The shoes that we wear have a strong impact on the foot health. Whenever something is wrong with our feet we tend to blame the shoes.
So is it true about heel pain too?
Can a bad shoe cause this heel pain? Can a special shoe cure it?
Is there anything like shoes for plantar fasciitis?
How to fit the shoe to your feet?
First of all we must understand a few things about the nature of this disorder.
Plantar fasciitis is that pain in the bottom of your foot usually felt around your heel. That pain especially hurts first thing in the morning when you try to get out of bed and stand on your feet, or after periods of foot inactivity. It is caused by wounding the fascia connective tissue on the bottom of your foot. This tissue, called the plantar fascia, runs from your heel to the toes. It is a relatively inflexible, strong, fibrous band on the bottom of the foot. It helps to maintain the complex arch system of the foot, it helps to absorb shock, plays a role in one's balance and in the various phases of gait.
Plantar fasciitis is a foot disorder caused by overuse of the foot. The direct overuse factor which causes the disorder is individual. A few of the possible causes to the heel pain are: flat feet or high arches, gait and balance Problem, weak foot muscles, spending long periods of time on your feet etc’. The Plantar fasciitis as a symptom is common to everyone but the cause for the disorder (the reason for the pain) is individual. Therefore the long term effective treatment will always be individual, and actually special plantar fasciitis shoes will always be individual.
So what are we here for? Is there nothing like plantar fasciitis shoes? – Yes there is! Such a good shoe will reduce the amount of stress that is placed on your feet. Although you must look for your individual shoes there are some guidelines for a good shoe for someone with heel pain:
Shoes should have a low heel. Try to use high heel shoes only when you must and you don't spend too much time on your feet. Prefer open toe shoes for a better comfortable fit.
The shoe size must fit comfortably at the end of the day (feet are a little bit bigger at the end of the day).
Choose the right shoe for your foot type. Ask your podiatrist to help you determine if you are a pronator, supinator or neutral and get the guidelines about the proper shoe for your foot type.
Use motion control athletic shoe which will not bend or twist easily in the middle and will bend in the toes where the foot bends.
Wear a shoe with a strong and solid heel cup to keep your heel stable while you walk. There should be a firm grip of the shoe to your heel. Your heel should not move inside the shoe as you walk or run.
Prefer shoes with cushioned, flexible midsoles that absorb the impact of your walking or running.
Plantar fasciitis shoes should have soles that are shock absorbing and skid resistant, such as rubber rather than smooth leather.
An expensive shoe is not necessarily a good plantar fasciitis shoe.
You should replace shoes regularly whenever they are worn out to ensure the maximum shock absorption.
Shoes that fit your needs will not cause pain after wearing them for a long period of time. You should feel comfortable with your shoes but keep in mind that you are looking for both comfort and support. Sometimes the most comfortable shoe isn’t the best shoe for your condition. The best plantar fasciitis shoe is the shoe that relieves the stress of your feet and provides the support that you need. The shoe that caters to your own particular characteristics in terms of gait, foot arch, and foot size is the shoe you want to go with.
The best shoes are an important part of the treatment but that is not enough. Your shoes will not solve the problem. You should go on looking for more treatment and self-care techniques. Be patient and consistent with your treatment and relief will follow.
Shoe fitting tips
Quite a few foot complaints come from wearing improper shoes. It is even more accurate regarding women that use high heels frequently pushing their feet into irregular position. We have gathered here some general shoe fitting tips that are good for everyone. If you are suffering from plantar fasciitis you should pay much more attention to the following ideas:
Always try the new pair of shoes on your feet before buying. What is written on the box is not enough. Every manufacturer has his size, style and shape and different kinds of material. Try the shoes and see how you feel with it. If possible try the shoes in the activity you are going to use it the most – most running shoes stores have a treadmill you can use to test the new shoes – use it!
Trying a new shoe when you sit is not good enough. You should stand up, walk around and even jump or run before making a decision.
You may have different shoes with different sizes exactly as you have clothes. Use the size of your foot as the size you begin with and don’t hesitate to try bigger or smaller sizes for different shoes.
Feet are bigger towards the end of the day (or the end of the workout) than in the morning, so keep this in mind in case you are shopping in the morning.
Don’t buy a shoe assuming it will shrink or grow wider even if the salesman says so. Buy a shoe that fits now.
As you pass the age of 20 the probability that your feet will grow bigger is close to zero so there is no need for 'growing room' any more. On the other hand as you grow older (40+) your feet might get bigger in half a size or even more through the years. That is another reason to try the new shoes before buying.
In some brands there is width size too. If you need a wider fit ask for the brands that have it. Width sizes are not standardized so try the shoes to feel it.
The balls of the feet should feel comfortable in the widest part of the shoes toe box. You should be able to play with your toes inside the shoe. Don’t buy the shoes if they feel tight on the toe box.
Your heel should not move up and down inside the shoe as you walk.
Different ways to lace your shoes can help fitting your shoes to your specific foot characters. There are a few possible ways that the shoe laces may be tied through the shoes. Some specific shoe lacing tips can be found in this link.