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Metatarsal Pads – which one is best for my foot pain?

Metatarsal pad firmness – do I need soft or firm?

Metatarsal pads come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.  But the characteristic that may be most important for your needs is the relative firmness of the metatarsal pad.  Just like a mattress, metatarsal pads come in soft, medium-firm, and firm.  To a great degree, the relative firmness of the metatarsal pad is a matter of personal preference.  The mattress folks drilled down into this personal preference choice with the Sleep Number System.  Although we don’t have a similar system, I’d like to create a reference guide for metatarsal pad firmness that you’ll find below.

Which metatarsal pad should be my first metatarsal pad?

Which is the best metatarsal pad for you to start with?  Let’s base that choice on our two most popular metatarsal pads.  The two most popular metatarsal pads are going to be the Felt Metatarsal Pad and the Reusable Metatarsal Pad.  The Felt Metatarsal Pad is most commonly used in the shoe while the Reusable Metatarsal Pad is applied directly to the foot.

Let’s run through all of our metatarsal pads beginning with soft and ending with firm:

Soft metatarsal pads and cushions

Metatarsal cushions – metatarsal cushions are just a wee bit different than metatarsal pads in that metatarsal cushions are applied directly under the ball of the foot.  Metatarsal cushions are a soft pad.  Metatarsal pads, on the other hand, are applied adjacent (proximal to or just behind the ball-of-the-foot.

Metatarsal cushion gel  Metatarsal Cushion – Gel

Foam Ball of Foot Pad  Foam Ball of Foot Pads

Ultra Thin Ball of Foot Slip-On Pad  Ultra Thin Slip On Foot Strap

Metatarsal pad foam  Metatarsal Pad Foam

Medium firmness metatarsal pads

Felt Metatarsal Pad  Metatarsal Pad Felt

Neuroma pad mini-felt  Neuroma Pads – Mini Felt

Metatarsal Pad PPT  Metatarsal Pads – PPT

Pedag Comfort Supports  Pedag Comfort Supports (with metatarsal pad)

Gel metatarsal pads  Gel Metatarsal Pads

Pedag T-Form metatarsal pads  Pedag T-Form Metatarsal Pads

Pedag VIVA Mini Insert  Pedag VIVA MINI Arch Support (with metatarsal pad)

Pedag T-Form Metatarsal Pads  Pedag DROP Metatarsal Pads

Pedag Sport Insole  Pedag SPORT Inserts (with metatarsal pad)

Pedag VIVA SUMMER Insoles  Pedag VIVA SUMMER Insoles (with metatarsal pad)

Firm metatarsal pads

Arch Binder with metatarsal pad  Arch Binder with Metatarsal Pad

SOLE Active Insole with metatarsal pad  SOLE Active Insole with Metatarsal Pad

Reusable metatarsal pad  Reusable Gel Metatarsal Pad

Metatarsal Bar - PPT  Metatarsal Bar PPT Cushions

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Which metatarsal pad is best for your needs?  Firmness of the metatarsal pad is just one characteristic that makes these little foot pads so popular.  Fortunately, metatarsal pads are inexpensive and can easily be used to experiment to see which metatarsal pad is best for your needs.  Be sure to watch each of our product videos to guide you in proper placement of the pads.  Our customer service reps are always available to help you make the right choice for your met pads.


Dr. Jeffrey Oster
Jeffrey A. Oster, DPM

Medical Advisor

Updated 12/24/2019