Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
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Each type of foot pain is different. This chart lists the symptoms, locations, and footwear that may help.
|Problem||Symptoms||Location||Helpful Footwear, Orthotics, or Padding|
|Corns and calluses||These are rough, thickened skin that is yellow or reddish. There may also be pain.||Around the side, top, or between toes; bottom of feet; or parts exposed to friction.||Wide (toe box) shoes; lamb's wool between toes; doughnut-shaped pads for corns|
|Ingrown toenails||A nail that curls into the skin causing pain, redness, swelling, and warmth. There may also be infection.||Toenails||Sandals, open-toed shoes|
|Bunions and bunionettes||The toes point inward. There is a firm bump on the outside edge of the foot at base of the toe that is painful and stiff.||Big toe (bunions) or little toe (bunionettes)||Soft, wide-toed shoes or sandals; bunion shields or splints; padding the bunion; shoe inserts if needed|
|Morton neuroma||There is cramping and burning pain between the third and fourth toe or the second and third toe. It is worse while walking and better when shoes are taken off.||Third and fourth toes, as well as second and third toes, and bottom of foot near these toes||Wide (toe box), low-heeled shoes with good arch support; shoe inserts; padding in the shoes and/or between the toes|
|Hammertoe||Toes form a hammer or claw shape. There may be pain and cramping.||The second, third, or fourth toes||Wide (toe box) shoes; straps, cushions, or pads|
|Metatarsalgia||There is pain, numbness, or tingling when moving.||Ball of the foot||Wide (toe box) shoes; Shoes with a stiff heel and good arch support; orthotic with pad that eases metatarsal pressure; inserts|
|Metatarsal stress fracture||Ache, tenderness, and swelling. Weight-bearing activities are hard to do.||Long foot bones (metatarsals)||Low-heeled shoes with stiff soles; shoe inserts or braces|
|Sesamoiditis||Pain may happen with swelling and bruising.||Ball of foot beneath the big toe||Low-heeled shoe with soft sole and soft padding inside|
|Plantar fasciitis||Pain happens with the first steps after getting out of bed. It eases after stretching and comes back after activity.||Back of the arch right in front of the heel||Shoes with thick soles and extra padding; foot insole; heel pad; night splints; orthotics if needed|
|Haglund deformity (pump bump)||This is a painful, red, swollen bump.||Back of the heel||Shoes with a soft heel; backless shoes; arch supports|
|Stress fracture||This is a sharp, stabbing pain that happens with activity. There may also be swelling.||Weight-bearing bones of the foot||Protective footwear; stiff-soled shoe; wooden-soled sandal|
|Tarsal tunnel syndrome||This is a pain, numbness, tingling, or burning sensation. Pain may be worse at night.||Usually in the mid-portion of the foot and heel||Orthotics to ease pressure|
|Flat feet or posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD)||People with this problem do not have an arch in their feet. It may cause pain with activity.||Arch||Orthotics may be needed if there is pain|
|High arches (cavus feet)||This may cause pain when standing or walking or an unstable foot.||Arch||Soft orthotic cushions|
|Achilles tendonitis||This pain is worse during physical activities.||Achilles tendon (the area behind the ankle near the heel bone)||Shoes with a soft heel; heel lift; walking boot|
Achilles tendinopathy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/achilles-tendinopathy. Accessed May 7, 2020.
Anterior tarsal tunnel syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/anterior-tarsal-tunnel-syndrome. Accessed May 7, 2020.
Foot care 101. American Podiatric Medical Association website. Available at: http://www.apma.org/files/FileDownloads/myFEETFootCare101.pdf. Accessed May 5, 2020.
Foot complications. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/complications/foot-complications. Accessed May 5, 2020.
Foot pain and problems. Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/foot-pain-and-problems. Accessed May 5, 2020.
Hallux valgus and bunion. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/hallux-valgus-and-bunion. Accessed May 7, 2020.
Hammer toe. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/hammer-toe. Accessed May 7, 2020.
Morton neuroma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/morton-neuroma. Accessed May 7, 2020.
Pes planus. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/pes-planus-flatfoot. Accessed May 7, 2020.
Plantar fasciitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/plantar-fasciitis. Accessed May 7, 2020.
Posterior tarsal tunnel syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/posterior-tarsal-tunnel-syndrome/updates. Accessed May 7, 2020.
Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM Last Updated: 3/30/2021