9 Easy Ways to Relieve Ball-of-Foot Pain from Metatarsalgia

Do you suffer from metatarsalgia? The medical term for pain in the ball of your foot, metatarsalgia often leads to a burning sensation at the base of your toes (it feels like having a stone in your shoe).

From finding the best metatarsalgia shoes to over-the-counter remedies, here’s how you can relieve the pain without surgery.

1. Give Your Feet a Rest

First thing’s first: Metatarsalgia is often caused by high impact exercise such as running, which puts pressure on the forefoot. So take a break: switch to low impact exercise and/or put your feet up when you first experience symptoms.

2. Try Strengthening Exercises

Want to prevent metatarsalgia in the future? Exercises can help. Strengthen your arches by picking up a marble with your toes, or using your toes to scrunch up a towel.

3. Swap Out High Heels for Shoes That Ease Metatarsalgia Pain

We don’t need to tell you what you already feel whenever you wear tall heels: high heels are not the best shoes for ball-of-foot pain. High heels push your weight onto your forefoot — increasing your risk of metatarsalgia.

As an alternative to those stilettos, try a pair of comfortable yet stylish block-heeled shoes, like High Society. Or, strut in confidence with a lightweight platform, like Carousel 2. Both have a premium leather construction and metallic hardware for a super chic look. Plus, they’re made with our flexible, padded contour cork-latex footbed that’s covered in suede for ultimate comfort and support. Finding the best shoes for metatarsalgia may mean sacrificing your stilettos, but with options like these, you can still look stylish and avoid discomfort.

Taos Carousel 2 Wedge Sandals

4. Try an Ice Pack

Ice is a great way to soothe inflammation. Wrap an ice pack in a towel, and massage your foot for a couple of minutes several times a day.

It is also important to remember that shoes get worn out. Over time and with repeated use, even the most supportive sandals and sneakers will lose their cushioning and support. If you spend a lot of time on your feet, you’ll need to look for top of the line supportive footwear that will last you as long as possible.

5. Over-the-Counter Pain Relief

It’s not a long term solution, but a pain reliever like ibuprofen or aspirin can help reduce inflammation and offer some temporary respite.

6. Give gel pads a go

While you’re at the pharmacy, why not pick up a metatarsal pad to help turn your pair of regular sneakers into the best walking shoes for metatarsalgia? This acts as a shock absorber, reducing the pressure on the ball of the foot.

At Taos, we have an even better alternative to gel pads. Our Curves & Pods® premium removable footbed is in every pair of our Active collection and provides the ultimate support and comfort for your painful feet. With these footbeds, you can be sure you’re treating yourself to some of the best shoes for metatarsalgia without ever sacrificing your style.

Taos Active Curves and Pods Footbed Diagram

7. Maintain a Healthy Weight

As obesity is one of the risk factors for metatarsalgia, sticking to a healthy weight can help.

8. Treat Bunions and Calluses

Other foot conditions are often to blame for metatarsalgia. Suffering from calluses? Soak your feet to soften them, and then remove dead skin with a pumice stone (but consult your doctor first if you have diabetes). As for bunions, we have a heap of remedies here.

9. Choose the Right Shoes for Metatarsalgia Pain

So we know that high heels are a bad idea (see also: lightweight flip flops and flat-as-a-pancake ballet pumps). What, then, should you look for when it comes to finding metatarsalgia shoes for women?

The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society recommends the best shoes for ball of foot pain have plenty of room for your toes, and heels no higher than 2¼ inches. Arch support is also important.

In terms of your options for metatarsalgia shoes, for a summer sandal try Trulie, which has multiple fastenings for an adjustable fit, and premium padding at the front. The lightweight, contoured cork footbed keeps your feet supported and pain-free all day.

Taos Footwear Trulie Adjustable Sandals

And when it comes to the best walking shoes for metatarsalgia, a sneaker like Star has a classic, easy to wear look with unrivaled comfort and support. These have our tried-and-true Curves & Pods® polyurethane removable footbed with Soft Support for an all-around comfortable shoe for metatarsalgia pain.

Taos Star Grey Wash Canvas Active Fashion Sneakers