Metatarsal Gel Pads
There are many different styles of metatarsal pads and ZenToes makes most of them! All feet are unique which is why we offer a wide assortment so you can try them until you find the one that works best for you. Some people prefer an adhesive pad that sticks right to their foot so they know it is in the exact spot they need it to be before putting on their shoes. Our dancer pads and felt pads are both great options that stick right to your feet. If you prefer a shoe insert that you can apply one time and then it’s ready to go, you should try our adhesive gel pads or try our fabric covered shoe inserts which also keep your feet from sliding forward in high heels. We have a single toe loop and double toe loop squishy gel pad in beige or white that can be worn under your socks for amazing cushioning. Our best-selling metatarsal pad is a fabric “half sock” that goes over your toes and cushions the ball of your foot with the gel inside. And finally, we have a similar fabric version that is reversible, in case you have only one foot with ball of foot pain, that comes in two different sizes.
Where are the metatarsals?
The metatarsals are the five long bones in your feet between your toes and the tarsal bones, or the area of your feet where your flip flop straps lay. Your big toe is connected to your first metatarsal and your pinky toe is connected to your fifth metatarsal bone.
What could be causing the pain in the ball of my foot?
Ball of foot pain and inflammation is usually caused by wearing ill fitting shoes but can also be due to strenuous activities like running and jumping. You could even have an injury like a metatarsal stress fracture that wasn’t immediately noticed. Sesamoiditis is another condition that causes pain in the ball of your foot, near your big toe, when the tendons surrounding the sesamoid bones become injured and inflamed.
Many types of foot conditions are irritated by inadequate support or cushioning in your shoes. Metatarsal gel pads protect the ball of your foot from pressure and impact while walking, exercising and running, so that you can stay active without severe pain. Metatarsal pads can also help prevent further injury to broken or fractured metatarsal bones while they are healing by adding a layer of cushioning between your foot and your shoe.
What is Metatarsalgia?
Metatarsalgia is the painful inflammation of the ball of your foot, typically caused by high impact running and jumping, foot deformities or shoes that are too small or too large. It can cause sharp or shooting pain, numbness or tingling in your toes and the pain may worsen when you stand up, or when you run or walk on hard surfaces. Metatarsalgia can be exacerbated by obesity, inflammatory arthritis, wearing high heels or shoes with spikes, such as cleats.
A painful condition that affects the area between your third and fourth toes and the ball of your foot, is called Morton’s Neuroma. It can cause a sharp, burning pain to the ball of your foot due to a thickening of the tissue around one of the nerves leading to your toes. You might feel like you have a fold in your sock or a pebble in your shoe and your toes can burn, sting or feel numb from Morton’s Neuroma. In severe cases, corticosteroid injections or surgery could be necessary but many people experience relief by switching to lower heeled shoes and adding an additional layer of padding to the ball of their foot with a metatarsal pad.
When a metatarsal bone breaks, the pain is usually quite localized at the site of the broken bone. There will usually be bruising and swelling and you may have heard an audible cracking sound. A metatarsal break will cause immediate pain and tenderness around the area of the fracture and movement of your foot may be limited. It is important for your doctor to diagnose a metatarsal fracture with an x-ray in case the bones need realignment so that they can heal in the proper position. A metatarsal pad can help relieve the pain of a healing broken metatarsal bone by cushioning the ball of the foot.
Can I wear shoes with my gel pads?
All of our metatarsal pads are shoe-friendly. They can be worn with all types of work shoes, dress shoes, athletic shoes, boots and sandals. Our self-adhesive ball of foot cushions and our fabric-covered gel cushions are specifically designed to be used as shoe inserts and should be adhered to the inside sole of your shoe. ZenToes metatarsal pads will help your shoes absorb the shock and pressure of walking and running so you have less pain in the balls of your feet.
Can I wash and reuse my metatarsal gel pads?
ZenToes carries both reusable and disposable metatarsal pads. Our felt pads, cloth covered pads, and u-shaped pads are disposable and should be thrown away and replaced once they are dirty or the adhesive loses its strength. Our washable pads include our OSFM fabric metatarsal sleeve, fabric metatarsal sleeve in small and large sizes, single loop gel cushion, double loop gel cushion, self-adhesive gel pads and our dancer pads. These pads should be cleaned regularly based on the frequency of their use and your perspiration level. They can be hand washed with warm water and a soap that will not irritate your skin. They should be air dried completely before wearing again. If the pads with exposed gel become sticky, you can powder the gel with talcum or baby powder.