Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
As Recommended by Podiatrists
Plantar Fasciitis is a common foot problem that many suffer from. We decided to ask both a professional podiatrist, Bruce from Podiatry Shetland and Footwear Scotland for his insider knowledge on plantar fasciitis and the best shoes to deal with it. This article was written in collaboration with Bruce from Podiatry Shetland which is based near our Lerwick store.
Our teams benefit from training and shared experience with Bruce, as well as other local podiatrists. This helps us offer the best possible shoe fitting advice however footwear is only part of the solution. We recommend you consult a local expert podiatrist for more in-depth and personalised advice to address foot pain.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
In order to understand why it’s very important to wear the correct footwear when you suffer from plantar fasciitis, it’s best to know what exactly it is. There is a wide band of connective tissue (similar to a tendon or ligament) that goes from your heel bone and attaches to each of the toes and forms a fan-shaped structure. This band forms an important role in the walking motion as well as the mechanics of the foot and lower limb. It is now thought that it is likely a degenerative condition and not an inflammatory one as previously thought.
What causes plantar fasciitis?
There are a few factors which could contribute to you developing heel pain, such as:
- Spending day after day on your feet (weight-bearing occupation).
- Flat feet
- High arched feet
- Tight calf muscles
As this can be an overuse syndrome, by increasing your training intensity or volume too quickly, this could also be a risk factor.
Plantar Fasciitis symptoms
Those suffering from plantar fasciitis will often experience pain underneath the foot and heel, especially first thing in the morning or after sitting for a period of time. On occasion, this may improve after a few minutes of walking but after prolonged periods of standing, walking and/or running the pain will return.
What to do at home?
Applying an ice pack at the end of your day can work well as a pain reliever and pain control if you have any inflammation especially after a long day on your feet. Wearing the correct footwear is an essential part of reducing your aches & pains when you spend long hours on your feet, as the incorrect shoes may exacerbate the problem.
When to seek help?
You should always book an appointment with your Podiatrist if your symptoms have not improved after a short period of stretching. It is vitally important to get an accurate diagnosis of your condition before undertaking any further treatment as there are many differential diagnoses that are treated in a different manner.
How is it treated?
Strengthening your foot muscles has been known to help with heel pain as studies show that there is a correlation between the two. A quick daily foot exercise is advised as well as eccentric loading exercises. Bruce from Podiatry Shetland will often strap his patients who suffer from plantar fasciitis as it is a very good method to initially reduce their pain levels to proceed with his treatment plan. Orthotics are generally beneficial in treating heel pain and if more conservative measures fail, then steroids may be considered.
Can footwear help?
When you are suffering from plantar fasciitis you should avoid walking barefoot and should always try to wear supportive and well-cushioned shoes. You need footwear that offers you great arch support as well as shock absorption and cushioning. Lightweight and comfortable footwear will make each step a more comfortable one and shoes which have removable insoles will allow you to use your own orthotics if necessary.
Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis as Recommended by Podiatrists
Based on expert podiatrist feedback and our own expertise in footwear, we have selected the following examples of some really helpful footwear for sufferers of plantar.
Work Shoes for Heel Pain
If you work in a job spending long hours on your feet, then it is vital to invest in a good pair of comfy work shoes. We have a wide range of comfortable work shoes, including lace-up options and slip on styles. A hard-wearing PU sole unit is worth every penny as polyurethane is shock absorbent, helping to protect your feet from impact.
Best Trainers for Plantar Fasciitis
Whether you are running errands or running races, it is wise to invest in a quality pair of trainers. Direct injection polyurethane sole units absorb shock with each step, helping to protect your feet from repeated impact, but they also hold their shape and support you over time. This is especially important for running, Zumba and exercise classes, where you may want to try a more cushioned style even than this one. Try one of our styles and feel the difference immediately.
Best Pumps for Plantar Fasciitis
A pair of pumps can be both casual and smart, making a very versatile style. Avoid anything completely flat, and opt for pumps that have some build up in the heel area, shoes with hidden heels are subtle but really effective for support. Check the flexibility of the shoes too as this can greatly improve your comfort – don’t make your feet work too hard either flexing the shoe or trying to grip toes and keep it on your foot.
Best Walking Shoes
When you are exploring, you don’t want your feet to feel dragged down. Look for walking shoes that are lightweight and flexible, and a direct-injection PU sole unit is one of the best performing sole construction methods for Plantar Fasciitis. This offers durable support and not simply soft and squishy underfoot – it may seem counter-intuitive but supportive shoes are very rarely soft.
Best Boots for Plantar Fasciitis
Boot season is well and truly upon us and this season we have a vast variety of styles. If you are looking for boots for plantar fasciitis, we recommend avoiding anything heavy. Lightweight boots from Legero, IMAC and ECCO will feel like you are walking on air, and the PU soles are extremely hard-wearing. Wearing a nice flexible and lightweight boot, like these examples, means your foot works less hard with every step and you benefit from the built-in shock absorption.