If you’re suffering from Metatarsalgia (Ball of Foot Pain) and want to gain pain relief, look for shoes with good metatarsal support. Before going on it might be good to first understand a little more about metatarsal pain. Typically, if you have pain in the ball of your foot you’re suffering from Metatarsalgia. Usually the pain is caused from inflammation. To relieve the pain you need to address the cause of the inflammation. (For an in-depth explanation of Metatarsalgia, Click Here.)
The first thought most people have is to get insoles with extra soft padding. Unfortunately this approach does not address the structural issues that cause the pain. The more correct approach is to make sure your insole (or footbed) has good metatarsal support. This may seem, or feel, like the wrong approach.
A footbed with good metatarsal support will at first feel like there is a golf ball under the ball of your foot. The actual size of the arch support is not huge (see images of Birkenstock footbed) but the impact is great. It will take a while for your feet to adapt and for the arches to regain its proper positioning. As the arches get back to where they need to be, the inflammation and the pain will subside.
Relieving metatarsal pain is not a part-time task. You have to make sure your metatarsal arch is supported all of the time. Going barefoot or wearing footwear without support will extend your recovery period.