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Plantar fasciitis affects up to 10% of the U.S. population. It accounts for more than 600,000 outpatient visits annually. Both active and sedentary population is at equal risk of suffering from this painful stabbing heel pain. (1) A survey conducted by the American Podiatric Medical Association concludes that 8 out of 10 Americans experience foot pain at some point in their life, which means most of us are prone to plantar fasciitis or other foot problems! (2) Yes, that sounds shocking but, thankfully, most of these foot problems, including plantar fasciitis, can be prevented as well as treated easily. One of the best ways to avoid/treat them is to wear supportive as well as comfortable footwear.
If you are suffering from heel pain, the first advice that you can expect from your doctor or podiatrist (a person specializing in foot problem) is to buy a good pair of plantar fasciitis shoes and/or a good pair of insoles for plantar fasciitis. This may sound very generic to you but, it is now clinically proven that bad footwear can wreak havoc on your foot, legs, and spine (3), whereas, the supportive and well-fitted ones can provide you short-term as well as long-term relief from plantar fasciitis pain. (4) Wearing them consistently for just 5 weeks can decrease the pain by more than 75%. (5) Before we understand how plantar fasciitis shoes can help you deal with the heel pain, let’s first understand what plantar fasciitis is and why you are suffering from it.
The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissues that connect the heel bones with the toes. It acts as a bowstring or an elastic band and helps us carry out our daily activities without straining our feet, ankles, knees, legs and the whole body. Plantar muscles also support our arches and maintain the internal structure of our foot. Excessive high-intensity activities, obesity, aging, and many other factors can affect the strength and elasticity of the plantar fascia muscles, thereby causing micro tears. These tears mostly happen at the heel area and they are the ones that are responsible for the stabbing heel pain (i.e. plantar fasciitis) that you experience when you wake up and start walking in the morning. Sometimes, the tears may also cause inflammation of the plantar fascia muscles.
Since excessive strain on the plantar muscles causes plantar fasciitis, all you need to do to get rid of this condition is to minimize the strain as well as let the damages muscles heal. Best plantar fasciitis shoes are helpful in both ways. Well-fitted, supportive shoes take the pressure off your heels and arches, thereby helping the damaged muscles heal quickly and completely. They also help minimize the windlass mechanism i.e. the shortening of plantar fascia while walking or running. Windlass mechanism puts a lot of strain on the plantar fascia. Wearing shoes is therefore strongly recommended for plantar fasciitis patients because plantar fasciitis shoes do not allow any such movements of the legs that can cause windlass mechanism. Watch this video to find out what windlass mechanism is and how it strains the plantar muscles.
Please note that wearing improper footwear such as high heels and worn-out shoes is not recommended when you are suffering from plantar heel pain. Such shoes can further worsen your condition and can delay the recovery.
So, how do you choose the best shoes for plantar fasciitis? Read below.
Here are a few things that you must keep in mind while choosing plantar fasciitis shoes:
Proper heel support is the first line of defense against plantar fasciitis. You must not opt for minimalistic shoes or walk barefooted. Instead, you need to wear shock absorbing and arch-supporting shoes to help plantar fasciitis. Buy shoes that have a firm heel counter. Heel counter wraps your heel bones and prevents the pronation issues. The heel counter should be soft enough to cushion your heels and absorb the shock of daily activities but it should be firm enough so that it doesn’t collapse when used. Squeeze the heel counter to see how firm it is.
People with low arches or high arches are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis. (6) If you are a flat-footed person or have high arches, you must start wearing arch support footwear even if you are not experiencing any heel pain. Refer our blogs on how to buy best shoes for flat feet and insoles for flat feet for more information. Even if you have a normal arch in your foot, you must buy plantar fasciitis shoes with a good arch support. When arches are properly supported, they will help distribute the body weight evenly thereby preventing strain on the plantar muscles and the heel area.
Good shoes for plantar fasciitis will always have an elevated heel. The heel should be approximately 1 inch high. The elevated heel area will help shift some of the weight off the plantar fascia, thereby keeping them relaxed.
Some other points to consider when buying planters fasciitis shoes are:
Running with plantar fasciitis can be a challenge. When you are suffering from severe heel pain, it is advisable that you must not continue your athletic activity. You must take appropriate rest and do some stretching exercises to let your muscles recover from the damage. Here are some helpful tips on how to treat plantar fasciitis. Once you have fully recovered from the pain, you can continue your activity but make sure you wear a good pair of running shoes for plantar fasciitis. Here are some tips that will help you buy the best athletic shoes for plantar fasciitis.
Let us now look at some of the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis.
Walking shoes and running shoes are different and are meant to do different things. The key difference between them is the cushioning areas. When you walk, your heels are the first part of your legs that hit the ground. Therefore, they have to bear and absorb most of the shock. Walking shoes for plantar fasciitis, therefore, have thicker, beveled heels. Running shoes, however, have cushioning in the entire surface, especially at the midsole and forefoot area, as the whole foot hits the floor when you run. Further, running is a high-intensity workout as compared to walking and therefore, running shoes require more cushioning.
Here are a few things that you must consider while choosing best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis:
Here is a list of some of the best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis that we recommend.
If you are a healthcare professional, an industrial worker, or a teacher, or if you are into any other profession that requires you to be on your feet for long hours, plantar fasciitis can make your life miserable. You may or may not feel uncomfortable during your working hours but you will definitely experience a sharp, stabbing heel pain in the morning. Some plantar fasciitis home remedies listed in one of our blogs may help you overcome the pain but wearing supportive work shoes should be your top priority.
Here are a few things that you must consider while buying work shoes for plantar fasciitis:
Please note: Very often we assume that plantar fasciitis shoes should be soft and cushiony around the arch and the heel where it pains the most. This, however, is not true. The arch and the heel area should be rigid and fixed. It must not allow your foot and ankle to move forward, roll, or bend in the wrong way or else your plantar muscles will not heal.
Let us now look at some of the top selling work shoes for plantar fasciitis.
Whether you are buying a sneaker for a casual outing or for a holiday, it is important to choose the right pair that supports your aching feet and make you feel comfortable. Sneakers are meant for casual wear but this doesn’t mean you can order anything that you found on Amazon. You need to sneakers for plantar fasciitis that are specifically designed to keep your heels relaxed no matter how long and for what purpose you are wearing them.
Here are some shopping tips to help you choose the best sneakers for plantar fasciitis:
Let’s look at some of the top-rated sneakers for plantar fasciitis.
Sandals are a symbol of carefree summer days. As the spring season begins, the shelves of shoe stores will be filled will a variety of sandals. Be aware; not all of them are meant for you. Choosing the wrong pair can aggravate your pain. Sandals are usually not recommended for people suffering from plantar heel pain. However, you can still wear them provided you choose the right ones and wear them in the right way. Here are some helpful tips on how to buy and wear sandals for plantar fasciitis:
Even if you have bought a really expensive pair of best sandals for plantar fasciitis, make sure you do not wear it for long hours or do intense activities wearing them. Here are some of the best sandals for plantar fasciitis that you may buy.
Flip flops and summers are a perfect combination but, unfortunately, this popular summer footwear may not be good for your feet if you are suffering from plantar fasciitis and/or flat feet. Unlike sturdy, arch-supporting plantar fasciitis shoes, most fancy flip-flops do not offer any arch support, heel cushioning, or shock absorption. Thankfully, many manufacturers nowadays have started manufacturing supportive flip-flops that will not only keep your dry and sweat-free but also provide you optimum comfort. Here are some tips on how you can choose the right flip flops for plantar fasciitis.
Always remember to discard your footwear, including flip flops when they start showing signs of wear and tear. Here is a list of top-rated flip-flops for plantar fasciitis.
We hardly realize the importance of slippers for our feet. Most of us think they are just for walking around the house. But, they play a bigger role than this. After a long and hectic day, when we slip into them, they let our feet breathe. They help relax the toes and the plantar muscles. They keep the feet in their natural position so that they can recover for the next day’s activities. Slippers also keep our feet warm and comfortable.
Barefoot walking is not recommended for people with plantar fasciitis. A pair of good quality, supportive slippers will help you recover faster. Here are some tips on choosing slippers for plantar fasciitis:
Here are some of the top-selling slippers for plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common sports injuries. If the heel pain is keeping you away from playing your favorite sports, all you need to do is to wear the correct footwear. Supportive shoes help stabilize your feet and keep excessive pressure off the plantar and calf muscles. Best tennis shoes for plantar fasciitis are highly versatile and, therefore, they can handle repeated impacts caused due to sports.
Before buying a pair of tennis shoes for plantar fasciitis, please be aware that if you are currently suffering from heel pain, you must not play tennis or any other sports until you have recovered. Let your heels recover completely and, when the pain is gone, you can slowly start your sports activities. Here are some helpful tips for choosing the best tennis shoes for plantar fasciitis.
Let’s look at some of the top selling tennis shoes for plantar fasciitis.
We hope this blog helps you find the right footwear for your plantar heel pain. Please note that we do not guarantee the quality and effectiveness of the products listed here. Before you order them, please read the product description and the customer reviews thoroughly. For more information on plantar fasciitis, flat feet, and other common foot problems, keep reading our blog.
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Last updated on July 26th, 2018