During long runs - usually everything 17 km and longer - the forepart of the sole of my feet very often gets a burning sensation. This makes it almost impossible to run and it really bother me as I love these long runs.

It is part of the history that I have metatarsal prolapse (was prolapse forefoot) - i.e. two of the middle bones in the forefoot has "fallen" a bit -, and use special insoles to correct for this.

Are there anything you can do about this?

I believe I have tried the obvious things already:

  • my shoes (Asics Kayano 17) have been tested and ok'ed my a running specialist
  • I have tried to tie my shoes to a number of different ways in case it is a circulation problem, but to no avail
  • Rather than prolapse, isn't the term you're looking for pronated, since that would make more sense.
    – Ivo Flipse
    Aug 22, 2011 at 13:34
  • @Ivo I don't think so. I also have a slight pronation, which is the major reason for using Kayano 17. I have found out the technical or medical name is "metatarsal prolapse" and not "prolapse forefoot" (I'll edit the question). Aug 22, 2011 at 15:27
  • You mean one of the metatarsals is 'lower', making your metatarsal 'arch' collapsed (though there isn't really any to speak off)?
    – Ivo Flipse
    Aug 22, 2011 at 15:54
  • Correct. That is exactly it Aug 22, 2011 at 16:12
  • The arch under the forefoot - between the little toe and the big toe - is supposed to be just that, but when it collapses, it is almost flat and the middle bones for the toes will have more pressure during standing, walking and of cause running. During running, your feet must bear 3-8 times of your weight and for longer runs... that becomes a burning sensation sometimes combined with a odd numbed pain in the toes themselves. You will know exactly what I mean, if you ever try it :-( Aug 22, 2011 at 18:08

4 Answers 4


After some discussions with Ivo, I'm pretty sure my problem is Mortons Neuroma. All the descriptions I have found so far match my symptoms exactly.

And what can you do about it? Well, there seem to be a couple of possibilities:

  • You can get special custom made insoles that will push up the forefoot. I already have a pair of these, and they actually work: instead of 7-8 km, I can run 17-18 km before my feet burn...
  • You can tape up your forefoot as suggested by Steeven, which basically should do the same as the insoles. I haven't tried a longer run yet while taping up my feet, so I cannot tell whether it will work for me or not.
  • You can get special alcohol injections, which seem to work for quite a few out there.
  • Surgery is an option, though there is a 20% chance it will not work and you will be left with an uncomfortable numbness in the feet.

I had simiar issues until I discovered towel toe curls. Simply take off your shoes and socks and stand over a towel. Place the toes of your right foot on the towel and keep your heel on the floor. Use your toes to "curl" the towel back towards your body. It is like you are pulling the towel towards you using your toes.

Do 50 reps to the right foot. Do 50 reps to the left foot. Do every day for 2 weeks and then every other as maintenance.

Good luck.

  • I have heard about this before and have used this exercise in connection with a severe case of plantar fasciitis a year ago. I will try this! Aug 22, 2011 at 6:30

I had the very same issue. In my case it was the shoes. After switching to a very much thicker sole the problem disappeared and never came back. (Now a lot of other things hurt on longer runs^^)
So even if you checked your shoes, you might want to give other shoes (friends/family) a try.

  • I have already tried different shoes... Too many, I would say. Kayano 17 is well-known for the amount of padding in the soles. The extra insoles really help too - without them the problematic distance is ~8 km. Aug 22, 2011 at 6:28

Have you tried to "tape" your foot? Try using some bandage or tensoplast etc. for both softening the surface under the foot as well as keeping the skin under your foot "in place" preventing it from been slightly ripped and pulled and eventually hurting like a blister.

  • I think I will try to tape my forefoot on the next run. The idea with the insole is the same: to "press up" the forefoot bones. Aug 22, 2011 at 15:31
  • I know I'm late to this discussion but I am having this problem. I have supination and wear special insoles and sneakers. This helped the fire balls that used to haunt me above my ankle bones on the side. But not I have this burning sensation under my feet (below my toes/above my arch) please explain how to "tape" the feet.
    – user4965
    Jan 7, 2013 at 20:02

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