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anatomy of the plantar fascia

The Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

The Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis If you have pain along your heel or even into the arch of the foot, there’s a chance you may have Plantar Fasciitis. Plantar Fasciitis is a common condition that impacts many people around the world. A number of things contribute to the condition and it is more common in women than men. You are especially at risk of Plantar Fasciitis if you are overweight, or if you spend several hours a day on your feet. The good news is, Plantar Fasciitis is treatable, it often heals after a few months, and you can help prevent it by wearing proper footwear such as the Orthofeet Sneakers.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that develops when inflammation occurs along the plantar fascia ligament. This ligament is located along the bottom of your foot; it reaches from your heel to your toes and supports the muscles and arch of your foot. When this ligament is overly stretched, micro tears can occur at the insertion site, which is the cause of pain and inflammation.

Common symptoms are pain in the heel of the foot and the arch, and this pain is often at its worst in the mornings. At one time, doctors believed this pain was caused by bony growths that are known as heel spurs; now it’s been agreed that heel spurs are the result of and not the cause, of Plantar Fasciitis.

Plantar Fasciitis

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

The Plantar Fascia acts as a shock absorber for the body and maintains the arch of the foot. It normally handles every day forces without issue. Plantar fasciitis becomes an issue when the stress gets too great and causes small micro tears in the fascia. These micro tears become inflamed and painful.

Risk Factors for Plantar Fasciitis

  • Age – Plantar fasciitis is most common in middle age adults between 40 and 60 years old
  • Repetitive High Force Activity – Activities that place a lot of stress on your heel and plantar fascia include: running, jumping, or sprinting activities. Starting a new activity without a gradual increase.
  • Foot mechanics – Having an arch that is too flat or an arch that is too high predisposes the foot to potential flare up.
  • Obesity – Excess pounds put extra stress on your plantar fascia and causes increased stress on the plantar fascia with each step.
  • Sedentary Lifestyle – If you are relatively inactive the plantar fascia is not used to taking regular loading. Try and maintain an exercise program to avoid Plantar Fascia.

How Long Does Pain Last for Plantar Fasciitis?

It typically takes several months for your foot to heal. Complete healing can take anywhere from three to twelve months, and the risk of worsening your injury or preventing it from healing increases if you: have flat feet; wear worn-out shoes or shoes that have thin soles; often wear high heels; have tight Achilles tendons, lower extremity weakness which are also known as “heel cords”; or, have an unusual foot position or walk. Symptoms typically resolve quicker the sooner you begin treating them.

Have Plantar Fasciitis and want to treat it from home? Check out our best home treatment for Plantar fasciitis.

Anatomy of the Plantar Fascia

Our feet are one of the most important parts of our bodies. As structures of muscles, bones, and joints, they enable us to stand upright and perform activities. The feet are divided into three sections: the forefoot, which contains the five toes and five longer bones; the midfoot, a pyramid-shaped collection of bones that form the arch of the foot; and the hindfoot, which contains the ankle and the heel. The heel bone is the largest bone in the foot.

Along the surface of your foot, muscles, ligaments, and tendons run between and connect these bones. Our muscles allow the movements that are required for motion and balance, from standing up to sprinting. The Achilles tendon is an especially important muscle, as it connects the heel to the calf muscle, and is required for running and jumping.

anatomy of the plantar fascia

Why Proper Footwear is Important for Plantar Fasciitis

To protect your feet and ensure that your muscles and bones are working together smoothly, it’s imperative that you choose the proper footwear for everyday use. There are several benefits to wearing proper footwear, and it is an important aspect in prevention of Plantar Fasciitis.

Support in the Ankle

Proper footwear should provide the ankle with much needed support, with enclosed cushioning. Your ankle has a lot of pressure and weight on it, and is the most important bone within the foot. Both the ankle and the accompanying Achilles tendon are some of the most sensitive parts of the foot.

Arch Support

Your shoes should curve upward in the middle, matching the curve—or arch—of your foot. Wearing shoes that do not have arch supports can lead to flatter feet. If there is no arch support within the shoe or you’re unsatisfied, you do have the option to buy an insert that can help.


Proper shoes help cushion your body weight. When shopping for shoes, look especially for shoes that have a cushioned heel, as this is where most of the pressure from your body weight will be. They should also fit comfortably around the balls of your feet and provide support for your toes as you take a step.

Altering the Location of Load

This may be the most important reasons to try a different pair of shoes. By simply changing shoes you will change the location of stress on the plantar fascia. Just be changing the stress on the fascia, it can give a change to start the healing process.

Not Going Barefoot during a Flare Up of Plantar Fasciitis

Finding proper footwear, and ensuring that you wear proper footwear every day, not only is important for keeping your feet and your body healthy, but is also a major factor in preventing a common condition that causes pain along the heel and arch: Plantar Fasciitis. Remember even once you find the proper shoes, to replace them as they wear down.

Best Everyday Shoe for Plantar Fasciitis

Men’s Orthofeet Lava Orthopedic Shoes

Why We Love Them: Super comfortable and lightweight with good support

The Orthofeet Lava Orthopedic shoes are one of the most comfortable and highly rated shoes out there. They are made with stretchable knitted material that offers a soft fit and extra room for the forefoot and greater toe movement. Orthofeet has a patented Ortho-Cushion system with orthotic insole provides great cushioning and comfortable arch support and helps decrease the pain that can from from plantar fasciitis.  These shoes have excellent reviews on Amazon.

  • Orthotic Support – Ortho-Comfort orthotic insoles are extremely comfortable. They feature an anatomical arch support and multiple cushioning layers help improve foot and leg alignment, easing stress and pain on the heel.
  • Orthotic Friendly – The shoes are designed with extra depth so that you can easily add or subtract a custom made orthotic without having to get new shoes.
  • Lightweight – The cushioning sole is designed to be lightweight and soft for each step
  • Adjustable – These also come with two sets of removable spacers that allow the space inside the shoe to be adjusted for an optimal fit for each person’s unique foot.

Negatives Reviews: Are made primarily for a wider foot so more than likely no need to order the extra wide version

orthofeet lava plantar fasciitis shoes

Women’s Orthofeet Orthopedic Shoes

Why We Love Them: Lightweight and comfortable with room for an additional orthotic

The Orthofeet Women’s Orthotic sneakers are extremely similar to the men’s version listed above but made specifically to better fit a lady’s foot. These shoes come with stretchable knitted fabric that offers a comfortable fit, extra room for toe movement, are extremely lightweight for a shoe and soft support for the foot. Plus we love the looks and the overall comfort when wearing them.

  • Comfort – Stretchable design offers a relaxed, comfortable fit and helps relieve pressure on the heel and plantar fascia. The orthotic insoles are designed to provide great arch support. Overall an extremely just comfortable shoe.
  • Orthotic Friendly – The shoes are designed with extra depth so that you can easily add or subtract a custom made orthotic without having to get new shoes.
  • Adjustable – These also come with two sets of removable spacers, similar to the shoes above, that allow the space inside the shoe to be adjusted for an optimal fit for each person’s unique foot.

Negative Reviews: Primarily has great reviews on amazon but just might not be the best fit for your particular foot

womens orthofeet plantar fasciitis shoes

Best Running Shoe for Plantar Fasciitis

Men’s Asics Gel Cumulus 20

Why We Love Them: This version is softer, lighter, and still controls the motion of the foot

The Asics Gel Cumulus 20 are one of the best running shoes around period. They come with an updated a wider toe box and softer foam in the midsole.  Overall these are a lighter and softer shoe from previous versions of the Cumulus. The GEL™ cushioning, SPEVAFoam® and a FluidRide® midsole from Asics are extremely comfortable and designed to offer a cushioned, comfortable experience for all day wear or take them out for the run.

  • Ortholite® sockliner creates an easy step-in motion without sacrificing comfort
  • Rearfoot and forefoot GEL® cushioning relieves impact shock for a smooth transition and helps protect the heal from increased force.
  • FluidRide™ midsole reduces weight of the shoe while still maintaining exceptional durability and cushioning
  • SpevaFoam® 45 Lasting creates a softer platform feel for added comfort to your heel
  • Guidance Line® is a vertical flex grooved along the outsole that helps guide the foot
  • DuraSponge® outsole design helps create a more flexible responsiveness

Negative Reviews: Per some customer reviews it may take bit to break them in and get your foot used to the newer model

mens asics gel cumulus

Women’s Asics Gel Cumulus 20

Why We Love Them: Excellent cushioning in the heel with great foot motion control

The Women’s Asics Gel Cumulus 20 is a top of the line running shoes that was recently made even better for it’s 20th anniversary. This year Asics engineered these shoes with FlyteFoam® midsole utilizes organic super fibers to help reduce packing out that traditionally happens with softer, low density foams while the rearfoot GEL® cushioning delivers a smooth, lightweight ride that maintains full contact with the ground. These continue to offer great support for the foot to offload the pressure on the heel, maintain normal foot mechanics, and are more durable that most any other running shoe on the market.

  • I.G.S® (Impact Guidance System) Technology enhances the foot’s natural gait from heel strike to toe-off – this takes more pressure off the plantar fascia
  • FlyteFoam® Midsole Technology provides exceptional bounce back and responsiveness no matter the distance
  • FluidRide® Midsole provides the ultimate combination of bounce back and cushioning properties with reduced weight and exceptional durability
  • Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL® Technology Cushioning System attenuates shock during impact and toe-off phases, and allows movement in multiple planes as the foot transitions through the gait cycle
  • Guidance Line® Midsole Technology vertical flex groove decouples the tooling along the line of progression for enhanced gait efficiency
  • Contains reflective materials designed to enhance visibility during low light hours

Negative Reviews: Per some customer reviews the shoes are more narrow that some of the other options on the market

womens asics gel cumulus

The Best Slippers for Plantar Fasciitis

Orthofeet Asheville Slipper

Why We Love Them: Easy to slide in slipper with great support and a focus on heel comfort

The Orthofeet Men’s Slippers are uniquely designed with orthotic support, a sturdy outdoor capable sole, and adjustable strap to offer the ultimate comfort for anyone that has heel pain.

  • Orthotic Support – Ortho-Comfort orthotic insoles are great arch support that isn’t often found in a slipper.  The multiple layers of cushioning help keep the pressure off the heel and prevent flaring up the plantar fascia at home.
  • Orthotic Friendly – Extra depth design with removable orthotic insoles that are ¼” thick in the forefoot area provide ample space for custom made orthotics.
  • Easy gait – Lightweight cushioning sole with Ergonomic-Stride(TM) design softens step, and helps propel foot forward.
  • Comfort fit – Leather upper, soft interior, and extra foam padding makes every step you take soothing with comfort.

Negative Reviews: Extremely high praise for this shoes, however some report that the gel insoles may lose their shape

mens orthofeet asheville slipper

Therafit Women’s Wool Slipper

Why We Love Them: Great look, great support and comfort on the heel yet extremely durable

The Therafit Heather Wool Slipper is a classic slipper that has support and comfort for both indoor and outdoor wear. The heavy duty wool uppers and inside lining, this slipper has a removable insole with superior arch support and deep built-in heel cushioning. Genuine rubber outsole for a sure grip, these slipper can really be worn anywhere with someone who has plantar fasciitis.

Negative Reviews: Seems to run small when ordering

therafit wool slipper

Best Dress and Work Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Ecco Fusion Moc Oxford

Why We Love Them: Great classic look with an emphasis on heel comfort

The ECCO’s Fusion Moc is recommended support for plantar fasciitis with the removable leather-covered ECCO® comfort fiber system insole for extra cushioning. These also come with single density polyurethane outsole that absorbs shock and is extremely durable. Ecco also claims to help with forward walking with shock point, which acts like a trampoline absorbing shock and returning energy with every stride. If you have ever worn Ecco’s you know they are some of the absolute best shoes on the market.

Negative Reviews: Primary complaints are over sizing issues

ecco fusion oxford

Dansko Women’s Pro Xp Mule Shoe

Why We Love Them: Classic work style yet amazing comfort for plantar fasciitis. Plus all those fun colors!

These Dansko Women’s Pro XP Mules are deal for nurses and anyone that is on their feet a lot during the day. We love the range of color options, the durability that comes with Danskos, and the amazing comfort for a work shoe.Also, these shoes have a memory foam foot bed, are compatible and have enough room for orthotic inserts and have a rocker bottom. If you ask anyone about Danskos they usually rave about how comfortable they are.

Negative Reviews: Be sure to break these shoes in if you are not used to wearing Danskos or clogs

dansko womens mule shoe

Best Flip Flop Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis

Vionic Men’s Tide Sandal

Why We Love Them: Great heel comfort and control in a flip flop

The Men’s Tide Sandals goal is to have a flip flop that can effectively alleviate heel pain. These are podiatrist-designed with a biomechanical Tri-planar Motion Control footbed and a deep heel cup. This helps stabilize, support and realign the feet back to their natural position. The tide sandals are lightweight, flexible, absorbs shock, and reduces stress on feet, ankles and knees.

Negative Reviews: Some complain that the toe strap is too loose for their foot.

vionic tide flip flop sandal

Vionic Women’s Tide II Toe Post Sandal

Why We Love Them: An awesome sandal that looks look and still supports the heel in a flip flop.

The Vionic Women’s Tide II Sandal is an amazing sandal for plantar fasciitis. Similar to the men’s version the goal of these sandal  is to alleviate heel pain. Vionic does a great job with  designing a sandal to hug your arches and support your feet in comfort. Vionic sandals’ built-in orthotic helps to treat heel pain. Lightweight, flexible medium-density EVA midsole absorbs shock, reducing stress on feet, ankles and knees.

Negative Reviews: The negative reviews are mostly related to fit and different foot types. Make sure to try and wear in the house and send back if needed.

womens tide 2 flip flop sandal

Plantar Fasciitis is an overuse injury that can limit your ability to do your normal daily routines. However, with the proper footwear you can potential decrease your chances of getting plantar fasciitis or even reduce the pain levels and help you get back to normal if you already have it. Take the steps through proper footwear to get your life back.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is for educational purposes only. This is not a substitute for a medical appointment. Please refer to your physician before starting any exercise program.

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