Do you suffer from pain and inflammation around the balls of your feet? These may be symptoms of a condition called metatarsalgia. If that is the case, it can affect your running performance, which is why it’s crucial to invest in the best running shoes for metatarsalgia.
With the right shoes, you can stay in comfort as your feet receive the support they need. But what are the best running shoes made to help relieve any pain and symptoms? Read on as I show you the ultimate purchasing guide!
- 6 Best Men’s Running Shoes for Metatarsalgia 2021
- 1. The Soft and Well-Cushioned: Brooks Glycerin 18
- 2. The Smooth and Reliable: Brooks Ghost 13
- 3. The One Made for the Outdoors: ASICS Gel-Venture 7
- 4. The Plush and Modern Construction: New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V10
- 5. The Neutral and Supportive: Saucony Zealot ISO
- 6. The Dynamic and Stabilized: ALTRA ALM1948G Paradigm 4.5 Road
- 6 Best Women’s Running Shoes for Metatarsalgia 2021
- 1. The Versatile and Stable: Brooks Ghost 13
- 2. The Plush and Secure Fit: Brooks Glycerin 18
- 3. The Simple Yet Classy Design: New Balance 990 V5 Sneakers
- 4. The High-Tech and Shock Absorbent: ASICS Gel-Venture 7
- 5. The Breathable and Comfy: New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V10
- 6. The Athletic and Slip-Resistant: KUBUA Running Shoes
- What is Metatarsalgia?
- The Importance of the Right Running Shoes
- How to Choose the Best Running Shoes for Metatarsalgia
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping It Up
6 Best Men’s Running Shoes for Metatarsalgia 2021
1. The Soft and Well-Cushioned: Brooks Glycerin 18
For those who want to focus more on softness, then you will love the Brooks Glycerin 18, which is perfect for those who want extra cushioning. It has a high-quality upper that enhances your comfort further by balancing a good stretch and structure to stay strong.
Furthermore, you receive neutral support while getting a proper cushion, with its DNA LOFT super-soft cushion for extra softness and responsiveness. Overall, this is recommended for runners in need of a softer feel.
- Extra soft feel for extreme comfort
- The plush feel and snug fit to help your stride
- Smoother transitions for better posture
- Some people may not like the extra cushion
- They don’t offer the best high arch support
2. The Smooth and Reliable: Brooks Ghost 13
I really like the Brooks Ghost 13 thanks to its reliability. While it isn’t as soft and plush as the Glycerin model, it’s more than enough for the typical runner who doesn’t want TOO much cushion n the first place.
That’s because it still has the BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning but still has adequate softness underfoot without sacrificing its durability and responsiveness. As a result, you get a much stabler ride with better shock absorption, thanks to its Segmented Crash Pad.
- Great shock absorption to help minimize the impact
- Soft and secure fit with its 3D fit print
- Reliable and durable, made to last long
- You may need to order half a size smaller
- Some complaints of a stiffer feel
3. The One Made for the Outdoors: ASICS Gel-Venture 7
Are you an avid trail runner who loves the outdoors? You’ll appreciate the ruggedness of the ASICS Gel-Venture 7 Trail Running Shoes, which feature the Ortholite X-40 sock liner. This is a premium sicklier that offers higher rebound properties while it provides great moisture management and better breathability.
Because of its excellent features and solid outsole made for the outdoors, you won’t have to worry about ventilation around your feet. You can stay in comfort with good support no matter the surface.
- Strong outsole for trail running
- Ortholiner X-40 sock liner for better rebound properties
- Breathable and well-ventilated uppers for comfort
- Might be too narrow for those with wide feet
- Takes some time to break in
4. The Plush and Modern Construction: New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V10
I appreciate the New Balance 1080 V10 Running Shoes for its adequate cushioning. It’s not too soft, yet it offers the stiffness and stability those with metatarsalgia needs. It comes with modern construction to ensure the snug fit that meets your exact needs.
Furthermore, it features the unique ABZORB midsole, which can absorb impact well thanks to its cushion and compression resistance.
- Has ABZORB midsole for excellent shock absorption
- Made of leather and mesh upper for a better fit
- You can use these as casual shoes and still feel better comfort
- It isn’t as durable as other shoes
- Might feel too tight for some users
5. The Neutral and Supportive: Saucony Zealot ISO
The Saucony Zealot ISO Running Shoes offer neutral cushioning, being a trainer sneaker that offers a supportive and customized fit. It features the PWRGRID + midsole and an ISOFIT floating support cage, ensuring that you get the balance of soft feel and stability as you run.
I also appreciate that it’s lighter compared to other shoes, adding to its comfort. All of these features help relieve any pain and discomfort as you run with metatarsalgia.
- Lightweight with a lot of cushion and stability
- Comes true to size, customized fit
- Has a good foam on its underfoot for a better mid-foot strike
- Some runners may want more forefoot padding
- Complaints of the ankles sinking in the shoe
6. The Dynamic and Stabilized: ALTRA ALM1948G Paradigm 4.5 Road
The ALTRA ALM1948G Paradigm Road Running Shoes are simple yet the advanced technology to ensure you run comfortably. It features the Altra EGO midsole sole and a dynamic support combination of both StabiliPods and a medial Guide Rail. This helps support your feet without it feeling too stiff.
With its unique technologies, it’s what makes the ALTRA best for those who have weak or tired feet, or for those who have conditions like metatarsalgia. With that in mind, it’s still great for ultrarunners with its lighter weight to help with speed and distance runs.
- Extremely comfortable and keeps feet stabilized well
- Strong and durable, made to last after miles of runs and walks
- Spongy sole yet still stays firm for comfort and protection
- Some complaints of the sole feeling too hard for runs
- Requires some time to break in
6 Best Women’s Running Shoes for Metatarsalgia 2021
1. The Versatile and Stable: Brooks Ghost 13
My first choice for women is the Brooks Ghost 13. This is because it’s an extremely reliable pair of shoes that feel soft and have a smooth transition for successful runs. That way, you can focus more on your run with the better movements, all without the distractions or discomfort.
These shoes have a neutral support type for higher energy return, making them ideal for most runs and exercises, whether you’re in the gym cross-training or on the road for running.
- Features a BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning
- Soft underfoot yet still stays responsive and lightweight
- Segmented Crash Pad for good shock absorption and lessened pain
- The colors don’t look the same as the photos
- Has a very wide toe box, might be loose for some
2. The Plush and Secure Fit: Brooks Glycerin 18
The Brooks Glycerin 18 are part of our top running shoes because of their cushioning, as mentioned above with the men’s variety. It offers super-soft cushioning with its DNA LOFT, giving extreme softness. However, it still stays responsive and durable to ensure that your feet are well-supported despite having metatarsalgia symptoms.
Besides this, it features a plush and secure fit, customized to your individual feet shape and size. For its smooth transition and neutral support with extra cushioning, it’s worth the investment.
- Ultra-plush cushioning yet lightweight for comfort
- Has an Ortholite sock liner for extra support
- Ideal for running and exercising, making it versatile
- You need to order half a size larger for runs
- Complaints of its lacing system
3. The Simple Yet Classy Design: New Balance 990 V5 Sneakers
New Balance is one of the more popular brands known for its athletic shoes, and the V5 Sneaker is no exception. What makes it one of the best in its unique style, is made of high-quality leather and synthetic material, as well as mesh on its upper for flexibility and breathability.
Furthermore, I appreciate its heritage style, having the iconic design that makes you feel confident, whether running or looking in style when out with loved ones.
- Full rubber outsole for security and slip-resistance
- Flexible and breathable upper material
- Has a classic design that looks attractive
- The size may run a bit smaller compared to other brands
- Complaints of the toe box feeling tight
4. The High-Tech and Shock Absorbent: ASICS Gel-Venture 7
Another popular brand is the ASICS, with its Gel-Venture 7 being the optimum choice for many runners, and good reason. This is because it has the rearfoot GEL technology cushioning system, which will absorb shock during the impact phase, ensuring comfortable and smooth transitions in every stride. Furthermore, it has the Ortholite sock liner for support and better moisture management, keeping your feet well-ventilated.
For its support and extra comfort, those with metatarsalgia can enjoy their runs with zero pain and distractions.
- Offers extra support with its Ortholite sock liner
- Moisture management and breathable upper
- Feel no pain and run for long distances with zero distractions
- The colors aren’t accurate compared to the photos
- They have flat laces that some people may not like
5. The Breathable and Comfy: New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V10
The New Balance Fresh Foam V10 Running Shoes are well-cushioned running shoes made for any runner, including those who have metatarsalgia. This is because the company utilizes the latest advanced technology to design the best running shoes for all runners.
They offer breathable comfort, better support, as well as extra foam for softness as you create an impact.
- Good support to lessen pain and discomfort
- Breathable and ventilated uppers
- Uses advanced technology to ensure better runs
- Doesn’t have the option to get wide toe boxes, it still feels tight
- You need to order a size larger
6. The Athletic and Slip-Resistant: KUBUA Running Shoes
Last but not least, we have the KUBUA Running Shoes, one of the simplest and most affordable of the bunch. The price is a huge factor as to why it’s a great buy, but it also features good specs that keep you running well.
The running shoe is also good for other athletic purposes, whether you are running or working out, even used for casual days out. Its upper also comes with mesh material for better breathability and flexibility to ensure a more comfortable run. I highly recommend this for those on a budget and have only mild symptoms of metatarsalgia, as it can’t provide extreme support, only enough to relieve some discomfort.
- These running shoes come at a very affordable price
- Slip-resistant rubber outsole for impact cushioning and safer runs
- Suitable for most applications, whether exercising or going out
- Doesn’t provide as much support as one expects
- Not the most durable, only lasts for less than 300 miles
What is Metatarsalgia?
If you aren’t familiar with metatarsalgia yet, this is a condition in which the balls of your feet would be inflamed and feel painful. This may be developed in those who participate in activities involving jumping and/or running. There may be other causes as well, such as foot deformities or wearing shoes that are too loose or tight.
This isn’t an extremely serious condition, though it may sideline you from daily activities. Some of the common symptoms include:
- A sharp aching or burning pain in one or both of the balls of your feet, which is the part of the sole behind the toes
- You feel the pain that worsens when standing, running, walking, or when you flex your feet, especially when you are barefoot on hard surfaces
- Sharp or shooting pain, numbness, and/or tingling in the toes
- You feel like there’s a pebble in your shoes as you move around
Fortunately, metatarsalgia is treatable and can be managed, which I will get into in the next section. If you want to learn more about this condition, check out this informative video:
The Importance of the Right Running Shoes
One of the common ways to help relieve the symptoms of metatarsalgia is to wear the right shoes. If you are a runner and exercise regularly, then it is especially important to invest in the supportive running shoes that fit you best.
But why, exactly?
There are various causes of metatarsalgia, such as overpronation, ill-fitting shoes, and the stress on your feet when doing repetitive moves (like running and jumping from certain exercises).
Quality running shoes are made with technology and construction to support your feet’s arches with amazing cushioning, keeping your feet well-supported, stabilized, and comfortable.
As you run, your feet will meet with a lot of impacts, which is why you need the right running shoes that offer high shock absorbency, protecting your feet as it hits the hard surfaces when running. This can help not only lessen the risk of running injuries but also lessen the symptoms felt from metatarsalgia.
How to Choose the Best Running Shoes for Metatarsalgia
Of course, you can’t choose the first pair of running shoes you see and say it’s best! You have to narrow down your choices based on certain factors and features that are made for YOU and your running. With that in mind, make sure to think of these factors as you choose between the running shoe reviews that I mentioned above:
1. Shape and Size
As with choosing any kind of shoe, the first and important thing to look into is its shape and size. As mentioned, when you wear too tight or loose shoes, it can trigger the symptoms of metatarsalgia. That is why you should invest in running shoes that come in your size, fitting snugly but not TOO tight.
The shoes should have some room, with a wider toe box especially when you have wide feet. This is also best to accommodate orthotics or shoe inserts, which can further support your feet to treat metatarsalgia. The uppers should also be breathable, made with mesh or knit material to keep your feet cool and comfy.
Also, look into the weight, with shoes being lighter working best if you have metatarsalgia. It should be lightweight to prevent adding further pressure on the feet, which can worsen the condition.
2. The Sole, Insole, and Outsole Design
The sole design is an important role in a shoe, as this can make or break the way you feel while running. It can relieve the pressure on the feet, reducing the impact to lessen the pain.
I recommend that you get shoes with thicker soles, as these can absorb the shock better, reducing any strain felt on the feet. Also, your soles should be stiff, not TOO flexible, as this may worsen your condition. Opt for shoes without any heels but investing in those that have rocker sole bottoms.
As for insole designs, this can also help relieve pressure on your bones and joints. It should be shock absorbent and supportive to your metatarsal arches, being soft enough for comfort, but still stiff for support. Get shoes with extra padding near or around the balls of your feet, too.
When talking about your outsoles this time, running shoes usually have rubber outsoles, which is light. Opt for rubber outsoles with traction grooves, which is good for slip resistance.
3. Strength and Durability
Of course, you want to get your money’s worth with a shoe that lasts long. It should be able to take the pressure subjected without it wearing out too soon. If it wears out quickly, this won’t help your condition, and it may worsen over time.
Furthermore, you wouldn’t want to waste money on shoes that wear out quickly, ending up with you having to research and replace the shoes with something even better. Check its construction, the materials it is made of, as well as customer reviews to make sure that the shoes still look and perform great even after miles and miles of running.
4. Shock Absorption and Support
Shock absorption is a crucial factor, which can treat and prevent symptoms of metatarsalgia. This is what I was mentioning before about your soles. Make sure that your running shoes have the best shock absorption technology, those with memory foam being a great option for those with the condition.
Next up, you also have to look into the support, since metatarsalgia is caused by inadequate arch support or too much forefoot pressure. Your running shoes should hug your feet arch snugly and perfectly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you know all about running shoes for metatarsalgia, what else should I need to know? Here are frequently asked questions that may help you further as you run with this condition:
Can I still run with metatarsalgia?
YES, you’re still able to run with metatarsalgia, hence the purchasing guide! You just need to make sure you invest in the right running shoes and know how to run properly to prevent further pain and discomfort.
For those who still experience pain under the balls of your feet, make sure that you rest or start reducing your mileage a bit, gradually increasing it only if you can take it. Or, switch to softer surfaces so you have better shock absorption.
What else can I do to improve my shoes and running?
You can help lessen the pain and discomfort from running by using orthotics, extra paddings, or even cluffy wedges. These add better support around your feet, and some are made for the condition (search for metatarsal footpads). They will add extra relief and more comfort as you run for longer distances and can be added to any shoes for versatility.
Other than that, you can consider doing other exercises and stretching around your feet, such as arch strengtheners and plantar sling strengtheners. Practicing better running form is a crucial factor as well, making sure you are in good posture without your feet creating a huge impact on the ground.
How can you treat metatarsalgia and its symptoms?
There are various ways you can ease the discomfort and pain from metatarsalgia beyond wearing the right running shoes, such as:
- Applying ice on the affected area a few times a day for about 15-20 minutes per session
- Reduce inflammation and relieve pain by using over-the-counter anti-inflammatories or painkillers, though make sure you consult your doctor about this
- Keep unnecessary pressure off your feet and gauge how you run. Take breaks or stop immediately if the pain gets too much
- When resting or recovering, keep your feet up for better blood flow
Afterward, the pain and condition can completely disappear after a few weeks, though it may take longer depending on the pain levels and how you treat the condition. If you don’t treat it properly or wear the wrong shoes constantly, then you are increasing the risk of prolonging the condition and even worsening it until your posture and feet will suffer for the long-term, and not just for a few weeks.
Wrapping It Up
If you have a condition that affects your running, such as metatarsalgia, then it’s absolutely crucial to invest in the right shoes. This can help ensure that you will be free from pain while reaching your running goals despite the condition.
Of all the different running shoes tried and tested, the best one goes out to the Brooks Men’s Glycerin 18 for the men and the Brooks Women’s Ghost 13 for the women. Coming from the same brand, you can expect consistency and quality in their material, with the soft and smooth material and performance. Both shoes can give amazing support for high-energizing cushioning, which is ideal for most applications, whether running on various trails or cross-training!
I hope that my purchasing guide on the best running shoes for metatarsalgia helped you find the perfect pair. Don’t wait any longer and start to get any of these shoes now!
Do you have any questions or want to share your tips and experiences on any of these running shoes? Share them in the comment section below, all your thoughts are much appreciated.