Metatarsal pads are a simple item that can have tremendously positive effects on your well-being. Many people go throughout their daily life suffering from sore feet. A common cause of this problem is metatarsalgia.
If you suffer from this ailment, it’s good to know that you are not alone in seeking metatarsalgia treatment. Before you know how to cope with this nagging discomfort, such as using gel pads orthotic inserts, you must first know more about the causes and symptoms.
Metatarsal Pads: Our Top Picks
1. ZenToes Metatarsal Pads
⭐ Best Overall
2. Comfort Insole for Pain Relief and Comfort
⭐ Best for High Heels
3. Gel Sleeves Forefoot Cushion Pads
⭐ Best for Women
4. Copper Compression Metatarsal Pads
⭐ Best with Infused Copper
5. Dr. Frederick’s Original Metatarsal Pads
⭐ Best for Walking
6. Ball of Foot Cushions for Women and Men
⭐ Best for Blister Prvention
7. Brison Health Metatarsal Pads of Foot Cushions
⭐ Best for Boots
Recap: The Best Metatarsal Pads
- Best Overall: ZenToes Metatarsal Pads
- Best for High Heels: Comfort Insole for Pain Relief and Comfort
- Best for Women: Gel Sleeves Forefoot Cushion Pads
- Best with Infused Copper: Copper Compression Metatarsal Pads
- Best for Walking: Dr. Frederick’s Original Metatarsal Pads
- Best for Blister Prevention: Ball of Foot Cushions for Women and Men
- Best for Boots: Brison Health Metatarsal Pads of Foot Cushions
Signs That You May Need Metatarsal Support
Metatarsalgia is a pain in the ball of the foot. The region of the foot where the pain occurs is known as the metatarsal region. Metatarsal pain can range from mild pain to one that is so severe that it hurts to stand or move. The pain is often a dull ache but can also be characterized by burning or tingling, and shooting pains in the toes.
The precise area where the pain is the worst is where the second to fourth toes meet the ball of the feet. Trying to walk will often feel like you are walking with a pebble in your shoe or walking over suitably rough ground.
Pad Placement for Metatarsalgia Treatment
Metatarsal Pads are a quick, convenient and economical option for metatarsalgia treatment. Foam, felt and gel pads are available variations, but they all serve the same purpose.
The purpose of metatarsal pads is to increase the surface area on the underside of the user’s foot (or both feet, if need be) on which he or she bears the full weight of his/her body. This serves to decrease the strain on the area of the foot that normally bears this load and has been causing the metatarsal pain (specifically at the metatarsal heads that join in the area commonly known as the ”balls of the feet”).
Please note that the below instructions serves ONLY as guides for the placement of the pads as a metatarsalgia treatment – each user should take care to identify the most comfortable positioning for him/her, as every foot has a shape and weight-bearing area unique to it, and metatarsalgia treatment varies from person to person.
Options for Using Pads as a Metatarsalgia Treatment
There are three basic ways in which to use pads for metatarsalgia treatment, and this is true for the foam, felt and gel pads.
Directly on the skin, just below the balls of the feet
The pad must be juxtaposed to the weight-bearing surface when used as a metatarsalgia treatment. One way of finding the right position is to step onto the pad prior to peeling away the adhesive backing, placing the pad right below the balls of the feet, and testing out different placements until you find the one that’s right for you.
Another way is to place the pad 2/3s of the way from your heel to your metatarsal arch – the front end of the pad therefore reaching just under the ball of the foot. Please note that pads placed directly on the foot last approximately two to three days and are OK to wear in the shower.
Inside the user’s shoe, under the insole:
For use in shoes where the insole can be removed, affixing the pad to its underside will prolong the life of the pad from a few days to a couple of weeks or even months. The pad still needs to be placed right next to the balls of the feet.
As mentioned earlier, prior to removing the adhesive backing, you should try putting the pad in a few different positions, after identifying the area on your insole that corresponds to the ball of your foot, and testing it out until you find the position that is most comfortable for you.
To identify the area on the underside of the insole that corresponds to the ball of your foot, you can trace in light pencil the area where it touches on the upside of the insole, and follow that line to the underside.
Inside the user’s shoe, over the insole:
Identify the area on the insole that corresponds to the weight-bearing area or the area where you are feeling the metatarsal pain and trace a line in pencil if you need to. Place the pad directly behind it (towards the heel), and test it in different positions until you find the one that suits you best.
Remove the adhesive padding, place it on the insole, and your metatarsalgia treatment will be ready to go.
If using pads or inserts to manage your foot pain, no matter which option you decide to use, take time in the placement of the pads. Correct placement can produce relief of your symptoms. Incorrect placement can enhance your symptoms. Always seek the guidance of a medical professional before proceeding with any health-related issue including metatarsalgia treatment.