Best Running Shoes for Metatarsalgia Pain

Metatarsalgia is the pain caused in the ball of the foot and also causes inflammation, affecting your body structure immensely and it also worsens as you stand or move. It is usually caused by intense training and can also be resulted from excess weight, stress fracture, or health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, hammertoe, gout, or Morton’s neuroma.

Fortunately, it can easily be solved by home remedies, like the ones mentioned later in the article but you will need to limiting foot movement or by wearing the right shoes.

However, while various shoes claim to be the ‘best’ for fighting metatarsalgia, they help little in doing so. Therefore, I have formed a list of the best running shoes for metatarsalgia while help provides comfort, support, and protection.

In addition to that, I have criteria I used to shortlist these and answered some of the most common questions.


The Best Running Shoes for Metatarsalgia

Diving into the best running shoes for metatarsalgia, for your convenience, I divided this section into two parts, first with three men’s shoes and the second with two of the most supportive and comfortable shoes for women.

I weighed them upon the criteria shared before and the prices vary from around $103 (£73 approx.) to just under $665 (£470 approx.). I, additionally, made sure that a range of features was available to choose from, such as EVA midsole, Primeknit 360 upper, 3D heel frame, dual-density cushioning, Innerflex Groove Technology, and dual BioMoGo and DNA Loft cushioning.


Hoka One One Bondi 6 Running Shoes for Men

To start off, this first award-winning pair is one of the best running shoes for metatarsalgia. For one, the single-layer mesh upper is extremely comfortable and flexible, hence reducing the pressure. It can also fit wide feet effectively and the details are quite extraordinary.

The EVA-injected midsole, on the other hand, is extremely lightweight and offers even softer cushioning than all previous versions. The softness, combined with the stiff structure, helps properly support the metatarsal bones, hence easing the recovery further. The full-compression, resilient midsole also holds onto the feet tightly to promote a natural movement.

Best Running Shoes for Metatarsalgia - Hoka One One Bondi 6 Running Shoes for Men

Furthermore, the shoes are lightweight and anti-fatigue, thus making them great for long-distance running. Similarly, the lace-up closure boosts personalization and improves comfort while the strategically-developed outsole makes them well-suited for hard-pack gravel and wet areas.

In addition to that, the outsole cushioning is highly shock-absorbing and provides a smooth heel-to-toe transition when running. Also, this provides adequate traction for light rail running and particularly supports the metatarsal bones well. Talking about support, the padded collar supports the ankle really well and the shoes have been complemented by personalities like Victoria L Beckman for the immense metatarsal support and comfort. However, it should be noted that the mesh upper isn’t as breathable as it should’ve been.


  • ✅  EVA-injected midsole for extreme comfort and fast recovery.
  • ✅  Lace-up closure boosts personalization.
  • ✅  Outsole cushioning is highly shock-absorbing.
  • ✅  The shoes provide traction for light rail running and support metatarsal bones well.
  • ✅  Shoes are lightweight, hence preventing unnecessary pressure and fatigue.



  • X    They don’t feel as breathable as other products on the market.

Hoka One One Bondi 6 Running Shoes for Men

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Adidas Men’s Ultraboost 19

Adidas is one of the most trusted international brands and this pair is a great representation of their expertise. Firstly, the Primeknit 360 upper is extremely flexible and allows easy foot movement. It is also highly durable and breathable, hence reducing stress and enabling a comfortable metatarsalgia recovery.

This additionally fits your foot shape to prevent other conditions, thus making the shoes well-suited for wide feet too. The lace closure, on the other hand, allows better personalization, and the shoes are extremely responsive as well.

Best Running Shoes for Metatarsalgia - Adidas Men's Ultraboost 19

Similarly, the dual-density boost cushioning properly supports the feet, including the heel, toes, arch, and especially ankle. The midsole, additionally, provides immense stabilization and balance, hence preventing worsening of the foot condition. The stabilization and balance are further enhanced by the Stabilizing Torsion Spring.

In addition to all that, the lightweight 3D heel frame provides better fitting and heel support while the amazing overall construction improves durability and provides extensive support to the metatarsal bones. It should also be noted that the pair is available in 41 different impressive color combination and deliver improved medial support. Lastly, the pair features great responsiveness and does not cost a lot.


  • ✅  The Primeknit 360 upper is extremely flexible and allows easy foot movement.
  • ✅  The dual-density boost cushioning supports the feet well.
  • ✅  The midsole provides immense stabilization and balance.
  • ✅  The lightweight 3D heel frame provides better fitting and heel support.
  • ✅  The shoes feature an extremely durable build.



  • X    We couldn’t find any, this is a great running shoe for metatarsalgia pain.

Adidas Men’s Ultraboost 19

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ALTRA Men’s AL0A4VQA Escalante 2.5 Road Running Shoe

In case you are looking for a simplistic yet classy design, you should give these shoes a try. Firstly, they have a single-layer mesh upper that provides great breathability, thus preventing skin infections from sweat. It’s also stretchy and flexible, hence boosting a natural foot moment.

Furthermore, the shoes feature reflective 360-degree stripes for enhanced visibility during night runs. Also, the shoes have a well-cushioned Altra EGO midsole cushioning that provides softness while dual-nature provides extra stability and response, hence preventing further pain.


Best Running Shoes for Metatarsalgia - ALTRA Men's AL0A4VQA Escalante 2.5 Road Running Shoe

In addition to that, the rubber outsole, with the Innerflex Groove Technology, provides high durability and flexibility and is also shock-absorbing. Other than that, the outsole allows smooth movement, prevents soreness, and reduces the chances of foot injuries while the footprint design provides excellent traction and grip. The footpod technology also better supports the bones and tendon muscles, hence preventing slips and falls.

Moreover, the shoes feature heel cup technology that provides the ultimate comfort and support throughout the feet, including the toes, arch, heel, and ankle. Lastly, the shoes have a Zero-Drop Platform which is designed to reduce impact while also promoting natural foot alignment.


  • ✅  The single-layer mesh upper provides great breathability.
  • ✅  They feature the reflective 360-degree stripes for enhanced nighttime visibility.
  • ✅  The dual-nature midsole provides softness and extra stability.
  • ✅  The footpod technology is designed to support bones and tendon muscles.
  • ✅  The rubber outsole, with the Innerflex Groove Technology, provides high durability.



  • X    Some people have said that they are not true to size.

ALTRA Men’s AL0A4VQA Escalante 2.5 Road Shoe

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Brooks Women’s Ghost 13

For people looking for a luxurious overall build, I would highly suggest this pair. Firstly, these shoes have a seamless body and the advanced perforated engineered single-layer mesh enhances protection as well as breathability.

Also, the shoes feature a very lightweight and comfortable overall build while the DNA loft extends beyond the forefoot and provides a smooth heel-to-toe transition when running. The synthetic traditional lacing system, on the other hand, enhances the fitting further while also boosting personalization. 

Best Running Shoes for Metatarsalgia - Brooks Women's Ghost 13

Moreover, the BioMoGo DNA and DNA loft cushioning provide softness, hence allowing an easy recovery while EVA-blend foam delivers extra comfort and response. In addition to that, the Carbon rubber outsole is extremely durable and provides amazing traction, hence helping prevent falls and slips. Also, the blown details provide additional flexibility and stability, and, therefore, prevent further foot problems. The outsole also features amazing shock absorption abilities that diminish foot damage from running impact.

Furthermore, the padded collar provides ankle support, thereby preventing injuries. The shoes also include the Segmented Crash Pad in the heel that promotes a better, natural foot posture and supports the heel as well as the ankle. It also impressively balances the shoes and prevents overpronation.


  • ✅  The traditional lacing system promotes better personalization.
  • ✅  The advanced perforated engineered single-layer mesh enhances protection and breathability.
  • ✅  The BioMoGo DNA and DNA loft cushioning provide softness.
  • ✅  The Carbon rubber outsole is extremely durable and provides amazing traction.
  • ✅  The padded collar provides ankle support and prevents injuries.



  • X    You may find these to have a slightly narrow toe-box.

Brooks Women’s Ghost 13

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New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam 1080 V10 Running Shoe

To end off, this is another amazing pair of running shoes for metatarsalgia. For one, the Hypoknit upper includes a very impressive synthetic and mesh mix that is extremely flexible, rather breathable, and highly protective, hence preventing further foot stress.

The Fresh Foam X has also been created with the latest data technology and works to deliver precise plushness where needed while also providing a stiff structure that encourages natural foot movement. This also adds to the durability and is extremely flexible as well as lightweight, thereby easing metatarsal bones.

Best Running Shoes for Metatarsalgia - New Balance Women's Fresh Foam 1080 V10 Running Shoe meta

It should also be noted that the bootie upper construction works with the Ultra Heel design to hug the backfoot for a supportive and snug fit. The rubber outsole also features extensive traction to reduce friction and allow easy runs even in difficult terrains while also enhancing the already impressive durability.

In addition to all that, the Ortholite sock liner in the performance-oriented running shoes keeps the feet fresh and provides better comfort. The construction also boosts the protection while the amazing fitting, with the lace closure, quickens the healing process. Lastly, the pair is available in 9 different color combinations and is manufactured by a well-recognized brand, thus ensuring trust.


  • ✅  The Fresh Foam X cushioning provides precise plushness.
  • ✅  The Hypoknit upper, with the impressive synthetic and mesh mix, is flexible, breathable, and protectivey.
  • ✅  The Ultra Heel design supports the heel and ankle and enables a snug fit.
  • ✅  The Ortholite sock liner keeps the feet fresh.
  • ✅  Available in 9 different color combinations.



  • X    The shoe isn’t insulated, which may not be an issue for most.

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V10

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Key Features & Buyers Guide

What Creates the Best Running Shoes for Metatarsalgia Pain?

Before getting to know the products, it will be beneficial for you to know the precise criteria I used when choosing them. Through this, you will be able to find running shoes that not only help support the metatarsal bones to prevent further pain but also protect the feet, enhance performance further, and provide comfort.

1. Cushioning and Padding

Cushioning and padding are present throughout the shoes and can help in various ways. For one, the cushioning in the midsole and insole should be able to provide great comfort while also supporting the feet, including the metatarsal, arch, toes, heel, and ankle.

This should, additionally, protect the feet while also absorbing impact to prevent further foot problems. A padded collar, on the other hand, can immensely help support the ankle and lower leg while the padding or cushioning in the heel should support the heel muscles and tissues.

In addition to that, some shoes include a slightly cushioned outsole to provide comfort and reduce damage by shock when running or walking. Amazing overall cushioning can also help improve balance and stability while also improving the durability of the pair but should be lightweight so that the feet aren’t put under much pressure.

2. Fitting and Weight

When talking about shoes for metatarsalgia, the weight and fitting cannot be ignored. Firstly, remember, the heavier the shoes, the higher tension will be placed on the feet, including the metatarsal heads. Some shoes, however, are somewhat heavy but reduce the tension through other features, and, therefore, you should carefully analyze this.

For the fitting, on the other hand, begin by making sure that the upper is flexible enough to provide ample comfort and reduce tension. The pair should also have a wide toe box to prevents further metatarsal problems while a deep heel area is also highly recommended.

I would also suggest that you properly check the width as well as the vertical length between the midsole and upper to ensure comfort. Lastly, there can be additional features to allow the shoes to fit the foot shapes or grip on them to limit movement, hence allowing the metatarsal bones to heal faster.

3. Outsole

Moving on, the outsole forms a great part of the shoes, and, so, is quite important. This, if engineered properly, can extensively speed up the recovery process through various benefits. For one, the outsole can effectively absorb the shock, hence preventing further damage to the metatarsal bones while also supporting the feet well.

Moreover, the outsole can effectively increase the durability of the shoes and improve performance through boost. This should also feature immense responsiveness and protect the feet through insulation and waterproofing.

In addition to all that, the outsole should be well-padded and feature tight construction to increase durability and protection. It should also be lightweight to prevent tension and soft enough to improve comfort. Lastly, it should prevent friction and feature impressive traction as well as grip.

4. The Upper

The upper, as mentioned before, should be flexible enough to easily fit the feet and also allow some room for change, reading tension in the metatarsal. As well as that, it should be durable to last long and feature a proper construction to increase durability.

In addition to all that, the upper can be breathable to boost temperature regulation and prevent moisture build-up and any related infection. However, high breathability will mean low to no waterproofing and insulation, and, therefore, you will have to set your preferences right. Nevertheless, if you get waterproof shoes, make sure that they can effectively expel moisture.

This should also be lightweight and can include additional features like a lining to boost the insulation. Lastly, this should be highly supportive and limit foot movement if needed to help heal metatarsalgia well.

5. Durability

You will also have to consider the durability of the shoes but various factors weigh into this. For one, you will have to make sure that the shoes offer a thick overall construction to limit wear and tear, particularly in the upper and they should simply offer high-quality materials.

The outsole particularly needs to include oil resistance, water resistance, and abrasion resistance to prevent extensive damage. You should also make sure that the pair includes moisture-wicking and odor control properties to prevent any major durability issues.

Furthermore, remember that a flexible outsole will prevent cracks while a deep lug pattern will prevent dirt build-up, again helping keep the shoes good as new. Lastly, the brand can offer after-sale services and guarantees as well as warranties and you ought to make sure that the closure system is durable yet easy to replace. I would, considering all that, highly recommend the traditional lace closure.

Frequently Asked Questions

I noticed that many readers have some common questions when they look for the best running shoes for Metatarsalgia pain, so I just wanted to group them here and provide my advice to help you make a more informed decision.

Q1. What is Metatarsalgia?

Despite its complex name, metatarsalgia isn’t challenging to understand. This condition affects the five long bones at the front of your feet or the metatarsals. These bones run from your toes to the midpoint of your foot, around your arch. The pain point of metatarsalgia occurs in the ball of your foot, just below the base of your toes.

Discomfort is felt when the metatarsals become inflamed. The most painful area is usually below a person’s second toe and sometimes extends to the third and fourth as well. Metatarsalgia isn’t an acute injury but usually slowly worsens over time. However, some individuals may notice severe pain that seems to come on suddenly.

The pain can become more severe when a person runs, jumps, walks, or stands. Elevating the feet or simply taking the load off of them usually lessens feelings of discomfort. Metatarsalgia can make it challenging to go about your daily activities, much less complete a workout.

Q2. Can Running Cause Metatarsalgia Pain?

While running puts an individual at greater risk of developing the condition, running isn’t the sole cause of metatarsalgia. Health conditions like excess weight or a hammertoe can predisposition runners to suffer from metatarsalgia. Poor form, a sudden increase in training volume, and worn-out shoes also may lead to pain and discomfort.

Though some factors cannot be avoided, like health issues, others are preventable. Wearing proper supportive shoes, ensuring that you don’t overpronate, and slowly increasing your training can help runners decrease their risk of developing metatarsalgia.

Q3. How Long Does It Take to Recover from Metatarsalgia Pain?

To know how long it will take for your metatarsalgia to heal, you need to understand the severity level of your case. Acute metatarsalgia is brought on by wearing ill-fitting shoes and goes away when the shoes are removed. Additionally, a strenuous activity like running in the sand can trigger it. Still, the pain ceases shortly after the workout is stopped.

Mild metatarsalgia can result from unsupportive shoes or repetitive high-impact activities, but it takes longer to heal. Your doctor may recommend rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication for a few days to a week.

Severe metatarsalgia is usually accompanied by a stress fracture. The worst cases require surgery, while others may necessitate wearing a boot. You’ll need to stay off your feet for at least eight weeks so that the bones can adequately heal.

Q4. What is The Best Treatment for Metatarsalgia Pain?

There are various treatments for metatarsalgia, almost all of which are quite effective and simple. For one, doctors often recommend the use of metatarsal pads, as is mention in the next FAQ.

Other than that, you can give surgical shoes a try or get some kinds of shoe inserts that can help reduce the pain caused by the foot condition. You should particularly try shoes with a good sole, a lower heel, and a wide toe box.

Along with all this, you should rest a lot and ice the affected areas for around twenty minutes at a time, several times per day. You may also try over-the-counter medicines like aspirin or Aleve for pain and inflammation and can also try arch supports as these will help reduce tension in the metatarsal bones.

Furthermore, I would highly suggest that you do not walk barefoot, and using a pumice stone on the feet is also known to be a quite effective way of removing calluses, in turn, helping relieve pressure. Diabetic people, however, should consult a doctor trying this and obese people should try losing weight.

In case these measures don’t help get rid of metatarsalgia, you will need an injection or even surgery, which will help resolve the underlying causes. For this, again, you’ll need to consult a physician.

Q5. How to Treat Metatarsalgia Pain At Home

Metatarsalgia that is mild to moderate may be successfully treated at home. However, it’s best to first pay a visit to your doctor for guidance. For mild cases of metatarsalgia, home remedies may resolve some of the discomforts.

Rest is often the best medicine. Don’t run or engage in high-impact activities that put stress on the balls of your feet. Try cross-training exercises like swimming that are low impact. If you must walk or spend time on your feet, wear supportive shoes that aren’t too loose or tight. You can boost the support of your footwear by inserting orthotics or metatarsal pads.

Reducing inflammation is also critical. Ice is excellent for decreasing swelling and can be applied multiple times a day. Other anti-inflammatory methods include Epsom salt soaks, compression, and over-the-counter medications. If your symptoms are severe or don’t improve in a week or so, reach out to your doctor.

Q6. Do Metatarsal Foot Pads Help with Metatarsalgia Pain?

Yes, metatarsal foot pads immensely help spread the transverse arch, helping reduce the tension, hence diminishing the pain and discomfort. You will, however, need to find the right metatarsal footpads and place them properly or they can instead cause further foot problems.

In case you can’t decide on one, I would highly recommend the Medipaq Metatarsal Gel Cushion. This will help provide comfort to the area and protect the area affected efficiently. Other than that, due to the high flexibility, it can easily cover all 5 metatarsal heads and absorb most of the pressure and friction, thereby reducing pain. They are also quite slim and don’t cost a lot.

To put the pads on, start by removing the liner or insole of the shoes and locate the place where your metatarsal bones would be. Now, peel off one-fourth of the adhesive and stick it into the shoe before wearing the pair and checking if you placed it correctly. After this, peel off the adhesive fully and stick the pad where it should be before doing the same with the other shoe.

Q7. Are Zero-drop Shoes Good for Metatarsalgia Pain?

Yes, zero-drop shoes are usually better for people with metatarsalgia. This means that the heel of the pair and the toe box is the exact same distance from the group and shoes built as such help promote a better running posture and work particularly well for athletes that under pronate while also facilitating a natural stride, thus preventing further foot pain.

Through all this, the shoes help reduce tension from the feet and even assist in maintaining a proper hip and back structure. However, this is somewhat difficult to implement and you will have to carefully analyze if the shoes even do what they claim.

Q8. Should I Stop Running With Metatarsalgia Pain?

Experiencing a burning and stabbing sensation is a sign you should stop running with metatarsalgia pain – at least for the immediate future. Metatarsalgia is usually caused by the repeated impact and strains the metatarsal bones experience during running. Take a break to assess the severity of the issue, rest and massage your foot, apply ice, and take anti-inflammatories.

If your condition is mild, you can likely return to running sooner rather than later. Wear the right shoes, run on soft surfaces like trails, and decrease your mileage. Performing arch and plantar sling strengthening exercises in the meantime can help.

Severe metatarsalgia cases require a more extended break from running. If you continue to run through the pain, the condition could worsen into Morton’s Neuroma. This thickening of the tissue around the nerves causes pain, burning, and numbness. Typically, the only treatment options are a complete break from running, corticosteroid injections, and possibly surgery.

Final Thoughts ..

What Are The Best Running Shoes for Metatarsalgia

Hopefully, this article will have helped you understand everything that you need to know for getting the best running shoes for metatarsalgia pain.

I would like to mention that the Adidas Men’s Ultraboost 19 appealed to me the most. Not only is the Primeknit 360 upper flexible but the lightweight 3D heel frame also enhances the fitting and support. Similarly, the dual-density boost cushioning provides extensive support and the midsole adds to the balance and stabilization. Besides, there aren’t any negatives to them.

For women, the New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam 1080 V10 Running Shoe is the best choice. While they aren’t insulated, so aren’t many others and the Fresh Foam X cushioning does provide precise plushness while the Hypoknit upper adds to the breathability, flexibility, and protection. They also provide a snug fit and are available in 9 colors while the Ortholite sock liner expels moisture but can be replaced with a better one quite easily.

Happy running!

Written by Susan

I'm very enthusiastic around sports, fitness and general wellbeing. I write for a range of sites around these topics, and I hope you find my articles and information insightful to help you on your way.

June 8, 2021

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