What type of shoes are best for plantar fasciitis?
If you happen to have suffered a persistent stabbing pain in your heel — more often when you leave the bed in the morning — then you probably know a thing or two about plantar fasciitis. In this article, we’ll try and answer what type of shoes are best for plantar fasciitis.
This very common orthopaedic nag may cause discomfort that will make walking almost unbearable. While a lot of runners fight this condition during exercise, it could also have an effect on your day to day life.
There a silver lining though. There are multiple ways to manage this condition, such as choosing and putting on the proper boots for work, leisure and exercise.
What to look for in a shoe when you have plantar fasciitis
It does not matter if your pain level is minimal or severe; the intended goal is supported with adequate comfort. We recommend that you look for these key features:
Arch and heel support
Dr. Mohammad Rimawi, DPM, AACFAS, is of the opinion that while cushioning can be ideal for comfort, support is key.
It is the arch and heel support, and not the cushioning provided by the shoe, that is most vital in the prevention of plantar fasciitis,” says Rimawi.
Extra rigidity in the sole and cushioning in the mid-foot
When choosing plantar fasciitis boots, Dr Nelya Lobkova, DPM, claims that someone who has plantar fasciitis requires extra rigidity in the sole and cushioning in the mid-foot to avoid impact to the heel, where there is the pain that is associated with plantar fasciitis.
Related: Shoes that doctors wear
Firm heel counter
The same Dr. Lobkova also advises for one to have a firm heel counter, the back part of the heel around the Achilles insertion.
Dr. Ricardo Cook, an orthopedic surgeon at the renowned Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics, says that in addition to comfort, people with plantar fasciitis should go for footwear that provides minimal impact when the foot strikes a hard surface.
He also says the characteristics largely depend on the given person’s foot and what they are trying to control.
For instance, if you have a high arch, the joint is on an angle that prevents a proper range of motion, so Cook says rigid arch support would result in further restriction. On the flip side, he elaborates that those with flat feet and plantar fasciitis should search for shoes with enough arch support.
What to avoid when choosing a plantar fasciitis shoe
Regarding what shoes to avoid if you have plantar fasciitis, Lobkova says the most important footwear to steer clear of is a minimalist shoe, such as the Vibram FiveFingers.
“There is minimal stability in the sole, no cushioning under the heel, and maximum stress on the heel bone,” she declares. All of these issues could worsen pre-existing plantar fasciitis.
What types of shoes are best for plantar fasciitis – consideration
A lot of specialists, such as podiatrists and physical therapists, are reluctant to recommend a specific pair of shoe for plantar fasciitis because each person needs to be tested to find out what is best for their own feet.
Unfortunately, shoes that are uncomfortable either due to over padding or under cushioning, size, or make may end up in an altered gait pattern and as a result, may lead to further discomfort.
Still, experts do say some brands have a better selection if you happen to be dealing with plantar fasciitis
Side note- Orthotics
Orthotics are shoe inserts you put into your shoes to help deal with some given conditions, such as:
- heel pain
- general foot discomfort
- arch pain
- plantar fasciitis
Depending on the degree of your pain, you can purchase custom orthotics that are custom made for your specific issue. However they may prove to be costly. Off-the-shelf brands are more affordable, but they are not made specifically for your feet.
According to Lobkova, customised orthotics are made to keep the feet in the optimal position while walking to get rid of the mechanical forces that result in plantar fasciitis. Over-the-counter orthotics will generally provide temporary relief for plantar fasciitis in the form of cushioning beneath the heel.
Orthotics are of great use when it comes to reducing the stress and tension on the plantar fascia, says Rimawi. In addition, they can reinforce any arch support that your footwear may miss. They subsequently have a deep heel cup, which Rimawi says will help absorb shock with each step taken.
When it comes to selecting footwear for plantar fasciitis, your best option is to talk to a specialist — either a physical therapist or podiatrist — and try on various styles.
Then, and only then can you be certain what shoe works for you. Good luck!
We hope this article has helped answer what type of shoes are best for plantar fasciitis.