Shoes With Good Arch Support for Heel Pain


Suffering from plantar fasciitis, one of the most troublesome symptoms you have to deal with is heel pain. This pain can be quite intense and it can prevent you from fully functioning during the work day. You might not be aware of this for a fact but you can improve your symptoms by wearing shoes with good arch support.

The right type of footwear can help when it comes to plantar fasciitis and you should always make sure that the chosen pair provides adequate heel and arch support, keeping your feet aligned in a proper manner.
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According to an article[1] published online in LER Magazine, approximately 10% of the general population complains of heel pain during their lives. The article discusses the multitude of etiological factors involved in the appearance of plantar fasciitis, extrinsic and intrinsic. Inadequate footwear has a negative impact on the biomechanics of the foot, leading to a reduced shock absorption. When this happens, the plantar fascia is overloaded and degenerative changes begin, with heel pain and other specific symptoms of plantar fasciitis.

How important is finding the right footwear?

When you wear a good pair of shoes, you are not only reinforcing the arch of your foot but you will also ensure proper alignment. Moreover, the shoes that provide good arch support can also reduce the existent load on the Achilles tendon and the stress on the plantar fascia. On the other hand, by wearing inadequate footwear, such as worn-out shoes, you will only contribute to the heel pain.

Finding the right footwear is paramount when you are suffering from a condition such as plantar fasciitis. You need to find a pair that takes the stress off the plantar fascia, allowing it to recover and heal. The shoes should fit well and provide adequate support at all times, regardless of the activity you are involved in. And, remember, it is normal for shoes to break down in time, requiring replacement. By wearing shoes that are worn out or broken down, you will not benefit from the support you need (not to mention they will not be able to absorb shocks anymore).

According to a clinical trial[2] undertaken by specialists from the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan, one of the most important factors that contribute to the appearance of plantar fasciitis is the excessive and repetitive loading that concentrates on the plantar fascia. So, you see, by wearing inadequate footwear, you are actually contributing to the problem.

How to choose the right shoes for your condition

One of the most important things that you have to remember is that our feet are different in size, according to the moment of the day. For example, throughout the day, we engage in numerous activities and, for this reason, our feet have the tendency to expand. When you will go shopping for shoes, it is recommended to stick with the end of the day or, at least, after you have performed intense physical effort.

If you are interested in purchasing sneakers, remember that this type of shoes does not have a break-in period. On the contrary, you should become used to them instantly. If this does not happen, it might mean that they are not the right pair for you, having a potential to aggravate existent symptoms.

The purpose of the shoes can guide you towards making the right purchase. Let’s say you are interested in running. Well, you can search for running shoes that provide excellent arch support, heel elevation for reduced pain and additional gel units in the forefoot, for an added level of comfort. Walking shoes, on the other hand, have gel units in the rear-foot, in order to guarantee an enhanced absorption of shocks. As for tennis shoes, these generally provide excellent support at the level of the ankle, as you will perform a lot of sudden movements while playing tennis.

The best shoes are the ones that feel comfortable right away, being able to absorb shocks and yet to deliver the necessary stability & proper alignment for the foot. In general, it is recommended to choose shoes that are made from lightweight material, with a stiff, slip-resistant outer sole. You can test the actual rigidity by trying to twist the shoe (a good shoe should not be too flexible but neither too rigid).

The midsole should have adequate cushioning, in order to ensure the arch support you need, without making the symptoms of plantar fasciitis worse. The heel should be firm and a little bit elevated, as this will prevent the heel pain from becoming worse. As for the toe box, this should be comfortable and wide enough.

Sneakers

Sneakers are preferred by both men and women as work footwear, as they can be worn for prolonged periods of time, without any discomfort or pain. They are made to provide excellent arch and heel support, being presented with removable insoles and mesh side panels for an added level of comfort.

Men

When shopping for sneakers, one of the most important features to be on the lookout for is adequate arch & heel support. As you are going to spend a lot of hours wearing those shoes, it is essential that they are comfortable. The toe box should be wide enough, to guarantee the necessary level of comfort. As for the outer sole, this should be made from rubber or other slip-resistant materials, in order to be suitable for a wide variety of surfaces. Last, but not least, the elevated heel counter will prevent the heel pain from becoming worse.

You should purchase the pair of sneakers that allows you to maintain a natural walking gait, without causing more heel pain. As the summer has just started, you can choose a pair with mesh side panels, for an added level of comfort and breathability. Go for a pair with a molded midsole, as this will act as an excellent shock absorber. Remember to check out the arch support and heel cushioning.

Women

Women require a spacious forefoot, just as much as men. As sneakers can provide the necessary pain relief from plantar fasciitis, it is important to have all the right features, such as the elevated heel counter. The sturdy construction is more than necessary, as this can guarantee the support you need. Some sneakers have removable insoles; in the situation you find these to be too rigid, you can replace them with more suitable inserts.
Many of the sneakers that are recommended for women with plantar fasciitis are lightweight, so that they can be worn for prolonged periods of time (including without socks). The interior of the sneaker is lined with slip-resistant, anti-microbial fabric, so that the foot does not slip.

Tennis shoes

Just because you suffer from plantar fasciitis and have to deal with heel pain all the time, this does not mean you cannot wear tennis shoes. What matters is that you find the right pair, one that can keep your ankle stable and take stress off the plantar fascia. Tennis shoes can even correct foot deviations, such as excessive pronation.

Men

When you play tennis, you engage in a wide range of movements, most of them sudden or forced. Good tennis shoes are the ones that provide you with adequate support, as well as cushioning. The level of comfort is also important, so make sure you try several pairs before deciding on an actual one.
The midsole should be rigid enough to ensure the stability of the foot and relieve any existent pain at the same time. The mesh upper is a desirable feature, as it will allow the foot to breathe. Keep in mind that there are tennis shoes that have padded insoles, which can be removed and replaced with orthotic inserts.

Women

The tennis shoes of your choice should have excellent foot support, with comfortable cushioning. The upper can be made from mesh as well, in order to ensure a high level of breathability. You should select a pair that has a roomy toe box and an elevated heel counter, in order to take pressure off the plantar fascia.

The padded heel can prevent the heel pain from becoming worse, even if you are going to wear the tennis shoes for a prolonged period of time. The midsole should be reinforced for proper arch support; at the same time, it should not be too rigid, as it will prevent you from performing various movements. On the whole, the tennis shoe should feel light and airy, allowing you to enjoy a good set of tennis.

Walking shoes

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Walking shoes represent a necessary addition to any wardrobe, whether you are young, middle-aged or a senior. In deciding on the best walking shoes to purchase, you have to take into consideration not only the present heel pain but also how many hours you are going to spend wearing them. The best walking shoes are the ones that can provide adequate arch & heel support during walking and standing (while being rigid enough to keep your ankle in a stable position). For comfort, seek out a wide toe box and plenty of cushioning.

Men

There are two things to be on the lookout for when it comes to walking shoes: comfort and adequate support. Just as sneakers, walking shoes should feel comfortable right away (if not, they are not the suitable pair for you). The midfoot should have plenty of cushioning and yet be rigid enough to support the arch of the foot. Removable insoles are desirable, so that you can replace them with your own inserts. You can go for a pair of shoes that has a leather upper, enjoying the added level of comfort. Side mesh panels can ensure the desired breathability.

Women

When it comes to purchasing walking shoes, you have to choose a pair that has a sturdy design, with plenty of cushioning at the level of the midfoot. Keep in mind that walking shoes can correct any existent deviations, such as excess pronation. The chosen pair of shoes should provide excellent arch support and feel comfortable right away. They should allow for adequate motion control, keeping your ankle in a firm position. Removable insoles are great, as they can be easily replaced with more suitable orthotic inserts.

References:
[1] http://lermagazine.com/article/the-epidemiology-of-plantar-fasciitis
[2] https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01363375


About the Author Amanda Powell

Amanda has struggled with plantar fasciitis for many years until she gathered enough knowledge to manage the symptoms and rid herself of all the problems. As there are too few sources for foot health issues, she has decided to help others with her knowledge about this and other foot conditions.

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