Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis – The Ultimate Guide


Are you suffering from plantar fasciitis? Do you want to keep on running but you are not certain what kind of running shoes would be suitable for your condition? If you have answered affirmatively to either of these two questions, this means you have come to the right article. In the paragraphs that follow, we will guide you through the process of selecting the best running shoes for a person who suffers from plantar fasciitis.

We encourage you to go through the entire article, so that you benefit from an informative and easy-to-comprehend reading material.

What are the key elements to take into consideration?

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When it comes to selecting a good pair of running shoes, you have two key elements to consider. First, your running shoes should keep your ankles in a firm position. Second, they should provide adequate heel and arch support, in order to reduce the intensity of the pain experienced (due to your condition).

Apart from the heel and arch support, your running shoes should present adequate midsole stability, in order to keep the risk of injury down to a minimum. The main idea is that you are able to select a pair of shoes to continue your physical activity, without actually making your condition worse. You need a suitable pair of shoes, in order to experience as little pain as it is possible and continue running.

Why is arch support so important? The answer is simple and quite obvious. When your running shoes do provide the maximum amount of arch support, this means that your plantar fascia is protected from strenuous activity (as much as it is possible). Moreover, such a pair of shoes will be able to absorb shocks in an efficient manner, reducing the impact felt at the level of the heel. Top-quality cushioning is often added for such purposes, dispersing the force generated through the heel strike.

The Internet is filled with online stores that sell running shoes recommended to those who suffer from plantar fasciitis. While you might be drawn to top brands, it is important to research each and every product, so that you are 100% convinced it matches your needs. The feedback or reviews left by runners who also suffer from plantar fasciitis will definitely be helpful in such cases.

What to avoid when shopping for running shoes

Just because a pair of running shoes is advertised as suitable for a person with plantar fasciitis, this does not mean it actually is. As you cannot always trust the websites that provide you with such purchase opportunities, it is for the best to do your research and know the things that are to be avoided. For example, you should always say no to running shoes that are made from cheap materials. These are not only going to wear & tear in a short period of time, but they will also present an increased risk of injury (especially in your situation).

If the running shoes you intend to purchase offer little or no arch and heel support, this clearly means they are not suitable for you. Moreover, you should avoid running shoes that are too light or flexible, as these can do more harm than good.

As more and more people suffer from plantar fasciitis, a whole industry was created around such needs. There are countless stores, both virtual and real, that sell running shoes recommended for plantar fasciitis sufferers. A quick look at many of these shoes will allow you to see cool designs; in fact, many running shoes seem to belong rather in a sci-fi movie than in the real world.

No matter how tempting it might be to choose an uber-cool pair of running shoes, always think about your actual needs. The chosen pair of running shoes should not aggravate your overall symptomatology and you should not wear any pair of shoes, just because they look trendy. Your priority should be to purchase a pair of athletic shoes that provide adequate support for both your arches and your heels. Pay attention to the quality of the cushioning, as well as to the general fit and stability offered.

Best running shoes for men

According to an article published online on Runners Connect[1], plantar fasciitis is one of the most common injuries in runners. For many people who suffer from this condition, pain is more severe when they start to run, being reduced in intensity as the running continues. The author of the article draws attention to the fact that running in shoes that do not provide adequate support can only increase the intensity of the experienced pain. The pain will be even more severe if one would run barefoot.

Running in hard or uncomfortable shoes can make the symptomatology of plantar fasciitis worse, with severe pain being experienced in both the heel and the arch of the foot. Runners should always be on the lookout for flexible shoes, as these will allow for the arch to stretch in an efficient manner, becoming stronger at the same time. Adequate running shoes remain the ones that provide both cushioning and arch support.

In the situation that you belong to the male gender and you want to purchase the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis, there are a number of elements to be on the lookout for. First and foremost, you need to make sure that the midsole of your future running shoes is highly stable. Next, it is recommended to choose a pair that has gel cushioning in the forefoot as well, as this guarantees the best possible shock absorption.

Low-quality running shoes are often too tight, adding to the already existent problems caused by the inflammation of the plantar fascia. This is the reason why you have to search for a pair of running shoes that has multiple width sizes to choose from. It is always a good idea to purchase shoes that will allow you to add OTC inserts, as these will increase the level of comfort experienced.

In choosing your next pair of running shoes, you also have to think about your own level as a runner. For example, if you are a heavier runner, it is recommended to go with a pair of running shoes that is made from sturdier materials. The heel-to-toe drop should be lower, while the toe box should be wider, for an added level of comfort. Some running shoes are more suitable for marathons, while others remain suitable only as work shoes. However, no matter how heavy a runner you might be, you have to choose a pair that will correct your stride at the same time.

If you also have flat feet, it is indicated that you purchase running shoes that have a segmented midsole. This feature will allow for the heel to midfoot transition to be made in a more facile manner, reducing the intensity of the pain experienced. Keep in mind that the running shoes which are indeed designed for people who suffer from plantar fasciitis will actually enhance your natural gait, while allowing you to maintain an excellent level of stability.

It is for the best to avoid running shoes that do not have adequate cushioning, as these are not going to provide you with the level of comfort you need. Pay attention to the quality of the mesh, as fabrics of low-quality can wear out quicker than you actually expect. Also, avoid running shoes that have short laces, as these are going to come undone quite often.

Cushioned running shoes for active women

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When it comes to running shoes for women, functionality and support represent the two main things to be on the lookout for. The chosen pair of running shoes should guarantee the stability you need, without making your symptoms worse. Optimal cushioning is mandatory, as well as flexibility, in order to ensure that the running experience is pleasant and comfortable at the same time.

If you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, the one thing you want to avoid while running is pain. Keep in mind that your shoes should prevent your condition from becoming worse, providing both adequate heel and arch support. The running shoes that are on the market are either recommended for over-pronators or for neutral runners; in order to make sure in which category you fall into, it might be for the best to get an assessment from a physical therapist.

In deciding which running shoes to purchase, you should also take into consideration how long a distance you will run for. Some shoes are great for long distance running, while others are reserved for shorter distances and walking. In order to ensure that your shoes are comfortable enough, choose a pair that allows for a smooth transition from the heel strike to the toe-off. Also, the rear-foot gel cushioning can be useful in absorbing shocks, reducing the amount of pain you will experience.

As with the men’s running shoes, you should avoid those that have a limited width, as they can be quite uncomfortable to wear, not to mention to run in. Avoid those that are heavy, have short laces or do not offer adequate arch support.

The quality of the running shoes has to match the highest standards, in order to ensure the protection you deserve. According to a study[2] published online, on the website of US National Library of Medicine, defective running shoes might actually represent a contributing factor to plantar fasciitis.

The study analyzed a number of factors in a triathlete, such as heel pain, range of motion and ankle strength; at the same time, it assessed the construction of the running shoes the athlete wore, in terms of integrity, materials used (and degree of wear) and lack of stability (sole). The athlete complained of heel pain, which is specific for plantar fasciitis. It was discovered that the pain was actually caused by a manufacturing defect in the running shoes. So, you see, by choosing quality running shoes, you can actually prevent the symptoms of plantar fasciitis from becoming worse (or even to appear in the first place).

The shoe pushup test

If you want to determine whether a pair of running shoes is suitable for you or not, you can resort to the shoe pushup test. This test[3] has been presented online, in an article written by Stephen M. Pribut, D.P.M., regarding plantar fasciitis and the heel pain syndrome in runners and athletes.
What you want to do is verify where the shoe bends, by holding it at the heel and pressing on the forefoot. Keep in mind that the ball of the shoe is where it should bend, this being the area of the metatarsal bones. If you press lower and the shoe bends, this means that shoe is not of adequate quality and you will suffer from pain by using it.

Final verdict

Plantar fasciitis is a serious condition and it should be treated as such. However, just because you are suffering from such problems, this does not mean you should stop engaging in physical activities, such as running. The only thing you have to make sure is that you have the best running shoes, with adequate heel and arch support, forefoot and rear-foot cushioning and stable midsole.

References:
[1] https://runnersconnect.net/running-injury-prevention/plantar-fasciitis-in-runners/
[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10705593
[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10705593


About the Author Amy Williams

Amy is a foot massage therapist that has worked with doctors specializing in podiatry while helping numerous clients through various foot conditions. She has reviewed 100s of related foot health products for plantar fasciitis, toenail fungus and more.

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