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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hapads: Help for Stability and Pain Relief

Hapad, Inc. makes a large number of adhesive felt pads which easily attach into the arch of shoes. For shoes that have minimal room for extra stuff, the Hapad support has proved invaluable for my practice over the years. Ballet slippers or high heels are perfect uses of these pads when room is an issue, but for many patients this can be there primary arch support in all their shoes. You can easily order this product from or call 1-800-544-2723 to find local distributors. You can also email at I tend to use two products routinely---the small Longitudinal Metatarsal Arch Pad and the small Metatarsal Pad. Even though they are the small versions, they tend to be very adequate for most instances. The photo above shows the small Longitudinal Metatarsal Arch Pad being placed in the shoes. I use these for medial arch and metatarsal arch support. You must experiment with the placement so it doesn't increase any pain, and you can thin the felt by peeling in layers or trimming the edges with scissors. They should feel like obnoxious lumps just next to the place of pain, and they do smooth out over time. One pecularity is that I use the right in the left shoe and left one in the right shoe. The curve of the insert seems to match the curve of the shoe better. I also place the metatarsal pad perpendicular to the diagram on the package with the thickest part by the second metatarsal and thinnest part by the fifth metatarsal (see photo below).


For the Longitudinal Metatarsal Arch Pad I like to place part of the pad so it goes onto the side of the shoe (into the arch better), and not just stay on the bottom of the foot. Of course, this will not work in some ballet slippers, high heels, and sandals.

One question I get asked all the time concerns when you are only treating one foot for pain, do you need these inserts in both sides. Technically "no" since you are not placing under the heel or ball of the foot and one side would create a leg length difference. But most patients do feel more balanced when placed into both shoes. I hope this product proves very helpful for you and it has thousands of my patients.

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Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.