Compared to soles, metatarsal pads are engineered for customers with centralized pain in the soles of their feet. This is a special phenomenon for those who like wearing heels or exercise a lot. These particular products are also known as Met Pads, and they help in relieving pain and pressure exerted in the metatarsal area of the foot.
Such pain often results from poor metatarsal support and causes the bone of the metatarsal area to undergo extreme pressure.As metatarsal pads could be a relieving solution, choosing the wrong pair may worsen the situation. To benefit from this type of product, the best metatarsal pads ought to be well designed, sizeable, and effective.
Key Features to Look for
When it comes to choosing metatarsal pads, it is important to look for certain features to buy the right ones. Below are some key features that you should consider to get the best metatarsal pad.
- Size: You should ensure that the metatarsal pads fit perfectly to your feet before buying them. They ought to be of the correct size to avoid causing any rubbing. Size choice indirectly determines the comfort of the pads.
- Comfort and support: A metatarsal pad should provide enough support and be comfortable to wear. This will make a big difference in your experience. Luckily, most met pads come with great cushioning and are made of flexible and soft silicone gel.
- Quality: Met pads come in various shapes, materials, and price ranges. The best ones are usually pricey. However, it’s worth investing in expensive pads because high-end pads last longer. Plus, they offer better support and comfort than cheap pads.
- Thickness: While some metatarsal pads are moderate to thin, others are too thick. The pad thickness has a great impact on comfort. You can go for thicker models if you are into them. However, if your feet are too sensitive, then it’s best to choose thin met pads because they are more flexible and softer than thick ones.
- Adhesiveness: The best metatarsal pads are highly adhesive in order to stay stuck to shoes. This allows you to wear your pads over extended periods of time without adjusting them every so often.
- Resistance to odor: Met pads are intended to be placed in shoes and stay there for a while. Since you will wear closed shoes most of the time, you should choose the pads that neither attracts bad odors nor absorbs your sweat.
Top 5 Metatarsal Pads
1. DR JK – Best Overall
Acing to be the best overall metatarsal pad, DR JK – Ball of Foot Cushions, Metatarsal, and Neumeria Pads say a lot about its features. Most notable among its features is its simplicity and ability to fit into most shoes easily; thus, providing excellent pain reduction.
Next to that, most users report up to 80% of pain reduction while some report to have completely forgotten about metatarsalgia. This is because these ball of foot cushions have been explicitly designed to reduce or eliminate metatarsal pain by redistributing pressure over a wide foot area.
Additionally, they are T-shaped, perhaps to provide the best pressure support and help relieve pain that results from metatarsal arches. This shape significantly reduces the burning sensation commonly associated with incorrect positioning of metatarsal heads.
Furthermore, these met pads feature adhesive backings that allow the user to attach them firmly to the pair of shoes to prevent slippage and lack of grip. However, you will need to clean your shoes thoroughly before attaching them to the shoes.
- Great pain reliever
- Made from the durable medical gel
- Helps with metatarsal blisters
- Hard to wear with socks
- Might move around when jogging or running
2. Dr. Seth Soft Metatarsal Gel Pads – Most Comfortable Metatarsal Pads
If you are searching for the most comfortable metatarsal pads for moving around, the Dr. Seth Soft Metatarsal Gel Pads are a great option. Most notably, they have a unique design which overlaps two toes and prevents easy movement of the pads. Alongside that, this pad’s design features a flexible outer fabric layer that loops around the metatarsal portion of the foot. Then, the toe anchors the silicon pads underneath, thereby providing the best possible protection.
However, despite being skin-colored, these metatarsal pads cannot be used with open top shoes like high heels as the materials can be seen. Nonetheless, they provide excellent pain relief without pad movement for other shoe types.
Consequently, the Dr. Seth Soft Metatarsal Gel Pads are ideal for high-impact activities such as jumping, running and hiking. It offers not only great levels of comfort but also all-time protection. One could say these are the best metatarsal pads that provide maximum comfort and a worry-free sticking.
- No movement or slipping
- Made from soft silicone gel
- Very comfortable
- Washable and reusable
- Anti-friction design
- Not suitable for open shoes
- Not easy to wash
3. Dr. Fredericks’s Original Half Toe Sleeve Metatarsal Pads – Best For High Heels
The design of those will make it ideal for high heels. However, if you are looking for unisex metatarsal pads, those are for you. They are great for running, walking, or hiking, the Dr. Fredericks’s Original Half Toe Sleeve Metatarsal Pads should be your choice. The highlight of this product is the medical grade thermoplastic elastomer make that is known to be one of the best in absorbing pressure.
Alongside being easy to wear, these pads have a non-slip material that keeps them where you need inside the shoe. They hold firmly in place and provide the best level of protection, either with socks or without.
Weighing only 7 ounces and with proportions of 5” x 7” x 1”, these met pads do not feel noticeable when you have them. They also feature lightweight rubber materials that feel soft on the user’s toes without causing blisters and discomfort like other pads.
Additionally, they provide good pain relief and are ideal to be worn with various kinds of shoes from hiking boots to jogging sandals. Thus, how to relieve metatarsal pain, a question asked by many, is half solved.
- Half-toe sleeve design
- Easy slip-on design
- Can be worn with any shoe type
- Excellent in pain relief
- May cause some sweating
4. Dr. Jill’s Felt Metatarsal Pads – Best Cushioning Pads
If you are searching for the best metatarsal pads that stick to place with efficient pain-relieving properties, the Dr. Jill’s Felt Metatarsal Pads should be your choice. They are 2.25” by 2.75” wide cushioning pads that easily elevate the metatarsal arch, thereby distributing pressure from the metatarsal area to nearby tissues.
Additionally, they have a broad base that acts very effectively. They are self-adhesive; it prevents them from sticking to the foot. Moreover, these pads do not have a toe loop that attaches to your foot. Hence, there are no risks of causing discomforts or blisters that often result from prolonged use.
Most importantly, the small design of Dr. Jill’s Felt Metatarsal Pads makes them perfect for use with all shoe types, especially for open shoes like high heels. However, users have raised minimal concerns that they begin moving when the feet start sweating.
Hence, these metatarsal pads for feet are mainly perfect for quick trips.
- Wide base
- High-quality design and light
- Relieves pain effectively
- They could be too sticky
5. Powerstep Metatarsal Cushions – Best for Mild Pain
The Powerstep Metatarsal Cushions is often considered as more of an insole than an actual metatarsal pad. This is perhaps because it combines all the features of insoles with those of metatarsal pads for efficient pain relief.
They are quite thick and moderately designed; they’re not as specialized as the products above, but they provide some degree of pain relief and comfort for metatarsalgia. Just like other met pads, they relieve metatarsal pains by distributing pressure over a large area of the foot.
Notably, these ball of foot cushions are designed specifically to fit specific shoe sizes. Hence, they eliminate doubts about movements. In turn, this perfect fit feature maximizes its working ability. Plus, this design also ensures that other parts of the foot receive good protection.
These met pads are ideal options for those suffering from mild pains; especially resulting from long distance related walking, running, and hiking.
- Self-adhesive backing
- Specific shoe size
- Relieves pain
- Made from microcellular polyurethane
- Not efficient in relieving pain
- Not suitable for all shoe types
Why Do I Need Metatarsal Pads?
When it comes to conventional shoes, their design doesn’t lend to feet health. That’s why wearing shoes can lead to toe taper, toe spring, and heel elevation. All of this can result in metatarsalgia, which causes severe pain that can make sitting, standing, and walking almost impossible.
So, why are metatarsal pads necessary? These pads can alleviate this painful condition and help you set things straight by undoing muscle imbalance and reducing pain. This will make your life a whole lot easier.
Here are the benefits of wearing metatarsal pads:
- Let you comfortably change your footwear to high heeled or flat shoes.
- Help realign metatarsal heads.
- Level the extended turf toes.
- Keep the transverse arch aligned.
- Get the feet reconfigured to the natural shape and position.
- Cause the top feet tissues to be a bit longer.
- Offset the weight of the entire body on the feet ball.
For pain relief and better comfort, you should consider wearing your met pads properly. They should be used with flat shoes for best results. Aside from enjoying long-lasting benefits, you will get the most out of them.
How to Place a Metatarsal Pad?
It is important to correctly insert a met pad into your shoe to reap the benefits of it. While this may look like an easy task, there are some steps you should follow to ensure that your pad is positioned properly:
- Make use of the shoe liner: Take it out of shoes and put the pad in the right position.
- Measure where the ball of your foot sits: Place your foot to get a better idea of where it sits in your shoe.
- Place your met pad: It should be centered just behind the ball of your foot so that it’s not too close to the outside or inside of your foot.
- Put on your shoes: If the pad is correctly positioned in your shoe, you should feel it pushing gently in the sole behind the ball.
- Test it out: Set aside a few hours to go for a walk and rest assured that the pad is placed properly. If your foot didn’t adapt to the feel of the met pad, you should consider adjusting its placement.
Things to Consider Before Buying Metatarsal Pads
As mentioned before, there are plenty of metatarsal pads in the market claiming to deliver utmost effectiveness. However, not all are equally effective.
This is why we have found it prudent to outline a buyer’s guide that will help you wade through the various products by considering a number of factors to find the best.
Consider the following factors when searching for the best metatarsal pads to buy on the market.
Metatarsal Pads Type
There are ten common metatarsal pads present currently. They include:
- Pro-tec athletics pads – this type of pads are thick and flexible with a ridged bottom that prevents stop slippage. Pro-tec pads fit perfectly to athletic shoes as well as everyday wear and casual footwear.
- Silipos softzone pure gel pads – they are great metatarsal pads and an ideal choice for high heel wearers. They do not go beneath the toe area; they’re the best for ball of foot pain.
- Pedefix pedi-gel dancer’s pads – as the name suggests, they have the design of a professional dancer in mind. They are ideal for any person looking to wear constrictive footwear.
- Pro-tec metatarsal lift pads – these pads lack a cushion. They’re a good choice if you do not need any cushioning in the heel area, and they provide instant pain relief as well.
- Pedag T-form self-adhesive metatarsal pads – they are the ultimate choice of metatarsal pads for runners. This is because they stick to the bottom of the runner’s feet, which eliminate the need of regularly adjusting their position.
- Pedifix deluxe nylon-covered metatarsal cushion – this is another great option for open toe and high heel lovers. They are nylon cushioned to provide a comfortable and smooth feel while walking around.
- Footsmart metatarsal sleeve – they contain a comfortable sleeve that is wrapped around the feet for comfortable positioning of the metatarsal pads in the exact place.
- Pedifix visco-gel metatarsal pads with toe loop – whereas most metatarsal pads are built to stay in place in the shoe, this type is designed to mold around the feet.
- Tuli gel pads – despite being comparably thinner, Tuli gel pads provide instant pain relief.
- Jill’s pads – these metatarsal pads are small and can fit your wallet or purse.
Metatarsal Pads Materials
Metatarsal pads are made of three common materials. They include:
- Open-cell polyurethane foam – pads made from this material provide a long-term and resilient cushioning.
- Wool/polyester felt – these materials make less resilient and firmer pads than polyurethane foam. However, it is a good choice if firm support is needed.
- Latex or leather – leather is often used to reinforce the soft latex material. Individuals allergic to latex should not consider metatarsal pads made of this material.
How Met Pads Remain In Place
Having established a metatarsal pad that might be the solution to your foot pain, considering how you want to wear them is the next step. Understanding how the metatarsal pads stay in place after attachment is of immense importance. This will help you choose a pad that suits your shoe type and style.
There are three methods that metatarsal pads can be worn. They include:
Self-sticking to the bottom of your foot – some metatarsal pads self-stick or are adhesive to the bottom of your foot. This can be a good choice depending on your shoe type. However, getting the right location may take some time as it involves trial and error.
Self-stick to the top of the insole in your shoe – met pads can also stick on the top of the insole of your shoe. This method reduces chances of skin irritation from adhesive pads. Additionally, the pads last longer and remain clean as they are separated from your foot by a sock; and pads remain there after trial and error to find the best location, too.
Velcro attachment under your insole – this is a unique design that uses Velcro to attach the metatarsal pads under the top surface of your insole. They are specially designed to work with tread labs insole. Some of the benefits of this attachment method include:
- Velcro does not easily lose grip like adhesives.
- Putting the met pad under the top cover of the insole protects it from the foot.
- The met pad remains in place every day.
Get The right Size
Finding the best metatarsal pads that suit your needs can be a tough process. However, with our review of top products and guide above, you should find it easy. Before buying, ensure that the met pad meets your needs, has a favorable attachment method, is of the correct size, and ascertains utmost comfort.
All these are key to achieving some relief from metatarsalgia. After that, ensure that you wear it correctly so that it can work properly. With that, have you tried any of the products mentioned above? Which one worked or is your favorite? Share with us below!