Foot Pain Causes and Relief Solutions

There are countless types and causes of foot pain. Whether you’ve experienced the sharp pain of plantar fasciitis or the burning sensation of metatarsalgia, one thing is for sure, foot pain relief can be hard to find. The one upside to foot pain is that the technology to relieve it has come a long way over time. Now there are custom inserts for all types of issues. Even foot pain while walking can be relieved and often corrected by a well-fitted insole.

To help you discover what kind of custom insole, plantar fasciitis insert, or custom orthotic is right for you, we’ve created this guide describing the common causes of foot pain.

Common Causes of Foot Pain

This guide covers the most common types of foot pain, although it is not a comprehensive list. Compounding factors such as age, exercise level, and weight can also lead to foot issues. If the type of pain you’re experiencing is not on this list, you may still find that inserts will help. As always, we recommend speaking to your podiatrist to see what medical solutions they can offer in addition to a well-fitting custom orthotic.



A bunion is what happens when a bump forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. Smaller bunions, known as bunionettes, can also develop on the base joint of your pinky toe. Bunions are caused when the bones at the front of your foot get moved out of place. This can occur for a number of reasons, but the most common is ill-fitting or overly narrow shoes.

The best solution is to wear shoes with a wide toe box and use shoe inserts that properly distribute your weight along your toe joints, which will stop your bones from moving out of place.


Corns and calluses occur when hardened layers of skin develop over repeated friction or pressure. Corns and calluses are especially common among athletes, particularly distance runners, who exert continuous pressure on specific areas of the foot.

Custom insoles can help relieve pain from calluses and corns and prevent the development of new ones. They distribute the weight of your foot evenly so that it does not push as much against the interior of your shoe.

Flat Feet

Flat feet are usually something you develop while young or are born with. In some cases, flat feet can be caused by an injury or develop because of continuous wear as you age. Having flat feet is often painless, but it can lead to issues with your knees and hips due to pronation (the rolling in of the ankle joint).

Custom arch supports are often the best solution for flat feet.

Hammer Toe

Hammer toe is when your toe has a bend in its middle joint. This causes the toe to bend downward, taking on the appearance of a hammer. Hammer toe (aka mallet toe) is caused by a lack of support from the muscles and tendons that are supposed to hold your toe straight. It can become painful if left untreated.

Because hammer toe can be worsened or caused by shoe issues, a custom insole can provide additional support and prevent its development.

Heel Spurs

Heel spurs are a type of bone spurs that specifically show up on your heel. While many bone spurs are painless, heel spurs can cause a great amount of discomfort as they are constantly in contact with the ground. This condition is commonly caused by joint damage from osteoarthritis, which wears away the cartilage cushioning on your bones.

Well-fitting custom orthotics provide additional cushioning that can help alleviate the pain of heel spurs in day-to-day life.


Metatarsalgia is a type of inflammation in the ball of your foot. It can occur at any space along the balls of your feet but is most common near the big or second toe. The ailment is generally not serious or life-altering, but can cause significant pain if left alone.

Custom orthotics provide the shock absorption needed to cut down on inflammation and prevent or alleviate metatarsalgia.

Morton’s Neuroma

This painful condition often appears between the second and third toes on your foot. Morton’s neuroma is caused by a thickening of the tissue surrounding one of your nerves. Those who have experienced Morton’s neuroma may feel as though they permanently have a pebble in their shoe.

Wearing properly fitting shoes or custom orthotics can prevent the thickening of the tissue before Morton’s neuroma occurs.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the band connecting your heel to your toes begins to tear. These tears are often small, located on or near the heel, and are usually caused by athletic activity.

Custom insoles help to alleviate pain through cushioning. They can also help correct gait issues that lead to plantar fasciitis. For additional information on this ailment, check out our page on plantar fasciitis inserts.

Poor Balance

Poor balance can be caused by uneven weight distribution along your foot. Having flat feet or too high an arch can put you at risk for poor balance. Issues with your toes can also directly lead to poor balance, especially if it is your big toe that is affected.

Properly fitting insoles redistribute the weight of your body to the proper areas in your foot. This can slightly improve your balance.

Turf Toe

A common injury in athletes, turf toe is a repetitive motion injury in which the toes are bent too far upward. The most common causes are running and jumping. High-intensity running, like that done in soccer, track, football and basketball, is one of the leading causes of turf toe. Pain occurs when the cartilage of the big toe joint has been worn down. This can cause damage to the bone of your toe.

How to Get Custom Insoles to Relieve Foot Pain

If you’re experiencing any of the above issues, or any other type of foot pain, we can to help! Custom orthotics are capable of alleviating or preventing a wide variety of foot issues. To relieve your foot pain, check with your podiatrist to see if our custom moldable insoles are right for you.

Share this post