When looking for the best metatarsal pads, find an option that is both comfortable and easy to use. Walkize’s metatarsal pads for women come with an adhesive backing that keeps them securely in place as you go about your day. Take a look at our list of the best metatarsal pads, and enjoy your activities without pain.
Simple yet effective, metatarsal pads are stuck to the insoles of the shoes to take pressure off the balls of the feet. If worn correctly, metatarsal pads have numerous benefits including absorbing the shock of walking and running, and redistributing weight across the forefeet. With this in mind, check out our guide to the best metatarsal pads, and don’t let sore feet get you down.
Our Top Picks
The 9 Best Metatarsal Pads
Our Winner: Metatarsal Pads for Women by Walkize
Specifically designed for women’s footwear, these metatarsal pads take the pain out of walking in high heels. The cloth-covered gel pads are not just comfortable but come with an adhesive backing to stay securely in place during use. This product comes with an information booklet and a lifetime satisfaction guarantee.
- 2 pairs of pads
- Designed for high heels
- Made from soft gel
- Adhesive backing
- Covered in soft cloth
- Reduce pressure on the balls of the feet
- Complimentary booklet
- Stay in place during use
- Lifetime satisfaction guarantee
- Can be tricky to align
- Some users have found these pads too thin
Podiatrist Favorite: Metatarsal Sleeve Pads by Vesigo
Suitable for both men and women, these gel pads are built into metatarsal sleeves to ensure correct positioning and resist slipping. Unlike some other metatarsal pads, they are thick and large enough to alleviate the discomfort of Morton’s neuroma, calluses, and bunions. Plus, they are washable and reusable.
- Unisex fit
- Made from gel
- Sleeves ensure correct fit
- Great stretch and elasticity
- Shock absorption
- Washable and reusable
- Alleviate pain of Morton’s neuroma
- Great for everyday wear
- Have a tendency to slide and bunch up
- Not the best choice for large feet
Top Choice: Gel Metatarsal Pads by Envelop
These one-size-fits-most self-adhesive inserts deliver forefoot support to alleviate metatarsalgia and other foot conditions. Plus, they are textured, non-slip, and fit most shoe styles, including high heels and boots. Simply stick them to your shoes or even directly to your feet.
- Very affordable
- Made from silicone gel
- Easy to clean
- Absorb shock
- Fit most shoe styles
- Stay in place
- Textured and non-slip
- 60-day unconditional guarantee
- No instructions
- Not as adhesive as some other metatarsal pads
The Other Metatarsal Pads We Reviewed
Support Foot Guard for Women and Men by ViveSole
What makes these met pads stand out from the pack are the integrated toe loops that keep them in place during use. Made from medical-grade gel, they redistribute pressure across the balls of the feet to alleviate pain and fatigue. On the downside, some users may find the toe loops uncomfortable.Buy on Amazon
Metatarsal Cushions by Hyjinx
Ideal for Morton’s neuroma and metatarsalgia, this pair of soft gel foot pads fit into most shoe styles. Plus, they are self-adhesive, making them easy to apply and keep in place. This product is washable and reusable, and comes with a satisfaction guarantee. Unfortunately, some reviewers have complained that these pads can be difficult to keep in place.Buy on Amazon
Gel Sleeves Forefoot Cushion Pads by BRISON
Pairing gel pads and extra stretchy sleeves, these unisex metatarsal pads fit most shoe types. Plus, they are suitable for everyday wear and easy to clean. Unfortunately, people with larger feet may find these sleeves overly tight in the toe area.Buy on Amazon
Ball of Foot Cushions by DALIVA
Keep your feet healthy and pain-free with these lightweight metatarsal sleeves. Featuring integrated neuroma pads, the sleeves are soft, elastic, and durable. In addition, they can be washed and used over and over again. Please note that it may be difficult to stop these sleeves from rolling up when putting on your socks.Buy on Amazon
Metatarsal Pads Ball of Foot Cushions by BRISON
These soft and durable pads come with medical-grade rubber sleeves to keep them in place during use. Elastic and eco-friendly, they are both easy to put on and remove. While this product is reusable, some reviewers have complained that the sleeves tore after a few uses.Buy on Amazon
Metatarsal Foot Pads for Pain Relief by Moon Health
Made from wool felt, these metatarsal foot pads are shaped to conform to the balls of the feet. Plus, they feature an adhesive backing that does not leave any residue. On the downside, these pads are not as soft and cushioning as some other metatarsal pads.Buy on Amazon
Causes of Forefoot Pain
Pain in the balls of the feet is common. However, it does not always have the same origins. If you suffer from foot discomfort, chances are you may have one of the following ailments.
Metatarsalgia is a catch-all term for forefoot pain. It is often caused by excessive pressure on one area of the foot due to uncomfortable shoes. Metatarsalgia can also be caused by conditions such as collapsing arches, plantar plate rupture, or hallux limitus.
Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursae, or the fluid-filled sacs that cushion our tendons, ligaments, and muscles. They can become inflamed due to excessive pressure and friction. Since there are many bursae in the ball of the foot, this is a common problem. Bursitis of the feet can be particularly painful in the morning.
Often caused by overly tight footwear or a collapsed metatarsal arches, Morton’s Neuroma is a thickening of the nerve in the forefoot. The condition is usually characterized by a shooting sensation between the third and fourth toes.
Rheumatoid arthritis affects joints in the body. Most individuals who suffer from the condition, experience some kind of foot discomfort with forefoot pain being common. Some symptoms of this inflammatory condition include swelling, tenderness, and stiffness.
Caused by the human papillomavirus, plantar warts usually affect the soles of the feet. While plantar warts are not dangerous, the grainy, hard, or fleshy growths can be very uncomfortable to walk on.
How to Place Metatarsal Pads in Your Shoes
Even though most metatarsal pads come with instructions they can be tricky to position. Here is a quick guide.
- Remove the insole from your shoe. If your footwear does not have insoles, stick the pads directly to your shoes.
- Place the pad on the insole. When doing this, it is a good idea to visualize the positioning of your forefeet.
- Peel the pad’s adhesive backing 1/4th of the way and slowly stick the pad to the insole.
- Put on the shoe. You should feel the pad press into the area just behind the ball of your foot. If the pad does not feel comfortable, remove it and place it in the right position.
- If the positioning is comfortable, remove the rest of the backing for a more permanent placement.
- Repeat this process on the other shoe.
Other Ways to Protect the Balls of Your Feet
Pain in the ball of the foot can be debilitating. Besides wearing metatarsal pads, here are just a few simple foot care measures you can take to alleviate discomfort.
Rest Your Feet
If you suffer from foot pain, it is a good idea to rest your feet whenever possible. Since metatarsalgia is often caused by placing too much pressure on your forefeet, it makes sense to avoid high-impact activities such as running until you get better. Placing an ice pack on your feet after a day of activities can alleviate some of the symptoms of metatarsalgia.
Wear Comfortable Footwear
Uncomfortable shoes can put your feet out of balance. High heels, in particular, push your weight onto your forefeet while you walk. As such, it is a good idea to invest in a comfortable pair of shoes with plenty of room for your toes while you are recovering from metatarsalgia.
While it is definitely a good idea to take a break from high-impact activities while recovering from metatarsalgia, there are some low-impact exercises that can help. In fact, simple exercises such as scrunching up a towel with your toes can increase both strength and flexibility.
While this is not recommended as a long-term solution, taking over-the-counter painkillers, such as Ibuprofen, can help to alleviate the pain and inflammation of metatarsalgia. In very serious cases, your podiatrist may recommend taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or even steroid injections.
Weighing All the Factors
Taking into account versatility and value for money, Walkize’s metatarsal pads for women stand above the competition. Specifically designed for women who wear high heels, the adhesive pads are ideal for reducing pressure on the balls of the feet. Vesigo’s metatarsal sleeve pads and Envelop’s gel metatarsal pads are two other great options for alleviating foot pain.