Fat pad atrophy is a condition where there is a loss of fat under the ball of the foot, resulting in loss of cushioning and support to the foot and the entire body. This can cause discomfort and pain, especially during activities that involve standing or walking for long periods of time.
Shoes and inserts can help with fat pad atrophy by providing the much needed cushioning and support to the foot:
- Thick, cushioned soles that can absorb impact and reduce pressure on the ball of foot.
- Orthotic inserts that provide cushioning and support the foot, especially those that help distribute pressure across the foot and away from the ball of the foot.
- Materials that conform to the shape of the foot, providing stability and comfort to the feet.
- A wide toe box that alleviates pressure on the ball of foot by allowing more room for the toes and in the toe area.
- Low heels, as high heels can exacerbate the symptoms of fat pad atrophy by putting extra pressure on the ball of the foot. On the other hand, low heel shoes help distribute weight more evenly across the foot.
It's important to note that every person's foot is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another.
Here are some recommendations for shoes that can help alleviate the symptoms of fat pad atrophy.
Best running shoes for fat pad atrophy
For men: Sprint sneakers
The Sprint sneakers have a thick sole made of shock absorbing materials, which can help reduce impact and pressure on the ball of the foot. The sole is also designed with a rocker bottom that minimizes pressure on the front of the foot and promotes a natural gait.
These sneakers also come with a removable orthotic insole that provides additional cushioning and support. The insole has a metatarsal pad that helps redistribute pressure away from the ball of the foot.
In addition, the insoles and the breathable fabric uppers are flexible, providing customized support and reducing pressure points.
The sneakers have a wide toe box, which allows for more room in the toe area and can help alleviate pressure on the ball of the foot.
They are also designed with a heel strap and a tie-less lacing system that allow full customization of fit and comfortable on-off wear that eliminates the need to tie laces. The heel strap also prevents slippage, maintaining proper rearfoot functions, thus eliminating stress on the fat pad.
For women: Verve sneakers
The Verve sneakers feature a few design elements that can help alleviate the symptoms of fat pad atrophy.
- Orthotic insoles. The sneakers’ orthotic insoles provide extra cushioning and support to the feet. These insoles are designed to contour to the shape of the foot, providing customized comfort and support.
- Deep heel cups. The deep heel cups help to stabilize the foot and reduce the impact of each step. This can help to reduce pressure on the forefoot and the balls of the feet, where fat pad atrophy is most common.
- Wide toe box. The wide toe box allows the toes to spread out naturally, which reduces pressure and improves circulation in the forefoot.
- Lightweight and flexible. This helps to reduce the strain on the feet and prevent further damage to the fat pad.
The sneakers are also designed to allow you to fully customize the fit with an adjustable heel strap and two hidden straps on both sides of the shoe. The latter also allows easy on-off wear as it does away with the need to tie and untie the laces.
Best Sandals for fat pad atrophy
For men: Cambria
The orthotic insoles will provide the cushioning and support your feet need, while they are also designed to adapt to your individual foot shape, providing customized comfort and further support.
The Cambria sandals are constructed with a deep heel cup that stabilizes the foot, thus reducing impacts when you walk and minimizing the pressure on the areas that tend to be affected by the fat pad atrophy: the forefoot and the balls of the feet.
The sandals are made with soft and comfortable materials that help to reduce friction and irritation on the feet, preventing blisters and other foot injuries.
Thanks to the adjustable straps, you can very easily customize the fit, which also helps to ensure that the sandals provide the right level of support and comfort for feet with fat pad atrophy.
For women: Paloma
With their deep heel cup, the Paloma sandals help to minimize the pressure on the ball of foot as well as the forefoot, where fat pad atrophy usually occurs, by helping to stabilize the foot and reduce the impact while walking.
The advanced orthotic insoles cushion and support the feet, essentially replacing the fat that was lost under the ball of foot.
To make sure that the sandals provide the support and comfort your feet need due to the fat pad atrophy, the sandals are constructed with foam padded leather uppers that also prevent irritation and injuries, and protect sensitive feet.
You can fully customize the fit of the sandals by very easily adjusting the multiple straps across the instep and the toe area. This can improve stability and provide the proper support to your feet.
Best walking shoes for fat pad atrophy
For Men: Yari | for Women: Kita
First and foremost, the orthotic insoles with anatomical arch support will cushion and support your feet, taking on the role of the fat pad that was lost.
When you walk, the deep heel cups will make sure your feet are stabilized and the impact of each step is significantly reduced. This also puts less pressure on the most sensitive area if you have fat pad atrophy - the forefoot and the ball of the foot.
Both the men’s and the women’s sneakers are designed with a wide toe box that leaves enough room for your toes to spread out and move naturally, reducing pressure and improving circulation in the forefoot. In addition, as the sneakers are lightweight and flexible, they also help to reduce the strain on the feet and prevent further damage to the fat pad.
Finally, the sneakers are designed with an innovative slip-on technology that allows hands-free on-off wear thanks to a hidden spring in the rear part of the shoe, allowing it to move down when the foot enters and recoils to keep the foot securely in place. No more bending down or tying and untying laces!
Best slippers for fat pad atrophy
For men: Hudson
These slippers are designed with orthotic insoles that provide extra cushioning and support to the feet.
They also have deep heel cups that reduce the impact while walking and the pressure on the forefoot and the balls of the feet, and a wide toe box so that the toes have enough room to spread out, reducing pressure on the forefoot.
The soft and comfortable materials of these slippers help to eliminate irritation, which is especially important if you have sensitive feet, while the stretchable, breathable uppers contour to the shape of your feet and keep your feet aerated.
To make them even more comfortable, the strap across the instep allows you to customize the fit.
For women: Louise
The orthotic insoles and cupped heel alleviate fat pad atrophy pain and discomfort by providing cushioning and support with every step while you’re walking indoors. This is enhanced by the anatomical arch support that also helps align the feet with legs and back.
The uppers are made from elastic stretch materials that contour to the shape and size of your feet, minimizing pressure and providing a comfortable fit, and the uppers’ airy mesh materials help keep your feet both cool and dry. Plus, the strap across the instep allows you to fully adjust the fit.
Finally, the wide and round toe box allows your toes room to move and spread naturally, providing a relaxed and comfortable fit.
Real user experiences
"...I've wore them everyday! My fat pad atrophy has been much better since wearing these. They are comfortable and stylish..."
"...The soft heel pad is the best I've experienced. I's a relief for my fat pad atrophy, these shoes are a game-changer..."
"...My 79 year old feet hurt very much due to fat pad atrophy. These shoes have been great help. Very cushioned and supportive..."