Ball-of-foot pain, otherwise
known as metatarsalgia, can make walking and even standing uncomfortable. This condition affects people of all ages, and can seriously inhibit your ability to go about your day. And, while the recommended course of treatment is typically to rest and to avoid activities that stress your feet, the best insoles for ball-of-foot pain can provide ample support and cushioning to help relieve discomfort from this condition when you need to be on your feet.
But, never fear. I've reached out to an expert in the field to find out which insoles will actually deliver relief to ball-of-foot pain. First some background: According to Dr. Kyle Fiala, DPM, a foot and ankle specialist at the
Missouri Orthopaedic Institute, the most common causes of ball-of-foot pain are high-impact exercises that put pressure on the forefront of your foot, too tight or improperly fitting shoes, or foot ailments like bunions or hammertoes.
And, when shopping for orthotic insoles that specifically help pain in the ball of your foot, Dr. Fiala recommends looking for an insole product with metatarsal padding built into the product.
"Orthotics with metatarsal padding are the best for helping ease pain in the balls of your feet. That means the orthotics provide extra padding and support along the balls of your feet," he told Bustle.
Scroll down for some of the
best insoles for ball-of-foot pain that you can buy over the counter. 1 The Overall Best Insole For Ball-Of-Foot Pain
Unlike most other insole products that have static padding,
Hydrofeet orthotic shoe insoles are made with an antimicrobial and medical-grade vegetable glycerin that conforms around your feet. As you move forward, the gel rushes to the ball of your foot to provide support and relief in the metatarsal area when you need it the most. This allows the insoles to remain thin while still providing substantial support and cushioning. Some reviewers note that these insoles have even held up and provided support during light workouts. What fans say: “I did not have high expectations, but am thrilled to report that I was pleasantly surprised at how good the shock absorption is with these inserts. I have suffered from plantar fascitis and metatarsalgia (pain in the arch and ball of my foot) and these made walking utterly pain-free. Not cheap, but so worth it.” Available sizes: S (W 7.5-8) — L2 (W 11-12), plus men’s and children’s sizes 2 The Fan Favorite Insoles For Ball-Of-Foot Pain
PowerStep insoles don't just have raised metatarsal support padding, they also have an EVA foam base for additional cushioning and shock absorption. That’s one of the reasons that Amazon reviewers are so fond of them, giving the insoles an overall rating of 4.5 stars and more than 4,200 reviews. These insoles should fit most shoes and are recommended for high, low, and neutral arches. While they do have features designed to address metatarsalgia, the insoles are also recommended for relief from plantar fasciitis. What fans say: “I am getting the most pain relief for my plantar fasciitus and metatarsalgia with these Powerstep insoles. Very good arch support, fit perfect in my shoes with no trimming. Was at my Podiatrist 3 days ago, she looked at these insoles and said several of her patients use these and get a high level of pain relief. [...] I have been recommending these to everyone I know with foot pain. At this price point I will be [ordering] extra sets for all my shoes so I dont have to keep switching them around. Fantastic product at a great price.” Available sizes: Women’s 6-6.5 — 14-15.5, including men’s sizes 3 The Best Budget-Friendly Insoles For Ball-Of-Foot Pain
For an option that doesn't break the bank, you may want to consider these
Walkomfy insoles. Made with a latex metatarsal support, they also feature layers of EVA foam, Ortholite foam, and cork to support the foot and absorb impact. What fans say: “I have metatarsal pain in my left foot. It used to burn every step and throughout the day, walking became difficult. These have been such a game changer in my comfort. The pain in significantly less, actually nearly gone! The price is really amazing, too. I looked at insoles that were around $100 but am glad i decided to try these first. I’ve bought different insoles, shoes and supports and these have been one of best and most beneficial purchases!” Available sizes: Women’s 6-6 1/2 — 15-15 1/2, including men’s sizes Expert: Dr. Kyle Fiala, DPM, a foot and ankle specialist at the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute 4 Also Great: A Set Of Sleeves With Metatarsal Cushions For Ball-Of-Foot Pain
If insoles don’t work with your shoes or you could use a little compression, you might get some relief from this
pair of cushioned sleeves. The stretchy material loops around your big toes to keep it in place and wraps firmly around the balls of your feet. Silicone padding on the soles provides ample cushioning where you need it most. The sleeves are washable, so you can keep wearing them again and again. What fans say: “This has been really helpful for cushioning my foot that is bruised near the ball of foot (diagnosed as metatarsalgia by a doctor). Much better than ball of foot cushions I've tried before. This is gel and much more cushioning, and isn't too bulky. Have been wearing them for 5 days straight and they seem to be holding up well so far. They stay in place okay without socks and shoes, but stay in place best with them.”