For runners and athletes, selecting running shoes is similar to buying a car or a house. You will be spending a lot of time in them, so it is important to get the right pair according to the shape and needs of your feet. Shoes play a significant role in keeping you striding and running strong while giving you a comfortable experience.
Heel pain, shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis and other issues can be helped by wearing the right footwear. As you pick the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis, there are many things that you need to consider, including the type of your feet.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes. This ligament provides support to the arch of your foot. Continues strain to the plantar fascia makes it swollen, weak, and inflamed. The bottom of your foot or heel hurts when standing, walking and running.
While plantar fasciitis is common in middle-aged people, it may also happen in younger individuals who spend most of their time on their feet, like soldiers and athletes. This condition is caused by repeated strain that results in tiny tears in the plantar fascia. It is more likely to occur if:
- You have flat feet or high arches.
- You have tight calf muscles or Achilles tendons.
- You run for extended periods of time on hard surfaces.
- You are overweight.
- You wear worn out or ill-fitting shoes with inadequate support.
Most people treat plantar fasciitis with foot massage, resting, stretching, and icing the painful area. Some of the effective treatments are night splints, specialized shoe inserts, and shoes with good heel and arch support. Your doctor may prescribe pain relievers such as naproxen sodium (Aleve) and ibuprofen to alleviate the pain and inflammation.
Once you have this condition, you will know that you have it every single minute of the day. You will need to try different therapies and you have to find the right shoe for your foot type to reduce the symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
Selecting the Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
Running is the major cause of plantar fasciitis. While you can still run with this condition, you need to know various types of running shoes for plantar fasciitis. Wearing the wrong pair can aggravate the condition, resulting in chronic inflammation of the plantar fascia. To alleviate the pain and treat the inflammation, it is important to choose shoes that provide adequate heel and arch support. These features will help in reducing the stress and pressure on the ligament.
Picking the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis can be difficult as getting the wrong pair may damage your feet. To help you choose, here are the features that you need to consider.
1. Good Arch Support
When you have plantar fasciitis or any other issue, it is more vital to find shoes with good arch support according to your arch type. Without this feature, your plantar fascia will stretch and compress with each stride and will make your condition worse.
The three main arch types are:
- High arches
- Neutral arches
- Low arches (Flat feet)
Individuals with excessively low arches and high arches are more prone to plantar fasciitis. If you have flat feet or high arches, you are more likely to experience heel pain and other foot problems. Look for shoes that provide adequate arch support and firm heel counter area. These features will control the motion of your feet and alleviate the stress on the plantar fascia.
2. Stiff Outer Sole
This is important especially if you need to spend long periods of time standing or walking. You can check if the outer sole is stiff enough by trying to bend both ends of the shoe toward each other. It should only bend a little or it should not move at all.
3. Firm and Well Padded Midsole
Another important feature to consider when looking for the right pair is a firm midsole. Make sure that there is additional cushioning to prevent further irritation on the plantar fascia.
Shoes that have very stiff midsoles may aggravate your condition, particularly if there is no extra cushioning. Those with no midsole rigidity will also not provide enough arch support. So it is vital to find a shoe that has stiff midsole and additional cushioning.
4. Removable Inner Soles and Other Inner Parts
The best running shoes for plantar fasciitis have removable orthodontic inserts. They can be repaired or replaced if some of the parts get worn out. In case you feel like one or two parts are large, small, or rough, you can replace those items to increase your comfort.
5. Shoes That Match Your Pronation Type
When looking for the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis, you will want to make sure that they will compensate for your pronation type. Pronation occurs when your foot or feet roll inward as you walk or run. There are three types of pronation type:
- Supination or underpronation – This type is often caused by high arches
- Neutral pronation
- Overpronation – Often caused by flat feet
The easiest way to know your pronation type is by using the wet foot method. Get your entire feet wet and step on a flat surface.
6. Elevated Heels
The shoes must also have elevated heels to alleviate the pressure on the heels. You can test rocker soles to see if the shoe will rock forward. This feature is important as shoes that have neutral or flat heels will allow your feet to bear your entire weight, adding more pressure on the plantar fascia.
7. Wide Toe Box
The toe box area must be wide enough to accommodate the rear and middle parts of your foot. It has to be sturdy enough to prevent additional toe extension. This will protect the plantar fascia from the windlass mechanism as you walk or run. So make sure that choose running shoes with wide, comfortable and sturdy toe box to limit the movement of your forefoot area as you walk.
Here are additional tips to remember before making a purchase.
- When buying the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis, make sure that they feel comfortable on your feet for the first time. Do not buy shoes that require “time to break in” just to achieve your desired comfort level.
- Consider purchasing a pair of arch-supporting orthotics to come along with your shoes. They may add arch and heel support if the shoes lack them.
- Choose the shoe that fits your intended activity. Bear in mind that you need different shoes for each activity.
- Proper shoes are the first step to get rid of plantar fasciitis. You will need to apply other treatments to fully recover from this condition.
Amanda Roberts is a professional blogger and a podiatry student. She is an enthusiast who loves to write on several niches, particularly in foot health, including plantar fasciitis, toenail fungus, foot massage and reflexology. Read more about her blog posts on foot health at Feet Remedies.