Heel pain is no fun, but the extended hurt from plantar fasciitis is next level. If you're suffering, you should be looking into the best shoes for
What is plantar fasciitis?
"The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot, attaching the heel into the toes," says E. Charisse Dunn, DPM, a podiatrist and owner of PGA Foot & Ankle, P.A. in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Plantar fasciitis occurs when too much pressure damages or tears the tissue. "When it becomes inflamed, it causes tenderness when the heel is placed flat on the ground," Dr. Dunn says. This condition affects approximately two million people every year, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
There are several things that put you at risk for plantar fasciitis. For example, being active and frequently walking, running, or otherwise putting stress on your heel can bring on plantar fasciitis. In addition to exercise, being overweight or obese also increases your risk because carrying extra weight adds pressure on your feet. Lastly, wearing the wrong shoes—or sporting heels often—can make your pain even worse, especially in the morning.
How to shop for the best shoes for plantar fasciitis
Although plantar fasciitis shoes won't actually treat your condition, they can definitely help your level of comfort, says Barbara Bergin, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon in Austin, Texas. For most people, about 10 months of treatment for plantar fasciitis will do the trick.
In the interim, Dr. Bergin and Dr. Dunn both recommend looking for shoes with the following characteristics:
- Ample arch support
- A firm, but flexible midsole
- If you're using plantar fasciitis insoles, a removable insole
- Cushioning in the forefoot
To help you find the best shoes for plantar fasciitis, we rounded up the top picks from podiatrists.
Best Overall: Vionic Demetra Slip-On Sneakers
As easy as they are to slip on and go, mules aren't a good choice for day-long wear when you have plantar fasciitis. With backless shoes, it's necessary to crimp your toes to keep the shoe on while walking, and this could irritate the plantar fascia further.
If you're looking for a shoe that's easy to slip on, yet won't make your plantar fasciitis worse, try this sneaker. The supportive footbed hugs the arches of the feet, giving maximum comfort. Plus, the firm yet flexible orthotic insole is removable, and the shoe has a deep heel cup for stability. "This is definitely preferred over a mule since most mules do not have support in the back of the foot. These shoes have a supportive footbed with great arch support. A good choice for plantar fasciitis," Dr. Pruthi says.
Best Value: SoftWalk Napa Flats
If you have plantar fasciitis, the number one thing to look for is arch support. "We place about three to four times our bodyweight upon our feet with each step," says Jennifer Gerres, DPM, a podiatrist at Foot and Ankle Specialists of the Mid-Atlantic in Washington, D.C. "A supportive shoe with a good arch provides pain relief by transferring those stresses on the plantar fascia to the shoe," she says.
The insole of this SoftWalk flat—which comes in four different widths (regular, narrow, wide, and extra-wide) and 18 must-have colors—features a cushy, memory-foam footbed as well as arch support, which will help ward off debilitating aches and pains. Jay Bhuta, DPM, a podiatric surgical expert at Ankle & Foot Doctors of New Jersey, says, "The soft antimicrobial lining is good for people who have atrophy of the fat pad, and the arch support is good for plantar fasciitis."
Best Slippers: Vionic Gemma Slippers
To take pressure off the fascia, you should avoid going barefoot at all times, Dr. Dunn says. That means wearing shoes as often as possible, even when you're walking around the house. The slip-on style of the slipper also makes it easy to put on when you first step out of bed—just what foot experts recommend. They feature a deep heel cup to enhance stability, substantial arch support, and a firm yet flexible midsole. "A deep heel cup is good for plantar fasciitis to help hug and push the fat on the heel towards the center as a way to alleviate symptoms and atrophy," Dr. Bhuta explains.
These shoes are a good choice because they can also help reduce aches and pains by placing your feet in the proper alignment. "For support around the house these slippers are comfy and will give your plantar fasciitis support. They have a deeper heel cup and flexible midsole—all of which are helpful in supporting the bottom of the foot," says Rebecca Pruthi, DPM, podiatric physician/surgeon and owner of Foot Care of Manhattan.
Best Ankle Boots: Børn Cove Waterproof Chelsea Boot
This Chelsea-style bootie has a one-inch block heel, making it the perfect pair for people with high arches who need more stability. It also effortlessly goes with any outfit. And you'll want to, because the soft leather upper makes them super comfy, while the stretchy sides fit to any size or shape. We also love the leather, grippy treads and the removable insole, which is great for those who use over-the-counter or custom orthotics.
One reviewer writes, "I had another pair of Born booties that I have nearly worn out, so I was excited to find these gems. I love the rounded toe, the lugged rubber sole to prevent slipping, the just-right height of heel, and the waterproof leather."
Best Walking Shoes: New Balance W1340v3 Sneakers
If you want to keep up with your workouts but diminish the pain, this stabilizing running shoe may help. It's designed with New Balance's special cushioning in the forefoot, which reduces shock that is transferred through the shoe and up into the leg and body. There's also a multi-density polyurethane insert that supports the arch and fascia. Dr. Pruthi says, "These are a great choice for walking. They are supportive and cushioned—both in the forefoot and arch."
The shoe comes in standard, wide, and extra-wide sizes, so your feet and toes will have room to spread as you work up a sweat. Dr. Bhuta says that New Balance shoes can easily accommodate custom foot orthotics because they come in different widths, so they're a solid choice if you'd like to use your own inserts.
Best Running Shoes: Brooks Levitate 2 Sneakers
You can conquer any hill—big or small—with these running shoes! The midsole cushions are made with polyurethane foam, which helps absorb shock from foot strike and gives you a little pep with each stride. "There is cushioning in the forefoot and support in the arch and fascia. Having a removable insole is a big plus so that one can put their own custom or over-the-counter orthotic into the shoe, which is very beneficial for healing from plantar fasciitis," says Dr. Pruthi. Plus, the upper has a padded tongue and collar for additional support and comfort. The rubber soles are also flexible, so you're able to move from heel to toe quickly and efficiently without losing energy.
Best Heels: Clarks Tarah Brae Pumps
For many women, heels are just part of working life. However, if you have plantar fasciitis, you should stay away from very high heels. "A high heel can cause shortening of the Achilles tendon, which attaches to the plantar fascia, and the shortened Achilles tendon will pull upon the plantar fascia increasing pain," says Dr. Gerres. But that doesn't mean you have to wear only flats to work. "Flats can actually make symptoms worse if the shoe doesn't have arch support," Dr. Dunn says. A heel that's about two or three inches will take some pressure off the fascia, says Dr. Dunn.
These pumps are 2 1/2 inches high and will look and feel great when you're on or off the clock. It features Clarks' Ortholite footbed—a super cushioned bottom that helps to minimize shock and distribute pressure as you walk. The block heel also allows for stability on your feet. The leather upper, rubber sole, and rounded toe up the comfort level, too.
Best Sandals: OluKai Upena Flat Sandals
The adjustable straps on these sandals help keep your foot in place and prevent you from having to "grip" the shoe to keep it on your foot, something that can further aggravate your injury. The anatomical leather footbed is also contoured and has arch support. The sandals come in black, brown, gold leather, sand (dark yellow), and grey leather, so you can have a pair to go with any casual wear.
Best Tall Boots: Vionic Mayes Tall Boots
This comfy pair of boots has built-in orthotics to provide support for your arches and heels, which gives it high marks for a good bill of foot health, Dr. Pruthi says. We love that it also has a low heel, which actually adds another level of support and helps relieve pressure under the arch and heel. "The small heel helps reduce pain and offloads the heel, while supporting the ankle," Dr. Pruthi says. The side zip closure also allows you to secure the boots around your calves without it slipping off, and the durable rubber soles offer ample traction.
Best Flip Flops: Fit Flop Iqushion Mirror Ergonomic Flip Flops
Certified with the America Podiatric Medical Association seal, these flip flops are the pair you should pack in your suitcase for a beach getaway. The anatomically shaped footbed provides arch support, and the platform helps relieve pressure off the heels. It also has a dual-density mid-sole that aids in evenly distributing weight and absorbing shock. "Although flip flops are not the best shoe overall for plantar fasciitis, if one must choose a flip-flop, these are supportive," Dr. Pruthi says.
Best Loafers: Sperry Seaport Loafers
Fit for the office, these loafers have a memory foam footbed and EVA midsole to provide support and comfort in the arches. They also have a rounded toe box and a flexible leather upper to give your feet some breathing room. The durable rubber outsole offers great traction for rainy weather too. "The rubber outsole is an especially good feature as it can act as an additional shock absorber," Dr. Bhuta says.
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Podiatrists Say These Affordable Shoes Will Help Relieve Plantar Fasciitis Pain, Source:https://www.prevention.com/beauty/a20497385/best-shoes-for-plantar-fasciitis/