How to Get the Best Shoes for Dealing with Metatarsalgia
If you’re having problems with weird pains in your foot while walking or running, you might need a change of pace or a change of shoes. It’s surprising what a different pair of shoes can do for you, especially if you have an undiagnosed condition that’s bothering you.
One of the most common ones is metatarsalgia, and it is sometimes thought as a merely a symptom that can have a wide variety of causes. Still, no matter the cause you can deal with it and still keep up your routine by wearing the best shoes for metatarsalgia. That’s what I’ll be talking about today.
FOR WOMEN OR MEN
** Below, you'll find more detailed reviews, but you can click links above to see current prices and read customer's review on Amazon
A Little Bit about Metatarsalgia
Metatarsalgia is not often talked about, and it’s a condition which pops up quite often, especially in people who do sports which involve a lot of running and jumping. Sadly, it usually goes undiagnosed for quite a while before people realize that they have to go to the doctor. But what is metatarsalgia exactly?
Well, in short, it’s pain in the ball of your foot. It comes from the inflammation of your metatarsal joints – those are the joints which connect the long metatarsal bones in your foot with your toes.
Other usually symptoms can include numbness in your toes or a tingling feeling and a feeling akin to having a pebble in your shoe which appears when walking barefoot on hard surfaces. The pain may also worsen with time and activity.
Metatarsalgia doesn’t just appear out of nowhere, though. It has a wide variety of different causes, and some can be quite dangerous.
One of the core causes of metatarsalgia – or conditions which can cause metatarsalgia – is increased pressure and stress on the foot. This can come as a result of intense physical activity combined with poorly-fitting shoes or worn-out shoes. Another common risk factor is obesity, which increases the pressure on your feet even more.
Certain foot deformities – whether inherent or gained through years of wearing poorly-fitting shoes – also increase your risk of getting metatarsalgia. These deformities might not even be something noticeable until metatarsalgia appears. Small injuries, like mini-fractures in foot bones, can also help cause this condition.
Treatment for this condition can vary, depending on the exact cause of the problem, but it is mostly similar and involves plenty of rest, ice packs and possibly some painkillers until you get back on your feet. Some severe cases might even require surgery, though that is quite rare.
Of course, once you do get back on your feet, a necessary part of treatment consists of wearing proper shoes and supportive insoles. That way, you will be able to walk or even run around while recovering and avoiding getting metatarsalgia again.
Your doctor might prescribe some therapeutic shoes but, in most cases, he will just give you a few guidelines and let you pick for yourself. Or, you might even choose to get them before you even go to the doctors, which could be a wise choice.
Next, I’ll give you a few tips on how to pick the right pair.
What Makes the Best Shoes for Metatarsalgia?
There are many different factors to consider when picking the right shoes for you but you have to think a bit differently when you have metatarsalgia. You have to give more importance to some factors over others, and that might seem a bit confusing at first.
Well, here I am with a definitive list of the most important factors you should consider when picking the best shoes for metatarsalgia.
Shape and Size
This is where you should start because shoes that are too tight or constrictive for your feet is what causes metatarsalgia in the first place.
Plenty of people buy shoes that are too tight for them with the hope that they will wear out over time and become comfortable – don’t do that, try to get a shoe that leaves some room for your feet. Good shoes for people with metatarsalgia should have wide toe boxes and enough space for addition orthotics or shoe inserts you might require.
To ensure that you buy properly-sized shoes you should buy them near the end of your day when your feet are the largest due to natural swelling. You should also walk around the shop in the shoes for a while.
Also, don’t stick religiously to the shoe size you think fits you – try everything, different manufacturers have different standard sizes. Just pick what fits you instead of the “proper” size.
Shoes for metatarsalgia should be geared towards relieving the pressure on your foot and lessening the impact. The sole of the shoe is one of the most important things to consider because of that, and the design of the sole can make or break the entire product.
The sole of a good shoe for people with metatarsalgia should be quite thick and able to absorb a lot of shock, thus easing the strain on your foot. At the same time, it should also be rather stiff to provide proper support – you should avoid flexible shoes with soft soles since they will only make the condition worse. High heels are also a bad thing – look for shoes with relatively low heels.
Rocker sole bottoms should be helpful, but there are plenty of other, unique designs that can offer the proper support for you. Of course, you should also consider other foot conditions you might have when picking soles – for example, rocker soles are bad for people with Achilles tendinitis.
Of course, the insole is also important when picking the right shoes and it should have the same shock-absorbing qualities as the sole. But, there is more to it.
The insole should also rest comfortably against your foot and provide proper support for your metatarsal arches, thus relieving the pressure those bones and joints usually suffer. To that end, they should be soft enough to remain comfortable, but not too soft since that will not provide the proper support. They should have more padding near the ball of your feet.
If your shoes don’t come with the right insoles, you can always try to replace them with better ones, but it’s usually wiser to find ones that already have good insoles. Finding properly supportive insoles that fit your shoes can be difficult so just get the whole package at once, and you’re set.
The weight of the shoes you get should be low when compared to other similar shoes. Putting more weight on your feet when you suffer from metatarsalgia can worsen the condition or even cause it if you don’t have it. This is especially pertinent for runners, and you need light shoes to run properly.
Even for simple walking, lighter shoes are a great boon, and they will allow you to move your foot in a way that’s more comfortable for you. Your foot will also be more comfortable when you lift it up.
Overall, lighter shoes will just help with your condition more than heavier models will. Just make sure you don’t get something so light that it will fall apart in weeks or lack proper support and shock absorption.
This is something you need to consider when you buy shoes in general. Purchasing a shoe that will fall apart in a matter of months is not something you want, especially since it will wear-out even faster than that and might cause you injuries or discomfort.
When it comes to shoes bought for dealing with metatarsalgia, durability is even more important. If the soles wear out or the insoles are of poor quality your shoes will stop helping your condition and start making it worse in a matter of months or weeks. Shoes that aren’t’ durable enough could even contribute to causing metatarsalgia in healthy runners.
In short, get something that will last and be able to help you with your condition for months or years to come.
The 5 Best Shoes for Metatarsalgia
Here I will present some of the overall best shoes for metatarsalgia on the market right now. Of course, this is a more balanced list so it will involve both the best running shoes for metatarsalgia and the best walking shoes for metatarsalgia. It will also include men’s, women’s and unisex models.
If you want to look at the best shoes in some of those specific categories, I already did a few articles on the subject, and you can check them out by clicking the links above.
So, without further ado, I present you with the best shoes for metatarsalgia.
FOR WOMEN OR MEN
** Below, you'll find more detailed reviews, but you can click links above to see current prices and read customer's review on Amazon
Though these shoes are marketed for women, they can easily fit male feet, and you won’t have any issues while wearing them. Unless you dislike the usual “female” colors, that is, in which case you will have to buy the male model which is mostly identical if I’m being honest. This one does have a bit of an edge on it regarding price.
One of the best things about these shoes is the fact that they are quite stiff and supportive while also managing to remain quite comfortable. It’s a nice balance that’s rarely found. The heel is also quite low, so the toes remain elevated, which is great for metatarsalgia.
The entire sole is made out of rubber and is quite durable, so it won’t wear out as quickly as some other soles might. However, the same can’t be said for the rest of these shoes, since the top is quite poorly made and the stitching is simply not up to snuff. You will have to be careful with them if you want them to last.
While these shoes are wide enough for most people, they might be too narrow for people with wide feet, so you shouldn’t get them if that’s the case. They might constrict your toes too much.
They also don’t provide proper arch support, which is a huge issue for people with metatarsalgia, especially if it's caused by certain foot deformities.
Overall, these shoes are great in some regards, but they could still be much better.
These shoes don’t include laces, which might be a deal breaker for some people and I can understand that. However, since they are not made for running, I consider this to be acceptable and can even be extremely convenient for older people who can’t bend over or sit down to tie their shoelaces. It depends on what you want out of your shoes, to be honest.
Another great benefit that these shoes offer is that they are quite light so they won’t put too much strain on your feet. They are also extremely wide and offer good arch support. Both of those things are vital for good metatarsalgia shoes and these pass with glowing marks when it comes to that.
However, it’s not all good as you might think. One of the issues with these shoes, which is particularly pertinent for people with metatarsalgia, is that they flex too much. This is a benefit, usually, but in this case, it is a huge downside.
They also don’t breathe well, and you might experience quite a lot of sweating while wearing them. Not so bad since they are walking shoes, but still a downside.
Another downside and a particularly strange one at that is that they start making squeaking noises after a few weeks of use. The source of this is a complete mystery to me, but it can be quite annoying. Some people might get used to it.
In general, they are good, though the flexibility might be an issue, it depends. You should try them out at least.
One of the best things about these shoes is the width. They aren’t wide just in the toe area but even in the mid-section, making them ideal for people with wide feet.
The sole of these shoes is also quite good and supportive, due to its stiffness. Of course, the stiffness might prove to be uncomfortable to people who have no foot problems, but it’s incredibly good if your suffering from metatarsalgia.
The heel is also quite low, and the toe support is quite good, making it a good shoes for people with metatarsalgia. But still, these shoes have quite a few problems that might make you want to reconsider purchasing them.
For a start, they aren’t incredibly durable, and you might need to replace them in a matter of months, especially if you use them for running. Though the cost is not high and you will probably be able to afford two pairs of these, it’s not a good thing.
The insoles are another sore spot, and you will probably have to replace them since they get worn out incredibly quickly and become nearly useless. However, finding good insoles for these shoes shouldn’t be a huge problem. Still, it’s additional money you have to spend, and that doesn’t bode well.
Overall, I’d say these are good shoes for metatarsalgia if you’re on a tight budget. Otherwise, there are better options that cost more but won’t fall apart quickly.
I have to say this up front, but these shoes cost quite a bit more than the average so you shouldn’t go for them if you’re on a budget. However, if you have money to spare, you should probably consider them since they are incredibly good for people with metatarsalgia.
For starters, the sole is made of good, hard rubber and they are durable. They are also stiff and provide great support for your feed while still staying comfortable enough. It’s the perfect mix of support and comfort in one place.
Another great thing is the shape of the shoe – the heel is low, and the toe support is great. It’s almost perfect for people with metatarsalgia. The toe box is also quite wide, and you will have more than enough space for your feet. The insoles are also decent, though nothing exceptional – the good thing is that you won’t have to replace them.
Of course, all products have some downsides, and the same goes for these shoes. Probably the greatest downside is the fact that they are liable to shrink in the wash. You should be careful when washing them, or you might end up with shoes that are too tight for you when you bought a perfect fit.
Some parts are also connected only with glue, and they tend to separate if these shoes are put under heavy stress.
Still, these are great shoes and are almost ideal if you can handle the price.
Though these are women’s shoes, men can easily wear them due to their width, and they tend to have more than enough space for the toes. Also, who says men can’t like bright colors like pink and purple!? I kid, but you get the point.
The cushioning of the sole of these shoes is quite great as well, and they provide great support – while the sole is still good, that is. One of the first problems that is noticeable with these shoes is the fact that they are not incredibly durable and the sole is probably the worst in that regard – it will be the first thing to go. It won’t last more than a few months of regular use.
Still, these are decent shoes, and the sole is stiff while it lasts. There’s also quite a lot of space in the toe area, and you will have proper support and shock-absorption for a while at least.
Sadly, the price is certainly not right for these shoes. They are way too expensive for the quality on offer. I might be willing to recommend them if they were a bit cheaper but at this price, it’s a no-go. Especially when you consider the poor quality of the insole that you will have to replace, as well as the lack of good arch support.
Overall, these aren’t bad shoes, I’d even call them good in a certain sense, but they are overpriced.
The Best Shoe for Metatarsalgia
In my opinion, those are the best shoes for people with metatarsalgia among the ones you can get right now. They all offer some great benefits, though they might have a few downsides as well.
However, there is one shoe which stands above the rest regarding quality and the key features which make it great for people suffering from metatarsalgia. It’s the New Balance Men's M990v3 model, of course – it has everything that you want from a metatarsalgia-relieving shoe. It costs quite a bit, but I think it’s more than worth it.
Do you have any suggestions or ideas on this subject? If you do, talk about it in the comment. In case you know anyone who needs help with metatarsalgia, share this article with them. Stay safe and happy running!