We had a call from a customer who wanted information about met pads and which ones were suitable for showering. She had used our felt metatarsal pads in the past and couldn't remember if they were OK for showers.
Felt is probably not the best choice of metatarsal pad for someone who wants to wear the pad directly on the foot and take a shower. Felt is water absorbent and would remain damp for a few hours after a shower. The visual image I had was of a row of felt metatarsal pads on the clothesline, each with a clothespin. Nah, poor choice.
So, what would be the alternative? First, if you prefer the felt met pads, why not put them in the shoe rather than directly on the foot? Whether on the foot or in the shoe, the pad will function the same. The one distinct advantage of putting the met pad in the shoe is that you'll save money by using one that'll last for quite some time compared to putting a fresh pad on every other day or so.
Another alternative would be to use the Reusable Ball of Foot Cushion. The reusable met pad, although a bit more expensive at first, is going to be a pad that can be taken on and off. It cleans up with soap and water and actually becomes tacky and sticky again when washed. Tacky and sticky is a good thing. It's important to keep the pad in place.
Or another way is to use an insert with a met pad. Around the shop, we jokingly call the Pedag Comfort a life support system for a metatarsal pad. The Comfort is flat and fits into all shoes, including loafers and thin shoes, but also has a monster of a met pad. The Comfort is a great tool to get folks new to the use of a met pad oriented as to how the pad should feel in the shoe.
Although felt met pads are by far our biggest seller, I still wouldn't recommend taking a shower with them on. Squish, squish, squish down the hall, right?
Jeffrey A. Oster, DPM