Best Running Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis & Heel Pain
Tired of running or walking with pain? Read this Complete Guide before you go shopping for a suitable pair of Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis – See more
Plantar fasciitis (PL) is the most common injury of the plantar fascia, as well as the most common cause of heel pain. Approximately 10% of people deal with this issue at some point during their lifetime.
The heel pain characteristic of this problem is often felt on the bottom of the heel and is most intensely experienced during the first steps of the day. Runners who suffer from it usually have difficulty with dorsiflexion of the foot which is created when the foot is brought up toward the shin. This difficulty is usually created by tightness of the Achilles tendon or calf muscle, the latter of which is linked to the back of the plantar fascia.
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What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis (also known as jogger’s heel) is a common painful disorder affecting the underside of the foot and the heel. It is a disorder contact point between the ligament to the bone, and is characterized by inflammation, scarring or structural breakdown of the foot’s plantar fascia. Though it was originally said to be an inflammatory process, newer research has demonstrated structural changes more consistent with a degenerative process. According to new observations, many in the medical community have reported the condition should be renamed plantar fasciitis.
What Causes This Problem?
This is a question asked by many new runners. You are more likely to have this problem if:
- Your feet tend to roll inwards when you take strides (over pronation).
- You often run, walk around or stand for prolonged periods of time, especially on hard surfaces.
- You have high instep or flat feet.
- You have sudden weight gain.
- You have tight achilles tendons or calf muscles.
Having a running shoe that supports your heels and arches should be the first thing on your list. The appearance. Ugly but comfortable shoes are going to relieve your pain 100x times more than ‘pretty looking’ rigid running shoes. It’s easy to buy those high tech-designs and cool looking shoes that everyone else is wearing. But, let’s look at the reality of the situation. You’ve had a moderate to serious condition that you’re trying to avoid making worse. For that very reason, we have put together this list of running shoes who’s features are more than suitable for runners with plantar fasciitis, and they also look good. So, you don’t have to worry about missing out on the style.
The Criteria Used For Our Evaluation Of The Best Running Shoes For Plantar Fasciits
We started with the first line of defense, the heel. For runners that suffer from Plantar Fasciitis or heel pain, barefoot or minimalist shoes have no place in their rotation. It’s crucial that the heel is properly supported and cupped throughout the entire range of motion. This is why we listened to what runners had to say after several miles of wear and daily use in regards to heel cushioning and support.
Working in conjunction with the overall layout of the shoe, the stability of the midsole is crucial for several reasons. One of them being that Plantar Fasciitis is exacerbated by stretching and flexing the Plantar Fascia, think of it as a bridge between the front and the back of your foot. According to runners from all walks of life, the higher the midsole stability of a shoe, the less pressure is placed on the heel.
The third prong in beginning to tackle and overcome this very common heel condition is strong arch support. When a running shoe possesses all three basic components (heel support, midsole stability, and arch support) runners can benefit from maximum protection of their Achilles, ankles, heels, and arches. When the key players are well protected, the road to success becomes a more pain free experience. The ideal running shoe should compliment your natural arch and protect from strenuous activity.
Ability To Get Runners Back Out There.
According to runners that suffer from Plantar Fasciitis and heel pain, they need running shoes that don’t exacerbate their condition, keep them as pain free as possible, and most importantly, allow them to continue running. This is what we looked for when compiling our list. Taking a look at selections from a runner’s perspective translates into infusing raw data with that passion and excitement that true runners know all too well.
The most up to date and advanced research continues to point to shock absorption as another key to success when dealing with foot conditions in general. In this case, dispersing as much force as possible helps to take stress away from heel striking, which is essential. We took a look at the shoe’s ability to dampen the impact as runners came down with their weight.
What Not To Look For And Dispelling A Common Misconception.
We wanted to make sure to dispel the common misconception that selecting running shoes that help with Plantar Fasciitis and heel pain must be more expensive than other models. Luckily for runners everywhere, this is simply not true. We made sure to include the most therapeutic and high quality running shoes on the market with prices that match what you would expect to pay to a solid running shoe. Additionally, we wanted to provide our readers with what NOT to look for. Experts and runners agree to stay away from shoes constructed with cheaper materials that won’t hold up to the test of being used consistently. Any cushion or support wears out very quickly if the materials are not premium grade. Regardless of current trends, minimalist or barefoot style shoes are the biggest enemy when you suffer from any form of foot condition. They will only make matters worse. This is why being educated in what not to look for is crucial.
Other Important Factors To Consider When Selecting The Most Suitable Shoes
Safety should always come first. This is why when you’re taking the time to consider which running shoe you’re going to select, it is imperative that you do not make your decision based on looks alone. We’ve made sure to include several styles and color options so that you are completely satisfied with looks, but we want you to be your number one advocate and make sure that you protect yourself from injury as much as possible. Giving you the best chances at remaining at healthy running levels is our top priority. Below you will find some factors to consider when you are making your selection. With a little time and thought, you will be sure to pick the best match for you.
Properly Size Your Foot.
The best possible support begins by selecting the best possible size. Your feet stretch and swell throughout the day, so will your shoe size. Remember that you’re selecting running shoes, so measure your feet towards the end of the day or after a vigorous run to ensure that your really the size that you think you are in running shoes. Most runners are a half or full size larger in running shoes than they are compared to their dress shoes. Take the time to make an accurate assessment.
Remember That You’re Buying A Running Shoe.
This extremely important factor is also the most overlooked. When you have any type of foot or leg condition, it’s essential that you rotate different shoes for different activities. This means having separate shoes for walking, running, and training. Remember that all shock absorbing materials including gels and foams need time to recover and they can’t perform at 100% if your using them all day long after the run. Make an investment in a supportive running shoe for running and a separate shoe for walking. Your feet will thank you.
If Your Arches Need More Support, Call In The Reinforcements!
After you’ve done everything you can to match your running shoes with your heel type, if you still feel that your arches are not one hundred percent supported, you should consider using an orthotic in conjunction with your shoes. There’s really no need make a doctors appointment in most cases, over the counter options have made significant leaps in their quality. In fact, most runners found that orthotics found in most drug stores are far superior to their prescribed counterparts. We cannot stress enough the importance of arch support, make sure you never compromise in this department.
Mind The Toe Box.
The goal when selecting running shoes for Plantar Fasciitis is to reduce excessive toe extension, which has been found to increase the load on the Plantar Fascia. So make sure you look for a fairly firm toe section. You know those running sneakers that you can bend the toe box all the way back with your hand? Those are the ones to avoid. While you should be able to wiggle your toes slightly while wearing the shoes, you don’t want those ultra flexible pair of running shoes that are all over your social media accounts or non-athletes are wearing to their trendy coffee shops.
Know When To Replace Your Shoes.
This is the number one way to prevent unnecessary injuries, yet it’s the least adhered to tip. Whether it be because your shoes still look brand new, or you want to stretch more life out of them for budget purposes, it’s simply not worth it. You’re health and safety should be your top priority and knowing when to let go of your old pair of running and walking shoes will keep you in tip top shape. Most seasoned runners stick to 300-500 miles before they replace, depending on their activity levels. If you have any type of foot condition, you should remain vigilant and be aware of how much use you log when running and walking. Keeping your footwear fresh will keep your feet fresh, it’s an investment in your health.
Here are some frequently asked questions that most runners encounter when making their decision. Hopefully, they will help you along your way when you are making your decision.
Q: Other than my running shoes, what can I do to treat my Plantar Fasciitis?
A: There are a number of things that can help and treat PF, check out our sources for excellent exercises and stretches that can help make a positive change. In addition, maintaining a healthy weight helps to relieve the amount of overall stress placed on the foot. Also don’t increase the mileage or intensity of your workouts drastically; give your body time to adjust. There are also night splints that we have covered as well.
Q: What is a night splint and how do I know if I need one?
A: Night splints are used to help relieve plantar fasciitis. They work by keeping your in a flexed position overnight, so that when you put weight on your foot in the morning, it doesn’t hurt or get sore. If you experience pain in the mornings, it’s because micro tears are healing while your feet are in a relaxed position while you sleep and you should strongly consider buying a night splint.
Q: My heels hurts when I’m on my feet all day, what can I do?
A: First, take a look at your shoes. If you’ve had them for a while, even if they look new, replace them. Next, consider choosing an option that has the ability to use an over the counter orthopedic insert. Running and walking shoes that have a removable sole can help give you the extra room to place an insert. Also, stay away from flat shoes that offer little to no support. You may be doing more harm to your heel during your work day than you do while you are running.
Q: Is there a particular running shoe brand that is better for individuals with foot and leg conditions?
A: Be careful when being lured in by shoe companies claiming to be the “therapeutic go-to” when making your selection. There is a significant marketing push to become the “Volvo of footwear” among many top brands. That being said, once you find the shoe that fits you best and alleviates your pain, it’s not a bad idea to stick to that brand. This is because most of their releases will be based on the same platform (which happens to be a good match for you). The goal is to find what works best for you, not everyone at your local gym.
This was our approach when selecting running shoes for Plantar Fasciitis and heel pain. Remember that size and fit can give you the perfect amount of comfort and support. We hope this guide provided you with all the information you need when making you choice. Thanks for following along with us. Now get out there, and keep running!
Here are some sources that were used in our research
It’s important to use the widest range possible when selecting sources to ensure quality information. We enjoy utilizing trusted clinical partners and manufactures when providing our readers with the most up-to-date statistics found in all our buying guides. We are also very interested in taking what everyday users have to say about specific products, and we perform our due diligence to make sure that quality research goes into every guide. Here are some sources which helped us with this guide: