Metatarsal (or ball of foot) pain can be caused by a number of things such as intense training or wearing shoes that don’t fit properly. High heels, especially, can often lead to inflammation in this area as they transfer extra weight to the front of your foot. Fortunately, insoles or pads can help absorb shock between your toes and arches. There’s a wide variety of options on the market for metatarsal discomfort, so we narrowed down the search for you. Here, FN curated a list featuring our favorite shoe inserts to cushion the balls of your feet and reduce irritation.
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1. Powerstep Pinnacle Plus Insole
These full-length orthotic inserts with dual-layer cushioning have a durable EVA foam base and an anti-microbial top fabric for minimizing heat and friction.
Pros: Built-in support pads and cushion metatarsal heads to relieve pain. These provide semi-rigid arch support and cradle the heel for increased stability.
2. Brison Metatarsal Pads
These Brison pads are made of durable, soft material with good elasticity for easy adjusting. An ergonomic design alleviates pressure and tension.
Pros: A small toe loop holds the pad in place. They can be washed simply with soap and warm water.
Cons: These are a little on the wide side, so they may not work with every shoe.
3. Physix Gear Sport Inserts
These ultra-thin, full-length inserts are crafted with a cushy-yet-firm EVA foam base and an anti-microbial top fabric.
Pros: A non-slip heel holds the insole securely in place. A deep heel cradle enhances stability.
Cons: The padding may be a little hard.