Metatarsalgia: what it is, causes, and how insoles with metatarsal pads offer relief.
What is metatarsalgia?
The metatarsals are the five bones that connect the middle of your foot to your toes. The points at which the metatarsals meet the phalanges (toe bones) are known as the metatarsal heads; you can think of them like the first knuckles of your feet. They’re right above the fleshy pad of the ‘ball’ of your foot. This area is particularly susceptible to extra strain and pressure that can cause inflammation and pain commonly referred to as metatarsalgia. There are multiple possible causes, from biomechanical issues, specific foot shapes and problems with weight distribution, to wearing tight shoes that cramp metatarsal heads where blood vessels and nerves are squeezed and constricted. Another common cause is when your second toe is longer than your big toe, putting extra stress on your second metatarsal. People who play high impact sports and runners are particularly at risk, as their feet take a lot of strain in their regular routine.
So what’s the solution?
You can get relief from metatarsalgia by adding a metatarsal (met) pad to your footwear. A met pad supports the metatarsals in their natural position and spacing, preventing them from becoming cramped, especially in the metatarsal heads. It also helps to promote the natural positioning of the padding under the ball of your foot, optimizing your natural shock-absorbing tissue to prevent your feet from absorbing excess stress. Lastly, a met pad helps to ensure that pressure is efficiently distributed and that no one point of your foot is carrying more weight than it can handle. One option for met pads is to add supportive insoles that include a met pad to your footwear. Supportive insoles help the feet carry the load and distribute pressure evenly, offering relief to people who suffer from metatarsalgia as well as plantar fasciitis or other foot injuries. Runners with metatarsalgia are particularly likely to benefit from supportive insoles with metatarsal pads as they will also help promote a neutral alignment and maximize biomechanical efficiency through each stride.
SOLE Performance Medium with Met Pad gives you Metatarsal support exactly where you need it.
Our Performance Medium with Met Pad footbed includes a built-in met pad to combine metatarsal support with all of the other benefits of SOLE’s industry-leading supportive insoles. While other met pad products can be cumbersome or difficult to accurately place in your shoe, the SOLE footbed slides straight in, with the met pad perfectly positioned to support your metatarsals and help relieve your metatarsalgia. Our industry-leading supportive shape is also clinically proven to reduce plantar fascia strain by up to 34% while promoting neutral alignment and distributing pressure evenly. The combined effect is to provide relief and prevent further aggravation or injury by protecting all of your feet’s intricate mechanisms.
Our customers say it best:
“Recently I developed a Metatarsal injury on my left foot. I went through the routine of resting, icing and stretching without success. I thought for sure that I would have to take an extended time off from running. I tried various inserts to provide more protection for the foot. I even had a custom insert made by an orthopedic doctor. None of these attempts provided the protection I needed. On a visit to my local Performance Footwear running store, I noticed the SOLE display. I thought I had to give them a try. Not only did SOLE Custom Footbeds allow me to resume my normal training routine, it also allowed my metatarsal to recover and I am now pain free once again.” - John, Verified purchaser.
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