How to Select the Best Slippers with Arch Support

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Plantar fasciitis is an inflammatory condition involving the plantar fascia and one of the major causes of heel pain. Patients are often recommended to wear custom-fitted footwear[1], with arch support, in order to benefit from pain relief. However, once you are at home, you might want to slip into something comfortable, such as a nice pair of slippers.

In this article, we will guide you through the selection process for slippers with arch support. These are essential items to wear at home, as barefoot walking can add to the already existent pain and inflammation.

How can slippers help with your condition?

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The slippers with arch support are meant to reduce both the intensity and frequency of pain experienced in your heels. By having proper foot support, the tension off the plantar fascia is relieved and thus the overall symptomatology improves. The main idea is to select a comfortable pair of slippers, so that you benefit from the right amount of arch support and eliminate the pain of walking around your home. As mentioned above, it is not recommended to walk barefoot, as this can reduce your overall functionality (due to the intense, pulsating pain).

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that requires a lot of care, especially if you want to prevent its progression. By wearing shoes with adequate support throughout the day, you will protect the plantar fascia and reduce the risk of inflammation. However, once you have reached home, you might be tempted to walk barefoot, hoping this will relieve the pain. Wearing slippers with arch support is more than recommended, as it will protect your feet and especially your heels. As you will have non-stop support, you won’t have to worry about having to take anti-inflammatory medication or visit the physical therapist.

General features to be on the lookout for

According to a study[2] published online, in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, plantar fasciitis is often accompanied by chronic heel pain. In speaking about the potential solutions for improving the experienced symptomatology, medical specialists mention plantar stretching and orthosis at the top of the list. Even though slippers are not presented per say as adjuvants to existent therapies, it can be easily deducted that adequate footwear is required round the clock.

When shopping for slippers with arch support, it can be difficult to choose a particular pair. There are numerous online stores that sell such products and the whole shopping experience can be quite confusing. You have to begin with one idea in mind: your slippers should help you forget all about barefoot walking, while providing you with the maximum amount of possible arch support.

Whether you are a man or a woman, there are certain common elements to be on the lookout for. For example, it is always a good idea to purchase slippers that will allow you to use orthotic inserts, as this will guarantee an added level of comfort (thus reducing even more the intensity of the pain). The arch support should be present, without the wearing process being uncomfortable. Your slippers should be easy to put on and easy to take off, comfort being an ever-present element.

Perhaps one of the most important things to be on the lookout for is a top-quality orthotic footbed. According to an article[3] published on the website of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, footwear can be perceived as a treatment modality. That includes slippers as well and the orthotic footbed is the one that guarantee the proper arch and heel support you need.

You should also make sure that the midsole of the slipper is capable of absorbing shocks, so that the amount of stress on the plantar fascia and the foot in general is reduced. The brand can provide indications whereas the quality of the product is concerned but it should never represent the primary feature to base your purchases upon. Instead, you might benefit more from reading the customer reviews left by other people (see their own experience and gain feedback regarding specific products).

Things you should be careful of

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In an article[4] presented in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, it was concluded that the heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis it is often aggravated by weight-bearing activities, orthostatic positions included. When it comes to footwear, you need to consider the activities you are going to perform, including when you are at home. For this reason, you need to avoid slippers that are made with soft fabrics, as these can increase the risk of your foot sliding across the footbed. This risk can translate into a lack of stability, which can further aggravate your current symptomatology.

You have to understand that the slippers recommended for people who suffer from plantar fasciitis are no different than other footwear for such conditions. On the contrary, they are made using the same technology, so that they can provide you with the necessary arch support and stability at the level of the heel. These slippers will take the pressure off the plantar fascia, allowing you to walk in a more comfortable manner.

Men’s therapeutic slippers

If you are preparing yourself to shop for men’s therapeutic slippers, there are two main things to have in mind: comfortable and degree of usability. In general, the best slippers have leather uppers and an ergonomic design. If they are recommended for winter wear, they will also have synthetic wool or other similar fabrics on the inside. As it was mentioned at the beginning of the article, they might also have replaceable insoles, so that one can fit orthotic inserts and increase the overall level of comfort.

In the situation that you are going to use the slippers both indoors and outdoors, it might be a good idea to purchase a pair that has rubber soles. You have to select slippers that can ensure the necessary level of stability for your feet, correcting any deviations that might lead to pain, such as the excess pronation. These slippers, like other shoes recommended for plantar fasciitis, should guarantee the adequate alignment of the foot.

However, you should stay away from those that promise an “aggressive” arch support, as these can be quite uncomfortable to wear. Make sure that the heel cup is deep, the forefoot is cushioned for added comfort and that the slippers are not heavy to wear (lightweight).

Best slippers for women with plantar fasciitis

As with the slippers for men, it is important to find a pair of slippers that has an orthotic arch support, so that the proper alignment of the foot is guaranteed. Once again, if you are planning on using your slippers indoors, as well as outdoors, you should choose rubber soles, as these are waterproof and capable of withstanding various weather conditions.

Because of the symptoms[5] experienced, such as stabbing pain at the heel or foot arch, you might be tempted to purchase a pair of slippers that has a more comfortable width. However, if you will choose shoes that are too wide, your feet will slide and you will experience even more pain. Also, if you are planning on using a replaceable insert, it is a good idea to purchase a larger size, so as to maintain an adequate level of comfort.

The chosen pair of slippers should take the pressure off the plantar fascia, correcting your stride and preventing any existent deviations (excess pronation). You can ensure that they are a great fit by going for those with Velcro adjusts. In terms of footbed materials, it is recommended to avoid those with polyester terrycloth, as they present an increased risk of foot slides.

A final word of advice

Biomechanical factors are considered as primarily responsible for the appearance of plantar fasciitis, as made evident in an article[6] published by the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (Queensland University of Technology). People who suffer from this condition require adequate footwear, in order to obtain relief from the stabbing pain and maintain their overall functionality. Slippers represent the ideal footwear for around the house, providing one not only with the necessary arch support but also with foot stability and proper alignment.

The adjustable closure design is a recommended feature to be on the lookout for, as it can contribute to a comfortable wearing experience. At the same time, shoppers are instructed to seek out breathable leather uppers, waterproof rubber soles and soft fabrics for the interior. The best slippers with arch support should also have a natural capacity to absorb shocks, allowing one to maintain different positions, without experiencing too much pain or discomfort.

It is important to remember and understand that the right pair of slippers can protect the feet, preventing plantar fasciitis from advancing and causing more severe symptomatology. One should never be in a hurry to shop for such slippers, as these need to provide continuous support for the arches of the feet, thus matching the highest standards of quality. A comfortable pair of shoes can ease the foot pain, allowing the person suffering from plantar fasciitis to relax and enjoy his/her free time.

References:
[1] Mayo Clinic, Plantar Fasciitis Treatment, Available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/plantar-fasciitis/basics/treatment/con-20025664
[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3687890/
[3] American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, http://www.aapsm.org/plantar_fasciitis.html
[4] https://jfootankleres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13047-015-0102-9
[5] Mayo Clinic, Plantar Fasciitis, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/plantar-fasciitis/basics/treatment/con-20025664
[6] The Pathomechanics of Plantar Fasciitis, Available at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/6988946_The_Pathomechanics_of_Plantar_Fasciitis


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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