A Cure for the Sole: The Benefits of a Foot Metatarsal Pad and the Science Behind It
5 min read
By 
ergotoes_admin
Published 
July 11, 2022

A Cure for the Sole: The Benefits of a Foot Metatarsal Pad and the Science Behind It

5 min read
By 
ergotoes_admin
Published 
July 11, 2022

Do your feet want to give up from walking and standing all day? You're not alone. Many people suffer from foot pain because of prolonged activity. This can be a real problem as it will hinder you from doing the things you love. 

Like most people, you probably think of foot pain as a minor annoyance. But for many people, foot pain can be downright debilitating. In fact, people go to the doctor for this very reason. Foot metatarsal pads may be the answer for you. Read on to learn about the benefits of using foot metatarsal pads and see if they might be right for you! 

5 Advantages of Wearing Metatarsal Support Pads

There are many benefits to using metatarsal pads or ball of foot cushions, which are backed by experts. Here are five of the most compelling reasons to give them a try:

#1. Enhanced Comfort 

Experts recommend you stand for two hours daily to burn more calories, and anything beyond that can be detrimental. You could be at risk of lower body muscle fatigue and long-term foot conditions. 

When you feel a sharp foot pain right on your metatarsals, simply adding a foot metatarsal pad to your shoe will make your feet feel more comfortable. This is because the met pad distributes the pressure evenly across your foot and reduces foot strain. However, you must know how to place these pads properly. If not, it can irritate your foot even more or worsen your injuries. 

#2. Spreads Your Metatarsal Heads 

Toe boxes are the front parts of your footwear where your toes are. Toe boxes can be wide and narrow. Narrow toe boxes, known as tapering toe boxes, look stylish, but they essentially constrict and smash your toes together. This can lead to many foot problems on your metatarsal bones, nerves, and blood vessels leading up to your toes.

The cushiony curve feature of the met pad raises your metatarsal heads and spreads them. So instead of resorting to expensive physical therapies or surgical treatments, you can combat your too-narrowed forefoot with these nifty pads. 

X-ray of foot focusing on metatarsal bones

#3. Realigns Crooked Toes

One of the most common reasons people induce foot issues is incorrect footwear. Perhaps, you like wearing these types of shoes: 

  • High-heeled 
  • Rigid or inflexible soles
  • Tapered
  • Toe spring

If you wear these shoe types, your metatarsal and phalanges will eventually become disfigured or crooked. Crooked toes take many forms, such as overlapping toes, hammertoe, curly toe, claw toe, mallet toe, and Adductovarus toe.

Over time, your toe extensors, tendons, and muscles become overly stretched and tight. Fortunately, the third benefit to using met pads is that you can correct your crooked toes, returning them to their natural anatomical position. With consistent use, this noninvasive treatment simply shifts your body weight from your toes to the rest of your foot, achieving straighter and aligned toes. 

#4. Positions Your Fat Pad

Our metatarsal bones sit on what we call forefoot fat pads, a thick set of connective tissues. What's the sole purpose of your forefoot fat pads? Your natural pads cushion and protect the sensitive ball on your feet. Weight-bearing activities such as standing still, walking, jumping, or running are made possible thanks to the unrelenting performance of your forefoot fat pads. 

If your muscles and tendons on your forefoot are chronically tight, your toes go out of place, as well as your forefoot fat pads. Like a foam running thin, fat pads become thinner and thinner from overuse, often called fat pad syndrome. The fat pad is then pulled away from the ball of your foot, going towards the end of your foot. Thus, with no more cushion left, the ball of your foot is vulnerable to many foot problems, which we will delve into in our next point.

Do you think metatarsal pads only position your toes? They also realign your forefoot fat pad back where it should support the ball of your foot and the metatarsal heads. It's the same principle that goes with crooked toes. The metatarsal cushion pad tugs your toes downward and your forefoot fat pad with them. 

#5. Treats and Prevents Foot and Toe Conditions

Forefoot pain

Are you having forefoot pain or ball of foot problems already? Then, you can use your met pads to restore your foot to its proper position and function. Met pads can be helpful with:

  • Neuromas: We also call this foot problem a nerve tumor or pinched nerve. Between the third and fourth toes, you can find this benign growth of nerve tissue. People often describe the pain as repeatedly stepping on a stone in the same area. Thus, if you feel pain, tingling, numbness, and swelling on your forefoot, you could possibly have a neuroma. 
  • Morton's Neuromas: This is a neuroma in which your tissues thicken due to damaged or irritated nerves around the third and fourth toes. You would feel the pain when you put pressure on your forefoot like runners do when they push off at the starting line.  
  • Sesamoiditis: This happens when your sesamoid bones, found on the underside of the big toes, are inflamed. Interestingly, the sesamoid bone is the only bone connected to your tendons, unlike most of your bones connected to other bones. Due to the stress of sports, for instance, you can eventually feel sharp pains and incur bruises. 
  • Plantar Fasciosis: Commonly known as Plantar fasciitis, this condition is when your plantar fascia, a band of tissues connecting your heel and toes, is inflamed. This is due to repeated strenuous activities, which cause small tears on the fascia. Aside from walking or standing, you can get this foot pain from footwear, age, or obesity. 
  • Capsulitis: This forefoot pain normally happens at the ligament capsule of your second toe. But, you can still have capsulitis in any toe. The symptoms may vary from pain at the ball of your foot to swelling on your affected toe. 

Best Metatarsal Pads to Buy 

The best metatarsal pads are those that are comfortable and offer good support for the foot. Pads that are too soft or too thin may not provide enough support, while those that are too hard or too thick can cause pain and discomfort. It is important to choose a pad that is the right size and shape for your foot and provides adequate support without causing pain.

Check out some of the best met pads to have for your feet:

Brand Material Washable High-Impact Activities
3M 100% Wool Felt Pads100% Wool FeltNoNo
Dr. Frederick’s Original PadsBiodegradable TPE Gel YesYes
ZenToes Metatarsal Ball of Foot CushionsFabric and GelYesYes
Dr. Scholl’s Metatarsal Foot PadsSiliconeYesNo 
COMFYLUX Metatarsal PadsSiliconeYesYes

Final Thoughts

As you can see, foot metatarsal pads offer a variety of benefits for those suffering from pain in the ball of their foot. If you are currently experiencing this type of pain, we highly recommend giving one of the best metatarsal pads a try. 

We've provided some helpful information and reviews above to get you started. However, with so many met pads out there, it can be tough to get the right one for your aching feet. So let us help you feel relieved once again. Be sure to check out our other guides and reviews for more information on the latest foot products available today!

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