What to look for in good shoes if you have plantar fasciitis

The shoes you wear every day impact your posture and your gait. The wrong shoes can cause terrible foot pain and injuries by putting strain on your feet. If you’re not familiar, plantar fasciitis is when the ligament that spans the arch of your foot, connecting to the toes and heel, becomes inflamed. 

Plantar fasciitis can be caused by overuse and wearing flat shoes. You may first notice a dull pain near your heel when you get out of bed in the morning or rest after a day on your feet. Ignoring these warning signs can lead to excruciating, debilitating pain when plantar fasciitis comes in full force. If you’re leaving the house for any amount of time, we highly recommend wearing supportive shoes.

Since you’re reading this article, you probably know the stabbing pain of plantar fasciitis all too well. People with high arches are prone to this condition, and people tend to notice it in the spring and fall when they change up their seasonal footwear. 

There’s nothing worse than doing a lot of research to find the perfect shoes for plantar fasciitis — and then ending up with sore feet because they’re not the right shoes for you. This article will break down what makes a pair of shoes good for preventing plantar fasciitis and how to find shoes that will work for you.

How do I know if shoes will be good for plantar fasciitis?

In general, shoes that can help prevent plantar fasciitis have a lot of arch support and some cushion — especially in the toes and forefoot. Some brands claim they are doctor-recommended shoes for plantar fasciitis. However, the only way to know a pair of shoes will work for you is to try them on and do a little walking. Looking at shoes made specifically for walking, cross-training or working on your feet would be a good place to start.

You’ll want to make sure the shoes fit well and have a bit of room in them for flexing and movement. When you try them on, try rocking back and forth on your heels and your toes to see if your whole foot feels supported. You can pace up and down the aisle to test them for movement and functionality.

Find shoes with plenty of arch support

The key here is to find shoes that support the curve of your arches with precision. Not all people will need shoes marketed for plantar fasciitis. The important thing is that they stabilize your feet, distributing your weight evenly. In most cases, you’ll want some cushion in the bottom from toe to heel so your shoes will absorb the shock instead of your feet and your joints. Poor-fitting shoes and those without enough support and cushion can also cause pain in your knees, ankles and hips.

Look for cushioning at the toes 

Depending on your stride or your gait, a different part of your foot will strike the ground first. For a lot of people, this is around the ball of your foot. For others, it may be closer to your heel, and a rare few are toe walkers. For a little extra give, look for soles with layers of foam, gel or cork across the entire foot. 

Get different types of supportive shoes

A lot of people wear flat sandals or flip-flops during the summer — and then when they switch to shoes and boots in the fall — that’s when plantar fasciitis shows up. Flip-flops are not recommended for people with plantar fasciitis; however, you can find sandals and even flip-flops with more cushion and support than others. Make sure you have shoes for wet, snowy and cold conditions (if that’s the climate you live in) with good support in addition to your everyday walking shoes.

Replace your shoes when they’re worn out 

Even shoes with the most advanced shock absorbing technology will eventually need to be replaced. If the rubber treads on the bottom are worn flat, it’s time to get a new pair. When your heels start getting sore or you can no longer feel some cushion, you are overdue.

Can physical therapy help with plantar fasciitis?

There are a couple of physical therapy techniques that can help provide quick relief from plantar fasciitis. In the Graston Technique®, your physical therapist will use an ergonomic stainless steel tool to smooth out stiffness in your foot. There are also some manual techniques and exercises that can help.

Try physical therapy for plantar fasciitis at Lattimore PT

Plantar fasciitis is usually temporary, but having several pairs of supportive shoes for different situations is important to save your feet from aching. If you’re having foot pain multiple times in a month, you should talk with a physical therapist about the best course of treatment and prevention of plantar fasciitis. Continuing to walk on aching feet can turn plantar fasciitis into a chronic problem or an injury.

Are you realizing you might need some physical therapy to help with plantar fasciitis? Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

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One of the most common causes of foot pain is none other than plantar fasciitis. Occurring in about 10% of the general population, plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation, overuse, or injury to the plantar fascia, the ligament that connects the front of the foot...

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