Best Pain-Free Shoes for Metatarsalgia 2024

The metatarsals are five long bones found between the tarsal bones and the phalanges of the feet. These are the bones that give a foot its specific arch. All these bones meet together at a joint known as the metatarsal head which is also known as the ball of your foot. Metatarsalgia is thus a name for the inflammation you feel in your foot’s metatarsal head.

So who could suffer from metatarsalgia? Most people who undertake high-intensity physical exercise but wear ill-fitted shoes where the ball of the foot repeatedly rubs against a firm insole. People with overpronated feet are also likely to suffer from metatarsalgia. It’s painful and it’s certainly annoying.


But there are shoes meant to prevent the inflammation of the metatarsal head by providing comfort and relief. If you suffer from metatarsalgia and want to invest in a pair of new shoes that’ll make your life easier then you need to look for a pair that provides nice cushioning and support for the arch of your foot.

Our breakdown of the five best shoes for metatarsalgia will help you make an informed choice.

1. Brooks Ghost 11

Best Recommended

  • New DNA loft foam improves the heel
  • More flexible
  • The mesh is better fitted for different foot sizes
  • The toe-box is narrow
  • The structure of the upper doesn’t hold foot firmly in place

Midsole drop: 12mm | Technology: DNA Loft | Weight: 10.9 oz

Last Update on 2024-07-17 using Amazon Product Advertising API

The Brooks Ghost series has been winning the Runner’s World Magazine award for an unprecedented seven years in a row now which would be enough to suggest just how much of a name Brooks has made for itself in the running-shoe industry.

With Ghost 11, Brooks has made some subtle tweaks and improvements to enhance the capabilities of the Ghost series. So what’re the new additions? Well, the Ghost 11 features light-weight new memory foam in the heel called the DNA loft foam that is supposed to be softer and provide a more cushioned ride through the toe-off. However, the cushioning from the previous models is more sparingly utilized this time on the underfoot and the shoe is firmer upon impact. While this would make the Ghost 11’s ride more responsive and allow you greater speed, you will also tire quickly if you run for longer periods of time.

The midsole features a segmented crash pad that offers more flexibility and adapts to your gait. I could notice the shoe’s level of responsiveness by fastening my strides.

The outsole is composed of a sturdy rubber material with a decent grip that’ll work really well on surfaces of different kinds, from wet and slippery ones to more jagged terrain.

As for the upper, Brooks has revamped and the mesh and made it more stretchable in certain key zones that will wrap around your foot more fully. Though one drawback to note is that the toe-box now feels more narrower to me and the lack of overlays didn’t exactly feel like they held foot firmly in place while I moved.


All things considered though, the Brooks Ghost 11 is resilient and comfortable for long runs and is a great all-rounder for any user out there. It is especially going to make jogs more convenient for those with metatarsalgia.

Customer Reports
Red Thorne

These shoes are amazing! Super comfy to run. I’m a big guy and these help with the impact from running on pavement. The only complaint I have is that the toe box is a little loose and they run one size too large. I’m normally a 13 4E and that fits snug, but these had about an inch extra past my toe. I had to return them and get 12 4E and they fit perfectly now. Still a little extra room in the toe box but it doesn’t affect my running. Overall great shoes!


I’ve been using Kayanos’ the past few years. I had been running with a pair of 24’s and 23’s. I decided to mix things up and got a pair of Ghost 11’s. The fit is noticeable better for me in the medium width. I always felt like I needed to stretch out the ASICS for a few runs, where these were spot on from day 1. The toe area also feels much better in these and a bit more ‘bounce’ when they’re new compare to the ASICS new.

2. New Balance Men's 990v4

The Next Best

  • ENCAP midsole provides decent support
  • Toe box is wide and spacious
  • ACTEVA Lite helps correct arch
  • Decent cushioning
  • The shoes are too stiff
  • Wide and bulky in shape

Midsole drop: 12mm | Technology: ACTEVA Lite | Weight: 13.6 oz

Last Update on 2024-07-17 using Amazon Product Advertising API

The 990v4 by New Balance utilizes an EVA and ENCAP midsole technology to create a durable pair of shoes capable of runs that can go for long distances. The shoes are imbued with extra layers of cushioning and support the arch of the foot in more suitable ways that are going to ease a lot of stress on various joints and tendons.

The outsole is made of blown rubber and provides good traction on surfaces and air mixed with the rubber compound cushions your strides with greater efficiency. The midsole on the other hand features an ACTEVA Lite foam which is light in weight and very durable. The ENCAP feature activates the ACTEVA Lite foam which, by working with the polyethylene, automatically adjusts to and corrects overpronation. The upper meanwhile is composed of engineered mesh and pigskin which allows for good airflow inside the shoe, keeping away odor too. The toe box is also spacious and lets your foot wrap in snugly.


The heel to toe drop on the 990v4 is 12mm which creates decent cushioning and encourages forward momentum. However, because of the design of the shoe, I found this to be stiff and less flexible than I would have liked. The wide shape of the shoes also doesn’t look very pleasing from an aesthetic point of view either.

Yes, the 990v4 is not perfect but I find the cushioning and stability it offers to be very gentle for a foot with metatarsalgia.

Customer Reports
Harold Craig

I am completely sold on the New Balance 990v, I have them in Black, Red, Blue, White, Gray and now Mustard Yellow! One of the best-made shoes for people my size! 6’3” 300lbs! Very good shoes for working out and runners or standing long periods! I would like to find that Money Green color I have seen once before! Very Very good purchase!

Bill P.

I’ve only been wearing these V4s for about 4 days but so far they’re great. Good lateral support, very comfortable. They serve the specific purpose in my case of cushioning the footfall which under normal circumstances involving street shoes would leave my osteoarthritic knee extremely painful. With these shoes on there is an enormous improvement. So, one can look at a good running shoe not only as a sporting shoe but also as a highly effective protective measure for older people who walk for their exercise. Super!

3. ASICS Gel Venture 6 Running Shoe

Bronze Medal

  • Great improvement on midsole and upper
  • The AHAR feature improves durability
  • The traction of the outsoles is good
  • The shoes are heavy in weight

Midsole Drop: 10mm | Technology: GEL impact absorption | Weight: 11 oz

Last Update on 2024-07-17 using Amazon Product Advertising API

ASICS Venture 6 improves upon older designs by bringing in a revamped midsole and upper. The shoes feature the patented ASICS High Abrasion Rubber that is placed in order to be more flexible for the feet and promise greater durability. With multi-directional lugs that protrude in different directions, the outsole has really good traction and is going to perform at optimal levels on running trails. The midsole on the other hand utilizes GEL technology to create greater shock absorption and make transitions more seamless. It also improves the shoe’s responsiveness because of the 10mm heel to toe drop.

The upper is made of synthetic mesh that seems more flexible in contrast to its preceding models. Your feet also get a good amount of airflow from it which keeps them cooler as well as dispel unpleasant odor.

In terms of comfort and impact cushioning, the ASICS Gel-Venture 6 is superb. The mesh material also grants great durability to the shoes. However, while the features do work well together to give the aforementioned benefits, they make the pair weigh around 11 ounces which I deem to be a little higher than my liking for shoes meant for running on a trail.

But for all that’s worth, these shoes deserve attention and more love.

Customer Reports
Jason H Eggers

I absolutely LOVE these as my everyday work shoes. I’m required to walk approximately 6-8 miles a day and they fit perfectly straight from the box. They last me about 6 months before I need to replace them, but with the mileage, they’re worth the price. They are the 3rd or 4th pair of the same style I’ve bought in a row and will continue to purchase as long as they are available.


The shoes truly perform great. not only great for running but also good for general walking around, hiking, traveling. I have tried other shoes but concluded that these shoes is better for my feet health. I like them so much that i have bought 10 more pairs so that i don’t need shoes for the next 2 years. Hope this helps.

4. Saucony Men's Zealot ISO Running Shoe

People's Choice

  • Beautiful and aesthetic design
  • Elastic ISOFIT lets foot fit comfortably
  • Shock absorption PWRGRID technology is superb
  • Wear and tear is likely after some time

Midsole drop: 4mm | Technology: PWRGRID | Weight: 8 oz

Last Update on 2024-07-17 using Amazon Product Advertising API

I look at the Saucony Zealot ISO and find my attention immediately caught by the shoe’s vibrant, vivid, and delightfully zany aesthetic. In all honesty, the shoe looks like it is having an ayahuasca trip. But other than the colorful presentation, let’s delve into what the Saucony Zealot ISO has to offer.


The Zealot’s upper is padded profusely around the tongue and the collar of the heel. It also features an impressively elastic ISOFIT membrane that’ll allow the shoe to flex and adapt to your foot with each step. There is going to be plenty of room for the toe box which will ensure there’s no irritating rubbing of the foot with the inner skin of the shoe. The midsole is plush and very light weighing at a good 8 ounces. With a PWRGRID system, the midsole automatically absorbs the shock that is neatly distributed through its network of impact-diffusing fibers. As for the outsole, the Zealot is composed of a strong layer of XT 900 carbon rubber that offers very good traction and grip on different kinds of surfaces. The material is also very flexible allowing good transition from heel to toe.

The 4mm heel to toe drop is another exciting feature to behold as it ensures the Zealot is going to be very responsive. The shoe is light in weight while the cushioning is neutral. There is however a likelihood that the modest cushioning will begin to break down and lose efficacy once you have covered between 200-300 miles in these shoes.

Other than that though, in terms of comfort, durability, and overall quality, I hail the Saucony Zealot as a very good pair to invest in.

Customer Reports

Best running shoe ever! I tend to supinate when I run outside or on the treadmill. I’ve tried Nike, Mizuno and Adidas and Saucony is overall the best running shoe. I have wide feet so recommend going half-size larger to have ample space in the toe-box; if not, you’re feet will hurt. They provide responsive for me when I run on the sidewalk and on the road. Also, they’re very breathable when running long-distance (>3miles). I would recommend these shoes to any avid runner or naive runner.


Honestly, they are a bit sticky at first, but they do wear in as you wear them. I have never been a runner and probably never will, but these are amazing on my feet. They are lightweight and breathable. The cushion on the soul is soft and relaxing when I run. I definitely would recommend these to anyone starting out. I have not raced or anything in them, and not sure if I would as I have not had them very long, but I have done roughly 15 miles in them, and they are holding up well and they seem to be the shoe everyone has been talking about on here. Definitely say yes to these.

5. New Balance Men's MW928 Walking Shoe


  • Decent ABSORB technology for cushioning
  • Supports the arches really well
  • The Roll Bar design helps with the transition from heel to toe-off
  • Are only for walking and not running
  • Quality of leather might wane over time

Midsole drop: N/A | Technology: ABZORB cushioning | Weight: 15.4 oz

Last Update on 2024-07-17 using Amazon Product Advertising API

Just by looking at the boatlike design of the MW928 by New Balance will give you a decent idea of how convenient a shoe it can be for all those afflicted with overpronated feet or an inflamed metatarsal head. New Balance has been a specialist in arch supports for well over a century now and I’ve worn their other models a couple of times for my outdoor excursion. Needless to say, the MW928 continues the trend by being one of the most comfortable and cushioned walking shoes available currently.

The shoes feature an intelligently designed Roll Bar technology in the interior which lifts the foot and assists in transitioning wherever you walk thus providing a supportive structure for your gait. The outsole is composed of synthetic rubber with strong gripping capabilities that provide good traction on surfaces that are both slippery as well as mildly rocky. Both the insole and the outsole are structured well enough to give necessary support to the arching points of your feet and maintain their posture and I usually found myself walking for long distances without feeling fatigued. The upper is made of standard leather with a lace-up vamp which makes the shoe quick and easy to put on, with a decently spaced toe-box.

The MW928 also features an ABZORB cushioning technology that, as the name suggests, absorbs the impact of your steps and thus protects your metatarsals from any undue pressure. Also featured is an odor-resistant liner that maintains consistent airflow inside the shoe and prevents unpleasant smells from accumulating within.

Though this shoe is predominantly for walking and won’t be suited for those who are looking to go on long runs, I still think the quality, cushioning, and design really make the New Balance MW928 a formidable and reliable pair of shoes to own.

Customer Reports

My podiatrist recommended this sneaker to me because of my having neuropathy and it is the most comfortable footwear I have ever owned (sneaker or shoe) and I heartily recommend it.

Amazon Customer

This the newest version 928v3. My initial reaction is why do companies have to mess with success. Version 1 was comfortable and tested. But I really like v3. This shoe is not heavy and looks better. It is not so clunky. It fits as NB shoes always do for me. It is very comfortable. I have developed some plantar fasciitis. These are the shoes that provide the best support and comfort. I have tried other brands, boots, read reviews, etc. So I give the shoe 5 stars. 5 stars seem automatic for some reviewers. Not for me.


  • What shoes should I wear for metatarsalgia?
  • Are Zero Drop shoes good for metatarsalgia?
  • What shoes are best for painful feet?
  • How do you tape your foot for metatarsalgia?

Don’t miss these models:

Brooks Women's Ghost 13 Running Shoe - Alloy/Oyster/White - 5 Medium
  • THIS WOMEN'S SHOE IS FOR: The Ghost 13 is for runners looking for a reliable shoe that's soft and smooth. The Ghost 13 offers improved transitions for zero distractions so you can focus more on what matters most: your run. This Brooks Ghost 13 is a certified PDAC A5500 Diabetic shoe and has been granted the APMA Seal of Acceptance.
  • SUPPORT AND CUSHION: The neutral support type provides high energizing cushioning. Ideal for road running, cross training, the gym or wherever you might want to take them! Predecessor: Ghost 12
  • BALANCED, SOFT CUSHIONING: BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning work together to provide a just-right softness underfoot without losing responsiveness and durability - yet it feels lighter than ever.
  • SMOOTH, STABLE RIDE: No matter how your foot lands, our Segmented Crash Pad - an integrated system of shock absorbers - will cushion every step and stride for smooth heel-to-toe transitions.
  • SOFT, SECURE, FIT: The newly engineered mesh and 3D Fit Print practically disappears on your foot with strategically placed stretch and structure.
Skechers Sport Men's Vigor 2.0 Trait Memory Foam Sneaker, Black/Brown , 6.5 M US
  • Lace-up
  • Skechers Memory Foam cushioned comfort insole
  • Shock-absorbing supportive flexible midsole
  • Flexible rubber traction outsole
  • 1 1/4 inch heel
Drew Men's Thrust Comfortable Athletic Shoe with Arch Support - Orthopedic Shoe with Added and Double Depth 7 M US Navy
  • Plus Fitting System - Two Removable Footbeds for Added and Double Depth Accomodates Orthotics With Removable, ULTRON footbed with Heel Cushion and Built-In Arch Support
  • Drilex moisture-management system for Odor and Stain Control
  • Removable, Dual-density Footbed with Added Heel Cushion pad, Arch Support and Medial Heel Stabilizer
  • Extended Medial Heel Stabilizer & Wide, Strong Nylon Shank
  • Soft, Foam-Padded Tongue and Collar
Dr. Comfort Performance-X Walking & Running Diabetic Shoes for Men-Double Depth Mens Therapeutic Shoes, Black 6.0 Medium (M/2E)
  • MEN’S ATHLETIC SHOE - Lightweight, cross-trainer providing arch stability, support and comfort.
  • NO-TIE ELASTIC LACE CLOSURE - Easy-to-adjust toggle closure—no tying or untying required—and seamless design to help prevent skin irritation.
  • MESH UPPERS - Breathable material to regulate heat and and keep feet cool and dry.
  • REMOVABLE INSOLES - Footbeds can be removed to accommodate your own orthotics.
  • DOUBLE DEPTH - Built a FULL 1/4 inch deeper than standard Performance model. All day Double Depth Comfort for an active lifestyle. Accommodate internal braces and AFOs. Perfect solution for severe edema. Help accommodate severe hammertoes.
ASICS Women's GEL-Venture 7 Running Shoes, 5, BLACK/ORANGE POP
  • Rearfoot GEL technology cushioning system: Attenuates shock during impact phase and allows for a smooth transition to midstance.
  • Ortholite X-40 Sockliner: This premium sockliner features higher rebound properties while providing excellent moisture management and a high-level of breathability (Ortholite is a registered trademark of O2 Partners LLC.)
  • Removable Sockliner: A sockliner which can be removed to accommodate a medical orthotic.
  • Ortholite Sockliner: Moisture management (Ortholite is a registered trademark of O2 Partners LLC).
  • Trail Specific Outsole: Reversed lugs provide uphill and downhill traction on all types of terrain.

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