By Jeff Schmelz
Plantar Fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a tissue band stretching from the underside of the heel and the length of the arch, attaching at the base of the toes. The most common symptom is a persistent stabbing pain in the heel that is often worse first thing upon waking or after prolonged bouts of sitting (IE working at a desk, driving, flying). That inflammation may be caused by collapsed arches, tight Achilles tendons/calf muscles, prolonged standing or walking, wearing improper fitting or overly worn shoes, being barefoot, or trauma to the bottom of the foot.
To relieve the pain one can, take an anti-inflammatory, apply ice to the area’s, stretch and roll the bottom of the foot, the Achilles tendon, and the calf muscle and in extreme cases receive steroid injections into the affected area of the foot. Once the cause of inflammation is removed the pain will subside but can reoccur if the condition(s) that brought it about originally are repeated.
For those that have or are suffering from plantar fasciitis it is extremely important to have properly fitted shoes with the appropriate amount of cushion and support for the function they are being used for. It is also important to continue a regular regimen of stretching and mobility work for your feet, ankles, and calves.
What are the best running shoes or walking shoes to consider if you have plantar fasciitis? We have a couple that we recommend:
For runners: HOKA Bondi 8
The HOKA Bondi 8 is a neutral running shoe with max cushion, which makes it a popular choice among runners who regularly experience foot pain. Max cushioning also means that the HOKA Bondi 8 is an excellent choice for distance running, keeping your feet comfortable mile after mile.
For walkers: HOKA Arahi 6
The Arahi is GREAT for some people with Plantar fasciitis because it has the J-frame stability that supports the motion of the heel in the walking or running gait. Arahi 9 is a lighter, more responsive midsole that delivers even more comfort and cushion. The extended heel crash pad provides added shock absorption and makes for a smooth feeling step so it’s one of our favorite walking shoes for men and women.
Looking for some exercises to help with foot pain? Check out this article from Runner’s World Magazine: Exercises for foot pain.