Second Metatarsal Overload Syndrome [Causes & Best Home Treatment]

Second Metatarsal Overload Syndrome results from excess stress placed onto the 2nd metatarsal. STOP crossover toes and bunion pain, FIX IT 100%!

Look:

  • 2nd toe joint pain and metatarsal overload syndrome can be improved with a few simple treatment changes.
  • We are foot doctors & we see this problem get better almost every day.
  • The goal is to solve this problem without medication or surgery if at all possible.

So, let’s GO!

Metatarsalgia, Morton's neuroma, 2nd toe capsulitis, plantar plate

Look:

  • Metatarsalgia: which means generalized foot pain without a specific cause.
  • Second toe capsulitis: this is the inflammation of the second toe joint capsule.
  • Capsulitis is related to hammertoe formation, and can lead to a plantar plate tear. There is some overlap between these three disorders. As they get worse tearing and ligament damage can occur.
  • Morton’s neuroma: this is the damage and inflammation to the nerves between and underneath the metatarsal joints.
  • Fat pad atrophy of the ball of the foot: this is the loss of cushioning in the ball the foot.

So, click on the photo gallery to see the specific causes of your ball of the foot pain!

Click on the photo gallery to see the specific causes of your ball of the foot pain!

Causes:

  • The cause of second metatarsal overload syndrome is simply that too much pressure is placed on the 2nd metatarsal.
  • This can be for any of the following reasons, but it always comes down to one longer than the other. Eventually a callus will form under the 2nd metatarsal head.
  • There will also be constant pain while standing on the ball of the foot.
2nd metatarsal overload syndrome causes
The most common cause of 2nd metatarsal overload syndrome is the fact that there is simply too much pressure on the ball of your foot!

 

Activities that aggravate 2nd metatarsal overload syndrome:

  • The pain is typically aggravated while walking running.
  • Athletes who participate in high impact running in sports, generally develop an inflammatory condition which causes irritation to the second third, fourth or fifth metatarsals.
  • This is also referred to as a medic her cell just in some cases.
  • The pain gradually appears over a period of several weeks or months, it does not happen with one bad fall or crack of the bone.
  • This can frequently be associated with conditions such as Morton’s neuroma, capsulitis, or stress fractures.
Big toe joint arthritis and ball of the foot pain.
Big toe joint arthritis may cause ball of the foot pain. This forces more pressure onto the 2nd metatarsal phalangeal joint. This can lead to 2nd metatarsal overload syndrome.

 

Specific Causes:

  • Short 1st metatarsal – Morton’s Toe.
  • Long 2nd metatarsal.
  • Hypermobility of the 1st metatarsal.
  • Prior broken foot.
  • Tight calf muscles.
  • Excessive wearing of heeled shoes.
  • Bunion – that does not make proper contact with the ground for push-off.
  • Flat foot due to another reason.

 

Symptoms:

  • Sharp, aching or burning pain.
  • Pain concentrated around the base of the 2nd toe.
  • Pain that gets worse when you stand, walk or run.
  • Pain that gets better when you are resting.
  • Numbness in your toes.
  • Pain that worsens when you bend your 2nd toe up and down to the extremes.
  • Increased pain walking barefoot, especially on a hard floor.
Metatarsalgia ball of the foot pain
Metatarsalgia or ball of the foot pain is the pain the front of the foot.
This is most common in people who have very tight hamstrings calf muscles are putting much more pressure on the ball the foot. This can lead to neuroma, metatarsal or even stress fracture pain.

 

Diagnosis:

When to seek treatment:

  • Not all 2nd toe pain requires seeing a doctor for treatment, especially if you’ve had a long day on your feet.
  • It might be a good idea to try home treatment for a few days.
  • If the pain does continue for an extended period of time and home treatment has not been effective, then it might be time to go seek professional care from your podiatrist.

 

Podiatrist In Office Evaluation:

  • The first and most basic step is to get an x-ray. This only takes a few minutes and gives very valuable information.
  • The first thing we are looking for is how long the metatarsal is, do you have a bunion, is there a broken bone, or is there any obvious deformities.
  • It is almost impossible to tell if you have Morton’s neuroma based on an x-ray, this is based on clinical exam.
  • Sometimes we may try to order an MRI, but most insurance plans these days don’t cover this right off the bat. As a result we can take an in office ultrasound to make sure that this is what’s going on.
  • Through a physical exam, we will make sure that you do not have an aroma between your toes. We will make sure that none of the toes are dislocated or have a plantar plate rupture. We’ll make sure that you don’t have capsulitis at the site.
  • By pressing with our fingertips along the metatarsal shaft, this would lead us to confirm that what you do have is a stress fracture through the site.

 

Our basic treatment algorithm includes:

  1. A foot x-ray as the first step.
  2. A full ultrasound in the office as the second step.
  3. An ultrasound as a backup, but insurance can sometimes be difficult in approving these at the beginning.
  4. Very rarely do we need to get a CT scan or a bone scan, especially for younger athletes, this can lead to a higher amount of radiation.

 

Metatarsalgia & Ball of the Foot Pain Treatment:

This long, long …. long in depth treatment guide will hopefully entertain you and show you everything you want to know about metatarsal joint pain!

 

Second Metatarsal Overload Syndrome Treatment:

 

What kind of rehabilitation can I do?:

  • The most important thing you could do is switch up to different forms of exercises.
  • What we usually prefer is stop running, and switch to cycling and swimming if at all possible.
  • You can still do upper body exercises weightlifting rolling. You can do many things that raise your heart rate without damaging your foot further.
  • The key is to accept that you have done some damage, and you must let it heal rather than getting worse.

 

What kind of stretching can I do?

  • The most common reason people get pressure on the front of their foot is very tight Achilles tendons and hamstrings.
  • Focus on stretching your calf muscles and hamstrings.
  • If these are starting to loosen up, you can even start looking at your lower back and stretching this.

 

What are the best stretching devices to help me get more flexible?

  • Second Metatarsal Overload Syndrome Treatment should be treated by identifying the cause.
  • If you have a bunion for example: correct the flat foot causing the bunion and the bunion itself.
  • If you wear heels: get a good running shoe with inserts.
  • If you have tight calf muscles: perform continuous calf stretches.

 

How long does it take to heal from second metatarsal overload syndrome?:

  • Doing all the right things, such as where good supportive orthotics, great shoes, resting the foot, and stretching your calf muscles and hamstrings: they can still take 6 to 8 weeks to fully heal this.
  • Some people get better quicker, but you need to keep doing these things for many many weeks.
  • The biggest mistake people do is think that they can do the right stuff for one to two weeks, no! It has to be longer, you have to treat this almost like a broken bone.
  • The biggest key to this is to accept that you have an injury, and you must do all the right stuff to give it time to heal. Have confidence that this is your diagnosis and let it heal up. Don’t turn what should be a 1 to 2 month injury into a 2 to 3 year injury or longer!

 

For more on 2nd metatarsal overload syndrome: 2nd metatarsal overload procedures.

Ball of the Foot Pain Treatment Infographic:

Morton's neuroma, hammer toe, plantar plate treatment

Ball of the Foot Home Treatment:

  • Consider taping, orthotics and great shoes as a combination to fix your foot problem.
  • Products are not always necessary to fix your problem.
  • The key is correcting the biomechanics that are leading to forefoot overload. Foot overload means too much pressure in the ball of the foot.
  • Generally something called ankle joint equinus can lead to a too much pressure in the ball of your foot. This means your ankle is not flexible enough to move up and down.
  • Ball of the foot pain treatment consists of two phases, first is control inflammation, next is to control bio-mechanics.

 

Remove Control Inflammation:

Massage & Ice Products:

  • The metal ball is one of my personal favorites.
  • This works great for your arch, less for the ball of the foot.
  • These can help relax the arch or heel ligaments, leading to less pressure in the ball of the foot.
  • Pills, creams and ice will never completely fix your problem alone. What they will do is reduce the pressure on the area.

Best Foot & Ankle Manual Massage Devices:
Best Premium Massage Roller
Most Cost Effective Massage Roller.
Cost Effective Freezable Massage Roller.
Recoup Fitness Cryosphere Cold Massage Roller - 6 Hours Cold Relief - Ice Cup - Myofascial Release- Great for Recovery - Free Rolling Removable Ball - Deep Tissue Massage - Pain Relief - Ice Pack
TheraFlow Foot Massager Roller - Relieve Foot Arch Pain, Plantar Fasciitis, Muscle Aches, Soreness. Stimulates Myofascial Release for Relaxation. Soothes Foot Tension/Tightness.
Theraband Foot Roller for Foot Pain Relief, Massage Ball Roller for Arch Pain, Plantar Fasciitis Treatment, Heel Spurs Reliever, Tired Feet, Best Foot Massager with Ridges for Self Myofascial Release
Price:
$39.95
$7.95
$11.98
Overview:
Premium freezable metal ball that stays cold for up to 6 hours. Great for plantar fascia, neck, shoulders and calf muscles.
Amazing Price, Great Reviews – Non-Freezable Massage Rolling Stick
Great price and it is freezable. Budget friendly freezable massage roller.
Pros:
Great reviews – near 5 star. Stays cold for a long time with deep penetrating plantar fascia massage. Used by professional athletes. Stays cold for HOURS!
Great for what it does. You roll it back and forth along your plantar fascia massaging the swelling and irritation out. Decreases pain. Thousands of 5 star reviews on Amazon.
Excellent reviews. It massages and ices, so it is a step up over the massage rollers. Near 5 star reviews with >500 reviews.
Cons:
More expensive than some of the other options, but near perfect reviews.
Is not freezable like the other two options. Massaging a sore muscle without the cold sensation can be very painful and render it useless to you if really sore.
It does a great job doing what it is supposed to do. Main downside is that it does not stay cold as long as the premium metal ball.
Important Tips:
Use it with a sock to start (could be too cold). Massaging and icing definitely loosens you up and makes you feel better, but you still have to prevent the pain in the first place. You still need stretching, orthotics and good shoes to prevent the initial damage.
Two things: Without the freezing component, it may be really painful for a very sore arch (So make sure to use ICE also). Also this only reduces pain, it does not stop the cause! You still need good orthotics, shoes and stretching to stop the pain in the first place!
Start with socks at first, especially if you have peripheral neuropathy => don’t freeze your foot! Remember that you still need good orthotics, good shoes and inserts as well as temporary activity reduction.
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links will connect you to Amazon):
Best Foot & Ankle Manual Massage Devices:
Best Premium Massage Roller
Recoup Fitness Cryosphere Cold Massage Roller - 6 Hours Cold Relief - Ice Cup - Myofascial Release- Great for Recovery - Free Rolling Removable Ball - Deep Tissue Massage - Pain Relief - Ice Pack
Price:
$39.95
Overview:
Premium freezable metal ball that stays cold for up to 6 hours. Great for plantar fascia, neck, shoulders and calf muscles.
Pros:
Great reviews – near 5 star. Stays cold for a long time with deep penetrating plantar fascia massage. Used by professional athletes. Stays cold for HOURS!
Cons:
More expensive than some of the other options, but near perfect reviews.
Important Tips:
Use it with a sock to start (could be too cold). Massaging and icing definitely loosens you up and makes you feel better, but you still have to prevent the pain in the first place. You still need stretching, orthotics and good shoes to prevent the initial damage.
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links will connect you to Amazon):
Best Foot & Ankle Manual Massage Devices:
Most Cost Effective Massage Roller.
TheraFlow Foot Massager Roller - Relieve Foot Arch Pain, Plantar Fasciitis, Muscle Aches, Soreness. Stimulates Myofascial Release for Relaxation. Soothes Foot Tension/Tightness.
Price:
$7.95
Overview:
Amazing Price, Great Reviews – Non-Freezable Massage Rolling Stick
Pros:
Great for what it does. You roll it back and forth along your plantar fascia massaging the swelling and irritation out. Decreases pain. Thousands of 5 star reviews on Amazon.
Cons:
Is not freezable like the other two options. Massaging a sore muscle without the cold sensation can be very painful and render it useless to you if really sore.
Important Tips:
Two things: Without the freezing component, it may be really painful for a very sore arch (So make sure to use ICE also). Also this only reduces pain, it does not stop the cause! You still need good orthotics, shoes and stretching to stop the pain in the first place!
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links will connect you to Amazon):
Best Foot & Ankle Manual Massage Devices:
Cost Effective Freezable Massage Roller.
Theraband Foot Roller for Foot Pain Relief, Massage Ball Roller for Arch Pain, Plantar Fasciitis Treatment, Heel Spurs Reliever, Tired Feet, Best Foot Massager with Ridges for Self Myofascial Release
Price:
$11.98
Overview:
Great price and it is freezable. Budget friendly freezable massage roller.
Pros:
Excellent reviews. It massages and ices, so it is a step up over the massage rollers. Near 5 star reviews with >500 reviews.
Cons:
It does a great job doing what it is supposed to do. Main downside is that it does not stay cold as long as the premium metal ball.
Important Tips:
Start with socks at first, especially if you have peripheral neuropathy => don’t freeze your foot! Remember that you still need good orthotics, good shoes and inserts as well as temporary activity reduction.
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links will connect you to Amazon):

 

Menthol Based Gels:

  • Biofreeze is one of our favorites.
  • These gels have been studied to work 2x as long as ice.
  • This works great for the ball of the foot.
  • Consider using these as options when resting on the couch or going to sleep at night.

Best Foot & Ankle Muscle/Ligament Pain Relief Products
Best & Proven Pain Relieving Gel.
Roll On Version of Biofreeze Gel.
A giant container of value size biofreeze.
Menthol Based Ointment with Hemp Extract
Biofreeze Pain Relief Gel, 4 oz. Tube, Pack of 3 (Packaging May Vary)
Biofreeze Pain Relief Roll-On, 3 oz. Roll-On, Fast Acting, Long Lasting, & Powerful Topical Pain Reliever, Pack of 3 (Packaging May Vary)
Biofreeze Pain Relief Gel, 1 Gallon Pump, Green
HEMPACTIV Hemp Pain Relief Cream | Hemp + MSM + Arnica + Menthol | Relieve Muscle, Joint & Arthritis Pain | Effective Hemp Pain Cream | 2oz
Price:
$31.18
$25.72
$124.08
$29.99
Overview:
The Proven and Scientifically Published Menthol Based Gel
Same as biofreeze gel, but the roll-on is prefered by some people for their feet, less messy.
8.1 lbs(3.67 kg) of Value Sized Biofreeze!
This is an alternative cream: Basically Biofreeze + hemp extract.
Pros:
Scientifically proven to loosen up and relief pain up to 2x longer than Ice. Less effort than ice and great reviews. 900+ 5 star reviews on Amazon.
The roll-on application of this biofreeze can be easier to apply. Less overall mess.
If you know you already love it and trust the reviews. This is a great value that lasts a long time.
It has great reviews, loved by the all natural crowd. 100s of 5 star reviews with a near perfect rating.
Cons:
Don’t put this on open sores or mucous membranes, it will burn! It can run out quick and doesn’t prevent pain, just helps it.
Not as easy to spread in other areas, main difference is the roll on applicator, same solution.
A gigantic bottle that could fall over and injure you! Seriously this could be too big in some situations.
Basically looks like menthol(active Biofreeze ingredient), but with hemp extract SKYROCKETING the price.
Important Tips:
Menthol is the active ingredient in this and other hemp based creams. It works similar to ice, but once you apply it you can just move on rather than waiting 20 minutes. **Works great to get your through the night if you have pain sleeping**
Roll-on method is best for the bottom of the feet. No other real advantage. Most patients like it prior to bed for easy sleeping without foot pain.
If you know you love it, this stuff works all over the sore areas in your body not just your foot. I have had many people get me to order this for them in the past and LOVED IT!
The hemp extract is almost nothing and likely a marketing gimmick. It’s basically Biofreeze with some hemp extract raising the price.
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links will connect you to Amazon):
Best Foot & Ankle Muscle/Ligament Pain Relief Products
Best & Proven Pain Relieving Gel.
Biofreeze Pain Relief Gel, 4 oz. Tube, Pack of 3 (Packaging May Vary)
Price:
$31.18
Overview:
The Proven and Scientifically Published Menthol Based Gel
Pros:
Scientifically proven to loosen up and relief pain up to 2x longer than Ice. Less effort than ice and great reviews. 900+ 5 star reviews on Amazon.
Cons:
Don’t put this on open sores or mucous membranes, it will burn! It can run out quick and doesn’t prevent pain, just helps it.
Important Tips:
Menthol is the active ingredient in this and other hemp based creams. It works similar to ice, but once you apply it you can just move on rather than waiting 20 minutes. **Works great to get your through the night if you have pain sleeping**
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links will connect you to Amazon):
Best Foot & Ankle Muscle/Ligament Pain Relief Products
Roll On Version of Biofreeze Gel.
Biofreeze Pain Relief Roll-On, 3 oz. Roll-On, Fast Acting, Long Lasting, & Powerful Topical Pain Reliever, Pack of 3 (Packaging May Vary)
Price:
$25.72
Overview:
Same as biofreeze gel, but the roll-on is prefered by some people for their feet, less messy.
Pros:
The roll-on application of this biofreeze can be easier to apply. Less overall mess.
Cons:
Not as easy to spread in other areas, main difference is the roll on applicator, same solution.
Important Tips:
Roll-on method is best for the bottom of the feet. No other real advantage. Most patients like it prior to bed for easy sleeping without foot pain.
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links will connect you to Amazon):
Best Foot & Ankle Muscle/Ligament Pain Relief Products
A giant container of value size biofreeze.
Biofreeze Pain Relief Gel, 1 Gallon Pump, Green
Price:
$124.08
Overview:
8.1 lbs(3.67 kg) of Value Sized Biofreeze!
Pros:
If you know you already love it and trust the reviews. This is a great value that lasts a long time.
Cons:
A gigantic bottle that could fall over and injure you! Seriously this could be too big in some situations.
Important Tips:
If you know you love it, this stuff works all over the sore areas in your body not just your foot. I have had many people get me to order this for them in the past and LOVED IT!
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links will connect you to Amazon):
Best Foot & Ankle Muscle/Ligament Pain Relief Products
Menthol Based Ointment with Hemp Extract
HEMPACTIV Hemp Pain Relief Cream | Hemp + MSM + Arnica + Menthol | Relieve Muscle, Joint & Arthritis Pain | Effective Hemp Pain Cream | 2oz
Price:
$29.99
Overview:
This is an alternative cream: Basically Biofreeze + hemp extract.
Pros:
It has great reviews, loved by the all natural crowd. 100s of 5 star reviews with a near perfect rating.
Cons:
Basically looks like menthol(active Biofreeze ingredient), but with hemp extract SKYROCKETING the price.
Important Tips:
The hemp extract is almost nothing and likely a marketing gimmick. It’s basically Biofreeze with some hemp extract raising the price.
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links will connect you to Amazon):

 

Massage Sticks:

  • These can work great for loosening your muscles.
  • This is means for your hamstring and calf muscles. This can loosen the ankle tightness putting pressure on the ball of your foot.
  • This allows less tightness and pressure on the ball of your foot.

Leg & Calf Muscle Massage Roller Sticks:
Best Overall Muscle Massage Stick
Best Cost Effective Massage Roller.
Best & Most Affordable Foot Massage Unit
Original Tiger Tail Massage Stick - Classic 18"- Massage Therapy on The Go - Relieve Sore Muscles - Foam Roller Prevent Injury, Speed Recovery, Improve Mobility - Made in The USA
Top Rated Muscle Roller Massage Stick: A Sports Body Massager Tool-Release Myofascial Trigger Points, Reduce Muscle Soreness, Tightness, Leg Cramps & Back Pain, Rub Muscle for Relief & Recovery
TISSCARE Shiatsu Calf Foot Massager Machine with Heat Leg Massager, Deep-Kneading for Tired Calf Leg Arm Plantar Fasciitis Neuropathy
Price:
$29.95
$9.99
Price not available
Overview:
This is a great option because hair or skin never gets pinched between the wheels. Softer interface.
Great option for an amazing cost. Not as sturdy and comfortable as the tiger tail.
A well reviewed foot massage unit.
Pros:
Best reviews. Hair and skin cannot get pinched. Almost instantly makes you less tender and more flexible. This is a professional grade massage roller.
Amazing reviews for the price point. It essentially does the same job. Muscles feel great afterward. Same overall benefit.
Amazing reviews averaging almost 5 stars. Reasonable price compared to most other units. Relieves swelling and inflammation in your feet naturally.
Cons:
If truly injured (break or tear) this won’t fix your pain. But no real downsides as far as what a massage roller does. Reviews are near perfect.
Wheels and handles can come loose. As a result it can gap and pinch skin and leg hairs. Not as durable as the other roller recommended here.
A more expensive version of manual and ice massage. The extra $ is basically to remove the manual labor yourself if you are OK with that!
Important Tips:
Studies show how effective massage rollers are: Use for 30-60 seconds to loosen up tight muscles, and then you can stretch further short term(1-2 hrs). Great for calf, hamstring, thight and IT band muscle stretching.
Same as for the more expensive one. Studies show the real benefits appear in 30-60 seconds per muscle => less sore and more flexible. That is the time to take advantage and play sports/stay loose. Very proven results.
This can actually help loosen up your calf muscles and foot muscles for a better stretch. So take advantage! You will be less sore and more flexible, but the results disappear after 1-2 hours or so!
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links will connect you to Amazon):
Leg & Calf Muscle Massage Roller Sticks:
Best Overall Muscle Massage Stick
Original Tiger Tail Massage Stick - Classic 18"- Massage Therapy on The Go - Relieve Sore Muscles - Foam Roller Prevent Injury, Speed Recovery, Improve Mobility - Made in The USA
Price:
$29.95
Overview:
This is a great option because hair or skin never gets pinched between the wheels. Softer interface.
Pros:
Best reviews. Hair and skin cannot get pinched. Almost instantly makes you less tender and more flexible. This is a professional grade massage roller.
Cons:
If truly injured (break or tear) this won’t fix your pain. But no real downsides as far as what a massage roller does. Reviews are near perfect.
Important Tips:
Studies show how effective massage rollers are: Use for 30-60 seconds to loosen up tight muscles, and then you can stretch further short term(1-2 hrs). Great for calf, hamstring, thight and IT band muscle stretching.
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links will connect you to Amazon):
Leg & Calf Muscle Massage Roller Sticks:
Best Cost Effective Massage Roller.
Top Rated Muscle Roller Massage Stick: A Sports Body Massager Tool-Release Myofascial Trigger Points, Reduce Muscle Soreness, Tightness, Leg Cramps & Back Pain, Rub Muscle for Relief & Recovery
Price:
$9.99
Overview:
Great option for an amazing cost. Not as sturdy and comfortable as the tiger tail.
Pros:
Amazing reviews for the price point. It essentially does the same job. Muscles feel great afterward. Same overall benefit.
Cons:
Wheels and handles can come loose. As a result it can gap and pinch skin and leg hairs. Not as durable as the other roller recommended here.
Important Tips:
Same as for the more expensive one. Studies show the real benefits appear in 30-60 seconds per muscle => less sore and more flexible. That is the time to take advantage and play sports/stay loose. Very proven results.
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links will connect you to Amazon):
Leg & Calf Muscle Massage Roller Sticks:
Best & Most Affordable Foot Massage Unit
TISSCARE Shiatsu Calf Foot Massager Machine with Heat Leg Massager, Deep-Kneading for Tired Calf Leg Arm Plantar Fasciitis Neuropathy
Price:
Price not available
Overview:
A well reviewed foot massage unit.
Pros:
Amazing reviews averaging almost 5 stars. Reasonable price compared to most other units. Relieves swelling and inflammation in your feet naturally.
Cons:
A more expensive version of manual and ice massage. The extra $ is basically to remove the manual labor yourself if you are OK with that!
Important Tips:
This can actually help loosen up your calf muscles and foot muscles for a better stretch. So take advantage! You will be less sore and more flexible, but the results disappear after 1-2 hours or so!
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links will connect you to Amazon):

 

Ball of the Foot Stress Relief.

  • The key is to prevent future pain.
  • If you can get rid of the pain and swelling, this will let you start walking normally.
  • If you can walk normally, the vast majority of your pain should gradually start to go away.
  • This means proper cushion, proper stability and pressure relief from the front of your foot.
  • This will relieve pressure from your big toe, your 2nd toe, your Morton’s neuroma, your plantar plate, hammer toes and joint capsules.

 

Best Metatarsalgia Shoes:

  • Getting a great supportive pair of shoes will make sure that there is pressure removed from the ball of your foot.
  • This is especially important if you have a metatarsalgia, a Morton’s neuroma, 2nd metatarsal overload syndrome and capsulitis!
  • Consider shoes combined with a good supportive orthotic for best pain relief!
  • The following link will show you what our favorites are.

Best Podiatrist Recommended Shoes

 

Best Ball of the Foot Insoles:

  • These are our recommended orthotics & insoles.
  • There are different types for different shoes.
  • Women’s shoes usually need a less bulky orthotic, but allow for less correction.
  • A full length orthotic requires a running shoe, boot or comfortable walking/dress shoe.

 

Best Full Length Orthotics:

  • Full length orthotics are the most recommended type for ball of the foot pain.
  • Be aware that if they are too uncomfortable, it might be worth starting with a less corrective pair.
  • Eventually you can then work your way up to these.

Best Medium to Heavy Duty Heel Pain Orthotics:
Best Overall Orthotic For Everything (Medium Thick Fit)
Best Heavy Duty Orthotic (Thickest Fit)
Best SOFTER Choice For Sensitive Feet (Medium Thick Fit)
Powerstep Pinnacle Plus Met Insoles, Red/Blue
Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx Orthotic Insole Shoe Inserts, Workout Gear for Home Workou, Maroon, Men's 10-10.5, Women's 12
Plantar Fasciitis Arch Support Insoles for Men and Women Shoe Inserts - Orthotic Inserts - Flat Feet Foot - Running Athletic Gel Shoe Insoles - Orthotic insoles for Arch Pain High Arch - Boot Insoles
Price:
Price not available
Price not available
$19.99
Overview:
These work best in shoes with laces and running shoes. Not good for dress shoes or women’s cute shoes.
Biggest and most corrective option. Only use for running shoes or work boots. Not cute shoes.
These are full length inserts, but softer. Great if you can’t tolerate the firmer ones. Best for very sore and sensitive feet.
Pros:
Pretty much guaranteed to help you if it fits in your shoes and you give it 2 weeks to get used to. 5,000+ amazon reviews, great track record.
My personal favorite, but not for everyone. Amazing reviews over 3,500. But not for everyone. Only for bigger shoes that can fit them
They are softer and the initial break in time is AMAZING. But longer term benefits are less. >500 Almost 5 star amazon rating.
Cons:
Do not wear these in cute or dress shoes!
Bigger and bulkier than all the other ones. You will be dissappointed if you have a cute women’s shoe or dress shoe. This is meant for running shoes and boots.
Great to start with, but don’t correct long term as much as the other ones.
Crucial Tips:
Ease in to these, 1-2hrs a day. They are like braces for your teeth, they suck at the beginning! But they will make your feet pain free as 1-2 weeks go by. Don’t give up on them after 1 or 2 days. Everyone feels off at the beginning!
This has the most correction, but hardest break in time! IF SENSITIVE, USE A SOFTER PAIR FIRST! But if you get these, you must break them in. Give it 1-2 hours a day, but then you will start to have excellent results. The bad reviews are all people who couldn’t fit it into their shoes and gave up too quickly. You have been WARNED!
If you are very sore, TRY THESE FIRST! These are easiest to break in with initially. If you are very sore and rigid, don’t use the heavy duty ones to start with.
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links will connect you to Amazon):
Best Medium to Heavy Duty Heel Pain Orthotics:
Best Overall Orthotic For Everything (Medium Thick Fit)
Powerstep Pinnacle Plus Met Insoles, Red/Blue
Price:
Price not available
Overview:
These work best in shoes with laces and running shoes. Not good for dress shoes or women’s cute shoes.
Pros:
Pretty much guaranteed to help you if it fits in your shoes and you give it 2 weeks to get used to. 5,000+ amazon reviews, great track record.
Cons:
Do not wear these in cute or dress shoes!
Crucial Tips:
Ease in to these, 1-2hrs a day. They are like braces for your teeth, they suck at the beginning! But they will make your feet pain free as 1-2 weeks go by. Don’t give up on them after 1 or 2 days. Everyone feels off at the beginning!
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Best Medium to Heavy Duty Heel Pain Orthotics:
Best Heavy Duty Orthotic (Thickest Fit)
Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx Orthotic Insole Shoe Inserts, Workout Gear for Home Workou, Maroon, Men's 10-10.5, Women's 12
Price:
Price not available
Overview:
Biggest and most corrective option. Only use for running shoes or work boots. Not cute shoes.
Pros:
My personal favorite, but not for everyone. Amazing reviews over 3,500. But not for everyone. Only for bigger shoes that can fit them
Cons:
Bigger and bulkier than all the other ones. You will be dissappointed if you have a cute women’s shoe or dress shoe. This is meant for running shoes and boots.
Crucial Tips:
This has the most correction, but hardest break in time! IF SENSITIVE, USE A SOFTER PAIR FIRST! But if you get these, you must break them in. Give it 1-2 hours a day, but then you will start to have excellent results. The bad reviews are all people who couldn’t fit it into their shoes and gave up too quickly. You have been WARNED!
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Best Medium to Heavy Duty Heel Pain Orthotics:
Best SOFTER Choice For Sensitive Feet (Medium Thick Fit)
Plantar Fasciitis Arch Support Insoles for Men and Women Shoe Inserts - Orthotic Inserts - Flat Feet Foot - Running Athletic Gel Shoe Insoles - Orthotic insoles for Arch Pain High Arch - Boot Insoles
Price:
$19.99
Overview:
These are full length inserts, but softer. Great if you can’t tolerate the firmer ones. Best for very sore and sensitive feet.
Pros:
They are softer and the initial break in time is AMAZING. But longer term benefits are less. >500 Almost 5 star amazon rating.
Cons:
Great to start with, but don’t correct long term as much as the other ones.
Crucial Tips:
If you are very sore, TRY THESE FIRST! These are easiest to break in with initially. If you are very sore and rigid, don’t use the heavy duty ones to start with.
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Best Dress Shoe Orthotics:

  • These are a stronger option for shoes with tight dress shoes.
  • Just be aware that less corrective orthotics & tight shoes are usually not a good combination.

Best Dress Shoe Orthotics:
Best Fitting Dress Shoe Orthotic (3/4″)
Best Full Length Dress Orthotic.
Powerstep Signature Dress 3/4-Length Insoles – Dress Shoe Insoles for Men and Women
Powerstep Signature Dress Full-Length Insoles for Men and Women
Price:
Price not available
Price not available
Overview:
This is my top choice due to best fit. It is a little less supportive than full length, but fit is the key in dress shoes!
Best option if you can fit a full length orthotic. This does give you most control.
Pros:
Excellent overall fit. This will fit in almost every dress shoe. Excellent reviews and reasonable cost overall. Can’t go wrong in most cases.
Great color dress option. Not the most corrective, but very color and dress appropriate. Great Reviews. Better correction and relief than the 3/4″ length.
Cons:
Less correction than full length and heavy duty orthotics.
These can have a poor fit in in some shoes. If you have tight shoes, DO NOT BUY the full length orthotic! You have been warned.
Crucial Tips:
If you haven’t used dress orthotics before, get this one and avoid poor fit. If you wear dress shoes every day with room, the full length might give you more support.
This is will work great in most men’s shoes that are not pointy. If you have a rounded toe box, this will probably work well. If a tight shoe go with the 3/4″ length.
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Best Dress Shoe Orthotics:
Best Fitting Dress Shoe Orthotic (3/4″)
Powerstep Signature Dress 3/4-Length Insoles – Dress Shoe Insoles for Men and Women
Price:
Price not available
Overview:
This is my top choice due to best fit. It is a little less supportive than full length, but fit is the key in dress shoes!
Pros:
Excellent overall fit. This will fit in almost every dress shoe. Excellent reviews and reasonable cost overall. Can’t go wrong in most cases.
Cons:
Less correction than full length and heavy duty orthotics.
Crucial Tips:
If you haven’t used dress orthotics before, get this one and avoid poor fit. If you wear dress shoes every day with room, the full length might give you more support.
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links will connect you to Amazon):
Best Dress Shoe Orthotics:
Best Full Length Dress Orthotic.
Powerstep Signature Dress Full-Length Insoles for Men and Women
Price:
Price not available
Overview:
Best option if you can fit a full length orthotic. This does give you most control.
Pros:
Great color dress option. Not the most corrective, but very color and dress appropriate. Great Reviews. Better correction and relief than the 3/4″ length.
Cons:
These can have a poor fit in in some shoes. If you have tight shoes, DO NOT BUY the full length orthotic! You have been warned.
Crucial Tips:
This is will work great in most men’s shoes that are not pointy. If you have a rounded toe box, this will probably work well. If a tight shoe go with the 3/4″ length.
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Best 3/4 Length Orthotics:

  • These may be a good option for ball of the foot if the full length orthotics are too tight or too uncomfortable.

Best Flat Shoe (Non-Lace Up) Orthotics:
Best Overall 3/4″ length option. (Not Heavy Duty, But Fit Focused)
Best Choice For Tight Women’s Shoes or High Heels..
Thin Arch Support Shoe Orthotic Inserts for Women and Men by Powerstep, SlimTech 3/4 Length, Original Cushioning Shoe Insoles, Relieves Plantar Facsiitis, All Arch Types, Foot, Heel and Knee Pain
Powerstep SlenderFit Women's Fashion Orthotic High Heel Insole
Price:
Price not available
Price not available
Overview:
Great 3/4″ choice. These work great in every shoe without laces. Not meant for heavy duty correction.
These are the best fitting for the most narrow shoes. Some but not great correction.
Pros:
Excellent fit, they are reliable with excellent reviews. You are going to be happy with these, just never SUPER happy because they don’t correct as much.
They will fit in even the tightest shoes! Guaranteed to make you feel better, but you know what you are getting in a tight shoes. Great reviews and price.
Cons:
They are not super corrective. In some cases its like trying to using a 2 seat car to haul gravel. It looks and feels great but does
At the end of the day high heels and slender orthotics help, but never cure all your pain. Make the best of a painful shoe!
Crucial Tips:
These have a faster break in period than the heavy duty type. If after a few weeks
**WARNING***: If your shoe almost just barely fits onto your foot, this WILL NOT FIT! Be aware, it still needs a small amount of space to fit.
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links will connect you to Amazon):
Best Flat Shoe (Non-Lace Up) Orthotics:
Best Overall 3/4″ length option. (Not Heavy Duty, But Fit Focused)
Thin Arch Support Shoe Orthotic Inserts for Women and Men by Powerstep, SlimTech 3/4 Length, Original Cushioning Shoe Insoles, Relieves Plantar Facsiitis, All Arch Types, Foot, Heel and Knee Pain
Price:
Price not available
Overview:
Great 3/4″ choice. These work great in every shoe without laces. Not meant for heavy duty correction.
Pros:
Excellent fit, they are reliable with excellent reviews. You are going to be happy with these, just never SUPER happy because they don’t correct as much.
Cons:
They are not super corrective. In some cases its like trying to using a 2 seat car to haul gravel. It looks and feels great but does
Crucial Tips:
These have a faster break in period than the heavy duty type. If after a few weeks
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links will connect you to Amazon):
Best Flat Shoe (Non-Lace Up) Orthotics:
Best Choice For Tight Women’s Shoes or High Heels..
Powerstep SlenderFit Women's Fashion Orthotic High Heel Insole
Price:
Price not available
Overview:
These are the best fitting for the most narrow shoes. Some but not great correction.
Pros:
They will fit in even the tightest shoes! Guaranteed to make you feel better, but you know what you are getting in a tight shoes. Great reviews and price.
Cons:
At the end of the day high heels and slender orthotics help, but never cure all your pain. Make the best of a painful shoe!
Crucial Tips:
**WARNING***: If your shoe almost just barely fits onto your foot, this WILL NOT FIT! Be aware, it still needs a small amount of space to fit.
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Get A Great Dynamic Stretch:

  • It is possible to stretch on your own, but these products can also really help!
  • Personally I have the stationary block set up in my kitchen to stretch every day multiple times while getting my coffee!
  • This will take pressure off of the ball of your foot.

Best Standing Foot & Ankle Stretching Devices:
Best Premium Plantar Fascia Stretching Device.
Best Budget Plantar Fascia Stretching Stretch Device.
Best Stationary Calf Stretching Device.
Best Hamstring Stretching Device
Premium Quality Wood Calf Stretcher & Foot Rocker - Achilles Tendonitis, Plantar Fasciitis, Shin Splint, Tight Calves, Arch & Heel Pain Relief - Ankle Wedge for Mobility, Flexibility, Range of Motion
North American Healthcare Foot Rocker Blue -Optimal Foot Position for Flexibility, Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and other Chronic Conditions
Liberty Imports Professional Wooden Slant Board, Adjustable Incline Calf Stretch Slantboard with Full Non-Slip Surface, 16 inches x 12.5 inches, 5 Positions (350 LB Capacity)
IdealStretch Original Hamstring Stretching Device with Instruction Card - Ideal Leg Stretcher, No Need for A Stretching Partner, Maintains Proper Hip Orientation - Patented Leg Stretching Machine
Price:
$37.95
$17.80
$55.00
$56.95
Overview:
Great Stretching Device While Standing. (4.9 Amazon Rating)
Plastic and Lighter Plantar Fascia & Achilles Stretching Device.
Premium Best Rated Wood Ankle Stretch Device.
Uses gravity to stretch your hamstring for you. Great reviews and track record.
Pros:
Very sturdy and durable. Great bottom grip and weight so it won’t slide on you. Perfect 5 star review on Amazon.
Amazing cost, still works and 1,300+ 5 star reviews. Works great overall and gives you the same stretch.
Near perfect 4.8 star review on Amazon. Great sturdy device that stretches your calf and hamstring. All you have to do is lean forward. Can be very effective.
Reviews on Amazon are >4.5 overall with hundreds of reviews. It uses gravity to stretch for you, allows you to also use your hips. Gets great results.
Cons:
More expensive and built like a tank = more weight. If you can’t balance well or support yourself it could be dangerous.
The plastic and less bulk/grip makes it more dangerous to slip. Less premium feel to it.
Nothing wrong with the product, as the reviews suggest, but at the end of the day you can do this stuff yourself (just a little bit harder).
These are stretches that you realistically can do on your own. If budget is tight, this is not worth it. If you need help with hamstring stretching, it can make all the difference.
Important Tips:
Make sure you can balance yourself well against a counter/railing. Do only one foot at a time to prevent falling. Uses your body weight to stretch for you.
Even more important to balance yourself well with this device, make sure you don’t injure yourself with this thing! Still gives you a great stretch to the area.
Make sure you balance yourself on a counter/railing. You need to keep up with this daily at least 15-30 second x 3 or so per morning. It doesn’t stretch for you!
Need to do 3-5 stretches per day 15-30 seconds. You should notice a massive difference to knee and hamstring tightness. You can massage roll ahead to time for better results for 30-60 seconds.
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links will connect you to Amazon):
Best Standing Foot & Ankle Stretching Devices:
Best Premium Plantar Fascia Stretching Device.
Premium Quality Wood Calf Stretcher & Foot Rocker - Achilles Tendonitis, Plantar Fasciitis, Shin Splint, Tight Calves, Arch & Heel Pain Relief - Ankle Wedge for Mobility, Flexibility, Range of Motion
Price:
$37.95
Overview:
Great Stretching Device While Standing. (4.9 Amazon Rating)
Pros:
Very sturdy and durable. Great bottom grip and weight so it won’t slide on you. Perfect 5 star review on Amazon.
Cons:
More expensive and built like a tank = more weight. If you can’t balance well or support yourself it could be dangerous.
Important Tips:
Make sure you can balance yourself well against a counter/railing. Do only one foot at a time to prevent falling. Uses your body weight to stretch for you.
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links will connect you to Amazon):
Best Standing Foot & Ankle Stretching Devices:
Best Budget Plantar Fascia Stretching Stretch Device.
North American Healthcare Foot Rocker Blue -Optimal Foot Position for Flexibility, Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and other Chronic Conditions
Price:
$17.80
Overview:
Plastic and Lighter Plantar Fascia & Achilles Stretching Device.
Pros:
Amazing cost, still works and 1,300+ 5 star reviews. Works great overall and gives you the same stretch.
Cons:
The plastic and less bulk/grip makes it more dangerous to slip. Less premium feel to it.
Important Tips:
Even more important to balance yourself well with this device, make sure you don’t injure yourself with this thing! Still gives you a great stretch to the area.
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links will connect you to Amazon):
Best Standing Foot & Ankle Stretching Devices:
Best Stationary Calf Stretching Device.
Liberty Imports Professional Wooden Slant Board, Adjustable Incline Calf Stretch Slantboard with Full Non-Slip Surface, 16 inches x 12.5 inches, 5 Positions (350 LB Capacity)
Price:
$55.00
Overview:
Premium Best Rated Wood Ankle Stretch Device.
Pros:
Near perfect 4.8 star review on Amazon. Great sturdy device that stretches your calf and hamstring. All you have to do is lean forward. Can be very effective.
Cons:
Nothing wrong with the product, as the reviews suggest, but at the end of the day you can do this stuff yourself (just a little bit harder).
Important Tips:
Make sure you balance yourself on a counter/railing. You need to keep up with this daily at least 15-30 second x 3 or so per morning. It doesn’t stretch for you!
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links will connect you to Amazon):
Best Standing Foot & Ankle Stretching Devices:
Best Hamstring Stretching Device
IdealStretch Original Hamstring Stretching Device with Instruction Card - Ideal Leg Stretcher, No Need for A Stretching Partner, Maintains Proper Hip Orientation - Patented Leg Stretching Machine
Price:
$56.95
Overview:
Uses gravity to stretch your hamstring for you. Great reviews and track record.
Pros:
Reviews on Amazon are >4.5 overall with hundreds of reviews. It uses gravity to stretch for you, allows you to also use your hips. Gets great results.
Cons:
These are stretches that you realistically can do on your own. If budget is tight, this is not worth it. If you need help with hamstring stretching, it can make all the difference.
Important Tips:
Need to do 3-5 stretches per day 15-30 seconds. You should notice a massive difference to knee and hamstring tightness. You can massage roll ahead to time for better results for 30-60 seconds.
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links will connect you to Amazon):

 

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