because the Grado pads are so easy to remove and put back on you may want to try washing them gently by hand with mild to warm water and a liquid dish washing or liquid hand soap to soften them up.
just be sure they are completely dry before putting them back on the ear cups - softly wring them out making sure no soap residue remains and then let them sit out overnight or use a fan on cool to accelerate the drying process.
the pads will soften up on their own with daily use in due time of course, which i found also improves the over all sound as they bring your ears a little closer to the driver.but that process can take months which is why i prefer washing them by hand every now and again (this also seems to give them a longer life span)
as long as you are gentle while washing them you won't damage the ear cushions,just use a very small dab of liquid soap because whatever scent the soap is will absorb into the pad and while that can be pleasant initially it gets a bit overwhelming if you over do it (i did that the first time and had to wash them out with warm water then wring them out and let them dry about four or five times ,but they were certainly softer afterwards). hope that helps for now.
as for finding a pleather or velour pad that would fit the Grados,i would love to know this as well,and not because i find the pads uncomfortable (as mine are a couple years old now) but just because i like the look,I did purchase the L cush/bowls for my SR80i but don't like how they sound (too distant and they reduce the bass significantly even with the tape mod) so I went right back to my comfies.I would like to find some cushions for my Grado SR80i that are similar to the cushions on Sennheiser HD-25's or Amperior but that hopefully also retain the Grado sound and don't put my ears too far from the drivers,been thinking i may just try a pair of flats from TTVJ as everyone says how great they sound.but am having a hard time reconciling myself with the idea of spending $35 for two foam pads that can't cost more than a couple of dollars to make.
Edited by xylin6 - 9/17/14 at 8:31pm