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Footwear for Foot Pain

Morton’s Neuroma Shoes & Orthotics

Minute Read

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Posted 6 months ago

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Last updated: 03/12/2022

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by James McCormack

Morton’s neuroma is a painful condition of the forefoot that involves swelling, pain, and inflammation of the interdigital nerves. This is most commonly found between the 3rd and 4th metatarsals but can be found anywhere along the forefoot. In this article, we are going to discuss treatment options to help with the condition such as the best shoes, and orthotics, and try to answer your questions about braces, toe separators, and footpads.

This article is not medical advice and you should see a healthcare professional before trying anything we discuss.

Morton’s Neuroma Orthotics

Mortons Neuroma Orthotics are a highly effective form of treatment for Morton’s Neuroma. We recommend having a Biomechanical Gait Assessment with a foot specialist to analyse the causes of a Morton’s Neuroma. This is normally followed by a 3D scan of the foot for precision measurement of where support should be added to the custom insole.

A custom insole will contain a metatarsal pad. This helps by gapping the webspace of the metatarsals, in turn, taking the pressure off the inflamed nerve. Other elements of the prescription on a custom insole such as heel and arch support, can improve how your feet move, reducing any excess pressure on the metatarsals. When made correctly by a medical professional, custom orthotics can provide immediate pain relief and is well worth the investment.

Off the shelf, Morton’s Neuroma orthotics have a pre-set met dome in the forefoot which may be helpful if it is in the right place. A custom insole have a met dome specifically placed under the metatarsals at the correct height and width.

Picture of person making Morton's Neuroma Insoles

Do Metatarsal Pads help with Morton’s Neuroma?

Yes, metatarsal pads do help for Morton’s Neuroma. The need to be placed correctly on the underside of the foot. We recommend that they are not placed directly under the location of pain but proximal to this (closer to the ankle). If placed directly under the location of pain, this can irritate the neuroma and leads to further discomfort. When placed in the correct location, you can expect pain relief within 24-48 hours.

Picture of Metatarsal pads for Morton's Neuroma

What are the best shoes for Morton’s Neuroma?

The best shoes for Morton’s neuroma are shoes that are the correct width and length for your feet and have a semirigid sole. Having the correct shoe width in the toe box stops any compression of the metatarsal heads. This compression can lead to swelling and pain of the interdigital nerve which causes Morton’s Neuroma. Shoe width is measured from A-EE and we recommend that you have your foot width measured in a local shoe store before buying any shoes for Morton’s Neuroma.

Once you know your exact foot length and width, you need to think about the sole of the shoe. We recommend a semirigid soled shoe for Morton’s Neuroma as they contain an element of cushioning that acts as a shock absorber. The element of rigidity helps to distribute force evenly in your foot whereas a completely cushioned shoe allows your foot to sink into the sole when force is applied and facilities too much movement.

Picture of Foot Measuring Device

We recommend a gait analysis with a professional to determine how much your feet pronate and this will determine if you need a support shoe or a neutral shoe for your Morton’s Neuroma.

In summary, to decide the best shoe for Morton’s Neuroma, you first need to know your feet length and width followed by how much your feet pronate when you move. This will determine if you need a neutral shoe or a support shoe. Once you know all of this information, then buy a shoe with a semirigid sole.

Picture of wide shoes for Morton's Neuroma

Will toe separators help Morton’s Neuroma?

Toe separators are unlikely to help Morton’s neuroma in the long term. They may provide temporary pain relief when you wear them by gapping the web space and offloading the interdigital nerve. However, it is not recommended to walk or do exercise while wearing them which are the main activities that aggravate Morton’s Neuroma.

Picture of Toe Separators for Morton's Neuroma

Mortons Neuroma Brace

A Morton’s Neuroma brace works in a similar way to a metatarsal dome by holding the dome in place. If placed in the correct location this can provide pain relief from Morton’s neuroma but we have found that in reality, they struggle to stay in the correct location when wearing a shoe so they are not something we regularly recommend.

Are flip-flops good for Morton’s Neuroma?

Flip-flops are not good for Morton’s neuroma. They do not provide any stability or support for your foot and this can aggravate the symptoms of Morton’s neuroma. The lack of cushioning does not protect the forefoot from vibrations which can irritate your symptoms further.

Physiotherapy with James McCormack

This is not medical advice and we recommend a consultation with a medical professional such as James McCormack to achieve a diagnosis. He offers Online Physiotherapy Appointments for £45.

Other Related Articles 

Mortons Neuroma Exercises
What is a Morton’s Neuroma?
Morton’s Neuroma Surgery

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