Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis 2017 for Men and Women – Buyer’s Guide
Anatomically, the plantar fascia is a ligament that connects the toe and the heel. Its primary purpose is to provide support on your feet while it walks, runs or jumps. Once inflamed, a condition called plantar fasciitis occurs. To date, the number of plantar fasciitis cases is still uncertain. The rough estimate in the US for the number of affected individuals is at 3 million. However, this can be a conservative number.
There could be more affected by plantar fasciitis. So what’s the big deal towards having plantar fasciitis? Heel pain is typically related to plantar fasciitis. Also, it can injure your hips and your knees if not addressed properly.
One common reason why this condition occurs is due to deformities in your feet. Individuals with flat feet and high arches are among the most common demographic affected by this condition. The simplest way to determine if you have flat feet is to take the wet footprint test. Analyzing the footprint, flat feet usually have more contact on the surface.
But not all people with flat feet suffer from plantar fasciitis. It is typically characterized by sharp pain in the morning. The pain is also lessened once you pull the toes towards you.
Another group of individuals more commonly affected by plantar fasciitis are athletes. Athletes that perform running, jumping and other stressful activities to their feet are usually prone to developing plantar fasciitis.
What makes plantar fasciitis tricky? Once inflamed, it can easily pull the pad that supports the heel which can expose the heel bone. This can cause heel pain or even calcification which leads to heel spurs. In worst case scenarios, heel spurs will require surgery.
Fortunately, it can be corrected by having the best shoes plantar fasciitis. The right kind of shoe can perform a number of functions to avoid an inflamed plantar fascia or reduce the inflammation on this ligament. Its main purpose is to correct the person’s gait by providing support on the midsole of the foot.
By having the right amount of support on the midsole, it is possible to also prevent other side effects of plantar fasciitis such as heel spurs or having an injured knee or hip. Over the years, footwear for plantar fasciitis has been associated with rubber shoes. The truth is, this is no longer the case. Footwear brands developed technologies which adapt to the different needs of people.
Buying Guide: How To Choose Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis 2017 for Men and Women
Are you now confused on which footwear you should choose? Having the wrong shoes can worsen the problem regarding plantar fasciitis. By having an idea on the technical aspect of the shoes that you invest on, you’ll be able to determine which one is right for your needs.
As mentioned, one of the most common causes of plantar fasciitis is a structural deformity on your foot. Having flat feet and high arches can cause the foot to pronate, or roll inward. Pronation eventually stresses the plantar fascia, and eventually injures other parts of the body from your hips to your knees.
So what are the characteristics that you need to look for in different shoes to help alleviate plantar fasciitis?
1. Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis 2017
Running is the most common activity that can worsen plantar fasciitis. Long distance runners and sprinters are among the most common demographic affected by this condition. Over the years, footwear brands improved their technology to offer better overall support to their customers, especially for those with flat feet and high arches.
By having flat feet and high arches, it compromises the shock absorption ability of the feet. This is the reason why specific running shoes are needed in order to help provide better support. As rule of thumb, people with normal arches can stick with neutral running shoes. On the other hand, for those with flat feet and high arches, it is important to pick shoes that are labeled either as “stability shoes” or “motion shoes”.
Before we discuss the typical running shoes for people with plantar fasciitis, it is important to determine what a normal shoe looks like. For the neutral shoes, this kind of footwear is typically for people who supinate or roll their feet outward.
What makes stability shoes different from your typical shoes? Stability shoes specifically address the need to control overpronation. One important characteristic of stability shoes is a firm post by the midsole aches, which is an area that is typically affected by people who tend to overpronate as they walk or run.
On the other hand, you have the motion control shoes. Though it also addresses overpronation, it is only suggested for people with a moderate degree of overpronation. Its material tends to be stiff by the heel.
Our Pick Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis 2017
2. Sneakers for Plantar Fasciitis 2017
It isn’t always fashionable to wear running shoes on different times of the day. It is also a good idea to wear sneakers to compliment what you wear. Unfortunately, one of the most common problems of people suffering from plantar fasciitis is the lack of footwear options. Over the years, sneakers have gained a bad reputation regarding its design. Walking on your average sneakers can indeed worsen the situation of your plantar fasciitis.
These days though, there are sneakers designed specifically for this condition. This way, you don’t have to worry that you are going to suffer excruciating pain after a long walk.
One common characteristic of sneakers for plantar fasciitis is a deep heel cup. What it does is to protect your heel and promote support. Why is it an ideal characteristic of a sneaker for plantar fasciitis? Heel fat pad typically protects the heel. However, when you have plantar fasciitis, it’s a common scenario wherein the plantar fascia pulls on the pad which exposes the heel. This makes walking difficult. With the proper heel cup, not only does it reduce the inflammation on the plantar fascia by correcting the gait, it also helps in protecting the heel which could calcify without the necessary cushion.
Our Pick Sneakers for Plantar Fasciitis 2017
3. Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis 2017
There are scenarios wherein you’ll need insoles to facilitate your activities such as running, walking and even jumping. Custom and readymade insoles help reduce muscle fatigue while promoting efficient overall muscular performance for people suffering from plantar fasciitis. In fact, athletes make use of custom insoles in order to improve in their endurance and performance.
The custom insoles can be quite pricey. A pair could cost around $100 to $500 depending on which manufacturer makes the insoles. On the other hand, there are ready made options that you can choose from. One important characteristic of an insole is a deep heel cup. Similar to having shoes, it helps cushion your heel, not to mention correct the gait.
Next, it is important to check the covering of the insoles. Make sure that it is made of antimicrobial material. This can help keep odor out. And of course, you also want to consider the weight of the insoles. Today, there are insoles made of durable and lightweight material perfect even for sports purposes.
Our Pick Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis 2017
4. Walking Shoes for Flat Feet 2017
For people with plantar fasciitis, walking can be an excruciating activity. If you love to walk for hours, it is a must that you get the proper shoes that can help you get the job done. One rule of thumb that you always need to apply is to never stick to cheap shoes that are too soft. It is a common blunder to think that it is a good idea to invest on “comfortable” canvas shoes that have soft padding to support your feet. In the contrary, it only worsens the problem by not correcting overpronation on your gait and stride.
What you can do is to hold both ends of the walking shoe you are planning to buy. Next, try bending the shoe. If it bends with minimal resistance, then it’s not a good option for you. Next, check the cushioning system or technology used by the brand on the footwear. Does it promote sufficient support by the midsole? Walking shoes for plantar fasciitis often times have extra material for support right by the midsole to address this need.
Other than the midsole, it is also handy to evaluate the material used on the exterior of the walking shoe. A breathable design can come in handy because this can keep your feet comfortable despite walking on a hot humid weather.
Our Pick Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis 2017
5. Night Splints for Plantar Fasciitis 2017
Waking up in the morning and taking that very first step is the most difficult part of waking up for a person with plantar fasciitis. Since stretches and icing your feet can only provide temporary relief, an important tool that you can use is a night splint. According to studies, this can help significantly decrease the amount of pain from plantar fasciitis in 12.5 to 13 weeks.
The idea of the plantar fascia night splint is to keep the plantar fascia stretched while you are sleeping for hours. Though it also isn’t a permanent solution, this can definitely help minimize the pain.
There are two types of night splints that you can invest on. One is the Dorsal Night Splint. For this type of night splint, it is made of plastic making foot firm at a 90 degree angle. The good thing is that it leaves the arch free to breathe.
On the other hand, you have the Boot Splint. It is larger than the Dorsal Night Splint and the spine of the brace is at the leg and calf. Of course, both versions have their pros and cons. For instance, using the Dorsal Night Splint can tend to cause foot slippage, thus not holding while you are sleeping. It is also a common complaint that it can be hot during summer.
Our Pick Night Splints for Plantar Fasciitis 2017
6. Tennis Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis 2017
Tennis and basketball players are among the athletes prone to develop plantar fasciitis. Constant movements that require running and jumping can easily stress the arch of your feet without the right footwear. If you are already suffering from plantar fasciitis, this shouldn’t stop you from playing your favorite sport. These days, there are tennis shoes specially made for both high arched and flat feet.
Before we tackle the support needed in your midsole, a tennis shoe should first look like a tennis shoe. It should have a breathable mesh upper that allows your feet to stay cool despite playing for long durations.
In terms of the midsole, it should have enough support to your midsole by having the right material as well. EVA is among the most popular material that is used by top brands today. In addition to this, it is important to evaluate if it’s a bit wide. People with flat feet tend to have wider feet because it tends to be in contact with the ground more. However, despite being slightly wider, the right tennis shoes should cut on excessive movements.
And lastly, because of the dynamic movements required in tennis, you always have to be particular with the ankle support provided by the tennis shoes. This can help prevent sprain injuries.
Our Pick Tennis Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis 2017
7. Hiking Boots For Plantar Fasciitis 2017
Hiking is a fun activity. However, hiking for an entire day, or for several days can be taxing to your feet. Having the wrong kind of hiking boots can worsen your injury and the worst part is that you are in the middle of nowhere. For people with plantar fasciitis planning to go outdoors and hike, it is imperative to find the right type of hiking boots.
First, let’s discuss the type of hiking boots that you need to choose. It is important to have hiking boots that are prepared for the elements. If you are going to hike in muddy terrain, the footwear should have enough traction, not to mention it should be waterproof.
Next, you also have to consider the support on your ankles. Given the uneven ground, you need to consider ankle support to prevent sprain from happening.
Also, you have to make sure that the shoe has been designed with a good shock absorption system. Given the fact that you are going to carry bags and other things necessary for hiking, it is crucial to make sure that this shock absorption system was designed to carry extra weight. It is also important to have sufficient heel and arch support to make sure that the plantar fascia doesn’t get inflamed even more during the entirety of the hike.
Our Pick Hiking Boots for Plantar Fasciitis 2017
7. Dress Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis 2017
A lot of times, style takes a back seat when you have problems with your foot. This is exactly a frustrating scenario especially for women. Often times, women stop wearing dresses because they can’t wear dress shoes when they have plantar fasciitis. The good news is that you can get the best of both worlds. You can have an aesthetically appealing dress shoe that is functional at the same time.
There are dress shoes meant for ladies with plantar fasciitis. These dress shoes are functional to support feet with special needs, but fashionable enough to be used on your dress. A lot of these dress shoes for people with plantar fasciitis have used orthotics to follow the contours of the feet. Shock absorbing material such as EVA is typically used for this kind of footwear. On the other hand, there are those dress shoes that make use of memory foam that molds on your feet.
In addition to this, the dress shoes should also have strong heel support to help correct the gait, and prevent heel pain. And though these are dress shoes, those made specifically for plantar fasciitis have additional lateral support to help prevent injuries as well.
Our Pick Dress Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis 2017
8. Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis 2017
Let’s admit that sandals can be very comfortable. Instead of closed shoes, sandals make the perfect alternative which allows you to feel comfortable on your feet.
Over the years, sandals weren’t the most highly recommended footwear for people with flat feet and high arches. But since the footwear industry is continuously changing and evolving, there are now sandals specifically made for those suffering from plantar fasciitis.
First thing that you have to check is a snug foot strap. This keeps the feet in place when you are walking. Next, it is imperative that the sandals have deep heel cup for stability and to prevent overpronation which is common among people suffering plantar fasciitis. Next, it is important to have the right arch support.
For other brands, they included orthotic footbed in the design of their sandals. There are even some brands that have removable insoles. This gives the end user an opportunity to switch between customized orthotics.
Lastly, you should consider sandals that are a bit wide. This is especially mad for flat feet with plantar fasciitis. This provides extra room for the tendency of flat feet to splay outward.
Our Pick Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis 2017
8. Slippers for Plantar Fasciitis 2017
You just can’t wear shoes every time. It is the most ridiculous advice by experts to tell you to wear your shoes even at home when you have plantar fasciitis.
If you’ll read information online about slippers and plantar fasciitis, you’ll realize that these are two of things that you don’t usually combine. The same as sandals, slippers had its share of bad reputation over the years. However today, footwear brands have come up with designs specific for people suffering from plantar fasciitis.
To determine the best flip flops/slippers for plantar fasciitis, it is important to first check the type of support offered by the footwear. Does it have proper arch support? Typically, you have arch support made of either EVA or memory foam. Next, does it have deep heel cups to promotes stability and even correct your gait?
The sole shouldn’t be too thin if you will invest on slippers for plantar fasciitis. Also, it should also have a material designed to absorb the weight of the person. Unfortunately, a lot of slippers are poorly made and are not designed for these conditions such as plantar fasciitis. Thus, you have to be picky on what you choose.
Our Pick Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis 2017
Frequently asked questions
Can the right shoe cure plantar fasciitis?
A lot of people are asking whether or not the right shoe can fix plantar fasciitis. Often times, it is enough to have the right shoe to lessen the inflammation. However, keep in mind that there are instances when inflammation is already so bad that it requires rest, massage and other common treatments.
As rule of thumb, if you intend to cure plantar fasciitis, it is important to consult with your doctor first. Having the right shoes can help, but keep in mind that this isn’t always the only solution that can help reduce the inflammation on your plantar fascia.
What makes separate insoles a good investment?
So what exactly makes insoles a great investment? There are instances when insoles get worn out, though the rest of the shoe remains in good condition. Instead of buying a new shoe, you can simply just invest on a separate insole. This also helps in keeping the smell off your shoes. You can clean the insoles regularly and replace it with a new one.
Should I use night splints?
The most common problem experienced by people with plantar fasciitis is difficulty making the first few steps when they wake-up. This is a common sign that you have plantar fasciitis. Aside from icing your plantar fascia, and massaging the area, it is also a good idea to use night splints.
Night splints can tend to be a bit bulky, but it can always be a great investment. Its main purpose is to stretch the plantar fascia ligament in order to reduce inflammation. But of course, just like any other plantar fasciitis solution, consider other treatment modalities as well.
Should I choose EVA foam or Memory Foam for midsole support?
Two of the most common materials used by footwear brands include EVA and Memory foam. EVA foam can hold bubbles which lessen the impact while you are walking or running. EVA foam tends to be cheaper than your memory foam. It is also lightweight.
On the other hand, you have the memory foam that can last longer than your typical EVA foam. It doesn’t easily get flattened which can prolong the support on your feet.
Plantar fasciitis affects millions of individuals. It is the common cause of heel pain. Once the plantar fascia is inflamed, it can pull on the heel pad which can even cause calcification on the heel. Addressing the inflamed plantar fascia can be a good way to prevent lower limb problems from getting worse.
But of course, this is easier said than done. Finding the right shoe to promote support on your feet can be quite tricky. Given the number of shoes that look aesthetically appealing but can only worsen the situation, it is important to have an idea on what to look for in a footwear. And also, it is true that different scenarios will require different kinds of footwear.