The Best

Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis – Everything You Need To Know

Those who suffer from plantar fasciitis have long dreaded running at any distance. This ailment is one of the most common causes of heel pain, especially amongst the running community. Many will feel the most intense plantar fasciitis pain immediately after waking up and moving about. However, it can also cause sharp pain when running, especially if you lack the proper footwear to cradle and support the heel.

Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis Picture

Treating plantar fasciitis involves both routine stretches and wearing shoes that will support the arch and heel. But, runners should also remain vigilant for running shoes that provide ample cushion and support to stave off the many symptoms of plantar fasciitis. We have selected the running shoes for plantar fasciitis to make your life easier and minimize your pain.

How We Tested These Shoes

We grabbed a ton of shoe options for those both looking to run, and those with plantar fasciitis. Our selections were based off of an aggregated reviews from multiple sources as well as manufacturer research and development indicating which models were specifically designed for plantar fasciitis. We found the top rated running shoes, and then bought them up. There were ten options, and we were looking to narrow the numbers down to a top eight for more in-depth reviews.

Once we received the shoes, photos were taken from all angles, and over the course of the next few months, we tested each pair of running shoes on three different “courses” in Northeast Florida:

  • The Flat Route: We looked for a nice, paved area with differing terrains from sidewalks to asphalt to loose gravel over asphalt, linoleum, carpeting and more. We found the half-dead Regency Square Mall. To test these shoes on flatter surfaces, We traversed each one in a four-mile loop that took us around the perimeter of the mall, through loading bays and areas, and inside the mall itself. One mile of these four miles was a jog.
  • Off-Roading: Being in Florida, it is difficult to find a hilly trail to test these shoes out in true off-roading scenarios. We were able to find a great option, though, with the Spanish Pond Trail system near the Fort Caroline National Monument. Pine needles, mud, sharp inclines and declines. This trail stretched for four miles as well, and provided an awesome environment for testing features of these running shoes that aren’t stressed in the Flat Route. One mile of these four miles was off-road running.
  • Elevating: To test out the running shoes on some intense stairs, we took them each up the 42 floors of the Bank of America Tower in downtown Jacksonville, Florida. The stairwell is intense, and comes with over 80 switchbacks. These stairs truly tested the front of the shoe sole, as well as the grippiness when turning on slightly slick surfaces.

After repeating these test multiple times with each shoe over the course of a couple of months, we are confident that the tests performed provide a wide variety of all-encompassing terrains and scenarios in which people would use these running shoes for plantar fasciitis. Their admirable performance speaks for itself. Without any further ado, let's look at the summary table, and then dive into our analyses.


The Best Running Shoes for Men and Women with Plantar Fasciitis

First, we have developed a summary table showing what we consider to be the best running shoes for people with plantar fasciitis.  Below the tables you'll find our quick summary of each shoe, along with links to our full blown reviews.  We definitely recommend reading the full reviews!


The Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis: Top 8

1. Mizuno Wave Rider

Mizuno Wave Rider 22 shoe for plantar fasciitis

More photos of the Mizuno Wave Rider for men and the Mizuno Wave Rider for women are available directly on Mizuno.com.

Having plantar fasciitis should not hinder your ability to enjoy a nice run. The Mizuno Wave Rider hits all the high notes, being designed for both men and women to assist with proper heel and arch support, especially helpful for plantar fasciitis. The Wave Rider shoes are notorious for their stability benefits, light weight and low profile.

The Mizuno Wave Rider has U4iC boards, as well as double fan wave technology made common with Mizuno shoes. This technology assists in absorbing shock that the body and feet experience when running, and offer durability without the additional weight.  This extra shock absorption can help alleviate some of the pain from plantar fasciitis.

The Mizuno Wave Rider boasts 30 percent less weight than any other shoe on our list. The technologies apparent in the Mizuno brand provide more cushion, reducing the wear on your feet, extending running longevity. The insoles can be removed on these shoes, allowing users to insert their own orthotics as needed.

The Wave Rider shoes are a great option for those with plantar fasciitis looking for a great option to keep the weight down. There are choices for women and men, and have multiple colors and styles for owners.

Select Advantages of the Mizuno Wave Rider
  • Amazing shock absorption.  People with plantar fasciitis as well as those with other foot, heel, or joint problems rave about the ability of the Wave Riders to reduce or eliminate pain from running.  This is definitely the feature that landed the Wave Rider on our list.
  • High quality materials and construction mean the Wave Riders will last longer than most running shoes.
Select Disadvantages of the Mizuno Wave Rider
  • Not quite as much arch support as the other running shoes on our list.  This is an important feature for many people with plantar fasciitis, so is definitely something to take into account if you're looking at the Mizuno Wave Riders.
  • A narrow fit for some people even in the wide W/D model (some complained there was virtually no difference between these and the medium M size).

For more details read our complete review of the Mizuno Wave Rider 22.

Check out prices, additional photos, and customer reviews on:


2. New Balance 1080v9

Feature Image of the New Balance 1080V8 running shoe for plantar fasciitis

More photos of the New Balance 1080 for men and the New Balance 1080 for women are available directly on NewBalance.com.

The New Balance 1080 is an incredibly high-quality running shoe, ideal for those with plantar fasciitis. These shoes performed admirably in our testing, are reviewed very well by many, and have a great balance between comfort and style.

The shoe is quite visually attractive as well, easily the most stylish of the ten considered and eight selected. Additionally, it provides strong performance in both running and walking, allowing for extensive relief from plantar fasciitis pain. Feature rich, a breakdown of everything these shoes have is available in the full product review. But a short list of the features includes:

  • Asymmetrical heel counters for foot locking
  • A removable gel insole
  • Breathable mesh lining
  • Lightweight shoe frame
  • New Balance “N2” heel cushion support
  • An “ABZORB” crash pad
  • FantomFit quarter panels to help secure the arch

This about covers the features present in this advanced, light, comfortable shoe. New Balance claims that this 1080 can keep up mile after mile. In our testing, we found this to be the case.

Performance in our Courses
  • The Flat Route: The 1080 performed stupendously on the flat route course, both inside and out, on tile, carpet and asphalt. There were zero comfort related issues when walking with this shoe.
  • Off-Roading: The 1080 performed very well on the off-roading course at Spanish Pond, handling slippery wooden surfaces and steep inclines with ease.
  • Elevating: The 1080 has incredible grip, by far the “stickiest” of the eight shoes tested. As such, it performed ideally on the turns when climbing the steps of the skyscraper.
Select Advantages of the New Balance 1080
  • A stunning combination of both high material quality, comfort level and price point
  • Feature rich and well styled, makes a great casual shoe
Select Disadvantages of the New Balance 1080
  • Minimal color options available for both men and women to choose
  • Sizing can run a bit tight, we suggest sizing up by 1/2

For more details read our complete review of the New Balance 1080v9.

Check out prices, additional photos, and customer reviews on:


3. Saucony Triumph ISO 5

Featured image of the Saucony Triumph ISO 4 running shoe for men and women with plantar fasciitis

More photos of the Saucony Triumph ISO for men and the Saucony Triumph ISO for women are available directly on Saucony.com.

The Saucony Triumph is another wonderful option, showcasing bold designs and strong colors mixed with functionality and extensive comfort. The designs are some of the boldest found in the running shoe world, a world in which Saucony has been a leading (albeit smaller) brand for years.

The Triumph ISO is touted as their most well-cushioned running shoe yet, which is something that should be a flashing welcome sign for those suffering from plantar fasciitis. In our testing, the cushioning did not disappoint. This was by far the most “cushy” of models we tested after the Hoka One One Bondi (which some would argue goes too far). The shoe felt lighter as a result, and produced a more snug fit.

The Triumph ISO provides the same eight-millimeter heel to toe offset that their top-selling Saucony Hurricane touts. This comes with ISOFIT uppers that adapt to the foot shape. This allows for a stronger and more personalized level of support and comfort.

Performance in our Courses
  • The Flat Route: The Saucony Triumph excelled in the flat route course, providing extensive comfort and a snug fit on all terrains applicable, both inside and outside.
  • Off-Roading: The Saucony Triumph did great in the off-roading course at Spanish Pond. The only hiccup came with a slight issue on the wet wooden plank boards.
  • Elevating: The Saucony Triumph performed admirably on the climb up the Bank of America Tower. There were no negative experiences recalled, and no pain afterwards.
Select Advantages of the Saucony Triumph ISO
  • The most well-cushioned and snug model that we tested
  • From Saucony, a company that focuses solely on running shoes and does so well
Select Disadvantages of the Saucony Triumph ISO
  • The lighter weight of the sole may lead to structural longevity issues over time
  • Sizes can run either large or small, so ensure to purchase from somewhere that provides returns

For more details read our complete review of the Saucony Triumph ISO 5.

Check out prices, additional photos, and customer reviews on:


4. Nike Zoom Structure 22

Feature picture of the Nike Zoom Structure 21 Running shoe for plantar fasciitis

More photos of the Nike Zoom Structure for men and the Nike Zoom Structure for women are available at Dick's Sporting Goods.

The Zoom Structure series from Nike has been one of the most popular running shoes on the market for years. It provides a strong middle ground between the minimalism of the Nike Revolution and the bulkiness of the Asics models.

It has a thick foam cushioned footbed and Nike Zoom materials for stronger bounce back with each step. Enhanced forefoot cushioning is ideal for perfecting your running form and alleviating overpronation. Several reviews have mentioned its assistance with alleviating pain associated with plantar fasciitis, comparing it to the Asics Nimbus sans some construction.

Performance in our Courses
  • The Flat Route: The Nike Zoom Structure did wonderfully on our flat route course, both inside and outside. While other shoes squeaked upon walking inside for a short time, these did not at all.
  • Off-Roading: The Nike Zoom Structure also performed admirably on our tougher, off road course at Spanish Pond. The test was performed in the rain, and the 21 had no issues on wet surfaces or mud.
  • Elevating: The Nike Zoom Structure did great on the stairs, and performed very well in the consistent turns that occurred twice on each of the 42 floors. No pain, no struggles, no flare-ups.
Select Advantages of the Nike Zoom Structure
  • The mesh upper fits like a glove, providing an incredibly snug fit
  • Amazingly strong arch support, easily the best arch support of the eight recommendations
Select Disadvantages of the Nike Zoom Structure
  • Color options are slim, especially compared to color options in previous versions of the Zoom
  • The second most expensive option in our list, and does not come in wide sizes

The Nike Zoom Structure was also one of our top choices for the best nike running shoes for flat feet in the complete guide we did for runners with flat feet.

For more details read our complete review of the Nike Air Zoom Structure 22.

Check out prices, additional photos, and customer reviews on:


5. Hoka One One Bondi 6

More photos of the Hoka One One Bondi for men and the Hoka One One Bondi for women are available on Zappos.

Select Advantages of the Hoka One One Bondi
  • This the most heavily cushioned running shoe in the Hoka One One line-up, a brand already known for its extreme cushion running shoes.
  • Fits true to size and has great arch support for a shoe with such a soft and cushiony feel to it.
Select Disadvantages of the Hoka One One Bondi
  • These wear out much more quickly than any other shoe that we have tried.  If you run a lot you will need to replace these every 6 months or so.

For more details read our complete review of the Hoka One One Bondi 6.

Check out prices, additional photos, and customer reviews on:


6. Asics Gel-Nimbus 21

More photos of the Asics Gel-Nimbus for men and the Asics Gel-Nimbus for women are available on Zappos.

Asics has long been one of the friendliest brands for runners with foot problems. These shoes, the Gel Nimbus, are no exception, being one of the most stable running shoes for both men and women. These shoes feature Fluidride and Flytefoam technologies, providing extensive support for those with over pronation associated with flat footedness.

  • Fluidrite technology is focused on the crafting of cushioned midsoles with strong durability and shock absorption, while remaining surprisingly lightweight.
  • Flytefoam technology uses organic super fibers to provide exceptional responsiveness and bounce back even over long distances.  This technology helps avoid the packing that occurs with lower-density foams.
Select Advantages of the Asics Gel-Nimbus
  • The Flytefoam technology means the foam in the sole of the shoe will hold up to the repeated impacts of running better than other options.  This means the crucial arch support for plantar fasciitis won't degrade over time.
  • One of the thickest and softest foam soles in the plantar fasciitis running shoes that we tested.  As some have said, running in these is like running on clouds.  Hence, the name, we suppose.
Select Disadvantages of the Asics Gel-Nimbus
  • Price.  There have not been big changes in the fit and design of the Gel-Nimbus line-up since around the Gel-Nimbus, but the price continues to climb higher.
  • Relatively narrow toe box.

For more details read our complete review of the Asics Gel Nimbus 21.

Check out prices, additional photos, and customer reviews:


7. Nike Revolution 4

Running shoes for plantar fasciitis feature image for the Nike Revolution 4

More photos of the Nike Revolution for men and the Nike Revolution for women are available on Zappos.com.

These shoes were wonderful for plantar fasciitis relief. They are the lightest and most minimalist of the shoes we tested and reviewed. Additionally, they were the most cost effective of the eight options in our recommendations list. The fit is perfect, and the comfort level is high.

With a synthetic sole and a mesh upper, the weight is incredibly light, drawing inspiration from the Nike Free shoe that was all the rage several years back. There are plenty of color and style options available for both men and women to choose from. We chose grey, but there are a plethora of colors in the rainbow to select from to customize your experience.

Performance in our Courses
  • The Flat Route: The Nike Revolution performed quite well on the flat route. We did end up stepping in a puddle that leaked through the minimalist mesh upper into the sock area, though.
  • Off-Roading: The Nike Revolution did great in the off-roading experience, minus the note below. The minimally-serrated sole pattern performed surprisingly well for grip on wet and slippery surfaces.
  • Elevating: The Nike Revolution, being the lightest of the eight shoes extensively tested, performed wonderfully in the climb up the tower, easily the most effortless of the eigth and the fastest average climb time.
Select Advantages of the Nike Revolution
  • By far the most cost effective option of the eight shoe recommendations
  • Most minimally-stylish shoe of the bunch, with plenty of style options
Select Disadvantages of the Nike Revolution
  • Possibly an issue with squeaking/clicking (see note below)
  • There have been a few public complaints of the shoes wearing out quickly

Note: At one point, the shoe began to “click” when walking. This occurred after the off-roading test. We were unsure as to the cause of this, as we cleaned and dried the bottom of the shoe to ensure it wasn’t water or debris. The issue occasionally returns after extensive walking over the course of a day.

For more details read our complete review of the Nike Revolution 4.

Check out prices, additional photos, and customer reviews on:


8. Asics Gel-Kayano 25

Picture of the Asics Gel Kayano 25 running shoe for plantar fasciitis

More photos of the Asics Gel-Kayano 25 for men and the Asics Gel-Kayano 25 for women are available on Zappos.

Asics is one of the most well-known names in the world of running shoes. The Gel-Kayano 25 is the newest model on the scene in the long-running Gel-Kayano line up, which has had plenty of iterations and tweaks to ensure a great fit. These are incredible shoes for plantar fasciitis.

There is a wide selection of colors and styles for the Asics Gel-Kayano 25, from subtle to striking. However, it is the strong balance between style, fit and comfort that leads to this product’s overwhelmingly positive reviews and ratings from customers and experts.

The full specifications are extensive, and are all covered in the full product review. These features include options such as:

  • FluidFit multi-directional uppers
  • Gel for shock absorption
  • Asics impact guidance systems
Performance in our Courses
  • The Flat Route: The Gel-Kayano 25 did incredibly well on the flat route, both jogging and walking, inside and outside. Comfort-wise, we would rate this the most comfortable shoe for this route.
  • Off-Roading: The Gel-Kayano 25 performed well when off-roading. However, the back of the shoe began to dig into the heel when climbing the steepest hill at a jogging pace. This went away quickly.
  • Elevating: We have been climbing those stairs for a while now to get some good exercise and burn the ol’ quads. The Gel-Kayano 25 provided one of the most comfortable climbs we have ever experienced.
Select Advantages of the Asics Gel-Kayano 25
  • Amazing arch support from a steadfast, solid running shoe brand
  • Strong, gender-specific cushioning and high-quality material composition
Select Disadvantages of the Asics Gel-Kayano 25
  • The 25 edition has only been around for a short time
  • This product comes at a higher price point than most of the others on our list

The Asics Gel-Kayano not only captured one of the top spots in this "best of" list, but was also one of the top choices in our best running shoes for flat feet article.

For more details read our complete review of the Asics Gel Kayano 25.

Check out prices, additional photos, and customer reviews on:


Things to Look for in Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Above we mentioned the importance of cushioning comfort and solid design, ample arch support, and strong shock absorption. Interested to know why? Read on for more.

Looking for Cushioning, Comfort and Solid Design

The primary focus of having a pair of perfect shoes for plantar fasciitis is to relieve pain associated with the feet when running. You want to develop natural arches and be stronger. For this reason, robust heel counters and flexible toe boxes are vital to make sure that the shoe bends towards the front, but stays solid at the back.

Some great running shoes will work to ensure proper arch maintenance and solid angles to avoid being overworked on ligaments that collapse. But the above is just the top of the iceberg for features to develop strong running shoes for plantar fasciitis.

How Our Options Compared
Picture of the Toe Box of the Asics Gel Kayano 25

Close-up of the toe box on the Asics Gel-Kayano 25

Picture of the Toe Box of the New Balance 1080V8

Close-up of the toe box on the New Balance 1080

Picture of the Toe Box of the Saucony ISO Triumph 4

Close-up of the toe box on the Saucony Triumph ISO

The toe boxes were something that was given intense scrutiny on these eight models. The flexibility of the toe boxes came into play extensively when traversing the hundreds of steps in the Elevating testing processes. We noticed that the Asics Gel-Kayano 25 had a narrow but flexible toe box, compared to the Saucony Triumph ISO toe box, which was even narrower and lacked the same level of flexibility the Asics option offered.

Comparably, the New Balance 1080 had a far wider toe box, but it lacked the flexibility of both Nike models, which came in only slightly behind the Asics Gel-Kayano 25.

Looking for Ample Arch Support

If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, good arch support may be the most crucial element to check in running shoes. The brand doesn’t matter, the price doesn’t matter, additional features don’t even matter without proper arch support. Without this, you are just compounding the plantar fascia through repetitive abusive compression and stretching. This exacerbates and aggravates an already dire situation, and makes each progressive run more painful than the last.

However, with an appropriate pair of runnings shoes for plantar fasciitis, you will not only experience heightened performance, but the pain associated with your ailment will begin to disappear.

It should be noted that there are many different levels of arch support. The severity of your condition will be a determining factor on how much arch support you truly need. For those with severe plantar fasciitis, they should avoid lower arches, and instead aim for shoes that have very thick, strong arch support.

How Our Options Compared
Picture of the Arch Support on the Asics Gel Kayano 25

Close-up view of the arch on the Asics Gel-Kayano 25 from our testing

Picture of the Arch Support on the New Balance 1080V8

Close-up view of the arch on the New Balance 1080 from our testing

While all eight of the options had stellar arch support, the Asics Gel-Kayano 25 offered by far the strongest arch support in the eight recommendations.

When looking at the side profiles of these shoes, it’s clear to see that there is a distinct structure to the external arch of the Asics model compared to, say, the New Balance 1080, which is far flatter on the exterior, but still provides ample arch support in the insole area. This is reflected in the feel of the shoes.

Looking for Shock Absorption

Absorbing impact and shock while running or walking is the most crucial job of the arch of the foot. When this arch flattens, the functionality of shock absorption falls flat as well. As a result, runners can and will feel this pain when running. Instead of the typical “spring in the step”, you will get a slump with no coordination and a sharp pain.

The pain comes from a lack of impact absorption. Instead of flowing through the arch, all shock will direct to the sole and heel. Reliable pairs of running shoes offer stronger shock absorption to take the full force of the foot striking the ground. This works to ensure that the feet won’t suffer from the brunt of each step.

How Our Options Compared

Unsurprisingly, the most effective absorbing option in our list of eight recommendations was the Asics Gel Kayano 25. It was followed shortly by the Nike Zoom Structure. When hunting down reasoning for the difference in absorption between shoes, we noticed that the soles were thicker on the Asics option than on its less expensive competitors.  Still the Nike Zoom Structure was good, and the Hoka One One Bondi did extremely well here also. Additionally, the tread pattern of the Nike option was far more minimalist in comparison to the tire-like qualities of the Asics model.

Picture of the Tread on the Asics Gel Kayano 25

The tread on one of the Asics Gel-Kayano 25's that we tested

Picture of the Tread on the Nike Air Zoom Structure 21

The tread on one of the Nike Revolution's that we used in our testing

Other Things to Look for When Buying Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Now that you find yourself on this new journey towards the plantar fasciitis healing process, it is crucial to upgrade your running shoes. Purchasing these does not need to become a difficult, expensive process. Keeping an eye on additional factors, such as fit, orthotics, price and style will assist in ensuring that you are ready to go with a supporting, comfortable new shoe.

Factoring fit

One of the most vital qualities of running shoes for plantar fasciitis is the fit of the shoe. As your heel and arches are likely going to be swollen and inflamed, putting a priority on optimal fit is very important. But, how to you ensure that the show you choose has amply arch support? Look for shoes that ease pressure on the arch instead of intensifying it.

Factoring orthotics

Do your current running shoes feel like they will need additional support, orthotic inserts are insanely effective.  (Many people are fond of inserts from the Superfeet brand.) Not only are they friendlier on the wallet, they are also very simple to find and purchase. Whether online or at a specialty running store, there are endless options to choose from. The strongest point about orthotics is that they can be fit into your current running shoes as well.

Dr. Pat McKee from the University of Toronto is a professor of occupational science and therapy and has been quoted as saying the following regarding foot orthotics:

Some [custom orthotics] are created better than others. I personally think it is better if they are shock absorbing and not a really hard plastic.  Custom molded, flexible and three arch support orthotics can absorb 30% more ground shock with each step and enhance the nerve sensation, circulation and muscle balance in the feet.


Factoring price

We all need to keep an eye on our wallets. However, if you factor in everything your feet do for you, it may be time to re-evaluate your budget for shoes. One of the oldest adages is to spend money on the things that separate you from the ground: mattresses, tires and shoes. Your feet are an investment. For this reason, ensure you buy the highest quality running shoes for plantar fasciitis that your wallet will allow. Our eight options well-researched and -tested options.

Factoring style

Remember not so long ago when “orthopedic shoes” brought up images of tan, plastic-looking monstrosities worn by 90-year olds with the velcro straps? We do, too. However, those days are long behind us. With advancements in technology, designers have developed every style imaginable. Looking for the bright blue running shoes that you’ve had your eye on? Look no further than the Saucony Triumph ISO on our list. The options are endless.

Caring for Your Running Shoes

Many doctors will recommend keeping your running shoes for no longer than one year before replacing them. Many people fail to do so, and end up with running shoes that are deteriorating. Here is how to ensure that your running shoes remain in optimal condition.

One of the biggest things you can do to care for your running shoes for plantar fasciitis is to be careful when removing your shoes. When doing so, do not simply pull your foot out of the shoe. Over time, this will stretch the back of the shoe and cause extensive damage to the support structures within. Instead, carefully unlace the shoe.

If the shoes are leather, avoid putting them into the washer or dryer. Heat will crack and shrink leather. Instead, air dry them after washing them on cold. If you see cracks in the soles, or tears in the materials, ensure that you replace as soon as possible.

Remove insoles and shoelaces, and then loosen the tongue to ensure proper circulation of air when drying. Also, always make sure to have an alternate pair of “backup” running shoes, in case your favorite pair is ruined for some reason.

An Argument for "Big Brands"

You might against massive shoe “conglomerates”. Buying shoes from small manufacturers is totally fine if you don’t have foot-related issues. However, if you are looking for running shoes and happen to have plantar fasciitis, it’s far more effective to purchase running shoes from more well-known brands. You want a shoe that has had plenty of research and development money tossed its way, and plenty of years of advancements and enhancements.

To cement oneself as a solid brand and push itself above competitors, big brands need to heavily invest in R&D, and provide the most advanced designs on the market, using the latest technology.

There is nothing that will guarantee a strong head start in a run more than wearing running shoes that have been designed by a strong brand, and are focused on the feet. Now, this doesn’t mean that there are not smaller companies that aren’t doing a wonderful job in this respect. It’s typically a trial and error game, though, and this is where ShoeGuide has taken care of the “research and development” work to make life easier for you, and save your wallet.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the tissues that span the bottom of your foot. Known as the plantar fascia, these tissues connect directly to the bones in the heel and toes. These long ligaments on the bottom of the foot assist with arch support. The elasticity of the plantar fascia helps to also maintain muscular flexibility, as well as general support with each step.

So, when the plantar fascia works and functions as it should, the idea of daily mobility isn’t really a topic of consideration. However, if these ligaments are stretched or torn, our typical walking, standing, running, and other movement-based activities can become incredibly painful.

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is quite a burden, and can strike without warning at any time. One of the most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis is strong pain in the heels upon waking. Some will describe these symptoms as sharp throbbing or stabbing, while others describe swelling, achiness and numbness.

Additional symptoms include difficulty walking, whether after long periods of sitting or upon waking, and high intensity exercise. In most cases, as the day continues, the muscle and tissue of the plantar fascia will “warm up”. When this happens the condition will subside and the pain will fade. However, for those with severe plantar fasciitis, it will start again the next morning.

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

Triggers of plantar fasciitis are in many cases small tears in the foot ligaments in combination with inflammation. For runners, this combination can change or limit a workout. Some of the more common factors include being overweight, or spending extensive time on your feet over the course of a day.

These aren’t all the causes of plantar fasciitis though. Other causes include: shoes that fit improperly, high arches, poor posture, flat feet, wearing high heels regularly, shoes lacking arch support, tightness in the Achilles tendon, gait changes, calf tightness, and increases in activity or exercise. Again, while the causes are numerous, the effects are the same.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is an incredibly common occurrence, prevalent in ten percent of the population. Women are far more frequently diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. This comes mainly from wearing uncomfortable shoes and high heels. These types of footwear can cause tightening of calf muscles. Calf tightening is one of the reasons men get plantar fasciitis as well, although it is not as common.

For those between the ages of forty and sixty, plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost one million cases of plantar fasciitis are diagnosed annually.

Runners are by far the most frequent group affected by this ailment. A close second are teachers and professors, wait staff at restaurants and bars, industrial workers and salespeople. Basically, those with professions where they are on their feet for most of the day.

Diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis

The process to diagnose plantar fasciitis is very simple. Physical exams of tender spots on the feet is a common method to confirm this ailment. However, other tests for diagnoses include gait observation and observations of range of motion.

Detailed medical histories can also provide strong background in a determination of a root cause. MRIs and X-rays are not commonly used, but can be utilized to diagnose plantar fasciitis if there is a suspected more serious injury, such as a sprain or tear.

The maintenance of healthy feet is always a work in progress. While there are some in medical communities who note that plantar fasciitis is inflammatory, others have suggested that it may be degenerative. What this means is that, over time, the foot tissue will deteriorate. The proper diagnosis from a certified medical professional will go a long way to determine if the condition is chronic, and if so the best method for proceeding with treatment plans.

Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis

Treatment for plantar fasciitis is relatively simple compared to other ailments of a similar nature. For one thing, it is highly cost-effective. With just a few easy changes to your lifestyle, and consistency in the treatment plan, the healing process can work wonders. Here are the seven main suggestions for treatment of those suffering from plantar fasciitis.

A runner with plantar fasciitis in the moutanins
Ice things down

Icing sore, inflamed areas of the foot can assist greatly in reduction of swelling that wreaks havoc on your ligaments. In turn, this will alleviate some of the pain that is felt with plantar fasciitis.

Partake in gentle stretching

This provides impressive levels of improvement across the board for alleviating the pain associated with plantar fasciitis. Implementation of a regular stretching routine works wonders for the ligaments at the bottom of the foot. As one of the main causes of plantar fasciitis is tightened tendons and muscles, having consistent daily stretching routines provides ample mobility and enhanced flexibility.

Taking Anti-inflammatory medications and OTC alternatives

There are many oral and topical options that can reduce the pain and swelling associated with plantar fasciitis. Some of these include, over-the-counter pills, topical ointments, and prescribed anti-inflammatory medications.

Tape up

KT (kinesiology tape) or any other brand or runner’s tape provides extensive relief for foot pain. Taping your foot prevents muscles from locking up, and minimizes swelling by restricting blood flow to certain regions. Proper taping provides additional benefits by allowing your foot to rest, and giving tendons a head start in the healing processes from plantar fasciitis,.

Wearing a splint at night

Investing in an inexpensive night splint is another wonderful method to ensure your feet stay flexible and healthy. One benefit of wearing a night splint is the ability to stretch the plantar fascia ligament for an extended period of time compared to during waking hours. It also provides relief for tight calf muscles.

Daily stretching routines

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.

Wearing corrective footwear

This is where ShoeGuide focuses our efforts on assisting those suffering from plantar fasciitis. Ensuring that you wear running shoes and casual shoes that are developed specifically for plantar fasciitis in mind will go a long way in the healing process.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Plantar Fasciitis

Walking and running are a staple of everyday life. Being affected with plantar fasciitis can raise many questions and concerns about your future as a walker or runner. It isn’t normal to have pain when moving around. Some of the most common questions that we have received are answered below.

Is Running with Plantar Fasciitis Possible?

While you should not run right after a bout of plantar fasciitis, there is nothing stopping you from doing so. However we at Shoe Guide highly recommend you wait a few weeks before starting running again. Many experts and doctors echo this suggestion as well, and suggest waiting until you have been pain free for four weeks before exerting yourself at the running level.

At a minimum, it is important to cease running for at least four to seven days once a plantar onset comes. This is especially crucial when the pain points are acute. Once most of the acute pain has subsided, you can then attempt to run if you are on an aggressive training schedule.

How can I improve my condition?

Purchasing a pair of highly-cushioned running shoes and/or orthotic inserts goes a long way to assist in easing the pain of plantar fasciitis. Proper warm-ups also provide extensive benefits, as well as stretching, as covered above.

Like many running-focused injuries, if the pain is intense, or your form is impacted, it is important to stop running until you are back in ship shape. The last thing that you are wanting is another injury to occur as you overcompensate another part of the body for the plantar fasciitis pain.

If you attempt to run again, and discover that the pain worsens, stop running completely until the plantar pain subsides entirely.

Does Barefoot Running Assist with Alleviating Plantar Fasciitis?

Very few studies and medical research papers exist on information between plantar fasciitis and barefoot running. However, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that suggests it provides some benefit to some runners.

Running barefoot changes your gait. You are far more likely to land on the midfoot or ball when doing so. It is far too painful to heel strike when running barefoot, without any cushioning between your heel and the ground. This works to shift the impact onto other parts of the foot, hips and legs. As a result, your feet become stronger in the front part.

It has been told that strengthening the foot through barefoot running could provide positive benefits for alleviating pain of plantar fasciitis. This is in the same vein that performing calf raises will alleviate the pain through building up strength in the front of the foot.

There have been studies performed that showed evidence of higher load strengthening (i.e. building foot strength through dorsal flexing and heel raises) can assist in plantar fasciitis pain management. The theory is that when you run barefoot, you also strengthen that part of the foot by landing and toeing off on the ball of your foot. However the studies are relatively inconclusive.

When is it Safe to Run Again After a Bout of Plantar  Fasciitis?

This is a highly contested question in both the medical community and avid runners. Typically advice on the matter will range from 1-2 days, to a month or more. However, as soon as you feel an onset of plantar fasciitis building, it is agreed that you need to stop running. This time should be used to ice down the foot, stretch the plantar muscles, and if possible utilize a Strassberg sock or night splint.

How to Tape Up Your Foot for Plantar Fasciitis Relief?

Taping your foot with a product such as KT Tape can go great lengths to relieving plantar fasciitis pain. To properly tape the foot, you will need three pieces of six-inch tape.

Start by putting the first piece of tape on the ball of the foot, and then peel back towards the center back to the heel. Once here, swing the tape around and over the Achilles tendon, and then finish up along the back of the calf.

With the second piece of tape, start above the inside of the ankle. Then, wrap the tape straight down the leg to the point where the heel and arch connect. Follow the tape up the outside of the ankle. Then, with the third piece of tape, start on the backside of the leg above the ankle. Place the tape at an angle, and then wrap it around the foot. Here, the middle of the arch is covered. Continue up the other side of the leg.

Wrapping Things Up

If you are on the lookout for a nice pair of running shoes that will provide extensive relief from plantar fasciitis pain, we are confident at the selections above will exceed your expectations. Plantar fasciitis is not an easy ordeal to overcome, and getting a leg up on the issues faced will go a long way to ensure that your running quality is minimally affected.

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