What type of shoes will help Plantar Fasciitis?

The big question that everyone wants to know is, are there shoes that will cure my foot problems? In some cases the correct shoes will help, but more importantly, The wrong shoes may exacerbate the problem. Read on to learn how to buy the correct shoes for your ailments.

We are not all the same-

What I mean by this is every persons situation is slightly different from the next person. Your bone structure, biomechanics, weight and gait (manner in which you walk or run) are different. Therefore you have to treat each person differently with respect to all of the above. The best approach is to educate yourself on what to look for when buying shoes. If you read and understand the shoe buying basics below you will know more about buying the correct shoe than most of the doctors. You will also be that much closer to curing your plantar fasciitis, heel pain or any other foot and ankle problems.

Shoe Shopping Basics

When shopping for shoes you must look for the following:

  • A firm sole. After 20 years of working in the orthopedic industry I am still amazed at how many people think that they need a flexible soled shoe. In many cases the flexible soles have helped create their problem. Most people will benefit from a rigid soled shoe. This type of sole will control the range of motion, help keep the foot and ankle aligned and reduce over stretching of the plantar fascia.
  • The more firm the sole, the more toe rocker is needed. If the sole is stiff then the shoe must do the work for you. If there is adequate rocker the shoe will allow you to rock forward with each stride. The best example of this is a running shoe. Look at the picture below and note the way the toe curves up. This is called toe rocker and the more it curves up, the less your fascia is going to stretch during each step. Remember, the over stretching of the fascia is what created the pain if the first place.
  • A firm heel counter. The heel counter is the back portion of the shoe that wraps around the heel and stabilizes the heel. When shoe shopping squeeze the heel counter to see if it collaspes under the pressure of your grip. If it does, don’t buy the shoe.
  • Lace up shoes. Try to always buy a lace up shoe. Most slip on shoes are meant be loose fitting and do not provide adequate support.

Customize your Shoes

  • Insert an over-the-counter arch support or orthotic into your shoes. By wearing a good shoe and adding an orthotic you are customizing your footwear for your specific condition.

Other helpful tips to eliminate heel pain

Rest your feet as much as possible. Avoid running, and excess standing; instead, substitute exercises that do not put stress on the injured plantar fascia, like bicycling or swimming.

Apply ice to the tender area a few times a day to reduce inflammation. Try rolling the arch of the foot over a frozen water bottle, this cools and stretches the painful area.

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Dear Footworks,