September 21, 2016


One of the downsides to having plantar fasciitis besides having tremendous heel pain, is that it also comes with a price tag!!! If you are like me, you will spend a lot of money if it means being pain free. Shoes can be one of those pricey things that a person tries, in an effort to get rid of the pain. The question that I get is “What should I be looking for in a pair of shoes helping with plantar fasciitis?” Before I cover the top 5 things I would consider, I want to mention just a few things to keep in mind. Finding the right pair of shoes that will relieve the pain and start curing plantar fasciitis is going to be a trial and error process. There is no one shoe out there that is the ultimate cure all! The reason for this is that each person's foot is individualized. Some people have high arches, some people are flat footed. Also, we all walk and run with different gaits; which means that the way my feet strike the ground is probably different than the ways yours strikes the ground. So there might be some errors on the road to “Pain-free City”, and you might actually waste money on pairs of shoes that work, but just don't work for you. My encouragement to you is to keep trying, because you will find one that does work, and “Ahh, the relief!!!” Another thing to keep in mind is that the type of shoes we buy do different things for us. Running shoes obviously are different than formal shoes, and definitely need more padding because of the abuse they may receive from our feet striking the ground hard each time we run. Formal shoes might focus on giving more support around the heel. But let's look at the top 5 things I would look for when buying plantar fasciitis shoes. 1. ARCH SUPPORT Good arch support is so important, especially if you have flat feet or you are a runner. Bad arch support can really wreak havoc on the plantar fascia. One of the keys to finding the right shoe for you, however, lies in knowing your pronation (the way your foot rolls inward when you step or run). Someone with a high arch does not need as much arch support as those that are normal to experiencing over pronation. Remember our feet are individualized, so find the right arch support to match with your feet. 2. FIRM HEEL COUNTER The heel counter is the back part of the shoe, more specifically the material on ;the back portion of the shoe that wraps around the heel bone, and usually has a little tab. Having a firm heel counter is important because it controls pronation and supination which again are two things that contribute toward plantar fasciitis. So when you go to buy new shoes I recommend squeezing the heel counter and just make sure that it is firm. If it isn't, chances are it will not support your ankle and your heel the way they need to be supported. 3. FLEXIBILITY I don't know if you ever had a shoe that you could bend the middle almost in the half? Yes, that's flexible, but not exactly what you are looking for. In fact, stay away from those. So how flexible do you want? When you go shopping, grab the heel and toe of the shoe, and try to bend the sole of the shoe in the middle. A good sole should bend gradually giving you some resistance. Remember you will be walking hundreds of miles, possibly, in these shoes and you want your sole to withstand a good amount of shock. 4. SOFT CUSHIONING This might seem like a no-brainer, but so many women I know like to wear flats and heels that have no cushioning. In doing so, they are reloading the weight bearing of their feet onto their heels, exacerbating the problem even further if they have plantar fasciitis. You really want to look for something that is going to help absorb some of the impact each time your heels strike the ground. Of course running shoes are what we think about when it comes to cushioning. And truthfully,, I would consider wearing running shoes as much as I could while trying to heal from plantar fasciitis. Sneak a pair into work to wear while sitting at your desk if nothing else. You'll be glad you did. 5. ELEVATED HEEL (WITH ROCKER HEEL) So out of the five, this comes in last place for me, but still can be important. I tend to think you should look for a shoe that has about a 1 inch high heel. By having this elevated heel, you are helping shift some weight off of your hurting heels. The other part of this to look for, is the ability for the shoes to rock forward in a rolling motion. I have heard it said, that the more the shoe rocks the more healing is taking place of your plantar fascia. You can test this by putting the shoe on a flat surface, then by pushing down on the toe. You're looking for the shoe to rock forward in a rolling motion. So I am sure there are other things worth looking for in shoes as well. I just know what I would look for when I go shopping for shoes. But would love to hear from you! Feel free to add things that you look for when buying shoes to treat your plantar fasciitis in the comments below.

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