Apr 17, 2021 14 min read

8 Best Running Shoes for Metatarsalgia for 2022 with Buying Guide

Best Running Shoes for Metatarsalgia

Running is one of the physical activities that will benefit your bodies in various ways. But metatarsalgia, which is a pain in the ball of the foot, might prevent you from running as you should.

Often, this pain is mostly caused by a metatarsal stress fracture. When this happens, the metatarsal bone becomes painful, and can stop you from running.

The good news is that you can get for yourself the best running shoes metatarsalgia.

You can use this as a walking shoe to stay comfortable. But with many shoes on the market, it might be a daunting task trying to find your best running shoes for metatarsalgia. This article will look at some of the best

The best Running Shoes for Metatarsalgia, highlighting their features in the process. It will also look at some of the features to consider when shopping and answer some questions that you might have. So, be sure to read on for more information.

Best Running Shoes for Metatarsalgia Comparison Chart

Best Running Shoes for Metatarsalgia Review

ALTRA Paradigm 4.5 – Best for Support

The upper unit of these shoes is very comfortable and provides breathable coverage to your top foot. Thanks to the excellent air circulation within the shoe chamber, your foot remains fresh and dry throughout the running session.

The upper knit material remains comfortable and sturdy enough to provide unmatched arch support to the upper unit. As a result, you can be sure to get adequate supportfrom the shoes’ upper units. When you combine that arch support with the shoes’ lacing system, you get a secure fit for safety and non-slip performance.

The midsole unit promotes natural mobility, and this improves your comfort while running in your shoes. The Natural Ride System in the midsole works to ensure your foot moves naturally in the shoes. Also in the midsole unit is the GuideRail for guiding your foot back into the footbed for stability.

There is also yet another midsole component – the StabiliPod technology – that ensures your medial and lateral foot sections have the support they need.

Besides offering support, the midsole unit also cushions your foot from shocks at the landing phase. The Altra EGO cushioning material absorbs all the shocks while remaining lightweight and highly responsive.

For flexibility, this minimalist shoe also has the Inner Flex in the midsole. The FootPod outsole material is solid and durable. The grooves on the outsole provide flexibility and traction on all surfaces. With all these features, these zero drop shoes rightfully appear on a list of the best running shoes for metatarsalgia.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21  – Best Breathability

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 is common among runners with metatarsalgia for it helps with metatarsal pain. This daily trainer is also great for runners road runners who have excessive pronation. As such, it features in our list as among the best shoes for metatarsalgia.

It comes with new features from its previous version. These include:

  • A DNA loft that runs from the forefoot to the heel counter, which helps to offer smooth transitions
  • An improved engineered mesh upper that increases breathability
  • A 3D Fit Print that helps to increase support on the upper
  • Lighter in weight than its previous version
  • 1mm lower than its predecessor, GTS 20.

Just like other Ghost’s shoes, the Brooks Ghost Adrenaline 21 features an iteration that comfortably hugs your feet.

I found out that this shoe features a 12 mm stack height. As such, it is a minimalist running shoe but a stability one.

Another addition to its features is the stretchy tongue gussets. These are not there in its predecessor, GTS 20. However, the downside with these new gussets is that they are slightly loose and may not hold the tongue firmly in place.

With this metatarsalgia shoe, you need not worry about heel slip issues. The stiff heel counter of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 features a protective plush ankle collar. What’s more, there’s also additional cushioning on the outside of the ankle.

With GTS 21, you can have your walks and runs even in the hottest weather conditions. The engineered mesh upper is highly breathable and ensures that your feet do not sweat, adding to your comfort as you do your run.

Moreover, the upper flexes effortlessly and is highly comfortable. This blends well with the 3D print fitted across the midfoot to ensure your feet are secured.

With GTS 21, your feet also have a secure lockdown. This is thanks to the stretchy laces that provide a very flexible lockdown. This shoe does not feel too tight on the upper side.

Talking of the midsole, it’s both nice and soft. It may not be as plushy as other models, such as the Clifton 7; however, its ride is much better. We can excuse it not being very plushy since this shoe is not meant for speedy runs but for use as a daily trainer.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 stands out from other stability shoes. Its Guide Rails Support System isn’t intrusive at all. The system works in the background to ensure that you have stability. However, you can hardly tell that it exists. This metatarsalgia pain shoe is also highly durable, thanks to the rubber sole that protects the softer midsole foam.

HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 7 – Superb Comfort

Many users have described the Hoka One One Bondi as a ‘day spa on your feet.’ The shoe simply takes comfort to another different level.

Thanks to its highly comfy nature, this shoe features in our list as among the best running shoes for metatargalsia. It helps to facilitate recovery, is also good for achilles tendon, and is the right shoe for long runs.

This athletic shoe comes with several improvements from its previous version, the Bondi 6. The improvements include:

  • A perfect heel lock that ensures your heel is secure
  • A great foot lock that helps to keep your feet in position
  • The shoe is more breathable as add to the comfort while running
  • It is softer, enhancing comfort
  • The lower stack height is 3mm lower than the previous model
  • It comes with an additional extra-wide size option

The midsole of this shoe is similar to that of many Hoka shoes. It features a plushy compression-molded plain EVA midsole.

However, according to user reviews, the plushness of the midsole is depended on the climate. Many users from cold areas complain that the midsole foam becomes firm in cold weather. On the other hand, users in hot regions say that the midsole foam becomes softer with the weather.

One area that most experts have agreed on is the heel and foot lock. Unanimous reviews from experts show that this shoe deserves a medal in this section.

Many users have declared the memory foam insole collar around the heel as a winner because:

  • It molds to your feet comfortably
  • It offers your feet more security
  • It gives a personalized feel
  • It hugs your heel for extra comfort
  • It feels incredibly nice around the heel

The Bondi 7 also performs exemplary in locking your entire foot, thanks to the improved upper and overall design.

The midsole also features raised edges that create a guidance rail. This feature helps to enhance stability and keeps your feet in line. The midsole also features a uniform-density foam that ensures that transitions are very smooth.

What’s more, this metatarsalgia pain shoe comes with thick Ortholite foam in the insole for extra comfort. You will also find a white Strobel lining that has perforations below the thick foam. The Strobel lining helps to ensure you get a smooth ride.

The removable insole also allows you to use your custom orthotics for more comfort.

The amount of rubber in the outsole of the Hoka Bondi 7 is sufficient. Although not as tough as AHAR outsole, users praise the rubber for being highly durable.

The upper features a multi-layer engineered mesh, which offers your feet decent breathability.

This shoe is also good for runners from Hallux Rigidus, which affects the big toe. It is also good for people with flat foot.

ALTRA Torin 4.5  – Best Lightweight

The ALTRA Torin 4.5 Plush is among the best running shoes for metatargalsia and morton’s neuroma. It is an update from the previous version, Torin Plush 4, and it offers decent extra cushioning.

The shoe has two significant upgrades from the previous version. They include:

  • A new knit upper that is slightly stiff
  • A reduction of the weight by an ounce, thanks to the new upper

Although the upper does not have an imposing design, it is good in breathability and comfort. The laces are also effortless to tie, and they stay put throughout your run.

However, the Quantic foam material in the midsole is quite stiff. As such, you may have to use it on a long distance to break in. Moreover, although well cushioned and with a smooth ride, the midsole may not be that responsive.

Most of the previous versions from Altra feature a broad and rounded toe box. This feature helps to give more room to your feet to function freely. It also ensures that your toes splay freely.

Altra Torin 4.5 plush features a roomy toe box that perfectly and comfortably mimics your foot shape. As such, you need not worry about suffering from blisters or underfoot soreness, especially after long runs.

Like other Altra shoes, this shoe features a zero drop that works together with the wide toe box to enhance your posture.

This running shoe also comes with a tongue that is in a sleek design and a seamless edge. However, the tongue is relatively short.

New Balance Fresh Foam 860v11 – Best Cushioning

The New Balance Fresh Foam 860 V11 is among the stability shoes from New Balance. These shoes have received praises from users thanks to their cushioned insole and supportive platform.

The 860 V11 brings enhanced fit and plush cushioning, making it suitable for people with moderate overpronation and metatargalsia.

The shoe is suitable for everyday running, especially along tracks and pavements. It is also ideal for use in long miles since it is well-cushioned.

The shoe comes with some improvements from the previous version, V10. Some of these changes include:

  • A new Fresh Foam cushioning that adds extra plush and comfort
  • A 3D molded UltraHeel that ensures an added secure fit compared to the previous version
  • Lighter in weight

At the same time, the 860 V11 has also retained some of the features of the earlier version. Some of the earlier features that have been retained include:

  • The engineered mesh upper for breathability
  • The medial post helps to reduce the effects of overpronation
  • The blown rubber outsole has great traction and durability

The upper part of this running shoe is elastic and molds to the shape of your feet. It is also highly breathable, hence helps to keep your feet cool throughout your runs.

You will also get an added reinforcement, thanks to the overlays on the eyelets. The 3D overlays also provide support to prevent wear and tear.

The midsole of the 860 V11 also features a new training fresh foam that offers an extra cushion. This ensures you get a softer landing. If you are looking for energetic takeoffs, the EVA foam in this shoe does precisely that.

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V11 – Best Bounce

The New Balance 1080 V11 is among the most cushioned running shoes you will find in the market.

As such, it makes it an ideal shoe for:

  • Runners suffering from metatarsalgia, bunion,shin splints, plantar fasciitis and other foot conditions
  • Runners who run slowly and straight
  • Runners who love flexible uppers
  • Runners with a preference for soft, bouncy midsoles

Like its predecessor, the 1080 V11 has a Fresh Foam X midsole. However, it is slightly softer and has a greater bouncy energy return and cushioning. The cushioning is much firmer than the original Fresh Foam. However, as you pick up pace, the bouncy becomes more noticeable.

Most parts of the outsole are of blown rubber, which makes it highly durable. The material also increases the durability of the shoe. The material also combines with flex grooves to ensure that the sole unit is flexible.

The midsole of this shoe features laser engravings that offer you a soft landing. Your heel strikes are the ones that mostly experience this effect.

However, there is a downside to the blown rubber outsole material. If you use the shoe on concrete and asphalt, you will find it very loud.

Although the upper comes as a redesign, it does not have a total overhaul. The bootie design and the Ultra Heel structured heel cup remain. The heel cup is, however, one of the best you will find in any running shoe.

It will secure your heel without putting any pressure on the Achilles. As such, the shoe is ideal for runners suffering from Achilles Tendonitis.

Another downside of this shoe is the laces. Although the lacing system is good, the laces get untied quite easily as you run. As such, you find yourself with untied shoes quite often.

This shoe also has a roomy toe box. If you have high-volume feet, you will find this trainer ideal for you.

Brooks Ghost 13 Running Shoe – Best Foot Support

Brooks Ghost 13 fares very well as an all-round running shoe. This neutral everyday shoe offers you smooth and stable ride transitions.

The shoe’s upper is of a soft engineered mesh known as Air Mesh. Compared to other previous models, this upper has better breathability, which is essential in keeping your feet cool while on the run.

The midsole features two foams; the BioMogo and the DNA loft. The manufacturer has fixed the BioMoGo at the medial side of the shoe while the DNA Loft is on the lateral side.

All the two foams have the same densities. Consequently, the Brooks Ghost 13 offers you both balance and stability.

The Ghost 13 stands out on issues of comfort. Its plush feel is easy to feel, boosted by the extra DNA Loft cushioning that runs from the heel to the forefoot.

With this shoe, you will also enjoy a smoother transition from heel to toe. The ride is also cushier, and the additional foam in its heel helps the shoe to absorb shock from heel strikes effectively.

What’s more, Brooks Ghost 13 outsole has two types of rubbers. You will find a soft-blown rubber on the forefoot and a tough rubber at the heel.

This shoe also takes care of your flexibility. Beneath the shoe’s width, three broad flex grooves help to increase flexibility.

Brooks Ghost 13 also has a roomy toe box that ensures your toes are free to splay anytime your foot is inside the shoe.

Brooks Beast 18 – Best Stability

Brooks Beast 18 is a motion control running highly stable shoe. It is a good shoe for metatarsalgia and overpronators.

The upper part and the external heel counter are among the improvements that come with this shoe.

The upper features a new fit that includes the engineered mesh. As such, the shoe is not only more breathable but also more spacious for your toes. Thanks to the roomy toe box, your toes can splay freely inside the shoe.

Brooks Beast 18 has improved on stability, thanks to the new updated external heel counter.

Moreover, your fit gets a great locked-in fit thanks to the improved heel counter. This prevents your feet from slipping in and out of the shoe.

There has also been an improvement on the last of the shoe. Last refers to the shape of the shoe.

Brooks Beast 18 has a shape that perfectly and comfortably mimics the shape of your feet. As such, it provides you with extra room in the forefoot area.

The roomy space is essential for the natural splaying of your toes when you walk or run.

During your long runs, you will enjoy smooth heel-to-toe transitions, thanks to the full-length segmented crash pad. This feature is critical in absorbing all the shock in the crash pad.

The only downside with this shoe is that it comes at an added weight. The extra weight is due to the added cushioning and motion control features.

However, the shoe remains highly stable and can get you through all your long runs.

Buyer’s Guide

When shopping for the best running shoes for metatarsalgia, there are a few factors you’ll need to keep a close eye on to avoid buying an improper shoe.

Those features include the following:


Since you suffer from metatarsalgia, your feet should be as comfortable as possible. One feature that will guarantee comfort is the shoe’s breathability.

With plenty of fresh air circulating within the shoe chamber, your foot will remain comfortable and fresh. The cool air rushing into the shoes will help alleviate the pain by cooling your foot. It will also keep your foot fresh from the foul odor. Therefore, select running shoes whose upper unit is breathable.

Comfort Level

Your shoes should provide as much comfort as you need. Although breathability provides some comfort to the foot, that type of comfort is not enough if your are suffering from metatarsalgia.

Your shoes should also absorb all high impact shocks to keep your foot comfortable. The best shoes should offer ultimate comfort to your metatarsal bones to prevent foot pain.

As such, a well cushioned shoe for running is ideal for metatarsalgia. Some of the cushioning materials to keep a close eye on may include BioMoGo DNA and Full-length EVA cushioning materials. You can also choose shoes with proprietary cushioning materials, but only if they provide excellent cushioning against shocks at impact.


Since you’re a runner with a painful foot, thanks to metatarsalgia, your foot also requires as much support it can get. If your running shoe offers support to the foot, your foot muscles will not strain. As a result, your shoes will alleviate the pain you feel on your foot.

For a pain-free running experience, be sure to choose running shoes with top-foot support.

Also, be on the lookout for a running shoe that has arch support since the foot’s arch has a direct connection with the ball of the foot through tendons. Your heel and ankle should also have support from your running shoe if you have metatarsalgia. This will ensure that your muscles don’t overstretch when you’re running.


Since you already have a painful foot due to metatarsalgia, the last thing you need is more pain in your foot. With that in mind, be mindful of certain features such as the heel and toe drop.

These features will protect your painful foot from objects that might hit your painful toe. Therefore, select a running shoe that has a heel and toe drop.

Safety Performance

Your running shoes should be slip-resistant to keep you safe throughout the running experience. As such, buy running shoes with prominent lugs for exceptional traction on all surfaces. Also, make sure the lugs are multi-directional for excellent traction from all directions.


There is only one way to buy durable running shoes – go for high-quality material in running shoes. There are a few materials to keep in mind if you want durable shoes. First, the outsole material should be rubber. That’s because rubber has a reputation for unmatched durability, especially if it’s carbon rubber.

For the upper unit, an engineered mesh makes an excellent shoe material. But you can also choose other upper unit materials such as primeknit-constructed uppers.

Also, pay attention to midsoles that have a high stellar review for impressive durability.


Lining is very important in a shoe since it is what get in touch with your foot.

If you are suffering from metatarsalgia, go for a shoe whose lining is soft and cushioned enough to ensure you have no discomfort of any sort. A soft fabric or textile would be ideal, and would keep you comfortable all the time.

Toe Box

If you suffer from metatarsalgia, go for running shoes whose toe box is wide. This feature will ensure that you can comfortably move or stretch your shoes inside the shoes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for metatarsalgia to go away?

Metatarsalgia is pain that plagues the ball of the foot. Although it causes discomfort, especially when running, it can subside in 6-8 weeks.

Can you run with metatarsalgia?

Yes, you could run even if you have metatarsalgia. But you’re going to need to invest in the best running shoes for your foot condition. Also, you might want to reduce your mileage since you want your foot to have some time to heal.

How do I improve my chances of recovering from metatarsalgia?

The key secret to recovering from metatarsalgia is giving your foot sufficient time to rest. You can also put some ice on the painful area and wear proper shoes that keep your feet comfortable. You may also need to take some over-the-counter medication but under a doctor’s prescription.

Similarly, avoid putting on any running shoe that is uncomfortable to your feet.

Can I massage my painful foot?

Massage can help alleviate metatarsalgia, but only with the proper massaging technique. You will need to visit a reflexologist for the proper massaging.

How do running shoes for metatarsalgia reduce pain?

Your running shoes for metatarsalgia have excellent cushioning materials that absorb all the shocks at impact. By absorbing all shocks, these running shoes avert pain that will inflict the ball of the foot, thus alleviating pain.


You could still run even if you had metatarsalgia. But you will need the best running shoes for your foot condition to run. The good news is you can easily find the best running shoes for your metatarsalgia pain. But you’re going to need a well-written buyer’s guide to help you every step of the way.

Fortunately, your search for the best running shoes might be short with a few shoes that we’ve recommended. You can also use our buyer’s guide to look for your ideal shoes. As such, your chances of getting the best running shoes for your foot condition remain impressively high. Protect your foot at all costs by investing in nothing short of the best running shoes for metatarsalgia.

I am a middle-aged runner with aspirations of qualifying for the Boston Marathon in 2022.

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