Strutz foot pads are simple and unobtrusive, possess a sleek, low-profile design, and serve as a sort of “mobile,” or “wearable,” metatarsal pad. This important foot health tool helps you prevent or address ball of foot pain and helps improve foot structure and function. Strutz foot pads come equipped with a wide elastic band that wraps around your foot and a built-in raised pad that is intended to be positioned in the pocket of space just behind the ball of your foot (and not under the ball of your foot). The one-size-fits-most nature of these pads means that they are incredibly accommodating and versatile, and they work great for a wide range of foot shapes and sizes.
Though Strutz foot pads are quite easy to use, there are some specific points about them that are helpful to know. This article serves as an instructional guide to help you get the very most out of your Strutz foot pads. If you have any additional questions about the pads after reading this article, please don't hesitate to contact us with them.
How to Apply Strutz Foot Pads
Each individual Strutz foot pad has, overlying its bulbous foam pad, a durable outer covering and a comfortable, fabric-lined inner portion. With the fabric side of the pad facing the sole of your foot and the pointed part facing your heel, slide your Strutz foot pads into position. The pad's prominence should be located just behind the ball of your foot, in the space that exists behind your metatarsal heads. No part of the pad's raised area should sit under the ball of your foot, as this could be uncomfortable and potentially worsen your condition. A small portion of the flat leading edge of the pad may end up under the ball of your foot, but this shouldn't have any negative effect on your foot comfort or function.
Once you feel that your pad is properly positioned, take a few steps to see how the pad actually feels on and beneath your foot when weight bearing. To adjust your pad, simply slide it to the position that feels most comfortable. Again, the pad should be pushing into your sole just behind the ball of your foot (which has a compensatory—and desirable—downward shifting effect on your toes). This is the location in which Strutz foot pads will provide maximum foot health benefits. A pad that's positioned too far back on your foot will be less effective, and a pad that's positioned too far forward on your foot will be uncomfortable. So, finding that optimal pad location is key.
Also, the pad's elastic band is designed to fit snugly but not be constrictive. No part of the elastic band should be positioned around the ball of your foot, as this would squeeze your metatarsal heads together and contribute to ball of foot problems associated with compressed or irritated forefoot nerves or blood vessels.
After you are satisfied with the placement of your Strutz foot pad, apply the second pad to your other/opposite foot and repeat the above process to dial in the proper positioning for it too.
Strutz Foot Pads Transition Period
There may be a brief “break-in” period before you feel comfortable wearing your Strutz mobile metatarsal pads for extended periods. This is true for not just Strutz foot pads, but for almost all natural footgear, as it often takes some time for the foot muscles and other tissues to “wake up” after many years of relative dormancy (i.e., most people who have worn conventional footwear have foot muscles that have not been sufficiently recruited, worked, or challenged as they should). Indeed, it can take several days to several weeks for your feet and body to properly adjust to your Strutz foot pads. In some cases, it may even take longer. This is particularly true for individuals who have worn conventional footwear, with its many design flaws, for many decades.
In our experience, we have found it best to wear Strutz foot pads for 30 minutes to 1 hour the first day, and then increase wear time by about 30 minutes per day, to tolerance. Most people find that they can, ultimately, wear the pads for most of the day, but it does require some patience and diligence to get there. A gradual, step-wise approach is the most judicious way to build foot tolerance and get the very most out of your pads.
One additional important thing to note: Strutz foot pads should not cause any foot pain or discomfort. If you feel foot discomfort after using Strutz foot pads, temporarily discontinue use to give your foot some time to rest and adapt to the changes taking place. You can then try reintroducing your pad after a few days, gradually increasing your usage if your foot discomfort does not reappear. If you still feel pain or discomfort when wearing your Strutz foot pads, please consult a natural foot health practitioner in your area to help you determine the underlying cause of the pain.
How to Use Strutz Foot Pads
Strutz foot pads can be used in several different ways, giving you ultimate versatility in how and when you use them. You can wear your pads on your bare feet, over a pair of Injinji toe socks, or within a pair of men's or women's foot-healthy footwear. Foot-healthy footwear includes shoes, boots, or sandals that are completely flat from heel to toe, widest at the ends of your toes (not just wide at the ball of your foot), and flexible in the sole. Please avoid using Strutz foot pads in tight-fitting and/or rigid-soled footwear. Doing so would be counterproductive to optimal foot and toe rehabilitation. For best results, especially when it comes to straightening crooked toes or tackling ball of foot problems, please consider using your Strutz foot pads in combination with Correct Toes toe spacers and the other helpful footgear mentioned above.
SHOP CORRECT TOES SHOP INJINJI TOE SOCKS SHOP MEN'S FOOTWEAR SHOP WOMEN'S FOOTWEAR
Strutz Foot Pads & Athletic Activity
It's important to wear your Strutz foot pads during weight-bearing activity, as this is how you will experience a significant rehabilitative effect from the device (i.e., there is little rehabilitative merit or benefit associated with wearing the pads while at rest, unless you are standing). Given the versatile nature of these pads, there are many activities for which you can use your Strutz foot pads, including (but not limited to):
- Court sports
- Gym workouts
Using the pads for these activities will help enhance your foot comfort in addition to restoring normal and natural foot function with each and every step. Indeed, almost all athletes, regardless of age, ability, or discipline, can benefit from using Strutz foot pads to help build or preserve optimal foot health. And the more active you are, the quicker the favorable changes in foot form and function will occur.
Pedag Met Pads: Another Metatarsal Pad Option
Pedag “T-form” met pads are a more traditional type of metatarsal pad. These pads come with an adhesive backing and permanently adhere to your shoe liner or insole. While both types of metatarsal pad (Strutz and Pedag) work great, there are a few reasons you might consider going with a Pedag metatarsal pad, including:
If you have particularly petite or narrow feet. Pedag metatarsal pads come in several distinct sizes, and the Small size may be a better fit for petite feet than the one-size-fits-most Strutz pad.
If you would prefer to have the pad under your foot rather than around your foot. Most people find the elastic band of the Strutz pad to be quite comfortable, though others may prefer a band-less situation.
If you wear open-toe footwear on a regular basis. Most people who wear open-toe footwear prefer the less visible Pedag metatarsal pads to Strutz foot pads, due to the appearance of the elastic band encircling the foot associated with the latter.
Which metatarsal pad you select depends upon the above factors and your own personal preferences. Both options work exceptionally well to promote optimal foot form and function and rehabilitate your foot and toes.
SHOP PEDAG METATARSAL PADS
Important Considerations for Using Strutz Foot Pads
If you have diabetes, suffer from persistent chronic joint problems and foot pain, experience numbness in your feet, or have circulation problems, please consult a natural foot health practitioner before using Strutz foot pads. Approval from your health care provider is very important in ensuring an optimal experience with the pads if one or more of the above considerations applies to you.