If you enjoy walking and exercising but suffer from Plantar Plasciitis, you are probably very familiar with the often crippling pain that can come when you try to exercise. Although this might tempt you to stop walking, you should instead look for the best walking shoes for Plantar Fasciitis. If you get the right kind of walking shoes you can not only feel better throughout your workout but you may also work towards curing the condition altogether.
WHAT IS PLANTAR FASCIITIS?
Plantar Fasciitis refers to the inflammation of the Fascia ligament in the heel. This ligament crosses over the entire foot to connect the heel to the toes. When the ligament becomes inflamed it is difficult to walk without pain. You may start to notice you have this particular condition if you start to experience these symptoms:
- Sharp heel pain early after waking
- Pain when sitting or standing for long periods
- Strong pain after exercise or intense activities
Though there have been many studies about the causes of Plantar Fasciitis, nothing definitive has been discovered. There are however some things which have been shown to increase your risk of experiencing this condition:
- Prolonged periods standing, walking, or running on hard surfaces
- A rapid increase in levels of physical activity
- High arches or flat feet
- Commonly wearing worn out shoes with poor support
HOW TO TREAT IT
Podiatrists and other doctors usually treat cases of Plantar Fasciitis on a patient by patient basis. There is no blanket cure for all cases, but the the recommended treatment options are easy to start at home if you are suffering from this condition. You should visit a doctor if you are experiencing severe pain anywhere in your feet, but here are some things you can do to help ease the pain and begin healing:
- Proper resting
- Hot and cold treatments. After exercising or when in pain, alternate between ice and heat, preferably in the form of hot water.
- Heel, foot, ankle, and Achilles tendon stretches
- Athletic tape or bracing
- Night time splinting or bracing
- Acupuncture treatments
- Cortisone shots
- Professional physical therapy (Sessions as recommended by your doctor or physical therapist)
- In extreme cases, surgery
SHOES THAT TREAT PLANTAR FACIITIS
If you want to continue walking while you’re undergoing treatment or help to avoid getting it at all, you should really pay attention to the kinds of shoes you wear. The best sneakers for plantar fasciitis will have a great fit, solid arch and heel support, and over or under pronation correction if necessary. Here are three of the best walking shoes:
Asics Tech Walker Neo
A lightweight shoe, designed especially for fitness walkers. The dual density midsole system provides support and stability for your foot arch. This shoe is for you if you are suffering from heel pain and don’t want to wear unathletic looking shoes. Check out the detailed Asics Tech Walker Neo review.
I like: Great for long distance fitness walking, has a sporty Design, and is not too heavy.
I don’t like: You should replace the original insert with orthopedic ones.
Brooks Addiction Walker
A classic. It’s highly rated on every review-site. I’m wearing them myself and I can’t complain. Known for its good arch support it should be sufficient for everyone who is suffering from heel pain. Actually they are marketed to a casual audience, they have the inner shape and materials of a running shoe. Made out of leather and a very slip resistant sole; there are available for both men and women. Make sure to check out a detailed Brooks Addiction Walker review.
I like: Good leather quality, give enough support, great for people who are standing all day (nurses), looks elegant.
I don’t like: A bit heavy, sizing runs small, might not be the best type for long distance walking.
Vionic Orthaheel walker
I haven’t tried them myself but in other reviews they are referred as one of the best sneakers against foot and arch pain. The have the APMA seal of approval, come with patented Orthaheel arch support and the deep heel cup solves any stride problems. Make sure to check out a detailed Vionic Orthaheel walker review.
I like: Great when you are on your feet all day long, good support, regarded as one of the best motion control shoes.
I don’t like: A little bit of a break in period required, their sizing seem to run on the smaller side – you might need to size up (1/2 or 1 Size).
Having walking shoes that fit you right should be something you prioritize anyway, but if you haven’t paid much attention to it in the past you should really look at your shoes again. If your current pair does not fit perfectly you might be giving up a lot of the benefits of support they would normally provide. This certainly does not help to treat the condition and it may even make it worse.
The two areas to focus on supporting are the arch and the heel. Heel support will help to calm down the pains you normally feel while you’re walking, but arch support is essential in giving your ligament the chance to repair itself. The Fascia ligament extends over the arch, so if you have a high arch or a flat arch it can cause the ligament to be under more strain than normal. Supporting your arch with a good walking shoe will relax the ligament more and keep its work load lower, allowing healing to take place without further damage occurring.
CORRECTING A PRONATION PROBLEM
Over and under pronation happens when your foot rolls either in or out more than it should in a normal stride. This rolling of the foot puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on your tendons and ligaments in the lower legs and feet. If your Fascia is already inflamed, pronation might make it much worse or at very least will continue the irritation that created the inflammation in the first place. Your doctor should be able to help you identify any pronation issues in your walk that might need special corrective shoes.
Getting the right pair of shoes can be an essential step in relieving yourself of heel pain. You shouldn’t walk around hurting when there is such a simple solution that can make a real difference. If your shoes are part of the problem, head down to your local shoe store and ask about the best pair for treating plantar fasciitis.
To get an idea about what brands to ask for and their specially designed pairs, check below for some of the most effective walking sneakers for handling plantar fasciitis 2015.