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Best Ball of Foot Cushions & Metatarsal Pads Reviewed

last updated Feb 19, 2019

Ball of foot cushions play an instrumental role in preventing an array of day to day foot related pains including bunions, blisters, flattened metatarsal arches, diabetic foot, burning pains, etc. These are normally treated by distributing the weight of the body evenly throughout the entirety of the foot, and in some cases even taking the weight off and cushioning the ball of the user’s foot.

Cushions designed for the balls of your feet can come in a variety of different form factors, including, adhesives that stick to the bottom of the user’s foot or even the inside of their shoe. Regardless of the type, each has their own advantages and disadvantages and most of the time it just comes down to preference.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 20 hrs of research

icon
Compressx Cushion Set
93.2/100 our score
Materials
97
Application
89
Breathability
87
Effectiveness
98
Support
95
Compressx Cushion Set
Why is it better?

Self-Sticking Inserts

Lightweight

Reusable

Washable

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Compressx Cushion Set
Test Winner: Compressx Cushion Set
Researched Sources
15
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
922
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
20
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
16
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
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By Kris Kierstead-Lewis:

We've got new products and a new look for 2019! Check out some of our latest product additions from brands such as Compressx and Oxygen Labs. We've also expanded on our criteria sections, so if you need help finding the right cushion for you be sure to check those out as well.

Sorting Options
Materials Application Breathability Effectiveness Support By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.2
Materials
97%
Application
89%
Breathability
87%
Effectiveness
98%
Support
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.04.19)
$10.99
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
Materials
89%
Application
83%
Breathability
97%
Effectiveness
95%
Support
91%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.04.19)
$17.97
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.2
Materials
83%
Application
95%
Breathability
89%
Effectiveness
86%
Support
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.04.19)
$13.99
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Materials
87%
Application
92%
Breathability
91%
Effectiveness
89%
Support
83%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.04.19)
$5.13
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
Materials
91%
Application
86%
Breathability
95%
Effectiveness
74%
Support
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.04.19)
$16.97
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.8
Materials
85%
Application
98%
Breathability
93%
Effectiveness
77%
Support
81%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.04.19)
$14.99
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.8
Materials
95%
Application
74%
Breathability
85%
Effectiveness
83%
Support
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.04.19)
$7.92
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.4
Materials
93%
Application
71%
Breathability
91%
Effectiveness
92%
Support
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.04.19)
$10.99
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.8
Materials
81%
Application
77%
Breathability
79%
Effectiveness
80%
Support
87%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.04.19)
$16.84
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78
Materials
79%
Application
80%
Breathability
81%
Effectiveness
71%
Support
79%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.04.19)
$14.25
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Compressx Cushion Set
  • Brison Metatarsal Pads
  • Healing Rights Metatarsal Pads
  • Fancy Feet by Foot Petals
  • Oxygen Labs Metatarsal Pads
  • Ballotte Metatarsal Pads
  • Dr. Eagle Metatarsal Pads
  • ZenToes Gel
  • Dr. Jill's Felt Pads
  • MARS Wellness Metatarsal Felt Foot Pad
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Picks

1. Compressx Cushion Set

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.2
Compressx Cushion Set
Materials
97
Application
89
Breathability
87
Effectiveness
98
Support
95
best offer for today
$10.99
Pros:

Self-Sticking Inserts

Lightweight

Reusable

Washable

Cons:

Placement Can Be Difficult

Featuring gel cushions that attach to your feet, self-sticking shoe inserts, spandex covered gel pads, and a set of pads targeted for sore spots, this cushion set from Compressx aims to be a comprehensive solution to foot pain, not just metatarsal pain.

Read more

Gel Cushions

This set features two kinds of cushions that stick to your feet. One is a clear silicone cushion with a toe loop to keep it secure, while the other is a spandex-covered cushion with a thong-like design similar to flip flop sandals. Both of these cushions are reusable and washable. The silicone cushions are great for wearing underneath socks, while the spandex ones are ideal for sandals and other open shoes.

Shoe Inserts

Not only does this set come with a pair of metatarsal shoe inserts, but it also comes with four smaller inserts that can be used in specific areas of the shoe to target other pains and discomfort. These smaller inserts can be used in any part of the shoe, or can even be used as a lower profile cushion for the balls of your feet.

Cost and Value

There's a lot that can go into proper foot care, especially for those living with injuries or pain. So the treatments and supports we use for them should be comprehensive as well. Slightly less expensive than the other set on this list, this cushion set is designed to treat pain and provide support in a variety of ways.

2. Brison Metatarsal Pads

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
Brison Metatarsal Pads
Materials
89
Application
83
Breathability
97
Effectiveness
95
Support
91
best offer for today
$17.97
Pros:
  • Soft Gel Build
  • Re-Usable
  • Easy To Clean
  • Stretch To Fit
  • Eco-Friendly
Cons:
  • Short Lifetime 

These soft gel footpads are great long-lasting items that will help cushion your feet. Made from silicone, they provide great protection and relief from pain caused by common foot issues like bunions, mortons, neuroma, and calluses.

Read more

Reusable
You can rest assured that these gel footpads are reusable so you won't have to keep buying more and more to get some comfort for your feet.

Eco-Friendly
The foot pads are made from high quality, durable and soft eco-friendly material. They are washable medical grade silicone gel so you know you're buying a quality product.

Cost and Value
Pricing is very fair on Brison products as this pad, in particular, comes packages with three pairs that can even be re-used and washed.

3. Healing Rights Metatarsal Pads

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.2
Healing Rights Metatarsal Pads
Materials
83
Application
95
Breathability
89
Effectiveness
86
Support
93
best offer for today
$13.99
Pros:

Reusable

Easily Washable

Strong Adhesive

Three-Pair Set

Cons:

Thick

These Healing Rights pads are actually part of a set. One cushion sticks to the interior of the shoe, while the other cushion goes on your feet, under your socks. The shoe inserts are designed for heels and other open shoes, while the cushions are great for sneakers and boots.

Read more

Ease of Use

Sometimes cushions that go into shoes can be difficult to place properly, or they can sometimes move around inside of the shoe if the adhesive is weak. The Healing Rights shoe inserts feature a thin design that's easy to place into shoes, and a strong adhesive to keep them in place.

Washable, Reusable

From fabric shopping bags to washable orthotic supports, people love reusable things. It reduces waste and allows us to get more use out of a product, furthering its value. Similar to other gel cushions on this list, the Healing Rights metatarsal set is easily washable and reusable, allowing you to get a lot of use out of these cushions. Rewashable cushions are also more resistant to odor and germs.

Cost and Value

Coming in at $14 for the set, these cushions seem expensive on the surface. However, this three-pair set is a solid investment, as it comes with multiple types of cushions to fit a wide range of situations. All of the cushions are easily washable and reusable.

4. Fancy Feet by Foot Petals

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Fancy Feet by Foot Petals
Materials
87
Application
92
Breathability
91
Effectiveness
89
Support
83
best offer for today
$5.13
Pros:

Reusable

Traction

Discreet Style

Shock Absorption

Cons:

Single; Not A Pair

Designed primarily for women's shoes, the Fancy Feet metatarsal pads by Foot Petals are made for heels and other dressy styles. This gel pad will not only support the balls of your feet but will also keep your feet from slipping forward in shoes.

Read more

Traction

The majority of metatarsal pads are designed for comfort and support. Not many of them have their own traction methods. Sometimes your feet can start to slip forward when wearing heels. This can put extra pressure on your toes and easily become painful. The Fancy Feet gel pads are made to keep your feet secure in your shoes and prevent them from slipping forward.

Discreet

When it comes to using cushions and other supports with heels, it's important that they aren't visible. The Fancy Feet pads have a slim and tapered design which will keep them from moving around within the shoe and becoming visible. These cushions are specifically designed for use with heels and dress shoes.

Cost and Value

Coming in at $5.13 for a single pad (not even a pair), these are a bit more on the expensive side. However, they are still a good investment if you plan on wearing heels a lot or need something more discreet looking.

5. Oxygen Labs Metatarsal Pads

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
Oxygen Labs Metatarsal Pads
Materials
91
Application
86
Breathability
95
Effectiveness
74
Support
89
best offer for today
$16.97
Pros:

Eco-Friendly

Breathable Design

Unisex Sizing

Odor Resistant

Cons:

Limited Long-Term Durability

These eco-friendly, medical-grade silicone pads from Oxygen Labs are designed a bit different than most of the pads on our list, with the exception of the Brison Pads. These unique gel pads fit around all of your toes and have a breathable mesh-like layer on the bottom side of them.

Read more

Premium Materials

We expect high-quality materials in personal care products, including foot supports and pads. Oxygen Labs uses eco-friendly and medical-grade silicone in all of their foot pads. This material is comfortable, durable, and resists odors and bacteria.

Unisex Sizing

Finding the right size metatarsal pad for you can sometimes be difficult. Some pads are designed with men's sizes, others are designed with women's sizes. Sometimes you can't even find the right size at all. The Oxygen Labs pads are available in a new unisex design, meaning that worrying about the right size can be a thing of the past.

Cost and Value

Coming in at $17 for a pair, these foot pads are definitely on the expensive side of the price spectrum. We would still consider these a great investment, of course, thanks to their materials and easy to understand sizing.

6. Ballotte Metatarsal Pads

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.8
Ballotte Metatarsal Pads
Materials
85
Application
98
Breathability
93
Effectiveness
77
Support
81
best offer for today
$14.99
Pros:
  • Two Pairs
  • Afforable
  • Silicone And Gel Build
  • Can Be Used On The Heel
  • Comfortable Design
Cons:
  • May Be Too Thick For Particular Shoes

Placing first on our list is one of the best selling Metatarsal Pads on Amazon created by Ballotte. These ball of foot pads are designed specifically for use in high heels in order to prevent calluses and create a more comfortable overall experience.

Read more

Shock Absorbing
These pads are described as walking on marshmallows, as they provide silicone and gel padding in order to prevent any injury or pain caused by excessive shock.

Callus Padding
In addition to shock, these double down on the amount of materials used and results in a pad that is extra thick. This thicker build provides the wearer with much more cushion, preventing blisters on both the heel and ball of the foot.

Cost and Value
Every pack comes with two pairs at a very affordable price, making these a perfect "bang for your buck" purchase. Additionally, the added cushioning and thick materials make these a great choice for preventing heel and ball of foot pain.

7. Dr. Eagle Metatarsal Pads

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.8
Dr. Eagle Metatarsal Pads
Materials
95
Application
74
Breathability
85
Effectiveness
83
Support
97
best offer for today
$7.92
Pros:

Washable

Antimicrobial

Skin Tone Available

Strong Adhesive

Cons:

Placement Can Be Difficult

It's not a common thing to see metatarsal supports come in different colors, even if it is just two. The Dr. Eagle silicone cushions come in either clear or beige, allowing them to easily blend into any situation. They are also easy to clean, and long-lasting.

Read more

Durable

Washable cushions are both more value-conscious and more eco-friendly than their non-washable counterparts. Washing a metatarsal cushion allows it to be used for longer, meaning you get more time out of it before having to get a new pair, which can also mean less waste. A washable cushion is also more resilient to germs, reducing the potential for odor.

In-Shoe Adhesive

There are two adhesion methods used in metatarsal cushions: one type sticks to your foot, while the other type sticks to the inside of your shoe. The latter is a better choice, as you won't have to worry about the adhesive wearing off as a result of sweating, or potential irritation and allergic reactions to the adhesive. This can make placement more difficult, so take your time.

Cost and Value

Two pairs for under $10 is slightly below the average price we see for metatarsal cushions. Thanks to their antimicrobial and washable design, you can expect that this $9.00 purchase will be a solid investment for a while.

8. ZenToes Gel

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.4
ZenToes Gel
Materials
93
Application
71
Breathability
91
Effectiveness
92
Support
85
best offer for today
$10.99
Pros:

Medical-Grade Silicone

Self-Sticking Adhesive

Anti-Odor

Reusable

Cons:

Placement Can Be Difficult

The ZenToes metatarsal pads are made of medical grade silicone gel. This sort of gel does not absorb dirt or odors, making the pads easy to clean. These cushions have a self-sticking adhesive on the outside, so it sticks to the shoe instead of your foot, and they are all washable and reusable.

Read more

Anti-Odor

The high-quality silicone gel used in the ZenToes cushions does not absorb dirt and odors, and the nonporous surface resists bacteria and germs. This means that these cushions won't start to smell after a few uses.

Reusable

A good indicator of value is how many uses you can get out of it, similar to replayability when it comes to video games. The ZenToes silicone pads are a medical-grade material that stays cleaner longer, and can easily be washed with soap and warm water, allowing you to get more use out of each pair.

Cost and Value

With a unit cost of about $5.50 per pair, the ZenToes cushions are a solid investment. The design and materials make it both odor-resistant and easy to clean while being reusable. The adhesive is self-sticking and doesn't stick to your foot or cause irritation.

9. Dr. Jill's Felt Pads

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.8
Dr. Jill's Felt Pads
Materials
81
Application
77
Breathability
79
Effectiveness
80
Support
87
best offer for today
$16.84
Pros:
  • Trimmable 
  • High Quality Adheasive
  • Wide And Long
  • Fair Pricing
  • 10 Pack
Cons:
  • Lacks Curvature And Overall Thickness

Dr. Jill's Metatarsal Pads have been in the ball of foot cushion business for quite a while and for a very good reason. These pads in particular stick to the bottom of the users foot and can be trimmed to smaller sizes ultimately making these cushions one of the best available on the market.

Read more

Thin and Trimmable
As mentioned above, one of the main draws to these metatarsal pads, and really why they're so popular is the fact that they can be trimmed. This is a result of the rather thin and flexible build that allows for easy customization.

Wide Build
The other quality that makes these pads so unique is the fact that there really quite wide, which is most likely a result of the trimmable design. Dr. Jill pads in particular measure in at 2.25 inches wide and 2.75 inches in length giving the user plenty of space to work with.

Cost and Value
Dr. Jill Metatarsal Pads aren't that bad of a deal considering they come in a pack of ten and feature high-quality adhesive suitable for every type of shoe on the market. The customization available on these ball of foot cushions is also a plus and definitely puts them above many other popular options available on the market.

10. MARS Wellness Metatarsal Felt Foot Pad

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78
MARS Wellness Metatarsal Felt Foot Pad
Materials
79
Application
80
Breathability
81
Effectiveness
71
Support
79
best offer for today
$14.25
Pros:
  • Lightweight 
  • Easy To Use
  • Soft Felt Material
  • Effective Relief
  • One Size Fits ALl 
Cons:
  • Might Not Be Enough Cushion For Some Foot Issues

The MARS Wellness Metatarsal felt pads are self-adhesive to ensure you won't worry about them shifting as you walk. These pads help to eliminate foot pain and give maximum comfort.

Read more

One Size Fits All
The MARS Wellness Felt Foot pads will easily fit a multitude of foot sizes. You won't have to worry about the pads fitting your feet shoe.

Cost and Value
These inexpensive pads won't break the bank by any means. You can buy multiple pairs for less than $15 and still have money for more shoes.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Materials

When creating a list of the best ball of foot cushions, the type of material used has to be taken into account in order to provide the buyer with a variety of options. Different materials can mean completely different effects on the foot, therefore, changing how it’s used.

Materials can range from gels all the way to felts, and the benefits of each are particular to what condition you may be suffering from. Below are a list of popular materials and how they affect pain relief in the foot.

  • Open-Cell Polyurethane Foam: Polyurethane foam is one of the most popular materials used in a ball of foot cushion, most notably due to the comfort that is provided. Open-cell polyurethane foam, in particular, provides cushioning that’s durable and soft for long periods of time.
  • Leather and Latex: Leather and latex materials are most popularly used to compose the inside as well as the skeleton of particular cushions. Leather, specifically, is sometimes used to reinforce the latex insides and gives the cushion as a whole a heavier and more durable build.
  • Wool and Felts: Wools and felts are another support type material as they have a less resilient flex to them. Felt is best utilized to give the cushion a firmer feel.
  • Gel and Anti-microbial Materials: Gel is utilized to dissipate force in an efficient manner while also providing the user with a more therapeutic surface to rest their foot on. Additionally, any part of the cushion that comes in contact with the foot should have some sort of anti-microbial feature to prevent odors and infection.
  • Application

    Ball of foot cushions utilize a variety of methods in order to keep the device on the user’s foot. These methods obviously have to have a quality design in addition to being effective at what they do.

    These designs can range from velcro to adhesive, which all have their own advantages and disadvantages. All of the most popular methods of “staying in place” are listed and explained below.

  • Adhesive: (Bottom of foot): These adhesive materials are designed to stick to the bottom of your foot, ultimately providing something that’s quick and easy to use without the worry of ruining the integrity of the user’s shoes. These cushions usually come in packs of 10-20. Problems can arise with this design however as odors are likely to occur, as well as the occasional time when the cushion falls off the user’s foot altogether.
  • Adhesive: (Bottom of shoe): These cushions are designed to be placed anywhere on the inside of the shoe providing a customizable experience that can strategically relieve a variety of foot pains. This type of adhesive is mostly preferred to its counterpart because they can last longer as the foot itself is separated from the cushion, therefore making them last longer. Additionally, these adhesives are less apt to causing skin irritation.
  • Breathability

    Any kind of insert- be it a cushion or a custom orthotic- will impact the breathability of a shoe. Some will have more of an impact that others, and is typically dependent on the material used in the cushion. Let’s take a look at some common materials and how they can affect breathability.

  • Mesh: Mesh is one of the most breathable materials that can be used in shoes and cushions. You’ll often see athletic shoes featuring a mesh upper, as that is the best material for airflow and temperature management. Some cushions are covered in a fine mesh material, allowing for proper breathability.
  • Cotton/Textile: The most common material used in metatarsal cushions is cotton, as well as polyester and other textiles. These have average breathability, especially when used with a well-ventilated shoe.
  • Gel: Gel is one of the most supportive materials that can be used in cushions, however the breathability can be limited. It’s one of the most common materials used for ball of foot cushions, aside from cotton and other textiles. Gel cushions are often ideal for shoes that already have a good deal of breathability, such as sandals and other open styles. They’re especially good for heels.
  • The breathability of these cushions is important, as it can either help or hurt how well-ventilated the shoes are. Something with little breathability will quickly become uncomfortable as your feet become hot and sweaty, conditions which can be breeding grounds for odor-causing germs.

    Effectiveness

    Problems with the balls of your feet can come from a variety of sources, such as wearing shoes that don't fit properly, and medical conditions such as arthritis or gout. Metatarsal issues can quickly become very painful, and this can be exacerbated unless you use the correct support.

    This is where these cushions come in. They provide much-needed support to the balls of your feet, helping to relieve pain and prevent any damage from getting worse. These are typically recommended when other self-treatment methods have not been effective. Your doctor may suggest you see a physical therapist, who will help you get properly fitted for supports.

    Gel cushions are often considered the most effective in terms of support and pain relief, though they are not as breathable as mesh cushions. Gel cushions are ideal for open-style shoes such as sandals, or those who have found that other cushions have not helped their pain.

    The only way to know for sure if a cushion will be effective for you is to try it. Before making a purchase, however, it's a good idea to look at consumer reviews of each product, as this will give you a determination of their overall effectiveness. Reviews will also touch on other aspects of the cushions, such as durability and size options.

    Support

    The primary purpose for metatarsal cushions and other orthotics is support. After all, the right kind of support with both relieve pain and help prevent further injury. Of course, not all cushions are made equal. Some will provide more robust support than others, as some people will need more support than others. Gel cushions are often the most supportive kind, while cotton and mesh ones will be more lightweight. So, how do you tell the support level of a cushion? Short of actually trying it on, check out consumer reviews and do some extra research into the product. This will give you an idea of the real-life applications of the product, and help you determine if it is the right cushion for your unique needs.

    Expert Interviews & Opinions

    Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
    Sort criterias acording to:
    Experts Opinion Editors Opinion Users Opinion By Default
    Click on a to rate the most important criteria:
    #1
    Materials
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    #2
    Application
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    #3
    Breathability
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    #4
    Effectiveness
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    #5
    Support
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    Metatarsal Pad Comfort

    For some of our fancier footwear, like high heels, metatarsal pads are quite suited to adding additional comfort for longer days on your feet. They allow for less pressure to be placed directly on the ball of the foot, and will help your feet to feel less achy at the end of the day.

    Finding Your Groove

    Many varieties of metatarsal pads exist on the market, and while each is effective in it's own right, it's up to you to decide which is most comfortable for your use of them, and the sensitivity of your feet.
    Gel pads are great for those who just need extra cushion, while some pads that wrap the toes help the foot's placement in your shoes become more accommodating to relieve pressure.
    Try a few different versions before settling on one particular style to give you the utmost comfort!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    q: Can I throw these cushions in the laundry?
    a:

    This varies from cushion to cushion. Generally, the answer is yes, however its always best to check the included instructions, company website, or product page before doing so.

    q: What materials are best for comfort and pain relief?
    a:

    This can sometimes be a preference based question but, typically, a gel is probably your best bet if you want something that’s both comfortable and great at treating pain.

    q: How long to metatarsal cushions last?
    a:

    Pads that come in packs or ten or twenty normally are only one time use, but for those that are of high quality can usually last for about a month depending on how you take care of them.

    q: How do I prevent my cushions from smelling?
    a:

    Most ball of foot cushions that are built to be re-used have some sort of anti-microbial feature to prevent this from even developing in the first place, however, if you find your cushions smelling, go ahead and rinse them in lukewarm water while scrubbing thoroughly with soap.

    q: Can I run in these cushions?
    a:

    Of course! However, make sure that you purchase a ball of foot cushion that has some sort of shock absorbing quality to prevent pain or injury.