Metatarsalgia (Ball of foot pain)

Footlogics: The science of walking comfort


Metatarsalgia is a general term used to denote pain
and/or a burning sensation in the plantar forefoot pad under the metatarsal heads, an area commonly known as the ‘ball of the foot’. Sometimes the patient may describe the pain as a lump underneath the ball of the foot. Applying pressure to the plantar surface of the metatarsal heads may elicit pain. Often an area of thick callous is present in the affected area. Differential diagnosis of Metatarsalgia is “Morton’s Neuroma”, which exhibits more localised sharp pain as the interdigital nerves between the metatarsal heads become impinged.


Metatarsalgia can be attributed to excessive pronation as it can cause the transverse arch to lower and/or collapse. When a foot is pronated excessively for any length of time, there is a progressive weakening of the soft tissue structures. In the forefoot, excess pronation leads to plantar-flexion and rotation of the metatarsals. This results in shearing forces on the forefoot structure, causing inflammation and pain.


Footlogics orthotics are useful in the treatment of Metatarsalgia by correcting excess pronation. In addition the in-built metatarsal support at the dorsal surface of the orthotic will aid in restoring the foot’s natural transverse arch thus relieving pressure and pain. Footlogics orthotics re-align the metatarsal heads by dorsi-flexing the 2nd, 3rd and 4th metatarsals to their neutral position. By controlling excess pronation Footlogics also prevents plantar-flexion and shearing of the metatarsal shafts. A more even weight distribution across the metatarsal bones reduces excess pressure and friction in the forefoot, which commonly causes the callous formation and burning sensation.

Metatarsalgia in women’s fashion shoes

Metatarsalgia is very common in female patients who mostly wear tight fashion shoes with a medium to high heel, especially when walking in this type of footwear for longer periods of time.

The obvious reason here is that when wearing heels, around 80% of the person’s body weight pushes into the forefoot. The result is plantar-flexion of the metatarsals and severe weakening of the surrounding ligaments. The entire forefoot structure will collapse in turn leading to excess pressure and friction under the ball of the foot.

Against doctor’s advice, most women will simply continue wearing tight, high heeled shoes and suffer the consquences…

Footlogics offers a solution to this foot problem for normal shoes, as well as women’s shoes with a heel. Our Footlogics Bella insoles restore biomechanical balance by supporting the longitudinal arch as well as the metatarsal bones. This means that body weight is distributed more evenly preventing excessive pressure and friction in the ball of the foot. As a result there’s a reduction of pain and the associated burning sensation, especially with longer periods of standing or walking.

Recommended Footlogics insoles:

We have developed various orthotic insoles for this common foot condition including Footlogics Metatarsalgia – a 3/4 insole with in-built metatarsal support. And the same insole in full-length: the Footlogics Meta-Ful for lace-up shoes with plenty of room in the toe box.  For women’s footwear we have the Footlogics Bella and also the Versa.


  • Bella 2 large

    Footlogics Bella

    Footlogics Bella – 3/4-length cushioning orthotic designed to fit into ladies footwear with a low to medium heel height.

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  • Meta Full 1 Scaled

    Footlogics Meta Full

    Full length orthotic for the relief of ball of foot pain (Metatarsalgia) and also Morton’s Neuroma. Features a metatarsal dome to support the forefoot structure and cushioning forefoot pad.

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  • FL Metatarsalgia large

    Footlogics Metatarsalgia

    Soft to Medium density EVA orthotic with built-in metatarsal raise. Cushioning 3/4 length orthotic for the relief of ball of foot pain (Metatarsalgia) and also Morton’s Neuroma, or tired, aching feet.

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  • Versa Main

    Footlogics Versa

    Full-length slim-line orthotic, designed to fit most women’s shoes. Effective relief from heel pain, ball of foot pain (Metatarsalgia) and Morton’s Neuroma or tired, aching feet. Premium quality medical-grade orthotic developed by Australian podiatrists.

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