If you suffer from metatarsalgia, calluses, bunions or other discomfort in the ball of your foot, you may want to try metatarsal pads to help alleviate your pain. While sleeve-style metatarsal pads probably won’t be inconspicuous inside high heels, they’re great to wear with walking or running shoes to keep you comfortable during high-impact sports or while pounding the pavement. They essentially look like toeless half socks that slip onto the front of feet and feature an impact-absorbing gel interior for optimal comfort. The best kinds should also be washable so you can wear them over again as needed. In an effort to narrow down the vast options on the market, we did some research and rounded up a few great metatarsal pads for ball-of-foot pain.
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1. Brison Forefoot Cushions
These metatarsal sleeves are rendered from a durable, ultra-flexible fabric and feature a soft gel cushion inside.
Pros: Their super stretchy material allows them to fit most men and women’s foot sizes.
Cons: Wider feet may find these restricting.
2. Dropsky Ball of Foot Cushions
This pair is also constructed with a gel pad and provides comfortable compression to increase circulation and reduce swelling.
Pros: They’re made of an bacteria-fighting fabric that’s lightweight, breathable and moisture-wicking.
Cons: Some may find them a bit snug.
3. ZenToes Metatarsal Pads
This option comes with four flexible, compressive gel-infused fabric sleeves in a single pack.
Pros: They’re made to fit a men’s size 6–9 and women’s 8–11.
Cons: They may fit a tad big around the big toe.