10 Best Running Shoes for Ball of Foot Pain/Metatarsalgia: [2021 Reviewed]

Ball of foot pain or metatarsalgia is a common complaint among runners and athletes, especially those who wear inadequate footwear. After asking from several professional runners and searching on different forums, I’ve put together a list of the 10 best running shoes for ball foot pain.

Shock and impact from hard surfaces, squeezing of toes due to narrow toe box, and excessive pressure on forefoot can lead to the ball of foot pain if you don’t buy the proper shoes. The running shoes for metatarsalgia, listed in this article, provide you with ample cushioning along the full-length of midsole, and offer sufficient room in toe box so that you can enjoy your running activity.

Features to Look for in the Best Running Shoes for Ball of Foot Pain – Detailed Buying Guide

Running sneakers for ball of foot pain should have the following features so that you can enjoy your running activity without feeling extra pressure on the ball of foot.

Support

The ball of foot pain is caused by excessive pressure on the forefoot and inadequate arch support. If proper support is not provided to the feet, it will cause inflammation and wearing of balls of your feet.

Everyone has a different arch and curvature of his/her feet. Therefore, you should try to find out the best shoes to support the ball of foot for you by reading the reviews of the choices as mentioned above.

Size

We all have different foot shapes. One pair of shoes might fit perfectly for others, but might be tight on your feet. So, to avoid crumbling of toes, the shoes should not be too tight or too loose as it might exert excessive pressure on the ball of foot region of your feet. If you wear too open shoes, your feet will slip inside shoes, resulting in rubbing balls of feet. If shoes are too tight, it will place excessive pressure on your feet.

Each shoe brand has set its sizing chart. Therefore, I would suggest you go through those charts before buying the shoes.

Shock Absorption and Sole Design

The design of the sole of shoes plays a vital role in relieving ball of foot pain. The shoes’ midsole should be made of a material that provides enough cushioning and absorbs the impact of the surface.

The sole should be incorporated with a technology that, when you are stepping your feet on the surface when running, provides you with a good bounce-back and relieves pressure from the balls of your feet.

Each shoe brand has its shock absorption technology embedded in a midsole. It depends on your needs which shoes with that particular technology you would prefer.

Upper

As previously discussed, everyone has a different foot curvature. So, the shoes have enough room in the toe box so that you can wiggle your toes easily, and it does not put excessive pressure on the balls of your feet.

If the toe box is narrow, it will squeeze your metatarsalgia joints, causing them to wear.

Best Running Shoes for Ball of Foot Pain – Latest Reviews

Here are the recommendations of the best running shoes for ball of foot pain after extensive research and testing.

Men

Women

Feature

 Brooks men's Adrenaline GTS 20

Brooks Women's Adrenaline GTS 20

  • BioMoGo DNA Sole

  • GUIDERAILS HOLISTIC SUPPORT SYSTEM

  • Snug fit

ALTRA Men's Torin 4

ALTRA Women's Torin 4

  • Quantic Foam Midsole

  • Rubber Outsole

  • Wide toe box

ASICS Men's GEL-Venture 7

ASICS Women's GEL-Venture 7

  • ORTHOLITE insole

  • High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR) technology

  •  EVA midsole

HOKA Men's ONE ONE Bondi 7

  HOKA Women's ONE ONE Bondi 7

  • Meta-Rocker technology

  • EVA midsole

  • Great fit in toe area

  New Men's Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V10

  New Women's Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V10

  • ABSORB midsole

  • Low-bootie construction

Saucony Men's Kinvara 11

Saucony Women's Kinvara 11

  • PWRRUN FOAM

  • FORMFIT Technology

  Adidas Men's UltraBoost 20

  Adidas Women's UltraBoost 20

  • Boost Foam

  • Torsion system

  • PrimeKnit fabric

ASICS Men's GEL-Nimbus 22

ASICS Women's GEL-Nimbus 22

  • GEL Padding Technology

  • EVA Sockliner

  • TRUSSTIC technology

Saucony Men's Guide ISO 2

Saucony Women's Guide ISO 2

  • PWRFOAM

  • EVERUN top sole

  • ISOFIT design

 Brooks Men's Ghost 13

 Brooks Women's Ghost 13

  • BioMoGo DNA

  • 3D Print Fit

1. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 – Best Running Shoes for Ball of Foot Pain

Brooks Men's Adrenaline GTS 20 – Best Running Shoes for Ball of Foot Pain
Brooks men’s Adrenaline GTS 20
Brooks Women's Adrenaline GTS 20 – Best Running Shoes for Ball of Foot Pain
Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 20

If you are suffering from an intense ball of foot pain, and unable to calmly press your feet against the surface when running, these Brooks Adrenaline shoes are an excellent choice to relieve your ball of foot pain.

Also Read: Brooks Sizing

The shoes are perfectly designed for metatarsal pain as they provide great support to runners with all foot arch types.

The shoes’ midsole is perfectly designed with DNA loft Crash Pad and BioMoGo DNA cushioning systems that make a perfect blend and provide exceptional support and comfort to the balls of your feet.

The loft pads absorb shock and impact, thereby allowing the smoother transition from heel to toe and your feet’ soft landing. There is added air and polyurethane in the loft pads that make you feel like you were running on a pillow. In this way, it makes you feel you run smoother and faster without feeling pain in the balls of your feet.

The shoes also have a unique GUIDERAILS HOLISTIC SUPPORT SYSTEM that helps runners like you to maintain the natural motion throughout the run. The system has sled glides that make an easier side-to-side movement and keep your knees and joints moving within their unique path while running.

Moreover, the shoes have a breathable mesh upper, engineered with a modernized fit technology that keeps your feet aerated and provide a snug fit around your heels all the time when running. The perfect fit of these shoes also prevents the slipping and rubbing of the ball of the foot against the insole of the shoes.

What I Liked

  • Great Fit due to flexible mesh
  • Excellent comfort and cushioning
  • Lightweight
  • Good for Arch Support

What I Didn’t Like

  • Durability is normal

2. ALTRA Torin 4 – Running Shoes with Ball of Foot Cushioning

ALTRA Men's Torin 4 – Running Shoes with Ball of Foot Cushioning
ALTRA Men’s Torin 4
ALTRA Women's Torin 4 – Running Shoes with Ball of Foot Cushioning
ALTRA Women’s Torin 4

These running shoes for metatarsal pain have stiffer forefoot with a soft slipper top. The upper of these running shoes provide enough room to wiggle your toes freely and allow them to spread naturally while striding without having to put pressure on the balls of your feet.  The foot-shaped toe box allows the bones and metatarsals of your feet to align appropriately and stabilize themselves.

The toe box and heel side of the shoes are at the same height that offers you a better posture, and makes shoes good for under pronation. Furthermore, the toe box is wide enough to offer plenty of room for wide feet.

The shoes have a Quantic Foam Midsole that makes these shoes lightweight and offers great shock absorption and flexibility. The lightweight feature supports your feet, especially when you are suffering from metatarsalgia.  Quantic foam cushions your feet at every step and makes you feel like you are floating. It provides great cushioning across the balls of your feet.

The shoes also have a Rubber Outsole that makes shoes durable and prevents them from wearing while running. The biomechanical shaped rubber pattern on the outsole maps the metatarsal heads of your foot, thus allowing for a very natural ride.

The upper of shoes is also cool as it makes your feet breathable, comfortable and supports them while running or walking around.

What I Liked

  • Lightweight and responsive
  • Good breathability
  • Wide toe box

What I Didn’t Like

  • Not good for long-distance running

3. ASICS Gel-Venture 7 – Running Shoes with Metatarsal Support for Men and Women

ASICS Gel-Venture 7 – Running Shoes with Metatarsal Support for Men and Women
ASICS Men’s GEL-Venture 7
ASICS Gel-Venture 7 – Running Shoes with Metatarsal Support for Men and Women
ASICS Women’s GEL-Venture 7

These are some of the best running shoes with great cushioning technology to relieve your ball of foot pain.

The rearfoot of shoes is engineered with a GEL technology cushioning system that lessens the shock caused by impact. This extra cushioning system makes the shoes extra lighter in weight. This feature reduces the load on the balls of your feet.

The arch of these is also not so much high due to which it does not much so much load on your toes and ball of your foot. The moderate arch height gives them light support.

The shoes also have a removable ORTHOLITE insole that provides extra support and comfort to your underfoot. The outsole of the shoes is manufactured from High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR) technology placed in the outsole’s critical areas to provide exceptional durability.

The midsole of shoes is engineered with EVA material, is compression-resistant, and prevents your lower part of your feet from the strong impact against the surface while running.

What I Liked

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Great cushioning support
  • Good comfortability

What I Didn’t Like

  • Not good for high arch support
  • Durability is not good as compared to previous models

4. HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 7 – Best Running Shoes for Metatarsal Pain and Injured Balls of Foot

HOKA Men's ONE ONE Bondi 7 - Best Running Shoes for Metatarsal Pain and Injured Balls of Foot
HOKA Men’s ONE ONE Bondi 7
HOKA Women’s ONE ONE Bondi 7

These Hoka One One are some of the best running shoes with metatarsalgia comfort that offers a smooth cushioned ride to your feet by diminishing the load on the ball of the foot. These highly cushion shoes for the ball of foot pain and metatarsalgia that are designed for neutral to underpronators.

Hoka One One shoes are equipped with a full-length EVA midsole that provides comfort to the ball of the foot due to their exceptional cushioning ability. Thanks to this material with extraordinary softness, that makes you feel like you are running on the cushions. In this way, this feature would give comfort to the ball of the foot and support metatarsal pain.

In the outsole, Meta-Rocker technology is embedded that produces a propelling fulcrum-type effect. It is responsible for a balanced ride while allowing a smooth transition of your body weight onto the frontfoot, and thus, reducing the pressure on the ball of the foot.

The shoes have a breathable mesh upper that offers comfort to your feet and dries-off the moisture. The hoses have a padded collar so that you can easily put on the shoes conveniently without unlacing them.

What I Liked

  • Great cushioning
  • Comfortable
  • Great fit in toe area

What I Didn’t Like

  • Bit heavy

5. New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V10 – Best Running and Athletic Shoes for Ball of Foot Pain

New Balance Mens Fresh Foam 1080 V10 – Best Running and Athletic Shoes for Ball of Foot Pain
New Men’s Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V10
New Balance Womens Fresh Foam 1080 V10 – Best Running and Athletic Shoes for Ball of Foot Pain
New Women’s Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V10

These New Balance shoes are some of the best athletic shoes for people with metatarsalgia or ball of foot pain. The shoes have a soft cushioned midsole along the entire length that offers a bouncy ride to product your knees and metatarsal heads. If you have neutral foot strike, New Balance 1080 are great shoes for you.

This cushioned shoe features Fresh Foam material that provides a long-lasting cushioning support in the front foot area and prevents your ball of the foot from swelling. The foam offers a good bounce-back and energy-return that protects your feet’ metatarsal bones from high impacts while running.

The shoes have a low-bootie construction that can perfectly adjust your feet. The breathable mesh on the upper provides your feet and toe area with great ventilation and comfort while running.

The outsole of shoes is made of air-blown rubber that provides extra cushioning and comfort by absorbing the surface’s impact, thereby diminishing the effect of the pressure on ball of the foot.

What I Liked

  • Excellent cushioning
  • Great Shock absorbing tendency
  • Lightweight

What I Didn’t Like

  • Good only for low arches

6. Saucony Kinvara 11 – Best Running Shoes for Forefoot Pain

Saucony Men's Kinvara 11 – Best Running Shoes for Forefoot Pain
Saucony Men’s Kinvara 11
Saucony Women's Kinvara 11 – Best Running Shoes for Forefoot Pain
Saucony Men’s Kinvara 11

These are one of the best well-cushioned and lightweight running shoes with good metatarsal support. The shoes feature a spacious forefoot fit so that you can easily wiggle your toes, thus protecting the ball of foot.

The midsole consists of PWRRUN FOAM cushioning system that provides 88% energy return when your foot strikes on the ground. It has excellent flexibility and durability than EVA material. The foam gives you a long-distance bouncy running experience without letting the lower part of your feet feeling excessive pressure while running. The great flexibility of these shoes’ sole enables a smooth and quick transition of your excess weight from rear to the forefoot.

The shoes also come with a feature of FORMFIT Technology. It has three layers of cushioning that mimic your foots shape and allow the shoes to perfectly fit your feet without causing discomfort to toes and metatarsal bones.

What I Liked

  • Great comfortability
  • Lightweight
  • Smoother steps

What I Didn’t Like

  • Durability is not good

7. Adidas UltraBoost 20 – Best Athletic Shoes for Metatarsalgia and Ball of Foot Pain

Adidas Men's UltraBoost 20  – Best Athletic Shoes for Metatarsalgia and Ball of Foot Pain
Adidas Men’s UltraBoost 20
Adidas Women's UltraBoost 20  – Best Athletic Shoes for Metatarsalgia and Ball of Foot Pain
Adidas Women’s UltraBoost 20

These are some of the most comfortable shoes for metatarsalgia that is packed with a full-volume Boost Foam to provide a long-lasting cushioning support to your ball of feet when running.

The Boost Foam in the midsole also provides you with excellent stability and balance that prevents irritation and inflammation of the ball of foot, and thus relieving metatarsal pain. A Torsion system is embedded in midsole of the shoes that gives torsional stability to your feet. The system prevents your feet from bending or twisting. In this way, the ball of foot will also be prevented from wearing.

The upper of the shoes is manufacture from PrimeKnit fabric. The fabric is stretchy enough to ensure a sock-like to support your feet while keeping them cool and fully ventilated.

The outsole of these shoes is made of synthetic rubber that provides responsive cushioning support for an energetic and smooth transition from heel to the forefoot while running.

What I Liked

  • Great fit to size
  • Good comfortability
  • Durable

What I Didn’t Like

  • Material quality is normal based on the price

8. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 22 – Best Walking and Running Shoes for Ball of Foot Pain

ASICS Men's GEL-Nimbus 22 – Best Walking and Running Shoes for Ball of Foot Pain
ASICS Men’s GEL-Nimbus 22

ASICS Women's GEL-Nimbus 22 – Best Walking and Running Shoes for Ball of Foot Pain
Adidas Women’s UltraBoost 20

ASICS Gel Nimbus 22 is one of the most comfortable running and walking shoes if you suffer from pain in the balls of your feet from metatarsalgia.

It is a great stability shoe that provides offers lateral support and cushioning for balls of feet.

The frontfoot and heel portion of shoes is packed with a GEL Padding Technology that offers exceptional cushioned support and comfort by absorbing shock and distributing your extra weight along the foot’s length. This technology helps to reduce the load on the feet and relieve ball of foot pain.

Moreover, the cushioning featured does not end here. The Flytefoam Technology is also integrated, giving a springy and bouncy feel to your feet, thus providing a smoother footstrike while running.

The shoes also have a removable EVA Sockliner that absorbs impact and keeps your feet dry and fresh.

The midsole is layered with Speva Foam lasting that also enhances the bounce-back feature of the shoes. This feature helps to attenuate the shock from the surface and also improves the durability of the shoes. Speva foam makes you feel like you are running on the air-filled pillows. In this way, it further prevents the inflammation of the balls of your feet.

Lastly, for stability and to prevent your feet from twisting while maintaining your running gait cycle, the shoes also have a TRUSSTIC technology that improves stiffness of the shoes and prevents twisting of your feet. This technology aligns the feet based on your running gait and reduces uneven pressure on the balls of your feet.

What I Liked

  • Excellent Comfort and stability
  • Lightweight
  • Provides High arch support and relives arch pain

What I Didn’t Like

  • Size may not be exactly fit

9. Saucony Guide ISO 2 – Running Shoes for Forefoot Pain

Saucony Men's Guide ISO 2 – Running Shoes for Forefoot Pain
Saucony Men’s Guide ISO 2
Saucony Women's Guide ISO 2 – Running Shoes for Forefoot Pain
Saucony Women’s Guide ISO 2

These running and athletic shoes prevent the sore balls of your feet from wearing in the long runs and fast workouts.

The shoes are specially designed to protect the ball of foot with overpronation issues. The midsole of these shoes is made of PWRFOAM that attenuates the intense impact and shock of surfaces during the landing phase and offers an energetic bounce-back of your feet without damaging the ball of the foot.

The shoes also have EVERUN top sole construction which sets the cushioning closer to your feet. Everun midsole is more responsive and resilient as compared to the EVA midsole. The unique feature of Topsole construction is that it distributes the force and pressure evenly over the entire area, and reduces the local peak pressures.

EVERUN has a bouncy nature that puts liveliness in your feet at each step. Its bouncy nature encourages your feet to push off the ground without any harm. In this way, it attenuates the strain on the balls of your feet. Furthermore, EVERUN lasts three times longer than EVA material, and its properties do not change with the temperature.

The shoes are also embedded with a soft, cushioned FORMFIT footbed that adds more cushioning under your feet. The footbed is beautifully paired with ISOFIT design conforms to your feet’ shape and prevents the changes in the upper, resulting from the shape of your feet during the running gait cycle. In this way, the shoes provide a custom comfy hug-like fit.

What I Liked

  • Great comfortability
  • Excellent fit
  • Great stability feature

What I Didn’t Like

  • Little bit stiff

10. Brooks Ghost 13 – Ball of Foot Pain Running Shoes

Brooks Men's Ghost 13 – Ball of Foot Pain Running Shoes
Brooks Men’s Ghost 13
Brooks Women's Ghost 13 – Ball of Foot Pain Running Shoes
 Brooks Women’s Ghost 13

These Brooks running shoes provide excellent support and cushioning under the heel and ball of the feet. They are equipped with an orthotic insert that resolves biomechanical foot issues arising from running. These inserts provide added cushioning and are helpful for athletes as well who frequently jump during sports activities. This makes Brooks Ghost 13 the best athletic shoes for metatarsalgia.

The shoes have a blend of BioMoGo DNA and DNA Soft Cushioning Pads that offers a cloud-like sensation to your feet and diminishes pressure on the balls of your feet by absorbing the impact and ensuring excellent responsiveness.

Lastly, the upper of shoes is made with a 3D Print Fit technology that strategically positions stretch points that offer excellent comfort fit to your feet.

What I Liked

  • Great cushioning and comfort
  • Lightweight
  • Good heel padding
  • Good for arch support

What I Didn’t Like

  • Not good for long-lasting running

What is Metatarsalgia and Ball of Foot Pain?

The ball of foot is susceptible to metatarsalgia, or ball of foot pain, because it is weight-bearing part of the foot. These bones are very vulnerable to the pressure that comes from running which cause pressure to be exerted on these areas, causing ball of foot pain. This occurs due to repetitive stress that the ball of your foot is subjected to every time you walk or run.

Metatarsal bones are not supported by cushioning that would offer protection to these areas while running. It usually takes place if your running shoes do not deliver a ample cushioning, proper fit and selecting the wrong category of running shoes. If you’re a neutral runner, and you opt for stability running shoes shoes, the chances are that you can suffer from ball of foot pain. You can check my article on the types of running shoes in which I’ve categorized different running shoes based on the running gait.

Ball of Foot Pain (Metatarsalgia) can also occur when there are stress fractures in the foot bones. A stress fracture involves tiny cracks in your bones, particularly in your toes and feet because they are very weak and prone for this issue.

Best Running Shoes for Ball of Foot Pain – Final Thoughts

Although the ball of foot pain is uncomfortable, it should never stop you from doing enjoyable activities like running, jumping, and walking.

After reading that guide, I hope you would have known all aspects of the best running shoes for the ball of foot pain or metatarsalgia. Our recommendations of running shoes with the ball of foot cushioning would go a long way to help you find the right shoes for metatarsal support.

So, I would suggest you be wise, and buy the best one before it’s too late.

Ball of Foot Pain FAQs

How do shoes help suffering from metatarsalgia?

The shoes that provide good cushioning and offer a wide toe box for people with wide feet so that they can easily wiggle their toes. The shoes that support your foot’s arch are also the best running shoes for the ball of foot pain.

I have provided you with several best choices as described above. I would advise you to have a thorough review of each product and select the best shoe that suits well with your requirements, budget, and lifestyle.

How do you stop the ball of feet from hurting?

The inflammation and wearing of the ball of foot majorly arise when you are involved in intense activities like running, sprinting and jumping.

There are different treatments of metatarsalgia like the icing of the affected area, proper rest, and weight loss.

The primary treatment that can stop the ball of feet from hurting is to wear the proper shoes to provide good arch support, cushioning and a proper fit to your feet. In this way, these shoes can provide metatarsal support and offer ball of foot cushioning.

What is the best insole for metatarsalgia?

There are several best options of insoles that can alleviate ball of foot pain, suffering from metatarsalgia. All the best running shoes for ball of foot pain described above are packed with soft, cushioned insoles that can absorb shock and make you feel like you are running on air-filled pillows.

The extra cushioning in the form of gel or foam insoles, relieves the pressure off of the ball of your foot. The running shoes for ball of foot cushioning, reviewed in this guide, have removable orhtolite cushioned insoles to support your feet.

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