What is plantar fasciitis and what are the best shoes for plantar fasciitis?
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
If you suffer from sharp heel pain, you may well be suffering from a common foot condition known as plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue connecting your heel to the front of your foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs when this tissue is damaged or torn, which causes pain when your heel hits the ground.
Your heel guards the plantar fascia tissue, but walking barefoot does not give your feet the same support, protection or cushioning that shoes do.
Running or even walking barefoot on hard surfaces for long periods of time are the main causes of strain to your fascia. Other risk factors include a rapid increase in weight-bearing activities and repetitive impact from activities such as running, as well as being overweight.
If you already have plantar fasciitis, walking barefoot on hard surfaces can worsen the condition and delay the healing process. To help prevent the worsening of plantar fasciitis, it is important to wear suitable shoes for plantar fasciitis.
What are the Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis?
If you are looking for the best shoes for plantar fasciitis, there are several factors which you need to consider. While the idea of "shoes for plantar fasciitis" may conjure up connotations of orthopaedic-looking shoes, fear not! Stylish shoes for plantar fasciitis exist and there are plenty of fashionable options out there.
Here are our top tips for finding shoes for plantar fasciitis:
- Wear shoes with arch support
- Wear shoes with underfoot cushioning
- Wear shoes with shock absorption
- Wear wide-fitting shoes
- Buy the right shoe size
- Avoid minimalist shoes
- Avoid walking barefoot
1. Wear shoes with arch support
If you are looking for supportive, comfortable shoes for plantar fasciitis, it is essential that they have arch support. Arch support helps to distribute pressure evenly across your foot and prevent straining any particular part of your foot, including the heel.
Plantar fasciitis shoes with arch support also provide stability and balance which contributes to improving your posture. Better balance and posture can reduce the likelihood of foot problems, including plantar fasciitis.
Sole Bliss shoes feature a superior arch support mechanism, which makes them ideal for women with plantar fasciitis. All our closed-back shoes contain an anti-pronating arch support. This is a memory foam pillow which is designed to provide support for your arches and counter the inward rolling of your feet (pronation) as you walk.
2. Wear shoes with underfoot cushioning
The best shoes for plantar fasciitis are both supportive and comfortable. We recommend looking for plantar fasciitis shoes with plenty of underfoot cushioning. This extra padding will make you feel as comfortable as wearing slippers, while providing the support your feet need.
For women with plantar fasciitis, it is particularly important to have cushioning under the heel. This is where the plantar fascia tissue has been torn or damaged, and therefore needs more cushioning and support. Shoes with cushioning in the forefoot provide a more comfortable fit too.
Sole Bliss shoes for plantar fasciitis feature triple-layer underfoot cushioning for maximum comfort and support. On our ballet flats for plantar fasciitis, this triple-layer cushioning runs across the entire length of your foot.
Our trainers for plantar fasciitis feature a luxuriously padded, anatomically contoured footbed which cushions and cradles your sensitive feet.
3. Wear shoes with shock absorption
Shock absorption is a must-have feature for shoes for plantar fasciitis. Shock absorption softens the impact of your feet hitting hard surfaces and reduces the risk of injury or worsening of plantar fasciitis.
While a lot trainers for high impact exercise such as running are likely to have shock absorption, it is less common to find shock absorption in shoes such as heels, boots and flats.
Sole Bliss shoes feature triple-layer underfoot cushioning. The base layer of this podiatrist-approved cushioning system is designed for shock absorption. This creates a much softer impact with the ground, dramatically reducing the pain of plantar fasciitis.
4. Wear wide-fitting shoes
The best shoes for plantar fasciitis should allow your feet to breathe. If you have a wider foot, it is essential that you buy wide-fitting shoes for plantar fasciitis. If your toes are constricted at the front of the shoe, you create further stress and pressure on this painful part of your body.
5. Buy the right shoe size
Similarly, it is important to make sure you are buying the right shoe size. It may sound obvious, but shoes which are too tight can create further foot pain. If your shoes are too big, there may be room for heel slippage, which can wear down the protective pads under your feet.
Your first step on the search for shoes for plantar fasciitis is to ensure you find the right shoe size!
6. Avoid minimalist shoes
Your shoes for plantar fasciitis should not be minimalist shoes. These light-weight shoes have reduced cushioning and thin soles which make you feel like you are walking on the ground.
Shoes for plantar fasciitis require extra support and soft underfoot cushioning to protect and comfort your feet. Minimalist shoes are not designed for sufferers of plantar fasciitis.
7. Avoid walking barefoot
In order to take the pressure off the plantar fascia tissue, you should avoid spending too much time walking around barefoot. Even when you are walking around the house, podiatrists recommend that you wear supportive shoes. Your feet require the same protection from hard surfaces such as the kitchen floor as they do from walking outdoors.
Slippers are generally not designed for plantar fasciitis sufferers. Instead you should look for plantar fasciitis shoes with the qualities we have discussed (arch support, cushioning, etc.)
Can shoes help with Plantar Fasciitis?
Finding the right shoes for plantar fasciitis can certainly help alleviate the pain and discomfort of this foot condition. By wearing soft and cushioned shoes, you can ease this heel pain. And by wearing supportive shoes (with arch support and shock absorption), you can help prevent the worsening of plantar fasciitis. If you continue to suffer from acute heel pain, the NHS recommends contacting a physiotherapist or foot specialist.
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