When you have plantar fasciitis, you need to pay a lot of attention to your choice of footwear. Shoes that lack adequate support, as well as going barefoot, will make your plantar fasciitis worse.
Fortunately, finding the right footwear isn’t difficult. You just need to choose shoes with enough support to prevent your plantar fasciitis from flaring up. Dr. Kerry E. Berg at Intermountain Foot & Ankle Associates offers this helpful guide to choosing the right shoes for plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is a very common foot problem, accounting for an estimated 11-15% of all visits to a foot doctor. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that runs from your heels to the balls of your feet. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia becomes inflamed.
You may suspect that you have plantar fasciitis if the pain is worse shortly after waking up and gets better throughout the day. Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include stabbing pain, usually in your heel. Although it’s often worse when you wake up, it can also happen when you’ve been sitting for a long period and then stand up.
Runners are at a greater risk of developing plantar fasciitis. However, the pain usually happens after exercise, rather than during it. People who are overweight are also at greater risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
Your best choice for footwear is a shoe with adequate arch support. Although you’ll find that shoes like flats or flip-flops make your plantar fasciitis much worse, wearing shoes with enough arch support can make your plantar fasciitis much better.
In addition to wearing shoes with adequate arch support, Dr. Berg may also recommend that you wear custom-made orthotics in your shoes. These orthotics are designed to fit your individual foot and provide the right amount of arch support that you need.
You will also want to look for shoes that have enough support in the heel cup. A supportive heel cup and some cushioning will decrease the amount of stress that you place on your heels, which can relieve plantar fasciitis.
The heel cup keeps your foot stable in your shoes. In addition to just feeling good, cushioning also prevents further inflammation.
If you have plantar fasciitis, you want to get shoes that have a stable sole. They shouldn’t bend in half easily. Many shoes boast of giving you the sensation of running barefoot but these should be avoided if you have plantar fasciitis.
You may want to go to a runner's shoe store to find the right shoes for plantar fasciitis. One thing they may mention is the amount of heel drop. Usually, most people with plantar fasciitis find a heel drop of 4-8 inches the most comfortable.
Heel drop refers to the amount of difference between the heels and the balls of the feet. Some people need a higher heel drop of around 12 inches. Try on a variety of shoe types and see what’s most comfortable for you to wear.
It’s important to choose shoes that have a comfortable heel drop because it affects the amount that the muscles in your feet and ankles have to stretch.
Many people find shoes made by Brooks, Asics, Hoka One One, or Oofos to be comfortable for plantar fasciitis. It’s always a good idea to try them on before buying to make sure they are both comfortable and supportive.
If you have plantar fasciitis that doesn’t get better despite changing your shoes, Dr. Berg can help. You may need to receive additional treatments, such as cortisone injections to reduce the inflammation. Contact Dr. Kerry E. Berg at Intermountain Foot & Ankle Associates today or request an appointment online.