Ball of Foot Pain (Metatarsalgia)

Pain felt under the ball of the foot (Metatarsalgia) is a pervasive problem among women who wear high heel and high fashion shoes. The pain isn’t limited to woman with fancy shoes. Both men and women can experience pain in this area of the foot when wearing ordinary, flat footwear. There are two basic types of Ball of Foot Pain:

1) Ball of Foot pain in medium to high women's fashion shoes

2) Ball of Foot pain in normal, flat shoes

It is vital to decide which category of pain you are experiencing as this will establish the ideal treatment.. Click here to learn more about Ball of Foot pain wearing normal shoes.

1) Ball of Foot Pain in ladies' fashion shoes

Pain experienced under the ball of the foot (Metatarsalgia) is a frequent occurrence in women wearing fashionable shoes that are too narrow and/or have medium to high heels.


Metatarsalgia is experienced as a burning feeling in the ball of the foot. It often occurs in combination with excessive formation of callouses. Wearing narrow and/or high-heeled shoes worsens the pain.

What causes Ball of Foot Pain?

Ball of Foot Pain (metatarsalgia) occurs as a consequence of the five long foot bones (the metatarsals) dropping from weakened ligaments. This causes the entire anatomy of the forefoot to give way, leading to excessive pressure and chafing on the ball of the foot. The primary cause of this condition is wearing high heels, which forces 70-80% of your bodyweight onto the forefoot area.

Treatment and pain relief

Footlogics Catwalk insoles provide a solution to women who enjoy wearing fashionable footwear. Instead of enduring burning, painful feet, simply insert Footlogics Catwalk insoles to re-establish the biomechanical dynamics. This insert supports the arch and removes pressure from metatarsal bones.

Catwalk insoles allow the weight of your body to be dispersed more evenly across your entire foot instead of focused on the relatively small area of your forefoot. The insoles avoid disproportionate weight and chafing on the ball of the foot. The end-result is that pain and burning are reduced especially during times of extended standing or walking.

pressure in the ball of the foot
orthotics for womens shoes

2) Ball of Foot Pain in flat, normal shoes

Ball of Foot pain is not restricted to fashion minded women in tight fitting shoes. Many men and women endure ball of foot pain while wearing ordinary flat shoes. Metatarsalgia is frequently described as a fiery, razor-sharp pain beneath the balls of the feet. At times the pain occurs in the region around the second, third or fourth toes. Typically, the pain worsens when standing, walking or running and improves with rest. Another form of ball of foot pain is the sensation of have a pebble in your shoe. Walking while barefoot is frequently too painful to endure.

What causes of Ball of Foot pain in normal shoes?

There are a number of reasons for ball of foot pain. One reason is an abrupt increase in a sporting activity. Other actions that bring on this pain include long periods of standing or walking in hard shoes and boots. Many occupations use this type of footwear including police, military, security, farming, teaching, tradesmen etc. Carry too much body weight also places undue strain on the feet.

Research into the biomechanics of the feet has shown that the most frequent reason for Metatarsalgia is a condition called over-pronation. Over-pronation is faulty dynamics in the gait causing an inward roll of the ankles. This condition can cause the arch to collapse.

To best comprehend the experience of excessive pronation let’s review the anatomy of the human foot.

There are twenty-six bones in the foot held in place with a complex maze of muscles and ligaments. These muscles and ligaments structure the foot in such a manner that the foot does not make full contact with the ground. Instead, this mesh of muscles and ligaments creates two arches. The first is called the Longitudinal arch (instep) that runs from heel to toes along the length of the foot. The other is called the Transverse arch and it runs across the foot.

The foot contains five metatarsal bones that connect the middle of your foot to the toe joints. With excessive pronation, the Longitudinal arch cannot be supported allowing your ankle joint to roll inwards with each step on the ground.

Over-pronation can cause excessive demands on the metatarsals leading to a collapse of the Transverse arch. The overall structure of the forefoot is critically weakened leading to pain in the ball of the foot and swelling at the metatarsal joints.

arches of the foot

Walking on unforgiving surfaces such as concrete, pavements and tiled floors and wearing shoes without much cushioning or support will worsen this condition.

Treatment of Ball of Foot pain in flat shoes

Curtail any walking or standing whenever possible. Apply ice in the evening for 5-10 minutes at a time to soothe and reduce inflammation. Use a pumice stone or see a chiropodist to remove excessive callouses.

Orthotic insoles are very useful in treating Ball of Foot pain because they alter your gait to correct the biomechanics of over-pronation.

Footlogics Comfort orthotics work to both re-align the faulty mechanics of the feet and ankles and bolster the Longitudinal arch. An important element of these insoles is a metatarsal raise that props and supports the Transverse arch. Footlogics reduce the force and friction on the ball of the foot. This allows for a lasting reprieve from ball of foot pain.

orthotic for metatarsalgia
metatarsal support
Recommended orthotics for Ball of Foot pain: Footlogics Comfort or Catwalk