The load transfer mechanism across the skeleton of the human foot is very important to understand its biomechanical function. In this work, we develop several computational models to compare the biomechanical response of different metatarsal geometries. Finite element 3D simulations of feet reconstructed from computer tomography (CT) scans were used to evaluate the stress/strain distributions during the stance posture. The numerical predictions for pathological and healthy foot geometries present different load transfer mechanisms that can provide a biomechanical explanation of why some metatarsal geometrical configurations cause different foot skeletal stresses. The most significant result in all cases was a reduction between 20% and 30% of the peak load supported by the first metatarsal. Therefore, we conclude that a clearly unloaded first metatarsal, overloading the rest, is a risk factor to induce metatarsalgia.

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