Have you ever experienced pain when you step on your feet first thing in the morning? Do you feel pain when you step on the heels throughout the walk? Does it bother you when you’ve been walking or standing for too long?
If the answer is yes, there is a good chance that you should check for plantar fasciis before purchasing your next pair of walking shoes.
What is the plantar fascia?
Under the foot is a thick ligament shaped like a fan. It connects the heel to the forefoot, facilitating foot movements. Think of it like having a tiny trampoline under your foot. It absorbs shock and quickly returns to its shape after an impact.
What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia gets inflamed. It occurs when the ligament is subjected to repeated stretching because of overuse. Plantar fasciitis can also be due to tearing of the said ligament.
The stabbing sensation is felt on the heel or under the arch. It is most noticeable during the first few steps in the morning or when you get out of bed after a long period of rest. In most cases, the pain goes away as the day goes on. However, it comes back after prolonged periods of standing or walking.
What causes plantar fasciitis?
One of the most prevalent foot conditions experienced by people is plantar fasciitis. However, its cause is not the same for everyone. Some of the most common factors that predispose a person to such a condition include:
Age. As with anything that gets older, a person’s ligaments lose its elasticity with age. Thus, foot pain is typically experienced by people 40 years old and older. If you have grandparents or even parents in advanced stages of their lives, you’ve probably heard them looking for shoes with arch support because that helps relieve their pain.
Extra weight. Gaining weight means your feet will be carrying more load than it is used to. Because of this, the feet will be experiencing increased pressure when standing and greater impact when walking or running. They need footwear that can support the arch to reduce the strain on the plantar fascia.
Overuse. Runners, especially those that do marathons, are just some of the most at risk for plantar fasciitis. The repetitive forceful foot landings that happen when you run can take a toll on the ligament of your foot. The same happens when you are standing for long periods because the plantar fascia remains stretched out.
Unnatural foot motions. A person’s type of pronation can also be a contributing factor to having plantar fasciitis. When you roll your feet, excessively inwards or outwards, it can lead to increased stress placed on the plantar fascia, which could turn into plantar fasciitis.
What to look for in the best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis
Best men's walking shoes for plantar fasciitis - April 2020
What works for one person, may not always fit the needs of others. Getting the best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis may be tricky but here are some features to consider when getting one:
Arch support. The raised structure on the inner side of the footbed is called the arch support. This hump allows the foot to comfortably rest because it prevents the ligament from stretching too much. Arch supports are quite a common feature in walking shoes for overpronation.
Contoured footbed. Another essential feature people look for when purchasing a pair of walking shoes for plantar fasciitis is a contoured footbed. This is an insole that is shaped like the bottom of a person’s foot.
It has three striking features: a deep heel cup, a raised arch, and an enhanced forefoot shape. This design aligns the foot and reduces the stress on the plantar fascia, which, in turn, helps relieve or prevent discomfort.
Cushioning. Walking shoes with thick midsoles are usually suitable for people with plantar fasciitis. First, the bulky layer is effective in lessening the impact felt by the foot, which ensures comfort. Second, a stocky midsole compresses less, so it can support the foot and the weight of the person more.
Removable insoles. In most cases, walking shoes often have flat insoles. Or, if they do offer arch support, it is not sufficient for the needs of the consumers. It is best to look for a pair that has removable inserts, so you have the option to replace it with custom orthotics if needed.
Best walking shoes for men with plantar fasciitis
New Balance 877
The New Balance 877 has several features that make it suitable for people with plantar fasciitis. Though it doesn’t have an arch support, its removable insole allows the use of custom orthotics. Its ABZORB midsole provides adequate shock attenuation. This pair of New Balance walking shoes has a higher heel section compared to the forefoot. This style reduces hindfoot pain because most of the wearer’s weight is on the ball of the foot.
Skechers Equalizer 2.0
This pair of walking shoes from Skechers received tons of praise from people with plantar fasciitis. Its Air-Cooled Memory Foam insole provides them great comfort as it conforms to the shape of their feet. This layer offers maximum underfoot coverage, which aids in the reduction of pain and a cozy feeling even when used for extended periods. The chunky midsole of the Skechers Equalizer 2.0 also provides adaptive shock absorption.
Brooks Addiction Walker
If you suffer from overpronation, along with plantar fasciitis, an excellent model to consider is the Brooks Addiction Walker. It features the brand’s Progressive Diagonal Rollbar (PDRB), which is a type of arch support. It uses rigid foam that covers the heel and arch area that prevents excessive rolling in of the foot. The midsole of this Brooks walking shoe makes use of the BioMoGo DNA compound, which is responsive to shock to deliver all-day comfort.
Best walking shoes for women with plantar fasciitis
Saucony Integrity ST 2
Saucony may be famous for its running shoes, but they also manufacture walking trainers that provide support for those who need it. The Saucony Integrity ST 2 features several technologies in its midsole that guarantees reduced discomfort while walking the ProGrid cushioning at the heel deflects impact. At the same time, the CMEVA foam provides a pleasurable walking experience. Meanwhile, the removable insole allows it to accommodate the use of arch support or custom orthotics.
Skechers Flex Appeal 3.0 - Finest Hour
The Skechers Flex Appeal 3.0 - Finest Hour uses the brand’s Air-Cooled Memory Foam insole. It follows the shape of the foot to deliver full underfoot coverage. It prevents slippage and provides a soft footbed for walking comfort. This model also features air-cushioning, amplifying shock attenuation under the hee. This pair of slip-on walking shoes is also quick to put on and remove.
Ryka Devotion Plus 3
Ryka shoes are dedicated to accommodating the unique shape of women’s feet. The brand offers walking trainers that aim to reduce discomfort while walking. One example is the Ryka Devotion Plus 3. Its RE-ZORB midsole is responsive. It turns the energy from impact into power for take-offs. It also employs the Anatomical Precise-Return insert. This insole is designed to hug the foot comfortably to render maximum arch support and heel hold.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need arch support for my plantar fasciitis walking shoes?
Not necessarily. Just like finding the perfect shoe, it all boils down to comfort. Some people feel significant discomfort when they are wearing shoes with arch support.
A pair of walking shoes with a good memory foam insole satisfies the needs of others. In other cases, a hefty midsole can also alleviate discomfort.
What is the best treatment for plantar fasciitis?
Though wearing walking shoes for plantar fasciitis can help reduce pain, the best treatment is still getting plenty of rest. By reducing the amount of time you are using your feet or the pressure you are placing on them, it helps the plantar fascia recover. Once your plantar fascia has healed, it will be best to invest in footwear that will help prevent foot pain in the future.
What happens if you ignore plantar fasciitis?
Ignoring plantar fasciitis could lead to chronic pain. It can also lead to discomfort or pain in the back, hips, legs, and knees as the person tries to change his or her walk to reduce the unpleasant sensation they are feeling.
What can I do to reduce plantar fasciitis?
The first course of action is to get checked to determine if you really have plantar fasciitis. The best treatment for it is rest or keeping weight off of your feet. If the pain is too much to handle, the doctor can prescribe you with anti-inflammatories or analgesics to manage the pain.
You can also ice your feet to reduce swelling of the plantar fascia. Some foot exercises that stretch the Achilles tendon and the ligament under the foot can help strengthen the foot and offer relief.