Read our reviews of the best metatarsal pads for foot injuries to ensure you get the right product for you.
We interviewed 30 people who used metatarsal pads in the past year. During the interviews, we found the best metatarsal pads should be effective against several foot conditions, easy to clean, and easy to wear.
Our results show that the DR JK and Dr. Frederick’s Original Metatarsal Pads are among the best metatarsal pads you can buy, due to their very soft materials and effectiveness in shock absorption.
Take a look at our comparison table below to find the pad most suited to your needs.
Half Toe Sleeve Metatarsal Pads Review – 94%
Soft and comfortable, these metatarsal foot pads are designed to help runners, hikers, and joggers move around without pain and discomfort. Like our previous entry from Dr. Frederick’s Original, they are made from medical grade TPE, which is widely regarded as one of the best materials for absorbing pressure.
Although great at supporting the ball of foot, these pads can be too large for some shoes, as they are wrapped around the foot and take up a lot of space. Some users have also reported that they can move up over the toes while running.
Drop Metatarsal Pads Review – 94%
Firm and stable, the Drop Metatarsal Pads from Pedag are made from vegetable tanned leather and skin latex. This makes them unlikely to move around in the shoe, but it also means they are a bit harder than some other pads on this list. The slightly harder material provides a lot of support, but it can be too uncomfortable for some types of injuries.
They can help relieve the pain in the ball of foot, but they are not efficient against sesamoiditis. Furthermore, some users have reported that the material gets thinner over time.
DR JK Comprehensive Ball of Foot Cushions Review – 86%
These extremely soft metatarsal foot pads from DR JK provide great shock absorption around the whole metatarsal area, including the outside of the foot. They are widely recommended by doctors in the United States, as their shape is specifically designed to help you deal with the burning sensation caused by badly positioned metatarsal arches.
Their adhesive backing prevents them from moving around inside your shoe, although keep in mind that you need to clean the inside of your shoe properly for these pads to stay in place. They will likely move slightly if you want to wear them while running or jogging.
The pack also includes a handy pair of sandal thong protector pads.
GOUPPER Thick Ball of Foot Cushions Review – 84%
GOUPPER came up with an efficient, easy-to-use product that works in a slightly different way than most entries on this list. Instead of being strapped to the foot, the Ball of Foot Cushions stick to the bottom of your foot and stay in place no matter how much you move around.
The self-stick material is also very easy to clean, so you don’t have to worry about them getting smelly from too much use. Because they are small and stick to the bottom of your foot easily, they fit almost all types of shoes.
However, some users have noted that they can be rather hard to remove once they are firmly in place.
Dr. Frederick’s Original Metatarsal Pads Review – 82%
Like the Comprehensive Ball of Foot Cushions from DR JK, Dr. Frederick’s Metatarsal Pads are strapped to your finger and provide great shock absorption and support to the metatarsal area. They are fairly wide and the flexible gel can stretch even more, so they will fit even the widest of feet. This also makes them very efficient against sesamoiditis, as they cover the area near the big toe.
The thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) they are made of is very easy to clean and doesn’t retain any undesirable dirt or bad smell. This material is also very soft and comfortable, especially if you’re looking for a metatarsal pad to use after a foot surgery.
They can, however, move around rather easily. To avoid this, use them with snug fitting socks and shoes.
Medipaq® Metatarsal Gel Cushion Review – 76%
Like similar silicone metatarsal pads, the Metatarsal Gel Cushion from Medipaq is wrapped around the foot tightly and stays in place even during intense physical activities. The elastic band is stretchable, so it adapts to the width of your foot, but you can choose between different sizes to make sure the pad fits you perfectly.
Underneath the elastic band, there is a gel cushion that covers all five metatarsal heads and provides shock absorption and distributes pressure equally. But, unlike all of our previous entries, these pads are not easy to wash, as their material can retain sweat and dirt.
This is one of the best metatarsal pads for runners. However, some users have also reported that the cushions become flattened over time, so that’s another thing to pay attention to.
Frequently asked questions
What is a Metatarsal Pad?
Also known as “met pads”, metatarsal pads are placed inside the shoe, below the metatarsal bones (the area behind the toes and towards the ankle bone). Since these bones are in charge of distributing weight while we’re standing, they are under a lot of pressure on a daily basis. The main role of metatarsal pads is to absorb some of this pressure, distribute it to the surrounding tissue, and relieve its wearer of pain in the process.
The pads are commonly used to manage the pain that accompanies conditions like Morton’s Neuroma, Sesamoiditis, and metatarsalgia, or after a foot surgery. Many runners also use metatarsal foot pads to avoid getting blisters or more serious foot injuries caused by constant pressure.
What are the pros and cons of wearing a Metatarsal pad?
- They absorb the pressure and protect the ball of foot from damage.
- They help manage the pain caused by certain foot conditions
- They can help you recover after a foot surgery.
- They can be uncomfortable until you get used to them.
- Not all pads fit all shoes.
- Some metatarsal pads can move around while you’re running or jogging.
What’s the best Metatarsal pad for a runner?
Foot injuries are common among runners, especially if you record several miles per day and you’re running on a hard turf. Not only do runners place a great deal of pressure on their metatarsal bones, but their toes are also at a high risk of injury.
In our opinion, the Medipaq® Metatarsal Gel Cushions are the best metatarsal pads for runners. Their soft material makes them comfortable and they don’t move around. They also slightly separate your toes, so there is no risk of friction and blisters.
What pad should I use for ball of foot pain?
We believe that the DR JK- Comprehensive Ball of Foot Cushions are the best metatarsal pads to manage pain in the ball of foot. They provide the perfect combination of soft gel and pressure redistribution, while perfectly staying in place during moderate physical activity.
However, do have in mind that they might move while running or jogging. If that’s something you are concerned about, you should go for other met pads that have a better grip.
What the best foot pad for Metatarsalgia?
Since metatarsalgia is an inflammation whose main symptom is a burning pain in the ball of foot, the answer to this question is the same as the previous one. In our opinion, the DR JK- Comprehensive Ball of Foot Cushions are the best metatarsal pads for metatarsalgia, as they help you manage the pain that comes with this condition.
What insole is best for Sesamoiditis pain?
Although similar to metatarsalgia, sesamoiditis can sometimes cause a dull, chronic pain in the surrounding tissue or the bones themselves. In this case, you might need a sesamoiditis pad that is slightly wider and covers the area closer to your big toe.
We believe that Dr. Frederick’s Original Metatarsal Pads are the best option, as they perform similarly to the DR JK- Comprehensive Ball of Foot Cushions while covering a wider area. However, these pads are even more likely to move around during an intense physical activity.