Product Review: Toe Pad Shoe Inserts for Dancers

At first glance the shoe pads do not look very impressive and actually are quite confusing because the shape with the small triangle hanging off isn’t typical. Yet after looking at the picture of how you should wear them it becomes a lot clearer. The triangle with the hole in the center actually goes over your toe next to your big toe. This connects the footpad to your foot. The pad connects to your foot, not to the shoe. Unlike most inserts that attach to the shoe, the focus of this insert is on your foot.

I would not wear this with peeptoe pumps or lowcut pumps because then the strap that connects the pad to your foot is visible and looks odd.

On first wearing the pad, I felt a noticeable difference. The pad really cushions the ball of the foot. I decided, however, to wear the product twice for an accurate and fair review.  The first wear was for a dressy event that required standing in heels and going up and down some stairs. The pad did raise the ball of the foot out of the heel slightly so that it did take a minor adjustment of how to walk so that my foot didn’t slip out of the heel. Yet the cushioning was worth it. To walk up and down stairs in heels I prefer to use the ball of my foot so that I don’t make unnecessary noise of the heels clacking on the stairs. The insert made walking actually pleasant. Surprisingly the toe connection piece also lifted the shoe toe off the toes so that I didn’t have any pressure or get blisters.

The real test would be how the pad stands up to a night on the dance floor. Luckily, I had just the event to test the pads. La Fiesta is a latin dance held every semester with a full band. Everyone dresses up, heels are the standard and dancing till you drop is mandatory.

Unfortunately, these pads let me down on the second wear. First, the cushioning wasn’t as supportive on the second wear. I also could feel the ridge between the top layers, which was uncomfortable. While for walking it was possible to re-position how I walk, it wasn’t logical when it came to dancing. My heel kept slipping out of my shoe because of the extra height of the pads. Perhaps if I had worn heels with an ankle strap the slipping could have been avoided. I wore the same pair of heels for both tests of the pads. At the end of the night I had some blisters on the tops of my toes which were pushed up into the toe of the shoe by the pad and with the added pressure of dancing – the pad didn’t hold up as supportive or preventative of blisters as I had hoped from my first wear.

I would expect shoe pads to last beyond one wear. Perhaps these are best suited for dressy events with minor walking and moving. However, I would not recommend them for the dance floor. Though everyone’s feet are different, so it is possible that these pads could be the salvation a dancer is looking for. Depending on the heels worn, the outcome could vary. For me, they did not work.

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