The Effect of Padded Hosiery in Reducing Forefoot Plantar Pressures

Eight participants in good health (five males and three females), ranging in age from 23 to 44 years, tested a standard extra-depth shoe with clinically-tested padded socks for eight weeks against a non-padded control sock made from 100 percent cotton. Using a commercially- available measuring device, in-shoe pressure measurements were taken each day during the study (the first time pressure sensors had been used inside the shoe in the testing of padded hosiery).

In the study population the results were as follows:

  • Clinically-tested padded socks significantly decreased forefoot plantar pressures at the sock/shoe interface, specifically in the hallux and the central forefoot regions of the foot.
  • Washing did not affect the performance of the clinically-tested padded socks in providing pressure reduction.

Conclusion: Clinically-tested padded socks can significantly decrease forefoot plantar pressures when initially donned, after wearing for four hours of activity, and over a period of eight weeks of wear.

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