Best Pain-Free Shoes for Metatarsalgia in 2020

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? Mostly 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 2020-09-28 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 the 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 a 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 ran 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 decent grip that’ll work really well on surfaces of different kind, from wet and slippery ones to more jagged terrain.

As for the upper, Brooks have 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.

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 2020-09-28 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 polyutherane, 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 don’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.

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 2020-09-28 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 air flow 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.

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 2020-09-28 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 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.

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 2020-09-28 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 shoe 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 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.

Leo Jenson

Leo Jenson is a professional blogger with wealth of knowledge and years of experience. He has been developing content for various niches and international level sites. Apart from work, Leo spends his leisure time gaming and reading informative content.

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