If you have been diagnosed with a mild or moderate case of plantar fasciitis, it is very likely that your physician will advise you to invest in a gel insert for your sneakers or to buy a new pair of shoes specially designed to provide additional support in the heel, ankle and the arch of your foot. Here are a few things you should look for when considering a new pair of sneakers to help with your plantar fasciitis.
o A firm sole provides the compression necessary to keep the foot in alignment and avoid over-pronation or overstretching of the plantar fascia ligament.
o When buying a shoe with a firmer sole, you will also have to look for a toe rocker. This is the area where the toe of the shoe curves up from the ground. Since the firm sole won’t allow your foot to bend itself, the shoe must do that job for you. An exaggerated toe rocker will allow you to roll forward onto your toes when walking or running, effectively doing the same job as the plantar fascia without putting you at risk for injury.
o The heel counter is the area of the shoe that wraps around the heel of your foot, also commonly referred to as the “heel cup.” You will also want a firm heel counter, which is easily tested by squeezing the heel counter in both hands. If the heel counter compresses in your grip, the shoe most likely will not have the support you need.
o Laces may seem self-explanatory, but a lot of people prefer the ease and comfort of a slip-on shoe. Unfortunately, these shoes are designed to be loose-fitting and lack the structure and support needed to affectively treat and/or prevent plantar fasciitis.
Now that you know what to look for in a shoe, take a moment to review some of the brands and models we suggest for plantar fasciitis patients below. Of course, an all-inclusive listing would warrant it’s own special series, but these six options should serve as a good starting point.
1. For the woman who likes to exercise daily: New Balance Women’s WR1123- For the most part, orthotics and shoes designed to offer relief and support for those with foot problems typically won’t be the most stylish pieces in your wardrobe. This model by New Balance begs to differ. The breathable mesh material and motion control technology make this the ideal candidate for your morning jog or taking the dog for a walk in the evening.
2. For the girl who loves nature walks: New Balance Women’s WW645 Walking Shoe- Just because you may be predisposed to or currently experiencing some discomfort, doesn’t necessarily mean you have to lock yourself up in the house for the weekend. For the outdoor enthusiast, this hiking shoe by New Balance gives you the support and traction you need to reach the summit without compromising your sense of style.
3. For the beach bunny in your life: Merrell Savannah Sandal- When the topic of corrective footwear comes up, most people tend to picture an obtrusive boot in either black or a dull brown color. Thankfully, as the prevalence of plantar fasciitis diagnoses rises, footwear and apparel companies are designing more stylish models for just about every occasion. This strappy sandal by Merrell allows you to have all of the comfort of a sandal without the extra bulk typically involved with providing additional arch support for your feet.