Jul 23, 2018
Courtesy of brands
When you have plantar fasciitis (the sexy, official term for inflammation in the connective tissue in your heel), it feels like all shoes except for granny slippers are off the table—unless you like the sensation of shooting pain in your heel.
So what’s a shoe-loving, plantar fasciitis-suffering girl to do? Shop wisely, of course. “People with plantar fasciitis should avoid shoes that are flat and thin,” advises Jacqueline Sutera, M.D., board-certified doctor of podiatric medicine and surgery in New York City and New Jersey. “Looking for a thicker soled shoe with arch support would be best. Also, replace old and worn out shoes often! Worn out heel counters on shoes can make fasciitis flare up, persist and worsen.”
Sutera does the shopping for you by recommending the best type of shoes for plantar fasciitis for every category. Consider your grandma shoe days OVER:
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13 What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. “Plantar fasciitis or fasciosis involves tearing and scarring of a band of tissue in the arch of the foot,” explains podiatrist Nelya Lobkova . “Typically, plantar fasciitis begins to tear at the insertion of the plantar fascia into the heel bone, particularly along the inside insertional border.” This often leads to micro tears in the ligament that can result in weakness, swelling, and irritation of the ligament, which is known as plantar fasciitis. There are many causes for arch and heel pain, ranging from simple mechanical issues like formation of the foot to complex metabolic diseases. Some of the most common reasons for plantar fasciitis is faulty foot structure such as flat feet or high-arched feet, as well as wearing non supportive footwear on hard surfaces and being overweight.
14 What are the signs of plantar fasciitis?
The most common sign of plantar fasciitis is stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot. The symptoms are typically pain in the heel with walking or activity, or when standing after a period of rest. There may be mild swelling and redness in the heel, suggesting an inflammatory reaction.
15 What qualities should you look for in a shoe for plantar fasciitis?
“People with plantar fasciitis should avoid shoes that are flat and thin,” advises Jacqueline Sutera, M.D., board-certified doctor of podiatric medicine and surgery in New York City and New Jersey. “Looking for a thicker soled shoe with arch support would be best. Also, replace old and worn out shoes often! Worn out heel counters on shoes can make fasciitis flare up, persist and worsen.”Lobkova adds that when you’re shopping for a shoe, you should make sure it has the following qualities:
Rigid midsole: The sole of a shoe is the part that touches the ground and determines which forces transfer between the foot and ground. “The rigidity of the sole of a shoe dictates the stability of the shoe,” says Lobkova. “Someone who suffers from plantar fasciitis needs extra rigidity in the sole and cushioning in the midfoot to prevent impact on the heel, where there is pain associated with plantar fasciitis.”The way to test for this in a sneaker is to hold the front of the shoe with one hand and the back of the shoe with another hand. Try to twist the shoe side to side: There should be minimal to no twisting motion possible.
Midfoot rocker: “A sneaker that has a rocker bottom is an ideal shoe for someone with plantar fasciitis,” says Lobkova. “The rocker ensures less pressure or impact on the heel by increasing the shock absorption of the midfoot, and also ensures a more efficient transfer of weight from the heel to the ball of the foot during the standing part of the gait cycle.” This reduces the overstretching of the plantar fascia band during activity.
Firm heel counter for additional heel support: The heel counter is the back part of the heel surrounding the Achilles tendon insertion. “A firm heel counter minimizes the inward tilting of the heel bone associated with over pronation,” explains Lobkova. “Keeping the heel bone stable and secure in the sneaker minimizes the abnormal over stretching of the fascia and Achille tendon.
”Heavier weight: “If there is foot pain, specifically heel pain, I advise avoiding lightweight shoes (sneakers less than 9 ounces) to ensure there is enough stability in the shoe,” says Lobkova. “Light weight shoes are more flexible, but less stable.
Spacious Toe Box: A spacious toe box that allows your toes to move freely with no restrictions, therefore minimizing discomfort placed on the plantar fascia.
Celia Shatzman Celia Shatzman is a Brooklyn-based writer who has penned stories on topics ranging from fashion to travel to celebrities, entertainment, beauty, finance, health, and fitness.
Jasmine Gomez Associate Lifestyle editor Jasmine Gomez is the associate lifestyle editor at Women’s Health and covers health, fitness, sex, culture and cool products.
Nikhita Mahtani Nikhita Mahtani is an NYC-based freelance journalist covering primarily health and design.
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