Conquer Ball Of The Foot Pain With The Best Shoes For Sesamoiditis!

Due to prolonged use of your feet and toes in dancing, running or sports, you may suffer from sesamoiditis. Know more about the condition and what makes the best shoes for sesamoiditis with the help of this article!

Your sesamoids are two tiny, pea-sized bones found just under your forefoot behind the base of each big toe. They can be inflamed for some reason, causing the condition called sesamoiditis. This can be very painful and can even lead to disability.

This article is here to tell you more about sesamoiditis, its symptoms and causes, and how wearing the right type of shoes can help you. So, let’s get right into it!


Common Causes And Symptoms Of Sesamoiditis

Best Shoes For Sesamoiditis

Your sesamoids are small bones associated with the tendons running along the bones of your big toes. Similar to your kneecaps, they act as pulleys that control the movement of your big toe joints. They help your toe tendons transfer the force from your lower leg muscles to the bone of your big toes.

Because of overuse or repeated and prolonged movement, they can be irritated, misaligned, fractured or broken like every other bone in your body. The inflammation of the tendon and the surrounding tissues cause the pain from sesamoiditis, which is actually a type of tendonitis.

Basically, sesamoiditis is an overuse injury involving long-term or chronic inflammation of the bones and the tendons that act on them.

Most common among athletes like a baseball catcher and runners as well as ballet dancers, sesamoiditis can be due to various causes. To learn more, check out this list:

  • If you have flat feet, bunions, or flexible feet, your sesamoid bones can move out of their grooves and can wear away cartilage and bone.
  • This can also result from anatomical changes in your feet due to wearing conventional footwear for too long. Tapered toe boxes and toe springs in some shoes can cause dysfunction of your sesamoid bones due to dislocation. When these bones are not aligned, they also cannot function normally.
  • Imbalanced or overly flexible feet can also exert too much pressure on your sesamoid bones, causing a fracture.
  • Usually, a rapid and extreme upward bending force on your toes causes sesamoiditis. However, wearing high heels and some types of foot trauma can also contribute. Wearing and walking around in high heels for long periods put most of your body weight on the balls of your feet.
  • Shoes with paddings that are too thin and too flat can also cause or worsen sesamoiditis.

As for the symptoms of sesamoiditis, the most common signs are the following:

  • Swelling and bruising
  • Impaired ability to straighten or bend your big toe 
  • Pain around the area that develops and worsens gradually 
  • Pain on the ball of the foot under your big toe

Sesamoiditis may start with pain under the joint of your big toe that fails to go away over time. It could worsen, or it may come and go. The pain can also only be there or worsen during certain activities or while wearing particular shoes.

In addition, sesamoiditis can force you to walk differently to avoid putting your weight on the painful area. This can change your gait or how you walk, and can also affect the joints on your knees, hip, or lower back. It is important to seek medical help and treatments once you suspect yourself of having the condition.

What To Look For In The Best Shoes For Sesamoiditis

Best Shoes For Sesamoiditis

Shoe therapy is one of the preferable conservative care and treatment methods for resolving sesamoiditis. This involves wearing footwear that allows proper toe splaying or have added paddings or straps. The main intention is to immobilize the area and reduce tension on the sesamoid bones.

Today, footwear that is specially manufactured for treatment and care for sesamoiditis and other foot conditions are already available. But how can you find a pair for you? The following are just some of the qualities you should look for in finding the best shoes for sesamoiditis.

  • Metatarsal Pads

Shoes intended for sesamoiditis patients are designed with metatarsal pads. These are balls of foot pads that give a soft cushioning for the balls of your feet. This prevents your foot from moving too far forward and can alleviate some pain.

  • Special Cushions

Some shoes, on the other hand, come with built-in cushions along the full length of the insole, providing extra comfort and padding to your entire foot. This can be helpful for sesamoiditis, but not as much as specifically positioned pads.

  • Stiffness

Shoes for sesamoiditis must be stiff enough to prevent the bending of your big toe while walking, running, or dancing. Thick, rigid soles are the best for improved recovery and mechanical protection.

The primary reason for this is to substantially reduce the pressure on the balls of your feet, which can be a cause of sesamoiditis.

The shoe should also not flex on the forefoot, or have a thin non-shock absorptive sole. So, no flimsy bedroom slippers or flipflops! For running shoes, there should not be a flex groove directly under the big toe joint with inflamed sesamoid bones.

  • Arch Support

Custom-molded arch supports or orthotics or even over-the-counter-inserts are highly preferable for sesamoiditis and other foot ailments. They can reduce pressure on the sesamoid bones, and thus reduce pain and even the chance of it recurring.

Higher arches generally work best for sesamoid and ball of the foot-related conditions. Some slippers or sandals also have excellent arch support, but the best ones are those properly prescribed and fitted by an expert.

  • Wide Toe Boxes

Shoes with wide toe boxes can save you from a lot of pain and inconvenience if you suffer from bunions or ball of the foot problems. Wide soft square toe boxes are not only extremely comfortable but also improve toe alignment, balance and can reduce injuries.

  • Rearfoot Control

Although you may not notice it, rearfoot control can make a lot of difference if you suffer from sesamoiditis.

Controlling the rearfoot also means controlling the midfoot, thus reducing your chances to acquire further injury, pain, or strain on your foot, hip, knee, and lower back joints.

Also, without something to hold your feet in place at the back, you tend to grip your toes down as you walk. This puts more pressure on the balls of your feet, as well as on the tendons running from behind your knee to your toes. This leads to more strain and pain.

So, your sesamoids need some time not being bothered or if you can, not even moved at all. This helps the surrounding tissue heal faster naturally, helping you go on with life and achieve your goals.

Reviews On Five Of The Best Shoes For Sesamoiditis

After knowing what to look for in shoes for sesamoiditis, the next thing to do is explore your choices. The following products are a few of the top-rated shoes. Hopefully, this can help you narrow down your options and find what suits your personal needs.

**Below, you'll find more detailed reviews, but you can also click links above to check current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.

Best Shoes For Sesamoiditis

Via: Amazon.com

If you’re looking for something that combines purpose with awesomely good looks, these New Balance shoes may be the thing for you! The New Balance Men’s M840V3 Running Shoes can give you the proper cushioning, support, and comfort which can help relieve pain and prevent the development of sesamoiditis.

New Balance M840V3 Shoes are constructed with a synthetic mesh for breathability. The rubber soles also offer maximum grip to prevent your feet from sliding forward and injure or worsen the condition of your sesamoid bones.

The most appreciated feature of these shoes is their cushioning which is shock-absorbent, which are proven to be highly beneficial in treating the early onset and symptoms of sesamoiditis. They also have reinforced lace keepers along with no-sew reflective overlays.

It is one of the best choices if you are active in dancing, running, or sports as the shoe design reduces the weight deposited on the balls of your feet to a minimum. Therefore, these can help alleviate pain due to sesamoiditis even during activity.


  • Good looking marathon level shoes
  • Wide toe box
  • Wider at the forefoot, providing added comfort for sesamoiditis patients
  • Great cushioning for walking and running 
  • Perfect for daily wear


  • Lower in quality than specific
  • Too much cushion and not enough stability for some people

Best Shoes For Sesamoiditis

Via: Amazon.com

Made to last and withstand its wear and tear is Brooks Women’s Ariel ’16. The second product from the ever stylish Brooks caters to those with overpronation and the ones that look for stability. The pair is built for those with severe overpronation which demands motion control and optimal cushioning.

Longevity and comfort are also guaranteed with its moisture-managing, “element” mesh uppers that protect its users from many conditions; adjustable support are also present with the shoes’ external and structured saddle. Other features include a lace-up closure, external heel counter, plush tongue, removable sock liner, and collar.

Adding to its already impeccable cushioning is the shoes’ superior DNA midsole and improved energy return. Meanwhile, the inclusion of its full-length S-257 Cushole midsole compound that uses an insole board should benefit those who find flexibility a major plus among its features.


  • Ideal for those with severe overpronation
  • Comes with moisture-managing mesh upper
  • Features superior DNA midsole for optimal cushioning
  • Great arch support
  • Lightweight and comfortable


  • Toe box may be a bit too narrow

Best Shoes For Sesamoiditis

Via: Amazon.com

If there is one word that aptly describes the overall quality of Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 16, it will have to be meticulous. This is all evidenced by its detailed design from its impeccable cushioning down to its supportive rubber outsole piece.

Ideal for those who are looking for overpronation and stability support, these shoes are all lightweight, breathable, and have a moisture-managing mechanism. Meanwhile, the pair features mesh and synthetic uppers that should protect your feet from numerous conditions.

Fit won’t be an issue to its users as it comes with an adjustable mid-foot saddle that should provide a customizable and more secure offering. A progressive pronation control can also be experienced with these shoes due to the product’s patented Progressive Diagonal Rollbar: Tri-Density Midsole; likewise, smoother transitions through your gait cycle is achievable. These transitions are enhanced by its full-length, segmented Crash Pad and deeper V-groove.


  • Ideal for pronators
  • Also suitable on concrete and trails due to its great cushioning system
  • Affordable price
  • Comes with firm bottoms
  • Good arch and heel support


  • Padding is lessened in this variant 
  • A bit narrower for some

Best Shoes For Sesamoiditis

Via: Amazon.com

New Balance doesn’t develop products to fit a particular image, rather it designs them to fit, period. This mantra can all be gleaned from New Balance Women’s W1340v2 Optimum Control Running Shoe: a product that boasts of its tireless mission on providing comfort and performance to its users.

Starting off with its patented NDURANCE, you can be assured that your shoes are made of rubber compound that provides maximum durability and can be used in high wear areas.

A reliable support is also present with its proprietary ACTEVA that is included to provide support sans that compromise on weight and flexibility. Meanwhile, the shoes’ rubber content should strengthen cushioning and compression resistance properties while aiding in absorbing forceful impacts. Cushioning is further improved with a system that is both responsive and durable.


  • Features superior motion-control technology
  • Also ideal for users with plantar fasciitis
  • Great arch support
  • Impressive cushioning
  • Stylish design


  • Retailed on the expensive side

Best Shoes For Sesamoiditis

Via: Amazon.com

These lightweight classic boat shoes can give you the perfect combination of true comfort and good looks. Made with leather, these leisure shoes also come with moccasin toes.

They are available in sizes 6 to 15 and in medium, wide and extra wide widths. They can provide comfort and protection by providing the right amount of support and cushioning.

This company is also known for its expertise in designing and manufacturing diabetic footwear suitable also for a variety of conditions like sesamoiditis and many other foot ailments.

As part of the Dr. Comfort Casual Collection, the chestnut color, the classic design, and this type of style and fashion allow you to wear these shoes with most outfits.


  • Very comfortable to wear
  • Long lasting and durable
  • Stylish, can be worn for work or school
  • Have added depth for inserts


  • Costly
  • Not really suitable for running or sports

Best Shoes For Sesamoiditis

Via: Amazon.com

Another pair of best shoes for sesamoiditis is the Vibram Men’s shoe. It can be worn right away and for long periods of time since it is very comfortable and does not require any breaking in period.

The design prevents the toes from flexing too much, which can help in reducing the pain and discomfort due to damaged sesamoid bones. This allows your toes and sesamoids to rest and heal naturally.

The breathable uppers of the shoes are made with a synthetic mesh material that is sturdy in quality even though it is very thin, allowing your feet to breathe. The shoes also have good cushioning with lightly padded tongues and speed lacing system.


  • Extremely lightweight and flexible
  • Highly breathable uppers
  • Can be easily machine-washed clean
  • Adjustable laces allow for easy and convenient fit alteration


  • Uncomfortably hard big toe separator
  • Not suitable for colder weather

Best Shoes For Sesamoiditis

Via: Amazon.com

The New Balance MW577 Hook-and-Loop Walking shoes differ from the original model as they come with Velcro straps instead of laces for better fit and stability. They fit just right and so are easy to put on and take off.

The snug fit also allows you to walk over long distances with more ease and comfort. The simple design is humble yet stylish, although they do not have the usual classic sports look common among other running shoes. However, this makes them work with just about any outfit and clothing choice.

The shoes are made with genuine leather and have soft, slightly flattened soles without any venting.


  • Relatively cheap
  • Genuine leather construction
  • Velcro straps instead of laces reduce the possibility of tripping
  • Comfortable and easy for walking
  • Sufficient room and padding reduce fatigue and pressure on the foot muscles 
  • Flexible sole and materials allow easy walking and running, so you don’t have to exert extra effort in pushing and pulling your feet as you walk


  • No ventilation can cause heat build up
  • Rubber and leather not very durable especially with frequent use

Best Shoes For Sesamoiditis

Via: Amazon.com

Another recommended shoes for sesamoiditis are the Fila Men’s Skele-Toes EZ slide shoes. They are built with guaranteed superior quality material with textile and synthetic uppers. The shoes are also lightweight, flexible, and durable.

The soft cushions, elastic fabric, and robust construction can be very helpful for sesamoiditis. The flexible soles also offer comfortable and easy movements but also restricts your big toes to protect your sesamoids.

The smart Skele-Toes design aids in protecting your feet and also give you a feel of being shoeless while running or walking. However, they still offer protection against a sharp object, rocks, mud and other things you might step on.

It also has a cushioned footbed that comes with an open air mesh for added comfort and breathability.


  • Perfect for wide feet
  • Can be used as water shoes
  • Provide good arch support
  • Stretchability adds comfort
  • Soles offer a good grip


  • The bottom designed for drainage tends to attract debris and stones
  • The toe slots may be a little too big


Best Shoes For Sesamoiditis

Since it’s very hard to decide which is the best shoes for sesamoiditis and it all really comes down to personal preference, I can give you two.

First, the New Balance Men’s M840V3 Running shoes are great for running, walking, dancing and sports. They offer great arch support, wide toe boxes, and comfortable cushioning. They also cost less, although the quality is also somehow compromised.

On the other hand, the Dr. Comfort Men's Patrick Chestnut Diabetic Boat Shoes are more recommended for formal settings like at the office and in school. The classic, stylish design of these shoes can significantly complement a gentlemanly look. 

Our verdict wouldn’t be complete if we’re not revealing our top pick for women’s shoes on sesamoiditis. The Brooks Women’s Ariel ‘16 doesn’t only resonate those that we have tackled on the buying guide; from its special cushions, arch support, down to its convenient toe boxes. Ultimately, these shoes are for women who’d like to be both chic and practical – features New Balance has long been combining for years now.

So, did this article help you in any way? Leave your comments, suggestions, and queries in the comments section below!

​Are you also looking for other shoes to purchase ? Click here to find out about more shoes available in the market right now.

Emily Brathen

Hi there! I'm Emily Brathen. I am a fitness and yoga instructor and a mom of one. Despite my hectic schedule, I still find time for doing the thing I love most - fitness and yoga. I love doing and teaching fitness and yoga because in my own little way, I am able to encourage people to take health and fitness back into their own hands.

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