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Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis – The Complete Guide

The benefits of running shoes for plantar fasciitis

Running shoes for plantar fasciitis

Are you struggling with pain in your heels? They make special running shoes for plantar fasciitis just for instances like this. Learn all about them now.

Running can enhance both your physical and mental health in many ways, but it can also be very hard on your feet. The intense wear and tear can sneak up on you in the painful condition known as plantar fasciitis, and next thing you know, you're sidelined.

But just because you have this painful condition doesn't mean you have to cancel your running routine. In fact, with your doctor's approval, you can find a way to maintain your love of running without sacrificing your comfort.

Selecting the right running shoes for plantar fasciitis is the first important step in your journey back to healthy feet.

Whether you are new to the condition or have been living with a diagnosis for several years, take a look at the helpful information below.

What Type of Exercise is Best?

Once your doctor has given you the green light to exercise, there are a variety of options to keep you moving. As long as your foot and heel aren't having any intense impact, you should be fine. Start with these activities first:

  • Walking
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Elliptical machine
  • Strength training
  • Jogging

Although running is not off-limits, there are several necessary precautions to take. Because rigorous exercise might actually be the root of the cause, to avoid doing more damage, doctors suggest slowing your pace down.

While regular runners often have the most difficulty readjusting to a less intense workout, they can still be physically active. One way to inspire a new healthy habit is to get a new pair of running shoes.

Learn how to choose the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis below.

The Basics of Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

The right kind of running shoe can make a huge difference in your exercise experience. It can also help you get back on the road to recovery again. So if you've been wearing shoes over a year old, or they are too big or rub and create blisters, do yourself a favor and toss them.

Your feet deserve better, especially if you're in pain.

If you have plantar fasciitis, then you know by now how important it is to have excellent arch support. Without proper arch support, your foot's ability to heal will be put off.

4 Types of Running Shoes

Not every runner has the opportunity to run on an Olympic-sized track. Runners have a variety of options with their locations, so it's important to get the type of running shoe that fits your running needs. The three most common locations are:

  • Trails
  • Treadmill
  • Pavement
  • Track

Make sure to select the best shoe for your surroundings.

What Does Plantar Fasciitis Look Like for a Runner?

The onset of the condition might be subtle at first. Because plantar fasciitis fades within several hours of waking up, most runners are able to manage the pain and run at their usual pace.

But over time, as the intensity of the pain increases, so will recovery time. Ultimately without proper treatment, a runner's ability to bounce back will be harder and harder to achieve.

Another factor that might affect a runner is the change in their gait. Overcompensation on one side of the body due to pain can create even more pain with just the simple act of walking.

Medical Guidelines for Running

Consult with your doctor or physical therapist before returning to your previous running routine. Although it might feel as if you have downgraded your activity level, running at a slower pace is beneficial for many reasons.

Because the impact is less intense, it will give your foot time to heal. Jogging maintains cardiovascular health without the constant pavement pounding that running creates.

What to Look for When Buying Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Now that you're embarking on this new journey of healing, you're going to need to upgrade your athletic shoes. But buying running shoes for plantar fasciitis doesn't have to be a difficult process. With our helpful tips below, you'll be ready to roll with a comfortable and supportive new shoe.

Fit. One of the most important qualities of running shoes for plantar fasciitis is the fit. Because your arches and heel are most likely inflamed and swollen, prioritizing optimal fit is key.

How do you know the shoe has the right amount of arch support? The shoes should ease pressure rather than intensify it.

Orthotics. If your shoes feel as if they need an added form of support, orthotic inserts can be incredibly effective. Not only are they wallet-friendly, but they are also easy to find. Whether you're online or at a running shop, there are a variety of options to choose from. The best thing about orthotics is that you can wear them with your favorite shoes, too, as long as they fit correctly.

Price. We all have to watch our spending these days. Yet, if you consider everything your feet do for you on a daily basis, then you might need to re-evaluate your shoe budget. Your feet are an investment, so try to buy the best quality of running shoes for plantar fasciitis you can afford.

Style. It wasn't too long ago that orthopedic shoes and orthotics had a bit of a frumpy, no-nonsense style reputation. But, those days are long gone. With today's sophisticated technology, designers have created every type of style imaginable.

So go for those purple and neon green running shoes for plantar fasciitis. As long as they give you joy and comfort when you're lacing them up, what more could you ask for?

How to Care for Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Most doctors recommend keeping your running shoes no longer than a year before replacing them. Here's how to keep them in tip-top shape:

When removing shoes, don't just slip your foot out of the shoe. This can stretch out the shoe and damage support. Carefully unlace the shoe instead.

Avoid putting wet leather shoes in the washer or dryer. Because heat can shrink or crack the leather, air dry them instead. If you see any cracks in the soles or tears in the material, replace at once.

Remove insoles and shoelaces and loosen the tongue to create proper air circulation.

Always have an alternate pair of running shoes in case your favorite pair is soiled.

Common Features of Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Knowing what to look for before buying running shoes for plantar fasciitis can be a tremendous bonus. Selecting the right fitting shoe is important.

Look for these qualities in your next running shoe:

  • Arch support
  • Cushioning
  • Light, removable insoles
  • Padded footbed
  • Strong shock absorbing abilities
  • Deep heel cup
  • Lightweight material

If you're able to choose a few of the features mentioned above, your feet will be well on their way to the healing process.

best running shoes for plantar fasciitis

Closeup of a female foot heel pain with red spot, plantar fasciitis

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is caused by an inflammation of the tissue that spans from your heel all the way across the bottom of your foot. This tissue, called the plantar fascia, connects the bone in your heel to your the bones in your toes.

The plantar (foot) fascia (band) is one of two long ligaments on the bottom of the foot that helps support the arch. The elastic nature of the plantar fascia also helps maintain muscles flexibility and the ability to support each step you take.

When the plantar fascia is functioning correctly, our daily mobility flies under the radar, uninterrupted. But if these ligaments get torn or stretched to the limits, our usual activities of walking, standing, running, and even just laying in bed, are painful.

What Are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis can strike at any time. Without warning.

The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is excruciating heel pain upon waking up. Some describe this pain as a stabbing feeling or a sharp throbbing. Others say numbness, swelling, and achiness are also symptomatic.

It can be difficult to walk, whether it's the first thing in the morning or after sitting for long periods of time. Vigorous exercise can also trigger an episode.

Throughout the day, as the tissue and muscle warm up with physical activity, the condition subsides and the pain fades. But the next morning, it starts all over again.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

Tiny tears in the foot's ligaments, combined with inflammation, can trigger this painful condition. For runners, the devastating combination can limit or change their workout.

Some of the most common factors include being overweight and spending more than four hours a day on your feet.

Other possible influences:

  • Improperly fitting shoes
  • Poor posture
  • High arches
  • Flat feet
  • Shoes with minimal arch support
  • Regularly wearing high heels
  • Heel cord tightness (the Achilles tendon)
  • Calf tightness
  • Change in gait
  • Increase in exercise or physical activity

While the causes may vary, the symptoms are still the same.

running shoes for plantar fasciitis

Who Gets Plantar Fasciitis?

Ten percent of the population, to be exact.

Women are more frequently diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, mainly as a result of wearing high heels. Heels cause calf muscles to tighten up, which makes Men also deal with the painful condition, but it is less common.

Plantar fasciitis is the top cause of heel pain for people between the ages of 40 to 60. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one million cases are seen by doctors each year.

Runners are among the among the most frequent group of people affected by plantar fasciitis. Following closely behind are teachers, industrial workers, wait staff, and salespeople who are on their feet most of the day.

Diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis

Diagnosis of the condition can be a simple process. A physical exam of tender spots on the feet is one of the most common tools to confirm plantar fasciitis. Other diagnostic tests consist of observations of a range of motion and gait.

A detailed health history questionnaire can also provide background to help determine the causes. X-rays and MRIs are less frequently used unless a bigger injury such as a tear or sprain is suspected.

Maintaining healthy feet can often be a work in progress. While some in the medical community say the condition is inflammatory in nature, others suggest plantar fasciitis is a degenerative condition. This means that over time, the tissue in the foot actually diminishes.

Your doctor's diagnostic assessment will help determine whether or not the condition is chronic how to proceed with treatment.

Treatment Options for Plantar Fasciitis

Treatment for this condition is easy to manage. For starters, it is cost-effective. With a few simple changes made at home and consistency, the healing process can begin. See the detailed examples below:

1. Ice. Icing the sore and inflamed areas on your foot can help reduce the swelling that causes pressure on your ligaments. This, in turn, will also help to reduce the pain you feel.

2. Gentle Stretching. The second option to help improve plantar fasciitis is to implement a regular stretching routine. Because one of the causes of the condition is tight muscles or tendons, consistent daily stretches can provide more flexibility and help increase mobility.

3. Anti-Inflammatory Medication. Topical ointments, over-the-counter pills, and anti-inflammatory medications can provide temporary relief. They help reduce swelling and pain.

4. Tape. KT (kinesiology) tape or any type of runner's tape can be an effective way to relieve foot pain. Taping your foot to keep the muscles from locking up can aid in minimizing swelling. Proper taping also allows your foot to rest and gives your tendons a headstart in the healing process.

5. Night Splint. Investing in an inexpensive night splint is another way to keep your feet healthy and flexible. One benefit of wearing a night splint is the ability to stretch the plantar fascia ligament for an extended period of time. It also provides relief for tight calf muscles.

6. Regular Stretching. Daily stretching is a vital way to give your feet an added dose of flexibility. When muscles and ligaments become too tight, painful symptoms can intensify. Making sure the long ligament that supports most of the impact from your foot stays flexible is key.

Why Having the Right Type of Running Shoe for Plantar Fasciitis is Important:

Your feet are one of the most important parts of your body, and when they become injured, it can sometimes feel debilitating. But with a careful treatment plan created by you and your doctor, you can win the war against plantar fasciitis and get back on the road to recovery.

Selecting running shoes for plantar fasciitis is an important step in the recovery process, and we hope our informative guide helped. If you have any more health conditions that might need special shoes, visit us today.

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