A lot of us with plantar fasciitis wear shoes that contribute to our pain, and we may need to get some inserts and shoes for plantar fasciitis before we can heal.
Normally, I hate any kind of shopping but once getting diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, I was desperate for my feet to feel better and went on a shoe shopping extravaganza.
Here are the shoes I bought that are helping me:
You can click on the links under the images above if you want to check them out on Zappos (an online shoe store with a huge selection and free shipping both ways).
Disclosure: Heel Health gets a small commission if you purchase these shoes. The price to you is the same 🙂
I know of these versions for men:
- Brooks – Adrenaline GTS 13 (White/Obsidian/Black/Olympic/Silver) – Footwear
- ECCO Sport – Yucatan Sandal (Bison/Black/Black) – Footwear
- Brooks – Addiction 10 (Dark Denim/Primer/Grey/Silver/White) – Footwear
Keep in mind that these shoes are helpful for my particular situation, which includes: plantar fasciitis, slightly low arches, overpronation, and feet that are a bit narrow. Many podiatrists would probably recommend that you not wear slippers, flip flops or sandals at all if you have plantar fasciitis, but I found that there were times in real life that I needed them.
What to look for in a shoe for plantar fasciitis:
- A very stable mid-section, meaning basically the middle third of the length of the shoe. If you grab the toe and heel of the shoe and try to bend it, the whole middle and heel section of the shoe should stay stiff. It’s okay if the toe section bends up a bit, but not after the area where the ball of your foot goes.
- A bit of a heel cup to stabilize the motion of the foot. In the examples below, the slippers, sports sandals, and flip flops and especially the Mephisto Hannel sandals have a nice little heel cup integrated into the shoe. The Brooks running shoes have a heel cup formed by my inserts.
- A little bit of a heel, but not too much. (In the shoes below, the Brooks Adrenaline Running Shoes are a pretty good example.) There is a whole school of thought about “earth shoe” type of shoes and the MTB types and the finger running shoes, which we can explore together, but for now the conventional thinking is in favor of a little bit of heel.
- Usually, an insert that you can remove. Very rarely do the inserts that come in shoes work for those of us with heel problems, so best if you can remove the ones that come with the shoe, except of course for slippers or sandals.
- A wide toe box, to give the toes room to spread out. I’m not sure why this is important, honestly, but I think, for now, it is for stability. I will research this further.
- A bit of cushion. Actually no one recommended this to me, but especially when my feet were super tender in the early stages of my heel problem, shoes with a little bit of soft bottom felt a million times better than others. For that reason, I actually only wore the Brooks and the Orthoheel slippers for almost a month because those two felt the best when my feet were really hurting.
What are the best shoes for your case of plantar fasciitis?
To get the best shoes for you I recommend that you:
- Above all, consult a podiatrist to get a proper diagnosis of your condition.
- Get a shoe consultation to learn more about your particular case and recommend a good shoe.
- Once you have a medical diagnosis, and an assessment of your arches and pronation, it can be useful to check out a very interesting online tool called OPIS, or Optimal Performance Index System, which both ranks the stability of various popular running shoes, and offers a “find your shoe” function. I strongly recommend that you only this online tool as supplement to your medical diagnosis and in-person consultation. It would be easy to make very wrong assumptions otherwise. (We do not get any commission from OPIS, it just seems to be a helpful tool :-))
- From your podiatrist and your shoe consultation at a good “sports medicine” or “orthotics” or “physical therapy” shoe store, determine your personal condition — such as, for example, plantar fasciitis and/or heel spurs, flat feet, overpronation and wide feet.
- Check out the OPIS, or Optimal Performance Index System tool to get a general sense of some good sports shoes for you.
- Get shoes for daily use that fit most if not all of the criteria in the “what you should be looking for in a shoe” section: stable mid-section, heel cup, slight heel, removable inserts, wide toe box, and maybe a bit of cushion.