ball of the Foot Pain


Are you looking Neutral running shoes for Metatarsalgia and knee pain? Hoka One One offer hard rocker sole with 2.5 times more cushioning than the regular running shoe. The extra cushioning will help in reducing stress and suffering on the ball of the foot. The mid rocker sole will also reduce pressure on the ball of the foot and heels, thus relieving Metatarsalgia pain. This is one of the best shoes for Metatarsalgia. The Hoka One One will reduce movements of the ankle joint and is a recommended shoe for arthritis as well. This shoe provides stability, comfort and will protect your feet from injury.

This shoe offers a breathable mesh upper with a synthetic overlay. Inside of the shoe is lightly padded tongue and collar along with breathable fabric lining and a removable insole. The midsole is over thick about the 2.5 times of the standard running shoe which promotes an exceptional shock absorption and prevent forefront flexion. The outsole is durable.

They are forefoot rocker, which may not reduce the ankle movements.  However, they are more stable shoes.  Unlike Skechers Shape-Ups, you can wear them on uneven surfaces if you have instability problem. They offer greater security, long-term comfortability, and can be worn on a variety of surfaces. The midsole is thicker and softer than the traditional shoes. They offer wider soles to prevent instability due to the thick higher sole.

  •  For heel pain and ball of the foot pain
  • Less stable, so not used in the side to side movements
  • Ankle problem, avoid Hoka’s
  • No ankle problem, try Hoka’s for long-distance and rough trails

Hoka’s can cause joint ankle stress which can be counteracted by cushioning. Even though Hoka’s midsole is soft, the thickness of its sole makes it stiff. They are lightweight shoes.

Alegria Debra Shoes with Mini Rocker Sole

Alegria DebraThe Alegria Debra Rocker Shoe for women is a clog that is ideal for individuals where they have to stand a lot. Nurses, airport staff, and other professionals who have to stand throughout the day are some of the professionals who will benefit from this type of shoe. The easy style and comfortable fit are appreciated by the women who wear these shoes. The clog comes with gorgeous detailing and has rated as being safe even on the most slippery of surfaces. The shoe comes with a stiff sole to offer protection even when you have to stand all day long on concrete floors. In fact, the rocker sole takes the stress off the metatarsal area which is why the shoe has highly recommended for big toe arthritis and Metatarsalgia. The clogs have made of quality leather uppers. The leather is virtually stain proof and comes with a contrasting stylish stitching. The small pieces of elastic on either side of the shoe makes slipping the shoes on and off quite easier. Most of the other slip-on clogs don’t have this feature. That is why they are not easy to get on and off like Alegria Debra Rocker Shoes.

Alegria shoes offer mini rocker sole, and they help in reducing toe movements, and they decrease the stress and pressure on the metatarsal forefoot area. The mini-rocker sole with anatomically supportive footbed will assist in reducing overpronation by conforming to your feet. They also come with removable insoles for custom made orthotics.

Alegria shoes, boots, and sandals are available in many styles. You can use these shoes if you have flat feet and overpronation, but avoid these shoes if you have high arches with or without underpronatin.

Dansko Professional XP shoes with Rocker Sole for Metatarsalgia

Dansko Professional XP shoesDansko brand is known for its range of useful models of shoes for those who have foot problems such as plantar fasciitis and Metatarsalgia. The Dansko Professional shoes are a suitable choice for those who suffer from the pain at the ball of the foot because they offer rigid rocker bottom soles. The rocker sole bottom helps in relieving Metatarsalgia pain by reducing the flexion of metatarsal toes and hence taking off stress at the forefoot area.For people who stand at work for long hours, these shoes are indeed perfect. The footwear comes with a removable insole, which offers additional shock absorption and cushioning. It also has a thick bottom made of slip-resistant, durable rubber for superior traction when you walk in smooth and slippery places.

Another fine choice for this painful foot condition is the Dansko Shayla sneaker. These shoes are also fantastic for women just like the Professional shoes. The only difference comes with the design and features of the footwear.

If you feel joint pain during your walks or after standing all day at work, it is time to trade in your regular walking shoes for shoes with Dansko rocker bottom soles clogs. This footwear can alleviate big toe joint pain and for metatarsal pain. It is because of this benefit that many have come to know shoes with rocker bottom soles as arthritis shoes.

These shoes are ideal for those having forefoot stiffness, especially in the big toes and the ball of the foot. The rocker bottom sole lessens the stress found in areas of the feet where arthritis pain often strikes. It provides excellent support and shock absorption for people with arthritis and those who also need comfortable shoes.

Comfort in fitness shoes does not always take the form of walking shoes. You can also find support, along with rocker bottom outsoles, in clogs. Dansko Professional clogs have round bottom soles that also offer the same benefits.

Birkenstock Unisex Duma Loafers for Metatarsalgia

Birkenstock Unisex Duma Loafers

Duma is a slip-on design with an oiled leather upper with a breathable lining inside will keep your feet comfortable and dry. Double-sided goring will give you a customized fit for your foot type. The contoured footbed shock-absorbing and provides support to the arches including the metatarsal arches to relief Metatarsalgia pain and will help in distribution of weight evenly.  The toe box is wide and will let your toes move freely. The outsole is flexible and provides excellent traction. Deep heel cup will provide added cushioning for shock absorption and will provide spinal support.

Try these fantastic shoes for metatarsal arch support. You can stand and walk in these shoes all day, and they provide incredible support and comfort to your feet.

Skechers Shape Ups Shoes for Metatarsalgia or Ball of the Foot Pain

Skechers for Work Men's Shape Ups Exeter Work ShoeSkechers Shape Ups Shoes for Metatarsalgia

The Skechers Shape-ups are designed to reduce the ankle joint movements in arthritis. They are useful for people who work for prolonged hours on the concrete floor. They take off stress and the weight of metatarsal and heel pressure points and thus help in reducing pain due to Metatarsalgia.

Skechers Shape-ups are midfoot rockers with the heel to toe rocker bottom shoes with an elevated heel and toe area. The thickest sole is in the middle part.They help in reducing pain by limiting the midfoot and ankle movements. Therefore, they are helpful in relieving pain associated with midfoot arthritis and ankle arthritis. It also helps in reducing the heel strike and making the midfoot strike.

They are unstable in the heel area. Therefore, use Hoka One One if you have instability problem. Skechers Shape-ups can be only worn on the flat surfaces if you have instability problem.

This footwear will help tone muscles and increase the intensity of your physical activities. Although the weight loss claims are arguably, rocker bottom or toning shoes can still improve your fitness level. If you wear these shoes for daily exercise, it can help you achieve a more natural gait when walking or running.

New Balance Shoes for Metatarsalgia or Ball of the Foot Pain

Many New Balance styles come in the wide toe box which helps in relieving pain for Metatarsalgia.

For years, this brand has remained as a superb choice for athletes who prefer comfortable and durable shoes that support their active lifestyle. The New Balance 840 v3, for instance, is designed entirely for runners who run high mileages and require shoes with intense cushioning and support.

On the other hand, the New Balance 928 is ideal for people who look for shoes with excellent responsiveness. These shoes are made of top-quality soft leather. These shoes look stylish and full of astounding features that will enhance your overall experience in wearing the footwear. This product is also what you need for excellent motion control and stability, particularly among individuals who are prone to overpronation.

It is a walking shoe with a stiff rocker sole to support forefoot. These shoes have wide and deep toe boxes, so they will not put too much pressure and strain the sides of the forefoot.

  • Offers rocker sole with wide feet up to 4EE in women and 6EE for men
  • Excellent forefoot rocker bottom sole which helps in relieving the pressure on the ball of foot
  • best for pain in the ball of the foot
  • Rollbar prevents the movement through the bottom of the feet

Wearing these shoes with its rocker sole will put less strain on the ball of the foot and will help in relieving the pain of Metatarsalgia.

Klogs Footwear Mission

If you are looking for a comfortable pair of shoes to wear all day long, you need not look further than Klogs Footwear Mission. The shoes come with a smooth leather upper as well as dual side goring for a custom fit and flexibility. The light padding around the instep and collar provides a touch of cushioning comfort around those delicate areas of your feet. The proprietary Komfort footbed of the shoes offers cushion and arch support for your working feet. The latex-free footbed is anti-microbial, lightweight, and odor-resistant to keep your feet comfortable and happy for extended periods. The proprietary Maxum slip-resistant outsole offers stability on oily and wet surfaces. The Klogs Footwear Mission is considered one of the best Rocker Bottom sole shoes on the market today.

Naot Footwear Florence

This comfortable pair of clogs is ideal for anyone who has to stand all day long in their professions. There is a soft and supple leather upper that offers breathability to keep your feet dry and fresh at all times. The leather lining will help wick away moisture and allow the clogs to mold to the natural shape of the wearer’s foot. Built-in arch support helps distribute your weight evenly to reduce foot fatigue. There is a removable suede-covered footbed for remarkable shock-absorbing purposes. It also helps absorb moisture and keep your foot dry and fresh all day long. Deep heel indentation is another salient feature of the shoes to help your body balanced at all times and protect the heel bone. The polyurethane outsole is flexible and absorbs shock. It also provides durable traction.  The Naot Footwear Florence is considered an ideal Rocker Bottom Sole shoe on the market.

El Naturalista Women’s Yggdrasil N158 Winter Boot

Fitness shoes with technology such as rocker bottom soles are not just passing health fads. Even without any type of pain in the joints or any part of the foot, rocker bottom sole shoes for women offers many benefits. These advantages are enough to make this style last on the shelves. Wellness shoes do not only offer a therapeutic experience. The styles are also fashionable. Rocker bottom shoes, for example, can only improve as many manufacturers create their version of this footwear.

Insoles for Metatarsalgia or Ball of the Foot Pain

Insoles for Metatarsalgia is another way to get relief from pain in the ball of the foot. They help in relieving pain by providing padding at the ball of the feet and offset the pressure on the metatarsal bones.

DR JK Ball of Foot Cushions, Metatarsal Pads PedPal Kit

Birkenstock Unisex Birko Arch Support with Metatarsalgia pad

Birkenstock Unisex Birko Sport Arch Support

The metatarsal pad in this arch support will help in spreading the metatarsal bones by providing support and cushioning to the metatarsal arches and thus relieving the foot pain in the ball of the foot. Eva foam on the top layer will help in absorbing the shock. The foam in the heel cup will stabilize the feet and provide cushioning for shock absorption.

New Balance Insoles IPR3030 Pressure Relief Insole for Metatarsalgia

New Balance Insoles IPR3030 Pressure Relief Insole with Met

New Balance Insoles IPR3030 Pressure Relief Insole for MetatarsalgiaThese New Balance’s cushioning sole provide ABZORB forefoot and heel extra padding including unique metatarsal padding that will help in reducing pressure points at the ball of the feet and will reduce the Metatarsalgia pain. These insoles provide contoured arch support and deep heel cup for the health of your feet. The excellent cushioning in these insoles will help alleviate the stress on the metatarsal area.

These insoles are approved for diabetics, and they redistribute pressure by providing anatomical arch support. The Plastazile layer on the top relieves pressure points by molding to your feet. The Poron and ABZorb cushioning absorb shock in the heel and the ball of the foot. You can wear these in any athletic, walking, dress or hiking shoes all day long for Mettarsagia pain.

Prevention and Treatment Option for the Ball of the Foot Pain

Since Metatarsalgia can be quite painful, acute, chronic or recurring, it helps to find the right solution to this condition. Initially, you need to determine the cause of this problem by consulting a podiatrist or foot doctor. You can also minimize the pain and discomfort linked with this condition by applying a few techniques such as the following:

  •  Wear shoes with a wider toe box to give your feet more freedom to move inside your footwear
  •  Opt for shoe that offers superb cushioning and support for the metatarsal head region
  •  Put some adhesive type of bandage or moleskin on the painful area for better support
  • Wear a particular kind of pad to eliminate the pressure on your toes
  • Try well-cushioned shock absorption inserts
  • Wear shoes with arch support
  • Rest, pills to relieve pain and apply ice to the affected area

When you suffer from Metatarsalgia or Ball of the foot pain, consider giving your feet some rest by running or walking on softer surfaces. You may also consider switching to activities that are low impact on nature or reducing your typical mileage. For quick relief, treat any symptoms right away using ice or anti-inflammatory medications prescribed by your doctor. The idea is to treat any pains immediately to prevent the condition from getting worse. If Metatarsal pain persists in spite of rest and using comfortable shoes, then see the podiatrist for orthotics.

What are Rocker Bottom Shoes?

Rocker shoe has a thicker sole than normal sole shoes, and they can relieve joint pain in many of the foot problems by eliminating the movements of the injured joints of the foot and ankle. The Rocker Bottom sole design provides excellent support for standing long hours on the concrete floor and other hard surfaces. They will make you less fatigued, and you can walk longer distance while wearing them. However, not everyone can wear rocker bottom soles. Wearing rocker soles in certain conditions such as Achilles tendinitis may harm your feet. See the podiatrist if you have a foot or joint problem.

The rocker soles can be two types

Forefoot rocker or heel to toe rockers can lift the metatarsal arch area to relieve the pain in the ball of the foot or big toe arthritis. The heel to toe rocker soles can help in reducing foot pain by limiting the ankle and midfoot joints movements. They are therefore useful in the ankle and midfoot arthritis.

Rocker bottom sole shoes are recommended for standing all day on concrete floor, big toe arthritis, bunions, plantar fasciitis, back pain, Metatarsalgia and corn, and calluses.

Bottom Line

Although Metatarsalgia is a painful condition, you can find simple and practical solutions to this problem by buying best shoes for the ball of foot pain. You can invest in a good pair of shoes such as Dansko or Alegria if you need a slip-resistant pair of shoes, which have been proven by specialists to provide excellent relief for your condition. You can buy Finn Comfort sandals to wear in and around the house. So, make it a point to consider these best shoes for Metatarsalgia for your ball of the foot pain concerns and experience the comfort of walking around in the footwear for several hours.

  1. I need rocker sole shoes for my foot pain but also need steel toe shoes for work, does anyone make this kind of shoe? I haven’t found anyone, please help!!!!

    • Timberland makes some shoes and boots with the rocker sole. Check out under Timberland Pro line of footwear. You can also call them to confirm.

      Here are the steel toe boots that I found on Amazon.

      Timberland PRO Men’s 53525 Steel Trax Steel-Toe Boot

      You can also call Keen, Merrell, and New Balance shoe companies.

  2. Thank you for providing this information; it is very helpful. I am having trouble finding nice dress shoes, for work in an office setting, that help with my metatarsalgia. I have purchased a few pairs of clogs and flats from Alegria and they work wonderfully. Is it that dress shoes (small heel) aren’t for women with metatarsalgia?

    • I would recommend Finn Comfort shoes because that is the only brand that I can wear for my right foot metatarsalgia. The Finn comfort shoes provide metatarsal support, medial and lateral side support. Call the Finn Comfort for more information. The Finn Comfort shoes come in soft footbed and regular footbed. I bought shoes with soft footbed because of underpronation(foot was turning outside).

      The Alegria and Dansko are also great if you do not have underpronation and high arches. They did not work for me but they made my feet pain worse. I think I developed plantar fasciitis from wearing Alegria and Birkenstocks because they were too stiif for my feet.

      Everyone has different feet and shoes that worked for me may not work for you. However, you can try Finn Comfort for few days wearing inside the house and return them if you feel uncomfortable.

    • Have anyone tried insoles? I heard ALINE can help many foot problems. I’d like to hear feedback if anyone has experience with any insole, especially with ALINE Systems.

      • I have Aline insoles & consider them a waste of money. I originally tried them when I had PF (which is resolved now). They didn’t work for me. That being said, everyone is different.

  3. I’ve had a bad case since the 90’s. Flip flops with the thick black soles, e.g. surfer ones, are the absolute best. See if it works for you. Clarks shoes are great.

  4. Thank you so much for compiling all of this information! This is so very helpful and encouraging! I am loving my naturalista boots–a brand I hadn’t heard of before. I would like to add that Abeo shoes that you can purchase from The Walking Company come with orthotics specifically for metatarsal support and comfort. For me, the Naturalistas are more my style, but others may want to check out Abeo.

  5. Thank you for the information. My daughter litterally walks on the balls of her feet.when i looked at the wear on her shoes the only spot worn was right under the big toe on the ball of foot of both feet. Her toes are also wide and she can not find any shoes or sneakers that are comfortable.

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