7 Best Walking Shoes for Metatarsalgia (Ball-of-Foot Pain)
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Whether you’re an athlete, or just genetically “lucky,” you know how annoying metatarsalgia can be. It’s a shooting pain in the ball of your foot that worsens when you stand, perform activities, or flex your toes.
Inadequate shoes can lead to metatarsalgia development or a worsening of the condition. So, even when you’re walking, you need to make sure that your shoes are comfortable enough. Finding the best walking shoes for metatarsalgia should be a no-brainer here.
However, as it turns out, coming across the perfect pair for you might be a lot harder than you think. It’s a lot harder than finding a pair of walking shoes for supination. This is why we’ve rounded up a list of the 7 best pairs for metatarsalgia to help with your ball-of-foot pain.
A Quick Look at Our Top Picks
Don't have the time to read the entire review. Here's a quick look at our top picks for best walking shoes for metatarsalgia:
|Coral Stretchable||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|New Balance Fresh Foam More||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Kuru Atom||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Tacoma Stretchable||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|New Balance MW928V3||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Kuru Atom||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Reebok RB3500||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
What You Will Learn
- A Quick Look at Our Top Picks
- Best Walking Shoes for Metatarsalgia Product Reviews
- 1. Best Overall Option for Women: Coral Stretchable
- 2. Runner-Up Option for Women: New Balance Fresh Foam More
- 3. Women’s Best Value for the Money: Kuru Atom
- 4. Best Overall Option for Men: Tacoma Stretchable
- 5. Runner-Up Option for Men: New Balance MW928V3
- 6. Men’s Best Value for the Money: Kuru Atom
- 7. Best Work Shoes for Metatarsal Pain: Reebok RB3500
Best Walking Shoes for Metatarsalgia Product Reviews
Here are the models we’ve reviewed for your convenience. Each represents the prime example of a particular category. We’ve rounded up the best men’s and women’s overall shoes, the runners-up, the best value for money pair, and a bonus option – best work shoes for metatarsalgia-caused pain.
1. Best Overall Option for Women: Coral Stretchable
This pair deserves its place in the “best overall for women” category for a good reason – it’s an orthopedic model that allows for springy, lightweight steps on your walks. They successfully absorb every footfall you throw at them, not only softening the impact, but also stabilizing your feet.
This is an essential factor for counteracting metatarsalgia, as footfall impact isn’t the only culprit behind it. The lack of stability and support are also very much to blame.
Coral Stretchable shoes feature a removable contoured insole. However, you’re probably not going to want to remove it, as the featured insole successfully molds to the actual shape of your feet. Customized cushioning, especially with a quality insole like this one, can be of immense help against metatarsalgia.
If you’re a woman who’s suffering from this complaint, you might want to consider other potential conditions that can contribute to your problem − we’re talking pronation, plantar fasciitis, and many others. Fortunately, Orthotic devices can help remedy these problems.
With a pair of the Stretchables, however, you probably won’t have to mull over various orthotic devices – the insoles, the cushioning, the very shape of each shoe has actually been designed with various foot conditions in mind.
The toe box is pretty roomy, but it’s not too wide, and doesn’t cause the rest of the shoe to be too wide, either. This is important, as a shoe that’s too tight or too loose can lead to ball-of-foot pain, even land you with metatarsalgia. Coral Stretchables, however, are perfect in terms of width.
In fact, these shoes, stretchable as they are, come in medium, wide, and extra-wide options, so you should be able to quickly find the perfect option. This is crucial for metatarsalgia.
Now, comfort is an essential factor here. Not because the lack of comfort is, well, uncomfortable, but because it’s a warning sign of oncoming metatarsalgia, especially if ball-of-foot discomfort or pain is involved. You’ll be happy to know that the Stretchables have the comfort aspect completely covered.
The lightweight upper is made out of breathable synthetic. Although this doesn’t pertain to metatarsalgia in any relevant way, you’ll want to feel comfortable during your walks.
2. Runner-Up Option for Women: New Balance Fresh Foam More
The moment you see this pair of shoes, you’ll notice a rather large midsole. You might not be a fan of these, but the aesthetics tend to pale in significance when we’re talking about pain relief, comfort, and metatarsalgia.
What makes the Fresh Foam More so great for ball-of-foot pain is precisely the large and wide midsole. This type of midsole emphasizes stability and arch support, which is absolutely essential when it comes to metatarsalgia.
What’s probably our favorite part about New Balance Fresh Foam More is that they don’t feel overly soft. As someone who suffers from metatarsalgia, you probably know that this condition doesn’t gel with extremes – shoes that are too hard may cause pain in the ball of your foot, but so can those that are too soft.
Sure, the Fresh Foam More shoes appear too soft. But surprisingly, they’re in no way overly soft. There’s actually some firmness without feeling like you’re sinking into the shoe.
The perfectly balanced softness allows you to take long walks and still feel fresh in your new favorite walking shoes.
The story is the same for every part of this New Balance pair. The sole, the insole, and the top sole are designed to give you a perfect amount of firmness on your walks.
The only real downside of these shoes, and the only real reason why they aren’t at the top of the list of women’s best walking shoes for metatarsalgia, is the price tag. Don’t expect this model to be cheap. Plus, it’s not like they’ll last you for decades. The Fresh Foam More shoes aren’t going to wear out particularly quickly, but expect the same sort of lifespan you’d get from an average shoe.
Still, you get an excellent and comfortable model that’s ideal for metatarsalgia. So, if you’re planning on doing a lot of steps every day, these shoes are the best option. If you don’t do mind-bogglingly long walks, they might be too hefty for your budget.
3. Women’s Best Value for the Money: Kuru Atom
If you stumble upon any form of Kuru Atom advertising, you’ll see them talking about heel-cupping technology. No one’s denying that this is a critical aspect to have in a walking shoe, especially if foot problems aren’t foreign to you. However, this doesn’t mean that the Atoms aren’t good for metatarsalgia.
In fact, thanks to the same KURUSOLE technology that protects your heel bone, you get a lot (although not too much) of cushioning for the balls of your feet, as well. This technology combines orthotics and the Kuru’s proprietary flexing action, which comfortably hugs your entire foot.
In fact, the KURUSOLE technology will slowly start forming the shape that will ultimately fit your feet like a glove. After a few weeks of active or semi-active use, you’ll start feeling the benefits and pain relief in the ball of your foot, as well as in the remainder of it.
The main problem with this shoe is the time it takes to get used to it. Some people with metatarsalgia will find them comfortable from the get-go, but others might have to deal with a certain degree of ball-of-foot pain for a while. Don’t let this shoe discourage you. After a few weeks, you’ll start feeling all the benefits of the KURUSOLE technology.
The proprietary tech doesn’t diminish the Atoms’ effectiveness in walking or running endeavors. Not only will you feel incredibly comfortable and pain-free while wearing them (after a few weeks), but you’ll also experience some bounciness, making your walks and runs easier and smoother.
The midsole is made out of their proprietary KURUCLOUD technology, which provides fantastic cushioning. Combine KURUCLOUD with KURUSOLE, and you get a fantastic cushioning-plus-cupping combo.
Another huge plus for this piece of footwear is the reasonable price tag. Given the durability and KURUCLOUD and KURUSOLE proprietary technologies, you’d expect a model like the Atom to be in the upper range of pricing. Luckily, however, these are very affordable, making them the best women’s option for metatarsalgia for the buck.
4. Best Overall Option for Men: Tacoma Stretchable
Tacoma Stretchables are advertised as a dream for people with diabetes and those at risk of getting plantar fasciitis. However, it’s very important to note that Tacoma Stretchables can do wonders for people who suffer from metatarsalgia, and those at risk of developing the condition.
The main reason Tacoma Stretchables are great for metatarsalgia is the advanced arch support. Metatarsalgia is a direct consequence of improper arch support (along with other causes). Thanks to the extremely effective cushioning, not only is flat-footing minimized, but so are the chances of developing metatarsalgia.
Don’t worry, though. If you already have the condition, Tacoma Stretchables will increase the overall comfort of those long walks and reduce or eliminate any metatarsalgia- or arch-related pain.
The cushioning is gel-like, which is what makes it “smart;” it “remembers” the shape of your foot, as it shapes the onboard insoles into a perfect fit.
However, the footbed is removable, which is actually the reason behind this pair being the best overall men’s option. You see, with advanced metatarsalgia conditions, particular footbeds are issued to help keep the condition at bay and provide relief. Tacoma Stretchables allow easy footbed removal and installation of custom, more specific orthotics. Even with the custom orthotics installed, you get the mentioned gel-type of cushioning.
If you happen to have diabetes and/or plantar fasciitis, you’re in luck, because this pair of shoes will definitely help you with these conditions. Diabetic patients will enjoy fewer skin breakdowns, thanks to the A5500 code accommodation. In other words, this is a piece of footwear for diabetics.
The model helps keep plantar fasciitis at bay thanks to the same arch support tech that helps with metatarsalgia. So, if you happen to have more than one of the mentioned conditions, by any chance, this model is an absolute no-brainer. Still, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t get the Tacoma Stretchables because you only have metatarsalgia; they’re still a man’s best walking shoes for metatarsalgia.
5. Runner-Up Option for Men: New Balance MW928V3
The MW928V3 might not be the best men’s metatarsalgia relief pair of walking shoes, but it certainly comes close. This New Balance model accommodates orthotic inserts, which is tremendous when it comes to people with advanced ball-of-foot pain. In fact, foot issues tend to come in multiples, and a custom orthotic insert might be the only viable solution for some.
So, feet, heel, arch, ball-of-foot issues, you name it, as long as you have the right custom orthotic inserts, you’re good here. But even without a custom insert, the New Balance model does wonders for your feet. If you are experiencing pain in the ball of your foot, this is a warning sign of oncoming metatarsalgia, which means that you need to replace your shoes with a better pair.
The New Balance MW928V3s have been praised by many walkers as shoes that have helped prevent conditions such as metatarsalgia.
Then there’s the aspect of stability, which you can bet that the MW928V3’s have. They’ve been called ideal platforms for walking long distances, which definitely means a lot of ankle support, in addition to arch support.
Both casual and everyday walkers have been impressed by the pain-relieving effects in their feet, but also in their knees, legs, and back.
Even though New Balance is a reputable brand, and even though this model does such a perfect job for various foot-related conditions, it is relatively expensive. So, if you’re experiencing mild pain and discomfort, maybe select a different pair of shoes. However, if you have extensive foot issues, don’t try to save up on a quality pair of shoes. Get the New Balance MW928V3.
6. Men’s Best Value for the Money: Kuru Atom
The men’s version of the Kuru Atom shoe is an affordable piece of walking footwear that won’t disappoint you.
Although it’s a very affordable model, Kuru Atom draws inspiration from the most high-performance walking and running shoes on the market, ultimately bringing a ton of comfort and durability to the table.
The Kuru Atom is advertised as a performance running shoe that features an athletic fit. It offers tremendous amounts of built-in arch support, and is genuinely stable. Stability is an essential aspect of avoiding and alleviating metatarsalgia.
Like with the women’s version of the shoe, the KURUSOLE proprietary technology is present. Some users claim that the KURUSOLE was a great fit from day one, while others have complained about an awkward initial fit. In both cases, users have praised the shoe’s comfort a couple of weeks down the line. This is due to the properties of the KURUSOLE tech. The shoe itself takes a while to perfectly adjust to your feet.
The KURUCLOUD midsole is, of course, present. It’s a particularly thick midsole that is perfectly soft –about enough to feel comfortable, but not to feel as if you were sinking into your shoes all the time while walking.
There’s also a ton of durability involved – its soft and light (as a walking shoe needs to be). Still, you can expect this pair to last you quite a while.
Now, if your metatarsalgia condition is advanced and requires custom orthotic support, and/or you have other conditions that the KURUSOLE technology can’t fully alleviate, you might be better off with another pair of ball-of-foot pain shoes. But if you want to keep the condition at bay or are trying to avoid it, the affordable Kuru Atom option is a fantastic choice.
7. Best Work Shoes for Metatarsal Pain: Reebok RB3500
Yes, work shoes aren’t in the walking shoes category, if you can, of course, walk in them. But if you ever experienced metatarsal pain, you know that it doesn’t choose whether it strikes at work or while you’re walking. And if you spend long hours on your feet while working, metatarsalgia can rear its ugly head.
Wearing a pair of comfortable walking shoes at work will help you deal with this annoying condition. If you work at an office and the shoes are breathable, you’re best off getting a pair of walking shoes.
But on the off-chance that you work in an environment where regular walking shoes won’t cut it, you’re going to have to get a pair of work shoes that will help you alleviate or prevent metatarsalgia.
The Reebok RB3500s were designed to offer both the style and comfort of running shoes, but are built for work environments. For one, unlike most walking shoes, the RB3500 model features moisture-wicking technology to handle foot sweat. These shoes will also protect you against open circuits, and you can’t say that many walking shoes are electrical hazard-proof.
With this model, Reebok has introduced a work shoe that’s actually workplace safety-certified, while helping with metatarsalgia.
Although they’re sturdy, safe, and safety-certified, the RB3500s still remain soft (but not too soft), and provide more than a sufficient amount of ankle and arch support. You can rest assured that your entire foot will be perfectly comfortable during those long work hours.
Keep in mind, though, that they don’t feature any particular type of toe safety, so they might not work with work environments that involve frequent heavy lifting or working with service vehicles.
Still, with the Reebok RB3500, you get work safety-certified shoes that are athletic, lightweight, comfortable, offer pain relief, and genuinely feel great. You won’t find another model out there that can match this one. These are the best walking shoes for metatarsalgia if you plan on wearing your walking shoes to your workplace.
Find a perfect insole for standing, and you’ll get even more relief.
Although you’ll find many amazing models on the list above, the award for best walking shoes for metatarsalgia goes to the Kuru Atom shoes − yes, both the men’s and women’s versions. The biggest factor to consider is the fact that this model is intended for both genders. And yes, the models are fairly similar and offer the same features. Another fantastic thing regarding the Atom model is the presence of proprietary technology.
Thanks to the KURUSOLE and KURUCLOUD technologies, your feet will feel more relaxed with each passing day. The Kuru Atom shoe is perfectly soft, lightweight, and yet durable – both the men’s and women’s versions.
Still, if you need a walking shoe for a more advanced metatarsalgia condition, or for other conditions in addition to metatarsalgia, you might be better off getting a pair that allows you to insert custom orthotics. Maybe you’re looking for a piece of work footwear. In any case, we’re certain that you’ll find the perfect option on our list.