Getting the Appropriate Footwear for Plantar Fasciitis

by David McCullough

One of the most prevalent forms of treatment for plantar fasciitis involves the wearing of footwear that can help heal this medical condition over time.

While it may seem like it is an easy task to locate the optimal pair of shoes that can have the most dramatic therapeutic effect, it can sometimes be a difficult and arduous process when attempting to find the best shoes for plantar fasciitis.

This is due primarily to the subjective nature of the condition, the particular characteristics of the patient, and the multitude of footwear options that currently exist on the market.

If you truly want to find the best shoes that can help heal your own particular case of plantar fasciitis, you are going to first have to have your condition properly diagnosed by a medical professional before you do anything else.

Once this happens you can then determine the appropriate course of treatment with the help of your doctor. While there are several different kinds of therapy for this condition, most people include shoes for plantar fasciitis as an integral part of their treatment regimen in order to cure both their symptoms, and the underlying causes of their condition.

It is vital to get a proper diagnosis for your own particular case before you go out and purchase any type of plantar fasciitis shoes, and this is why you must ensure that you have received a proper exam from a qualified medical professional before you do anything else.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

plantar footPlantar fasciitis is a medical condition that typically consists of the inflammation, and ultimate degradation of the plantar fascia, a dense and fibrous strip of tissue that is located on the lower surface of the heel bone (calcaneus) that extends against the sole of the foot towards the accompanying toes.

The causes of this inflammatory process typically involves a high level of weight-bearing activity that can affect the feet, and the people that get this condition accordingly are most often athletes, overweight individuals, and other people who are on their feet for the majority of the day.

Plantar fasciitis has been reported to occur in around two million Americans a year, and as many as ten percent of the population over a lifetime. The condition is characterized by pain in and around the foot, most often associated with the heel, along with other sorts of related symptoms such as limited movement, and decreased mobility.

Treating Plantar Fasciitis

Finding the right treatment for a particular case of plantar fasciitis depends on the severity of the condition at hand, as well as the responsiveness to such available treatment options. It is essential to receive a proper diagnosis before any particular therapeutic regimen is chosen, and to do this you should seek the help of a qualified medical professional.

Upon receiving your diagnosis, a recommendation will probably be given by your doctor to include any one of the following treatment options either alone, or in combination with other forms of therapy. You should seek continuous council and support from your physician even after your immediate diagnosis to ensure that the proper modifications to your treatment regimen can be made.
plantar diagram
While the number of proven treatments for plantar fasciitis is relatively small, some of the more common therapies include the stretching of the calf and the Achilles tendon, the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), local injection of corticosteroids, surgery, shoe inserts and orthotics, as well as footwear designed to help alleviate the condition.

Your doctor may recommend only one, or a combination of these, and it is beyond the scope of this article to help you to determine what forms of treatment are best suited for your particular case.

Finding The Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

If you are not unlike millions of other plantar fasciitis sufferers in America, then your physician has probably recommended that you locate a specialized pair of shoes either as a sole recommendation, or in conjunction with other types of treatment.

It is typically then up to you to go out and find a particular pair of plantar fasciitis shoes that can work for you. This process can at times be tumultuous and confusing due to your doctor’s relative ambiguity, and because of the vast selection of shoes that may be available to you. You shouldn’t be intimidated though, as this process can be fairly simple as long as you keep in mind why exactly you are buying shoes for plantar fasciitis.

white sneakersThe reason you are getting new shoes for plantar fasciitis is because the right footwear can reduce the amount of stress that is placed on your feet. This will hopefully help stop your condition from getting any worse, and it will ultimately give your feet a chance to heal.

The kind of footwear that can provide you with this sort of stress-relief is any type of shoe that can provide strong arch support for your foot, and the ability to illicit the degree of comfort you need to establish the grounds for proper healing to take place. The pair of shoes that you eventually choose will also depend on your own physical features.

The major ones involve your gait, the arch of your foot, as well as the overall shape and size of your foot. It is important that you find out about any irregularities in your gait before you go out and locate a shoe for plantar fasciitis, as this will have a significant impact on the type of shoe you end up choosing.

The best way to determine this is by undergoing an exam from either your current physician, or a qualified podiatrist. Most people already have a pretty-good understanding of the arch of their feet, and the two opposite foot arches consist of being either flat, or highly-arched. Remember that you are looking for shoes that can relieve the stress that is causing your plantar fasciitis, and not re-aggravate your condition.

This means that when it is time to go out and find an actual pair of shoes you need to consult with the salesperson, or determine on your own whether the shoe you are buying is designed for people with the kind of foot arch you have. This will ensure that you get the absolute best shoes for plantar fasciitis, and it will help guarantee that you avoid any negative surprises after you have made your purchase.

Locating a Specific Pair of Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

When it comes time to actually find a specific plantar fasciitis shoe, perhaps the best choice is to go with a running shoe. Running shoes can provide the necessary comfort and support you need without much variation, and are ideal for people who suffer from plantar fasciitis. There is no shortage of various brands and models to choose from, and it is simply a matter of experimentation when you are ready to choose a specific pair.

This means that you need to take the time to try on each pair of shoes before you go ahead with any particular purchase, and this should translate into a significant amount of time being spent walking around with the appropriate pair of shoes on.

Keep in mind that you are going for both comfort and support, and sometimes the most comfortable shoe isn’t the best shoe for plantar fasciitis. The shoe that relieves the stress of your condition, provides the support that you need, and the one that caters to your own particular characteristics in terms of gait, foot arch, and foot size is the one that you ultimately want to go with.

shoesstoreWhile everyone is going to have a different experience when picking out the right pair of running shoes for plantar fasciitis, certain brands have been known to cater to individuals that are currently experiencing this condition.

Nike, Brooks, Mizuno, New Balance, Saucony, and Asics are the companies that provide a good variety of shoes for people who exhibit a substantial variation of physical characteristics, and if you are willing to put in the time you should have no trouble finding a shoe that is made by one of these companies for your own traits, features, and condition.

Remember that the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis might not be the best looking, and the most stylish sneakers. Your decision should rather be based upon comfort and support, and the look of your shoes should hardly even be taken into consideration if you want to experience serious relief from your condition.

Whether your are looking for the best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis, the best running shoes, or even the best dress shoes for plantar fasciitis, it shouldn’t matter—you are aiming to find a cure for your ailment, plain and simple. As long as you keep this at the forefront of your mind you should eventually find the best shoes for your condition, and always remember to compare and contrast what different stores can offer you in order to get the best deal.

Specific Brands and Models

The following brands and models are the shoes which are best suited for patients with plantar fasciiits. There are probably numerous other brands and models of shoes that may be appropriate as well, as this list is not meant to be comprehensive, and is rather based on a specific sampling of some of the more popular brands and shoes that are currently on the market.

That being said, the following shoes can benefit almost any patient suffering from a mild to moderate case of plantar fasciitis, and are listed with regard to the level of pronation control each shoe may provide.

Shoes w/ Mild Pronation Control

  • ASICS GT-2140
  • ASICS Gel Empire
  • ASICS Gel Kayano 15
  • Saucony Omni 6 Moderate
  • Saucony Progrid Hurricane 9 Running Shoe
  • New Balance 767
  • New Balance 1221
  • Nike Air Max Moto
  • Nike Shox TL3
  • Brooks Adrenaline GTS 8
  • Brooks Trance 5
  • Mizuno Wave Alchemy 8

Shoes w/ Moderate Pronation Control

  • Adidas Supernova Sequence
  • ASICS Gel-Foundation 7
  • ASICS Gel Evolution 5
  • Saucony: 3D Grid Regulate
  • Saucony: Grid Stabil 6
  • New Balance 859 ST
  • Nike Equalon
  • Nike Zoom Nucleus
  • Brooks Addiction 6
  • Mizuno Wave Elixir

Shoes w/ Maximum Pronation Control

  • New Balance 1010/1011
  • Brooks Beast
  • Brooks Ariel
  • Mizuno Wave Renegade