9 best running shoes for runners with metatarsalgia

Find out what the best running shoes for runners with metatarsalgia are and which shoe brands we recommend.

what is metatarsalgia?

Metatarsalgia is a common foot condition characterized by pain under the balls of your feet.

This pain can be caused by several things, including wearing improperly fitting shoes, an abnormal amount of weight on the feet, and simple foot strain (Overpronation).

Symptoms include burning or stabbing pain under the ball of your foot that may radiate into the toes.

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It usually comes on gradually and is often due to the pressure of an ill-fitting shoe, but may also be caused by long-term wearing of high heels or flat shoes with no arch support; injury; arthritis; having an abnormal step when walking, standing, or running (flatfoot); or even cancer (primary bone cancer).

Metatarsalgia is an umbrella term encompassing several forms of foot pain:

*   Interdigital neuritis – inflammation between the toes, usually caused by ill-fitting shoes or repetitive activity; also known as “runner’s toe” *   Pinched nerve in the forefoot (sore metatarsal)

*   Bunions, neuromas, or other lesions of the forefoot

*   Arthritis in the metatarsal heads (Jones Fracture)

Best Running Shoes For Runners With Metatarsalgia

cause treatment for metatarsalgia

A common cause is wearing shoes that are too short or narrow. Shoes should have more room at both the toe area and across the ball of your foot.

You might also try shoes with a wider toe box or a shoe insert (orthotic).

Symptoms may be relieved by:

– resting the foot . taking time off from activities that cause pain.

– icing and elevating the foot after activity, if needed.

– wearing shoes with good arch support and shock absorbency when you exercise.

–  cutting the toe area of the shoe open.

– taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol).

If symptoms persist or if a bunion is present, you may need additional treatment to correct the underlying cause.

Treatment will depend on your age, activity level, and overall health. For instance, if you have severe arthritis, surgery may be needed.

features to look out for in running shoes for metatarsalgia

*   well-cushioned, firm midsole

*   removable, cushioned insole if possible or metatarsal pad

*   roomy toe box for toes to spread out

* wide base of support under the forefoot and throughout the entire sole. A stable shoe with a low center of gravity will help prevent excessive foot pronation.

*   deep heel pocket to accommodate orthotics

there are many different options available if you have flat feet or high arches.

For those with low arches, the best running shoes for your condition should come with a shock-absorbing midsole and cushioning in order to absorb any impact that may be too much on your foot.

For those with high arches, try to find a pair that provides good cushioning in the forefoot and heel along with a flexible sole.

You should also consider finding shoes that have a low drop from heel to toe (4-8mm) as these tend to work best for runners with a higher arch.

List of Best Running shoes for metatarsalgia

the following is our list of Best Running shoes for metatarsalgia based on our research.

1. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21

product description

– A neutral cushioning running shoe that provides moderate stability for runners with mild to moderate overpronation.

– Brooks unique BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning adapts to every step you take providing customized comfort, while its Segmented Crash Pad offers smooth heel-to-toe transitions.

This version of the Adrenaline GTS features a no sew upper which reduces weight and enhances breathability.

The guidance trusstic system is created to reduce the amount of torsion occurring in the shoe during footstrike, leading to a smoother and more efficient gait cycle.

This shoe features a 12mm heel-toe differential: 54% of the runner’s body weight is initially distributed over the forefoot.

Upon foot strike, this percentage reduces to 33% while the heel takes on 100% of the weight.

Product features

–   BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning dynamically adapts to every step you take, providing customized comfort with every wear.

– Segmented crash pad offers smooth heel-to-toe transitions.

 The crash pad consists of “crash posts” which are designed to keep the components in their optimum position during transition while protecting the foot from direct impact.  This reduces the forces that are transmitted to the plantar surface and offers a smoother ride.

– Guidance Trusstic System: this system is created to reduce the amount of torsion occurring in the shoe during footstrike, leading to a smoother and more efficient gait cycle.  

The guidance trusstic system is a lightweight structure located in the midfoot section of the shoe that runs along either side of the arch and assists in providing anatomical support and enhances gait efficiency.

 The vertical posts (further apart at the arch) work to resist frontal plane motion while allowing more freedom of movement in the transverse plane.

Pros and Cons

– fit: slightly narrow in width and very low volume. The fit of the upper is somewhat tight

– durability: upper holds up well to repeated runs over rugged terrain, but wears out quickly on roads or other smooth surfaces.  The midsole foam begins to breakdown after about 400 miles.

2. Saucony Guide 14

product description

The Guide 14 is a stability shoe that combines the familiar feel of the Saucony Ride with enhancements such as an 8mm heel-toe drop (the same as in the Kinvara 4), and ProGrid technology for added cushioning.

Product features

– The engineered mesh upper features lightweight breathable overlays to support your foot without adding unnecessary weight to the shoe.

– The midsole is enhanced by a full length EVERUN topsole for a springy, responsive ride.  EVERUN is Saucony’s most cushioned material providing more energy return than any of our previous efforts.

Pros and Cons

– The Guide 14 is a well-cushioned shoe that absorbs the impact from the road, but it’s not a bouncy ride like a lightweight neutral trainer.

 It also runs a bit short in length and narrow in width.

3. adidas Supernova Sequence 6

product description

The Supernova Sequence 6 is a stability shoe that features an improved heel counter for better support and a new adiPRENE+ cushioning system that’s softer but more durable than the previous version.

 Additionally, this shoe has an 8mm drop from heel to toe.

Product features

– The U-form technology provides optimum comfort and the power lift plate on the rear of this shoe gives more support during takeoff.

– The adiPRENE+ cushioning system is a full length midsole that’s been designed to provide dampening properties and greater durability.  

The rectangular shaped cells fill with fluid upon impact and slowly release it as you run, providing a more comfortable ride.

Pros and Cons

– A good looking shoe with lots of cushioning but feels heavy and runs short in length .

4. Mizuno Wave Inspire 16

product description

The Wave Inspire 16 delivers all the features of a premium stability running shoe – including a 12mm heel drop – but without some higher end technologies such as FlyteFoam or U4ic.    

The Inspire 16 is also a slightly beefier and slightly heavier (and less expensive) update to the Wave Inspire 15.  If you’re looking for a premium stability shoe at an affordable price, this might be just what you need.

Product features

– A full-length SBR rubber overlay provides added durability along with improved responsiveness.

 This overlay runs from the forefoot into the midfoot area of the shoe so it has good torsional rigidity as well as medial/lateral support.  

For runners who pronate heavily, they’ll appreciate how much more responsive this overlay is compared to previous models.

– The U4icX heel insert offers excellent cushioning without being too soft, and has been designed to absorb impact forces from heel strike and extend those forces all the way through the rest of the gait cycle.

 In this update, Mizuno removed a layer from the top of the insert for a softer initial feel but added another layer at the bottom that will extend its life.

Pros and Cons

– The Wave Inspire 16 is a great step up shoe for runners who need moderate stability and prefer premium cushioning; not as much cushioning as some other models in this class (like the Asics Kayano) but at a lower price point .

5 Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21

product description

This moderately-stability trainer features Brooks’ signature BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning that adapts and adjusts to your stride and the way you run.  The GTS 21 also now has a built-in support frame that provides better stability without sacrificing cushioning or flexibility.

Product features

– The upper is made of Brooks’ premium FantomFit material, with mesh paneling for breathability and an internal sleeve for a secure fit.

 Brooks has also added some external heel devices – heel pods – that give you extra rearfoot stability and protection from overpronation no matter what type of running surface you’re on.    

These heel pods are flexible and allow the feet to move somewhat naturally compared with most shoes which provide more structure and rigidity in this area .

– plenty of cushioning in this shoe to take the edge off road impact; you’ll probably find yourself feeling fresher after runs in this model compared with your old training shoes.

Pros and Cons

– If you like Brooks models like the Adrenaline GTS 10, you’ll appreciate how well this one performs .

6. Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 4

Product description

This moderately-stability everyday trainer has plenty of protection for overpronators who don’t want to lose the plush feel they’ve come to expect from traditional trainers .   

– A synthetic overlay in the upper provides a secure fit and enhances durability.  Runners found that this shoe is less likely to stretch out of shape than others with similar uppers .

– The midsole uses Nike’s Phylon material which isn’t as responsive as Boost but still absorbs shock well enough.  

Having a firmer midsole may appeal to some runners who want a bit more stability for daily training runs or recovery weeks.

Pros and Cons

– This shoe is great for beginners because it has all the cushioning they crave without being too bulky or cumbersome

– it makes fast strides possible even over rough terrain .   

7. New Balance 1080v10

product description

A lightweight everyday trainer that has a structure and outsole built to withstand the punishment of roads and other hard surfaces.

 The 1080v10 is also great for those who like to go on short recovery runs between harder workouts .

Product features

– The wider forefoot allows your foot to fully splay during the mid-stance part of your stride, which reduces over pronation and makes it easier for runners to find their natural anatomical form .   

– A dual density medial post provides mild support for people with low arches or mild pronation, but can be taken out if you don’t need it.

– this gives runners a lot of versatility in a single shoe .   

– An internal heel counter cradles the back of your foot and secures it in place to prevent blisters and reduce the chances of heel slippage.  

Runners with narrow heels might want to try a different shoe though because this one runs a bit narrow .

Pros and Cons

– The ride is just about perfect for daily training runs , even when runners are doing long distances .   

– Sufficiently cushioned enough to absorb impact but not so much that you feel like you’re running on marshmallows, which means your feet won’t feel fatigued after long runs .

— New Balance’s Fresh Foam cushioning is among the best in this category, according to our testers.

8. ASICS Gel Kayano 18

product description

An updated version of our top pick, the Gel Kayano 18 is an excellent choice for runners who need a shoe with cushioning and comfort that can handle long training runs or races .

Product features

The upper offers great arch support and snugness without being too stiff

– we liked how it felt like a second skin around our foot once we got into the run.

– The GEL Cushioning System in the heel reduces shock as you go over your midfoot and provides just enough bounce to keep you running fresh mile after mile.

– A FlyteFoam component in the midsole combined with FluidRide technology provides plenty of responsiveness but also has enough cushioned to protect against impact when you’re logging high mileage weeks .

– A breathable mesh upper with synthetic overlays gives the shoe a sleek look and provides good support without feeling too stuff .  

Pros and Cons

– The most noticeable updates in this version of the shoe are to the outsole, which is more flexible for better ground contact.  

– Runners also liked having an extra compartment for carrying nutrition on shorter runs or races since they can fill up both sides without adding too much weight to their feet.  

9. Under Armour Speedform Gemini 3

product description

This lightweight runner performs just as well on road as it does off , thanks to its combination of lightweight cushioning and grip that lets you keep up speed during high intensity workouts.  

If you’re transitioning from running exclusively on roads to doing some workouts on trails, this is a great shoe to try.

Product features

– The upper provides just the right amount of ankle support without making you feel constricted or weighed down as your run .

– The mesh is also designed with SpeedForm technology that molds around the shape of your foot and creates a custom fit so you won’t have any unnecessary slipping inside the shoe during your workout .

– A Charged Cushioning bottom keeps you comfortable mile after mile by absorbing impact but giving you enough bounce for a quick transition back into running fast again.

Pros and Cons

– Runners felt like they could push themselves even harder in these shoes because they’re lighter than other models in this category.

FAQ

Can I run with metatarsalgia?

Yes, it is possible to run with metatarsalgia.

There are some precautions that you can take such as not over-pronating, wearing shoes with proper arch support and cushioning, etc., but I would recommend that runners see a podiatrist if they are having chronic pain in this area.  

Most times the cause of metatarsal pain is something other than just running barefoot or in minimalist shoes, so if one does have pain while running these are only temporary fixes that will mask the issue instead of treating it directly.   

What shoes do podiatrists recommend metatarsalgia?

If you have metatarsalgia, a podiatrist would recommend a stability shoe with arch support and a firm heel counter that puts the ball of your foot in line with or slightly higher than your ankle.

 I always recommend going to a professional when dealing with medical issues so they can see if there are any biomechanical problems you might be having such as overpronation, which is usually when the forefoot collapses inward when one runs.  

– This type of running form makes it difficult for the foot to function naturally and ends up putting excess stress on both the metatarsals and toes. 

Another common problem associated with this condition is arthritis in the area because of constant inflammation resulting from repetitive stress injury .       

How do runners treat metatarsalgia?

My advice for treating metatarsalgia is getting fitted for the proper shoe and stretching daily.  Also doing exercises to strengthen the stabilizing muscles in your foot will go a long way to keeping this from becoming a chronic problem.   

How do you stretch for metatarsalgia?

– Flex your toes forward, back, bring them inward and outward.  Hold each stretch 10 seconds. Repeat three times a day.

– Grab a towel and put it under your foot with the affected area hanging off of the end towards the ground.  Use that leg to pull yourself into a stretch by bending at your ankle until you feel tension in the arch of your foot . Hold 20 secs 3/day

How do you heal metatarsalgia fast?

– Use a heating pad or ice pack to treat the area.

– To relieve pain, take an over the counter anti inflammatory such as ibuprofen.  You can also apply some ointment with menthol in it for a cooling sensation that will numb the pain.

– After exercise , apply metatarsal pads or arch supports to your shoes until you heal .  

What exercise can I do with metatarsalgia?

There are some exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles of your feet, but I would recommend seeing a podiatrist for specific recommendations.  These are just general examples that have worked well in the past with other patients :

– Toe curls – Take a resistance band or shoelace and wrap it around your toes with some tension.  Curl each toe individually then curl them together. Repeat 10 times.

– Towel pulls – Take a towel and place it under your foot.  Lift your toes off of the ground while keeping your heel on the ground to pull the towel towards you by using only your foot. Do three sets of 20 reps per day of this exercise .    

Does metatarsalgia ever go away?

Yes, metatarsalgia usually subsides after a few weeks once the inflammation has stopped and you have been given custom orthotics or arch supports for your shoes.  

If it’s a chronic problem, there may be underlying issues that need to be corrected before you will start to feel better.        

Can I run barefoot with metatarsalgia?    

Running barefoot is not recommended if one is trying to heal from this condition.  The lack of cushioning and shock absorption force most people into a heel strike which has caused this problem in the first place.

 It is possible if one takes precautions such as strengthening their feet and ankles by doing exercises beforehand so they can adopt a mid-strike gait pattern .

How do you wrap your foot for metatarsalgia?

– Before you begin wrapping your foot, soak it in warm water for ten minutes.  After the soaking process is done, thoroughly dry off the foot.

– Use a compression wrap or ace bandage to wrap your foot firmly but not too tightly.

What does metatarsalgia feel like?

When you have metatarsalgia, it feels like someone has their hands on your feet and are squeezing them tightly.  

The pain can radiate up through the foot or down to the toes if the condition becomes chronic.

Also, the pressure in the balls of your feet is usually worse when you first wake up in the morning.

– If you stand for long periods of time, take breaks every half hour throughout that time to stretch out your legs by flexing at all of your joints.

– You should start feeling relief soon after you begin icing.  For more intense cases where ice alone isn’t enough to reduce inflammation, use a heating pad for 15 minutes before attempting an ice pack again

How do I prevent metatarsalgia?

-It is possible to prevent metatarsalgia by avoiding running on hard surfaces and increasing the strength of your feet with simple exercises .  

Exercises such as towel pulls, toe curls, and working out how many times you can pick up a pencil off the ground with your toes all work well.

 Strengthening these muscles will allow you to have more shock absorption when taking strides while running which will help keep this condition at bay.

When do I know if my metatarsalgia is getting worse?

If the pain in your foot becomes more severe or starts affecting other parts of your body then it may be time to see a doctor about this problem.               

Can metatarsalgia come on suddenly?

Yes, but it often happens as a result of a long term problem.  When you first begin to have problems with your feet, they will usually start out as a mild irritant which can become chronic if not attended to at the early stages.        

What kind of shoes should I wear for metatarsalgia?

– You should always try to buy wide toe-box shoes that allow your toes some room to spread out and relax.

– Shoes that have more cushioning are better than those which have less because this will absorb more of the shock from each stride you take .       

  Is there anything I can do about my footwear when dealing with metatarsalgia?

You want to make sure that all of your shoes have arch supports because this will prevent your feet form sliding down into the toe box which can cause metatarsalgia.  Ensuring that the inside of your shoe is padded is also helpful to ensure that your toes do not rub against one another while running.        

Do metatarsal pads help?

Most people with metatarsalgia do not wear metatarsal pads because they are uncomfortable and they can cause more problems than the pain you are trying to treat. However, some runners find that adding them to their shoes is beneficial  because it will place pressure on your foot in a way that is comfortable for you without having the downsides of using an ordinary pad.  

How often should I ice my feet?

– You should  ice your feet at least three times per day .  Start by putting an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables on your foot for 15 minutes before removing it for 20 minutes. Repeat this process throughout the day as many times as needed.               

What is the difference between Morton neuroma and metatarsalgia?

– Both constrict the nerves and tissues of your feet and both cause pain in your foot.

– Metatarsalgia is more common than neuroma because it affects more people , whereas neuroma is an abnormality that only a few people get.       

  – The exact reason for why metatarsalgia occurs is not known, but some evidence suggests that too much weight on the ball of the foot can cause this condition

Does metatarsalgia show up on xray?

No, it does not show up on x-ray.  However, if you are still having pain after three weeks or you are still feeling the symptoms of metatarsalgia within six months then you should consult a podiatrist who can take an x-ray to see if there is any other damage that needs to be treated.

Is metatarsalgia in my foot causing me knee problems?

Yes, when your feet hurt this can cause you to compensate by running differently , which may lead to issues with your knees!               

  – Metatarsal pads are also useful because they will prevent your toes from rubbing against each another while you run.               

  – Tape your third and fourth toes together so that

How do you know if you have damaged your metatarsal?

– If you injure your metatarsal you will usually know because of the pain and swelling that occurs.

– There may also be some bruising around your toes .               

  – You should  rest for a few days to give yourself enough time to heal

Is there anything I can do about my footwear when dealing with metatarsalgia?

You want to make sure that all of your shoes have arch supports because this will prevent your feet form sliding down into the toe box which can cause metatarsalgia. Ensuring that the inside of your shoe is padded is also helpful to ensure that your toes do not rub against one another while running.           

– You should  always try to buy a wide toe

Are Crocs good for metatarsal pain?

– Crocs are like sandals and they make you feet hot .               

  – They will also cause your foot to slide around which can lead to metatarsalgia.                   

Is insoles good for metatarsal pain?

– Using insoles for metatarsalgia is not a bad idea , but there are some downsides.               

  – The main issue with using an insole is that they can cause your foot to slide around which can lead to injury.               

  – Another downside of using insoles is that it will not take friction off of your foot, so you might still experience pain when running.

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