Plantar fasciitis is an inflammatory problem affecting the plantar fascia, which is the thick mass of tissue running along the bottom of your foot from connecting your toes to your heel bone. It is a common cause of heel pain and very common in runners. Causing moderate discomfort to severe pain, it is noticed first thing in the morning with the first steps of the day. If you have plantar fasciitis or are at risk of developing it, then it is important to be sure to have the right pair of shoes. However, selecting shoes that are best for plantar fasciitis can be a real pain. Fortunately, this buyer’s guide will help make choosing the right shoes easier by giving you eight things to consider before purchasing.
The first thing to consider when buying any pair of shoes is size. Do your feet normally fit true to size? Many shoes for plantar fasciitis tend to run a bit small, so if you have wider feet, it is probably most prudent to buy shoes that are at least half a size larger than your measured foot size. Having shoes that are too small can intensify the pain of plantar fasciitis and cause blisters, pinching, and a host of other problems. On the other hand, if your shoes are too large, you will find that you do not have the balance and stability needed to correct overpronation, which is one of the leading contributing factors to plantar fasciitis. Be sure to read reviews and find out whether or not the shoe you are considering runs narrow or has a wider design. While most companies will allow you to trade in for a different size, taking the time to figure out whether ordering true to size or if you need a larger or smaller version is best will save a lot of hassle later.
2. Arch support
Since it is the heel that is directly affected by plantar fasciitis, being sure to get a pair of shoes with proper heel support is crucial. Therefore, it is important for you to consider your arches. Are they normal? Do you have high arches? If you have high arches, you are going to want shoes that have adequate arch support. Having shoes that do not provide you with the proper amount of arch support will exacerbate your plantar fasciitis and cause the problem to worsen. Always be sure when buying a pair of shoes to factor in whether or not they are designed to provide extra support for your arches.
Another important feature to consider is stability. While this is an important factor for anyone buying shoes, it is especially important for runners. One of the most common problems associated with plantar fasciitis is overpronation. Overpronation occurs when the feet roll inwards more than normal, often requiring that the runner push off with his or her big toe. Shoes designed to provide maximum stability help correct this problem, allowing runners to push off in a normal fashion. Good stability also helps ensure you do not trip, don’t roll your ankle, etc, preventing a slew of problems that can cause or aggravate plantar fasciitis. Even if you are not a runner, you should read reviews on the shoes you are considering and factor in stability with your decision as shoes that do not keep your feet balanced properly often lead to increased pain.
One of the most important hallmarks of a good pair of shoes is comfort. No matter how much stability and arch support you have and regardless how well the shoes fit, if they are not comfortable, wearing them will be a burden. Finding shoes that will provide you with the most comfort requires that you keep your own preferences in mind. Many shoes designed for plantar fasciitis are built with extra cushion that many people have described as feeling like they were walking on clouds. If you already have plantar fasciitis, this may be a good option for you. However, if you don’t have plantar fasciitis but are looking into buying shoes that will help prevent you from developing it, you may not want a pair of shoes with so much cushion, preferring instead a pair with more rigid support. Also, you need to look at other factors, such as the size of the toe box, if the shoe has a wide or narrow design, etc.
Many shoes for plantar fasciitis have a mesh design that allows your feet to breathe. What this translates into is that it prevents your feet from sweating, in turn preventing foot odor. While this can be useful to anyone who is on their feet regularly, it is especially useful for those who do a lot of frequent running, be it triathlon, playing football, or any other host of activities that require constant movement. Another point of note about mesh-design is that many people have noted that you can feel the dew on the top of your feet if you walk through grass in the early morning. If this is a problem, you may want to opt for a material that may not allow as much breathability but will keep your feet from feeling the environment.
Just because you are getting shoes that are designed to help you prevent plantar fasciitis or alleviate pain due to the affliction doesn’t mean you shouldn’t walk (or run) in style. Once you’ve found shoes that function the way you need, it’s time to focus on appearances. Do you want something plain? Are you looking for something more “in your face?” Perhaps you want shoes that keep the laces out of the way. No matter your preference, you will be able to find the style that best suits you – so don’t hold back and go for it.
Now that you’ve chosen the pair of shoes that will be best for you, there is something else to think about – durability. Nothing is more disheartening than getting the “perfect” product just to have it fail in a short period of time. Imagine if you will buying a pair of shoes that fit your feet perfectly, provide great support, help you keep your balance, and look great. You’d love shoes with those qualities, right? Now, imagine those same shoes becoming worn out and destroyed within a matter of a couple to a few months. Major bummer! This is why it is so crucial that when you are looking for your pair of shoes that you check what other people have had to say about durability. For me, a shoe can be perfect, but if it is not long-lasting, I will not bother with it. It is best to find a pair of shoes that meet all the above criteria and that will last. One other factor to consider regarding durability is the terrain you will use the shoes on. Are you using them on flat surfaces? Do you plan to go jogging or hiking on a lot of uneven terrain? What are the weather conditions in which you will be using the shoes? All these questions are important when looking for a pair of shoes with the right durability.
Great! Now that you’ve decided what sort of shoes you want, there is one last thing to consider – the price. Most prices for shoes for plantar fasciitis will start from $100 and go up to $200. If you are looking for something less than that, there are several options available. First, if you have your heart set on a particular pair of shoes, shop around online. Often, you will find one place selling the exact same thing at a cheaper rate. If you can’t find the pair of shoes you want for the amount you are willing to spend, consider looking for another model or brand. A good way to do this is by looking to see what other people have bought who have also bought the shoes that were your first choice.
Choosing the right pair of shoes for plantar fasciitis is an important decision that should not be made lightly. From style and comfort to arch support and stability, there are many factors that go into choosing the pair of shoes that will be best for you. Hopefully, with this eight-step guide, I’ve been able to make that process easier.
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