Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain, especially among runners. Stretching and strength training are some of the best ways to prevent it, but you may consider getting proper running shoes that help soothe the pain.
Although improper running shoes aren’t always a cause of plantar fasciitis, proper footwear can help soothe and prevent plantar fascia pain.
So what should you look for when it comes to running shoes for plantar fasciitis? That’s where today’s post comes in handy.
In this article, I’ll share a few simple guidelines to keep in mind next time you go running shoe shopping when you have a history—or are dealing with—plantar fasciitis.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
One of the most common causes of heel pain in runners is what’s known as plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of the plantar fascia and can cause discomfort and distress.
The plantar fascia is the rubber band-like structure on the bottom of the feet. It attaches your heel bone to the front of your foot, extending from the base of the toes and connecting to the heel bone.
If you have suffered from plantar fasciitis, then you’re familiar with the sharp pain and how it can not only compromise your running plan but disrupt your daily life.
In severe cases, the pain can make it almost impossible to bear weight—let alone—exercise on the injured foot.
The telling sign of plantar fasciitis is stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot, especially upon getting out of bed in the morning or after standing for extended periods. It’s common to feel pain after training, not during the exercise.
How To Treat it
The most common way to treat bouts of plantar fasciitis is to take enough rest. In most cases, it usually resolves on there within a few weeks. To speed up recovery, feel free to apply cold therapy and take anti-inflammatory meds.
If you don’t want to stop training, reduce your mileage and avoid any movements that worsen your pain. However, taking a long sabbatical from running isn’t the solution, especially if you’re prone to plantar fasciitis.
The Many ways of Prevention
There are many measures you can take right now to help protect yourself from plantar fasciitis—one of these lies in picking the right footwear.
Don’t get me wrong. Although proper running shoes are key for preventing running pains, new kicks won’t fully cure your plantar fasciitis. This is especially the case when there’s something wrong with your foot posture, foot, and calf muscles.
For this reason, I’d recommend that you consult with a physician to get at the root cause of your foot problems and learn more about the proper footwear and posture that support your foot type and gait style.
Additional resource – your guide to running with metatarsalgia
The Best Running Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis
Although there’s no such thing as plantar fasciitis shoes, a few things to look for when choosing a new pair. By choosing the right pair, you’ll help keep your
Let’s dive in.
Go With Running Shoes
The golden rule of choosing running shoes is to run in shoes specifically designed for running. You cannot play tennis in your walking shoes, nor should you expect to be able to run in your basketball shoes. It doesn’t work that way. (Here’s how to break in new running shoes.)
Non-running footwear isn’t designed with the support and cushioning you need for your muscles and joints while logging the mile, which is a high-impact exercise per excellence.
You should also consider what type of terrain you’re running on. There are three main categories to choose from road, trail, or track. Then, run in specific shoes designed for the specific terrain. It might seem like overkill, but you can’t go wrong on this.
Additional Resource – Here’s a list of the best running shoe brands.
Choose Neutral Shoes
The ideal shoes for dealing with plantar fasciitis are shoes that keep your foot position neutral. For example, some runners have a high arch and tend to underpronate, whereas others have flat feet and are overpronators.
Additional resource – How to recycle running shoes
Since plantar fascia impacts the arch, popper arch support should be one of the first things to look for in any shoe. In most cases, running shoes have a proper arch, and heel support can help with plantar fasciitis.
If you have flat feet, go for shoes with strong arch support. This may help soothe the pain that flat feet can cause.
Additional Resource – Here’s your guide to running shoes for flat feet.
A Reasonable Heel-Toe Drop
A good running shoe for plantar fasciitis should have a relatively raised heel. This means that your heel should rest a little higher than your toes.
Why does this help?
Having sue drop height may help take undue pressure off both your arch and the Achilles tendon. However, since your Achilles tendon is attached to the heel bone, extra stress triggered by it can also impact your plantar fascia.
The higher the heel, the more pressure is put on the front of the foot. Again, this may lead to pain down the line. On the other hand, going completely flat can also stress the arch and heel.
Just keep in mind that having too much heel drop can be risky.
As a rough guideline, a proper heel heigh-hoed be around a quarter to half an inch.
Additional Reading – Your guide to the heel to toe drop.
Mid Foot Cushion
Changing your running gait and foot mechanics is a long and challenging process. However, if you’re dealing with any heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis, limiting heel impact can help bring some relief to what’s ailing you.
Overall, midsole cushioning can help reduce the impact on the heel during your running gait.
Additional resource – How to clean running shoes
Running Shoes To Avoid
Overall, avoid running shoes that are too tight or restrictive. These may hinder your foot’s ability to move naturally, and you don’t want that.
These shoes also put more pressure on your foot which may make your plantar fasciitis—or any other Lowe leg injury—worse. You don’t want that, do you?
You should also avoid minimal running shoes with minimal stability. Examples line Vibram Five-fingers and any other minimalist type of shoe.
You should also avoid shoes with little to no cushioning, arch support, or heel support to reduce the impact on the ground.
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