Doctors usually ask their patients about their shoes when these patients seek help with the pain they experience in their heel.
Shoes are important in both diagnosing and treating a patient who might be suffering from plantar fasciitis. Ill fitting shoes can also result in swelling of the plantar fascia and changing shoes is one of the treatments for patients suffering from plantar fasciitis.
What to consider when buying shoes
Finding the proper shoes for plantar fasciitis patients can be based on several factors. One factor is the condition of the feet of the patient. Some patients have low arch while others have high arch and in both cases they can result in plantar fasciitis.
The physical activities of the person should also be considered in determining the proper pair of shoes for patients. Plantar fasciitis often occur among joggers and runners.
For example, a runner may have flat feet and tend to over pronate so doctors would recommend motion control shoes to control the pronation. The control technology of motion control shoes set back the foot to its neutral position.
Motion control shoes also vary in their support as there are mild, moderate and maximum support shoes available.
It is also important to choose a pair of shoes that is built for a particular physical activity. For example, tennis players must use tennis shoes as they are built with proper support for the way the feet move when playing tennis. The same can be said for running shoes as they are designed to support the movement of the feet when running.
Some people have the tendency to just use one pair of shoes for all their physical activities only to suffer from heel pain in the end.
How to choose the proper shoes for plantar fasciitis
Doctors recommend that patients suffering from plantar fasciitis to take a break from rigorous physical activities to prevent further damage on their plantar fascia. For pain relief, doctors may give out anti-inflammatory medications and recommend stretching and exercises.
Changing the patient’s shoes is also part of the treatment for plantar fasciitis.
When buying shoes for plantar fasciitis, one must keep in mind that there is no single type of shoe that will be most beneficial for all. Foot structures vary and people have different physical activities, after all.
Patients buying a new pair of shoes must consider first the heel counter or the rear part of the shoe that wraps around the heel bones. The heel counter controls the pronation of the feet and it must be firm even when being squeezed. The heel counter will not provide adequate support if it collapses when squeezed and if it is soft.
The second factor to consider is the flexibility of the sole. Many individuals assume that soles that are highly flexible are great. But shoes with firm soles are the ones that can control the range of motion of the foot. This will aid in aligning the foot and ankle and in turn can help avoid the overstretching of the plantar fascia.
A firm sole requires appropriate toe rocker that will let a person move forward when pacing. Toe rockers are essential for running shoes and these toe rockers have to curve up to prevent the plantar fascia from being overstretched.
Another factor to consider is the elevation of the heels with the rocker soles. It must be elevated at about one inch to ease the pressure being experienced by the heels. Fit the shoes and check if it can rock forward.
Flat shoes lets the feet bear all the weight of the body which in turn adds more pressure on the plantar fascia. It is also better if the shoes have more cushioning, so that the impact when the heels hit the ground is absorbed.
Lace up shoes is also better than slip-ons as they fit better. Slip-ons tend to fit loosely and provide inadequate support.
Those with plantar fasciitis are also recommended to use shoes with closed heels, mid-soles that twist or bend minimally, sturdy arch support, and secure closure system. It is also important to get a pair of shoes that allows bending only at the toe areas.
In addition, patients may also customize their current shoes by buying over-the-counter arch support and other shoe insertions.
There are some brands of shoes that offer good pronation control since they have good cushioning and support such as Asics GT-2170, Asics Kayano and Brooks Vapour. Experts also recommend New Balance Motion Control Shoe.
Runners may also want to consider the WR1012 Nbx running shoes for women and MR1012 Nbx running shoes for men as these shoes provide additional support.