The 1001 Shoulder Pad is an absolute necessity if you have one of MP's shoulder bags.
I was surprised at how sturdy and substantial it was when I took it out of the packaging, because the photos made it appear somewhat thin and flimsy. Most importantly, it's well-padded on the bottom, it's considerably large, it's made out of the same Cordura material as the bag material, and it has the cool red patch on it. The material does not give very easily, and it took some flexing to get it to properly wrap over my shoulder.
I say that the pad is an absolute necessity for the following reasons. First, MP's bags don't include shoulder pads. I used my bag for 2 months before putting the pad on it, and the bare strap pinched my shoulder and made my chest/back sore. The strap definitely helps reduce pinching and it helps to distribute the weight more evenly. Second, the strap looks too plain/bare without the shoulder pad on it. I think that the pad makes the overall bag simply look better.