If your dress shoes are just a bit loose, they can start to irritate your skin after standing or walking for a while. Whatever shoes you have on need to be snug so you can avoid the rubbing that occurs with loose shoes.
Using cushion pads inside the back of your shoes can make a big difference. Some shoes have a cushioned collar, but most dress shoes do not. Adding pads and heel lining can help with comfort, fit, and slipping.
When I have gone hiking, at times, I have had rubbing occur. My shoes were just a bit too loose. Hikers use various methods to prevent rubbing, and using moleskin to problem areas is one. Pads, just like moleskin, will prevent rubbing, but the nice thing about pads is they will help solve the problem in the long term.
Why Use Heel Cushion Pads?
Many business and dress shoes look nice and can last a long time if they are quality shoes. Yet, some lack the comfort you need for walking and standing on your feet all day.
- Heel pads are good at providing cushion. Your foot will feel more comfortable in your shoes.
- Heel pads keep your foot snug in the shoe. A snug foot helps prevent rubbing.
- They’re a permanent solution. Once you place the heel pad in your shoe it may last as long as your shoe. You won’t need to go out and buy new shoes or return the shoes you like if getting heel pads solves your problem.
- They are easy to use. Heel pads are like stickers and have an adhesive side that you can easily stick in your shoe.
- They come in many pairs. You can use them in several shoes at a time. They usually come in pairs so you can use them in up to 6 pairs of shoes depending on the brand you buy.
If you have shoes that don’t quite fit perfectly, these heel pads could work for you. The adhesive sticks well to smooth surfaces such as the inside of dress shoes, but some may work well with fabric lining as well.
Just be aware that the heel pad may come off fairly quickly on some fabrics and will come off faster if your foot is still fairly with the pads.
Who Should Use Heel Cushion Pads?
Anyone with loose dress shoes can use heel pads. If your foot is loose in your shoe and you are or will be walking in them in the future, it likely your foot will start to get irritated from the rubbing that occurs with loose shoes. You should use heel pads when:
- When you work in dress shoes every day. Having more comfortable shoes can help you feel a bit more at ease while working.
- Anyone with loose shoes. Having loose shoes may not always result in rubbing but it can limit the functionality of your shoe. If you need to run or be active, loose shoes can cause problems with stability and may result in tripping or twisting the ankle.
- Those who are tying their shoes a lot. A snug shoe tends to keep your laces tied better because your foot doesn’t move much, while loose shoes can make laces move and loosen.
- Those who get irritated skin (blisters) from a loose shoe. Less rubbing will likely occur with a padded cushion heel liner.
- Those whose shoes have stretched. If your shoes have gotten a bit longer, heel pads can help snug them back up.
- Those who bought a size too large. Did you get a great deal on a shoe that you can’t return?. Using heel pads will allow you to use those shoes that are just a bit too big.
Which Heel Pads Should I Get?
There are two regularly available heel pads you should consider. One is made of fabric and cushion and the other is made of leather and cushion.
If you need the pads to match the interior of your shoes, you can look for the color that best matches the inside of the shoe.
As far as durability is concerned, a leather pad might be a bit more durable than fabric.
The adhesive on the pad and its thickness are the two things I would be most concerned with. Some pads are thinner and some thicker. Check to see if they offer the thickness you are looking for. And with the adhesive, you should look at the reviews of the product to see if customers found the adhesive stayed for a long time or not.
Here are some heel pads you may want to consider for your shoes.
Leather Heel Pads
Cushion Fabric Heel Pads
Large Fabric Heel Pads
Large Fabric Heel Pads
What Other Alternative Are There?
If I didn’t want to use heel pads because my feet only have problems in certain areas, I might consider alternative products that could help prevent slipping and target problem areas.
One product to try, especially those for who use high heels, is a cushioned liner inserts for the ball of your foot. These help the ball of your foot feel more comfortable and can help snug up a shoe that is a bit loose.
Another way that works for some people is to use moleskin inside their shoes. They don’t place the moleskin on their feet, they place it on the shoe liner, where the foot tends to rub. That way their foot doesn’t get irritated and it may also snug up that area a bit if you put enough layers.
An alternative to moleskin would be to use durable bandages. These stick well even in moist situations. They can easily target areas that hard to get to in your shoe and are already pre-cut to various sizes. Just put them inside your shoe in areas that irritate your skin to help relieve some rubbing.
The last method I would try is using a heel cup. This can be effective for those with plantar fasciitis or heel pain. It can help snug up loose shoes depending on the type of shoe you have.
Here are some of the products some people find helpful for various foot problems that can also work similarly to a heel pad in some ways.
Ball of Foot Cushion
Moleskin Padding Roll
Waterproof Blister Bandages
Soft Gel Heel Cups for Pain
I think heel pads are a good option for those with shoe that are too big. These are a good option for those heels that are irritating. Getting a shoe that is the right size and is comfortable should always be your first option, but if you don’t have a choice then I would try the options that were discussed above.
If your shoes are too tight, then you might need to try some other methods for a more permanent solution. See this article for how to stop shoe bite or irritation from tight shoes.
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