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Choosing The Best Podiatrist Recommended Footwear For Plantar Fasciitis

Man's hand putting Lightfeet Insole into sports shoe

Choosing the best footwear when dealing with plantar fasciitis can be tricky. When choosing the best footwear for plantar fasciitis, it’s important to understand what is right for you.

With heel pain often a common result of plantar fasciitis, it can be one of the main factors you look for in shoes and support socks when browsing online. To help with the pain which can be associated with plantar fasciitis, we’ve put together this handy guide to help you pick the right footwear if you’re suffering from symptoms.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain with academic study suggesting that as many as 3.6% of people in Australia are suffering with this issue day-to-day. Furthermore, some literature shows prevalence rates amongst a population of runners to be as high as 22%.

Most people notice they are suffering from plantar fasciitis when they first get out of bed in the morning, typically feeling a sharp stabbing pain in the heel. The issue is caused by an inflammation of the ligament connecting your heel to the front of your foot and can cause radiating pain throughout your foot which makes it difficult to walk or exercise.

Why is footwear important for plantar fasciitis?

The right footwear can help plantar fasciitis by reducing inflammation in the ligaments in your foot and providing adequate arch support underneath the feet. Your feet need to heal and recover to move past the issue. Because of this, what you wear on your feet is a key factor in how your feet recover and mitigating any future pain from plantar fasciitis.

As there’s unfortunately no direct cure for plantar fasciitis, picking the right footwear is one approach individuals should take in reducing pain. Successful treatment revolves around gradually reducing any inflammation and slowly stretching the fascia band in the foot to counteract contraction whilst sleeping overnight.

The different type of podiatrist recommended footwear for plantar fasciitis

If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, it’s important to pay attention to your footwear.

Podiatrist recommended footwear includes technology which helps with shock absorption from exercise or everyday life, as well as footwear which helps with the alignment of the foot in relation to your heel. Well-made orthotic footwear will provide proper support to your arches and footbeds, reducing the chance of the ligament suffering from more inflammation.

Podiatrist recommended footwear includes:

  • Running shoes – supportive, impact reducing shoes for when you’re jogging.
  • Hiking shoes – heel-aligning footwear to help with inclines and rough terrain.
  • Walking shoes – cushioned shoes to help with less-strenuous exercise.
  • ‘Lounging’ shoes – thongs or sliders to wear in less active environments!
  • Insoles to add to existing shoes – add support to your running shoes with specially designed arch-support insoles.

Most footwear from shoes, socks – to even thongs can be designed in a way to support those suffering from plantar fasciitis, ensuring that your feet get the adequate support to not make the issue worse.

Choosing the best supportive shoes for plantar fasciitis: active & inactive footwear

Good support shoes for plantar fasciitis come in a variety of forms, and the exercise you’re conducting should inform what you wear to help you if you’re conditioned by it.

It can be a good idea to have both ‘active’ and ‘inactive’ shoes designed for supporting plantar fasciitis:

  • Active footwear – this is anything you wear during moderate to heavy exercise. Dedicated walking or running shoes, designed for plantar fasciitis support, or insoles to add to your existing active footwear can make a real difference to the health of your feet.
  • Inactive footwear – this is what you wear on your feet when you’re around the house or chilling out somewhere else. A comfy pair of arch recovery sliders can be well worth the money to make sure your feet are supported at all times.

The key is to find footwear, either bought new or modified with insole inserts, which provides the right level of support to help your recovery from plantar fasciitis.

Choosing the best insoles for plantar fasciitis

Insoles designed to support plantar fasciitis can be a cost-effective treatment method to support you with the issue, as you can keep your existing running shoes and just insert the new insoles. A study in the Journal of Rheumatology found that specialised insoles can be used to reduce pain while walking and to increase walking distance in individuals with plantar fasciitis.

Supportive shoe insoles will reduce the impact of the exercise on your already inflamed ligaments and help with the alignment of your feet when moving.

It’s important to get exactly the right size and shape insoles for your feet, with many brands including Lightfeet offering plantar fasciitis insoles for slim or narrow feet.

Choosing the best thongs for plantar fasciitis

It can be as important to get your footwear right on your inactive days as it is on the days you’re exercising if you’re struggling with plantar fasciitis. Often the most pain is felt when the foot has been inactive and your fascia band is contracted, making it worse when you first start to walk or get out of bed.

Dedicated plantar fasciitis thongs, designed by qualified podiatrists, to wear around the house or at the beach can assist with your recovery. Lightfeet Arch Support thongs are designed by Australian Sports Podiatrists to provide the support you need to feel super comfy all day long.

Final thoughts

It may be tempting to save money on your footwear and hope that the issue subsides – but less expensive shoes, insoles or thongs provide very weak cushioning and support. They may feel good for the first few hours after leaving the shoe store, but the insoles and support they offer can break down within the space of weeks.

Investing in footwear that is right for you can really help alleviate your pain from plantar fasciitis and help facilitate your recovery.

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