Which Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis??

vja4him_57September 23, 2007

What shoes have worked for you the best, with plantar fasciitis? I need to get new shoes and would like to know specifically the brand name, and model #. I can't afford to buy very many pairs of shoes, so I need to find out from those suffering from plantar fasciitis, and which shoes have provided the best support and comfort and relef. Thanks.

-- vja4Him

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Around the house, the old fashioned, wooden Dr. Scholl's clogs worked for me when I had this, as they supported my entire foot, especially the arch. I know they are not cheap, but they last forever. The main thing is to avoid heels of any height. Stick to flats. Earth shoes should work, but what is most helpful are the special exercises you can do yourself at home.

We had a thread on this some time ago, where we went into all the exercises.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 1:38PM
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I agree, don't get anything with much of a heel. I always wore good walking tennis shoes. Right now I'm wearing a New Balance that isn't made any more. It has a large toe box, which I really like.
I think the best thing for plantar fasciitis is a good orthotic that supports your instep arch.
NSAIDS are good for awhile too. Mine was so bad I had to start with cortisone shots. I couldn't have made it without those orthotics though.
A reputable tennis shoe with good support (leather) is always good. If you do use an orthotic (whether custom- made or store-bought), be sure to take the inlay that comes with the shoe out first.
Also, be sure to do heel stretching exercises.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 6:41PM
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I, unfortunately, did have to buy several different brands of shoes before I found what worked for me. I now wear Birkenstock sandals. Specifically, either the Arizona or Florida which have the basic footbed. This footbed accommodates my high arch. If you do try them, be warned....they won't feel good when you first wear them. In fact, they are a bit uncomfortable and you should slowly break them in.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 9:45AM
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I wear Brooke athletic shoes and they are the best thing that I have tried. There is an outlet store near to where I live. I don't know how available they are nationally. They are so good that I don't have to wear my orthotic.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 3:50PM
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I had plantar fasciitis at the same time as both my grown daughters. We think it came from wearing flat sandals. My younger daughter (in her 30s at the time) even had to wear the corrective night boots which kept her feet flexed while in bed. It went on for months for all of us until I bought Clarks sandals (I live in a warm climate) which have a good raised arch. When I noticed the difference in the pain level I bought the same sandals for my daughters and it cured their ailment as well. Now I always wear a sandal with a bit of a raised heel and arch area, and never again will we touch flat-soled shoes. My daughters who live in Canada wear the shoes around the house in winter with socks and have since bought heavier outdoor shoes from the same manufacturer for winter.
(I don't work for that company LOL.)

I found a photo which is similar to the model I still wear, link is below.


Here is a link that might be useful: Clarks Shoes... Model Sarasota

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 8:10AM
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I have the best luck with athletic shoes which offer good support and a cushioned bottom. Always wear my orthotics.

Below is the link to the other thread. I encourage you to try as many things as you can to get the PF to go away. Stretching, exercises, massage. I don't think going barefoot helps at all. Stretch your feet before you get out of bed.

Sorry you have this. I finally got rid of it and always stretch my feet because I definitely don't want this again ever!

Here is a link that might be useful: PF thread

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 6:42PM
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I looked at the Clarkes shoes above. Very expensive. I agree about needing a good arch support. However, I noticed that the Clarkes shoes have slightly raised heels. So they would not work for me, as any heel elevation throws my lower back out of sync and causes pain.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 11:52AM
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Both my hubbies podiatrist and my ortho foot doc all say good support walking shoes are the best for plantar fsciitis.
They both said to wear the top line New Balance walking shoes only. If you can get to a New Balance store, have one of the specialists fit your feet for the proper shoe.

Best shoes around, and most spine docs will tell you the same thing about the New Balance shoes.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 12:00AM
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I think it's more having excellent arch support than buying a particular brand of shoe, because there are other issues with shoes (toebox, width, material, and so forth) that may work for some feet but not others. For example, I have long narrow feet and bunions, and I wear Clarks sandals, Merrell fabric clogs, Ecco oxfords and slip-ons, and New Balance sneakers exclusively. The lasts from those brands work for my feet - I love the excellent arch support that Birkenstocks give, but they are just too wide for me.

When I first developed plantar fasciitis, I went to a podiatrist and had some custom orthotics made. He also gave me some thick heel pads made out of orthotic felt. Problem solved within a very short time, and it hasn't returned.

When the custom orthotics eventually broke down, he had retired, and I tried a pair of orthotics from Archcrafters. (These are the ones where they send you a box to make a mold of your feet.) I've been using them for many many years now and I think they are just as good as the custom ones from the podiatrist.

I'm just a satisfied customer - no connection with the company :o)

FYI, if you are looking for brands with good arch support, try Zappos.com (even if you don't buy from them). They carry a lot of brands, and there is a lot of customer feedback on the site. One of the categories that people use to rate shoes is level of arch support. I've used that info to steer away from brands that probably are not even worth looking at for my needs.

Hope this helps.


Here is a link that might be useful: Archcrafters home page

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 12:47PM
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I've had PF for 23 years, and agree with Susan - it's not about the brand of shoe, it's about the arch support. And the rest of what you have to do to keep PF at bay. I tend to buy plain leather sneakers, like Keds, and use an orthotic.

I've used custom orthotics that worked very well, but have been using SuperFeet green orthotics for awhile now with very good results. They're $35 at REI, Onlineshoes.com and Footsmart.com.

My favorite running/walking shoes are ones by Brooks and New Balance. You just have to try them and see what works.

I'm with Sharon, too - I never wear flat shoes. I heard this recommendation from several doctors, too. Of course, if a bit of a heel makes something else on your body hurt, you have to do what works.

A couple more tips I've learned over the years from doctors and from experience:

1. Never walk barefoot, not even to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I use a pair of Earth Shoes sandals as slippers, others use Birkenstocks, Clarks, Dr. Scholl's - whatever supports your foot. A sports medicine doctor told me that when you walk barefoot with PF, you're just re-injuring the foot.

2. Before you ever get out of bed in the morning, spend a couple minutes stretching. Here's what I do, but anything that stretches the Achilles tendon helps -

Lie flat on bed. Point right toes, then lift right foot a couple inches and hold to a count of twenty. Repeat with left. Then do it again, but bend the foot as much as you can instead of pointing it. I do this five time through. This helps your knees as well as your feet.

This is in addition to ice massage and anti-noninflammatory medications.

Here is a link that might be useful: SuperFeet Green

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 4:07PM
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Z-Coils..Made for feet problems..I thought I'd have to quit my job (furniture sales) three yrs. ago and after trying many brands bought the z-Coils. Worn them everyday for three yrs. now & no longer take medication for the pain my feet were in. They are weird and expensive but last a long time and do the job.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2007 at 11:57PM
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I worked in a real hands on shoe store for 4 years and i learned so much. for foot pain you should be wearing arch support. orthotices are perscribed if you go see a dr and they take an impression of your foot and they are custom made and can cost alot of money too. but a less expencive support can cost anywhere from 19.99 to 59.99 and they are different kinds of support which you can get at most shoe stores. they also vary with different thickness's. it isn't going to matter what type of shoe you buy no matter how good you are told they are because most shoes don't have arch support and if they do it only lasts while they are new as they will flatten. most shoes also have removeable insoles because so many people so wear orthotics and or other arch supports. if you shoes has a removeable insole then the support within the shoes is probally not the best. arch supports usally have metataursaul support as well which is good for the lower half of your foot as it helps strainted your toes so they are aligned properly too. the arch support helps reduce lower back pain and knee and joint pain because it is helping align your body to disperce your weight evenly amounst your foot properly. with all i learned while working within a shoe store who actually trained and tested the employee's to know about the products i still buy the $10-$20 pair where ever i can find a pair i like because i have found it doesn't matter what brand you wear but whats inside that matters. Please use arch supports and don't be afraid to try out different kinds till you find one that works. and please don't be discouraged when it feels uncomfortable for the first few days while your foot gets use to the new support.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2007 at 12:16PM
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motwo, what kind of doctor do you go to to get the RX orthotic?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2007 at 9:58AM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

Find out what your feet need, and be sure you get shoes that fit. A Podiatrist can help you on that.

For PF stand on a step, one leg at a time, slowly lower your heel, and concentrate on what you are doing. Do this one heel after the other for about 5 minutes a number of times a day. Think as you slowly lower that heel, and feel the stretch in your calf, then do the other one.

I was told that the problem is a leg problem, and the muscles tense and tighten, you have a domino effect until it goes down to the foot. The fix is in the leg, but the immediate repair is what I just mentioned.

According to the Podiatrist, I have a high arch, all hammer toes, and high instep. I need a heel on the shoe, and a shank in the center to keep my foot from pronating. I also need arch support. Asics are my best athletic shoe, and Ecco is my best day shoe.


    Bookmark   October 26, 2007 at 7:21PM
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I'm on the other side of the spectrum with FLAT flat feet, which I now understand is a lovely predisposition to getting PF. So is repetative punishment of the feet, like running etc... and jobs where you're standing all day... which I also have. Guess it was bound to happen sooner or later *sigh*

I personally HATE wearing sneakers/athletic shoes, I always feel stifled in them. But they are neccessary for excercise and are really the most supportive style we can get. Just not always appropriate for every occasion. I don't like unsupportive flipflops either, or anything else that's completely flat like those trendy ballet-style shoes you see everywhere. I have to have a little heel or I feel like I'm tilting backwards and the PF bugs me that much more. I can't wear really big heels, never could, but I do notice a sustaintial amount of relief when I'm wearing at least ~1/2 inch to an inch lift. And suprisingly on the rare occasions I do go out for a formal event, I'm actually quite comfortable in shoes with a 2-2 1/2 inch heel, and I actually walk like a normal person in them instead of limping and shuffling along... until I stand in them too long and my toes start killing me. That's why they're sit-down shoes!

Unfortunately, everyone's feet are different, so you'll have to try a few out to see which ones work best for you. Recommendations? New Balance, Clarks, Easy Spirit, Ecco and Birkenstocks always seem to make it on the top choices list, so they would be a good place to start. You don't have to spend an arm and a leg (hah) on your shoes, but don't go for the el cheapos, sometimes you really do get what you pay for! Find out which styles are working best for you, get a couple to start out with, then go bargain shopping. Check for sales, internet specials (on shoes you've already tested out or which have good return policies) and there's always the outlet mall! And remember the cushioning/support wears out! Fitness shoes should always be replaced every 6 months... not that you can't salvage the older ones for yard work and messy jobs.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 1:42AM
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It should be noted too that PF is very common in people with Hypothyroidism. A google search for PF and hypothyroidism will bring up over 40,000 hits.

If you have other symptoms of thyroid disease..weight gain, fatigue, etc. - you should see your doctor. PF often goes away once the thyroid has been treated.

IF you have a lot of thyroid symptoms, but have a normal TSH, insist that your doctor run a thyroid antibodies test.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 11:16AM
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I can wear any shoe but they must have a heel at least
1/2 inch or 1 inch. I'm also very compfy in higher heels.
But flats.....no way hurts to much.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 8:33PM
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Z-Coils Sidewinder Model..I've worn them for four yrs. & swear by them. I've had a foot neuroma, plantar fascitis & need bunion joints removed in both feet with permanent pins put in. As long as I wear the z-coils I've no longer the excruiating pain I had before. I've needed the bunion surgury for years.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 10:25PM
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I found this information to be helpful in picking shoes for those with Plantar Fasciitis - http://www.kurufootwear.com/plantarfasciitis

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 6:44PM
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Mathew, do you have an interest in this company? I notice you just joined today.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 7:42PM
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Maybe you will get many answers from people who want you to buy their favorite kind of shoes but believe me good shoes for one individual are bad for the other. I have plantar fasciitis and I have been through a long journey looking for a good shoe. You should try to use good cushioning shoe which has motion control and is not flexible in the middle. There is a good website that I use to take a look at from time to time. Many good ideas that I took from there - http://www.plantar-fasciitis-elrofeet.com

Here is a link that might be useful: elrofeet

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 2:39AM
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I love my Danskos and I have PF - they have an arch in the shoe as well as a cushioned insole

Here is a link that might be useful: Dansko @ Pegasusshoes.com

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 10:21AM
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Maybe you will get many answers from people who want you to buy their favorite kind of shoes but believe me good shoes for one individual are bad for the other. I have plantar fasciitis and I have been through a long journey looking for a good shoe. A good shoe for one is not good for the other. An expensive shoe is not necessarily good for heel pain.
You should find your kind of shoe, one that feels comfortable and give you support. It depends on many factors such as wide or narrow foot, high or low arch, your favorite kind of sport etc. You should try to use good cushioning shoe which has motion control and is not flexible in the middle. There is a good website that I use to take a look at from time to time. Many good ideas that I took from there -
Take care & Good luck

Here is a link that might be useful: plantar fasciitis shoes

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 1:36AM
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The best advice anyone can give you is to go to a woman podiatrist and take her advice.

Someone else mentioned that there's NO one answer for PF--everyone's feet are built differently, so it's impossible for anyone not familiar with your feet to be able to 'prescribe' the perfect shoe. Your podiatrist should be able to. But this is the one field of medicine where I truly believe it makes a difference whether you go to a man or woman. My pod. is a woman and she understands not only feet, but women's fashion issues, and her recommendations have been life (or foot-) savers for me.

I will say this--I know New Balance is often recommended for those who suffer PF. I bought 2 expensive pairs of them and cannot wear them for more than about an hour at a time. Another difference? I've seen a lot of PF sufferers recommend Birkenstocks--a shoe my pod. says NEVER to wear. So as you can see, your best bet is to follow your own dr's advice. HOpe you get relief soon. The excercises and meds your dr. will prescribe are probably the best thing you can do for the condition. Really helps me.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 9:32PM
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Naot shoes are great for plantar fasciitis,as they have strong arch support. For all other shoes, just buy the Lynco Aetrex insoles (red ones) and put them instead of the shoe's regular insole. Works especially well for sneakers.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 4:18PM
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I suffer from Plantar fascitis as well as have heel spurs. I personally reccomend getting resized at your local shoe store to make sure you are wearing the correct width as well as size since with age sometimes your feet do spread and it is very important to wear the proper fit. I reccomend new balance walking shoes, the 800 series to be exact. Each year the style changes somewhat so does the number but its always 8-something. As of this year its the 846 in both mens or womens. Dress shoes always stick to rubber soles and for the ladies I would suggest flat shoes. Personally I wear ecco which run 1-200 dollars regular price and do last. I normally shop Nordstroms sale either after christmas or in the summer for those and normally save a bit. Mephistos are also very good but usually are over 200 a pair.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 10:12PM
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I have had PF for several years and do my stretches to keep it at bay. My best three shoes are Asics Gel Nimbus 12 for an athletic shoe. I also swear by Mephisto sandals Helen style. I wear them like slippers in the winter and all summer long.I NEVER go barefoot.
I also have had good luck with Born Mary Janes which will accommodate my 3/4 hard orthodic9from the foot doctor). I also have two pair of Born dress boots for winter that will accommodate my orthodic.
I'd like some ballet flat type shoe for spring that would accommodate my orthodic, but my extensive search has not found anything yet. Many of the online shoe stores are free shipping and returns and I have been using that to try shoes on.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 7:38PM
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Forget the shoes. Lose weight. Yes, me too. This will stop the cause of the PF.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 12:38AM
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I have pf along with flat feet and heel spurs. I've had luck with Keen shoes which feel amazing, especially their sandals. Merrell's are pretty good to. I've worn Clarks and now my feet are worse. Does anybody have suggestions for nicer looking shoes for the work place?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 8:02AM
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I have had PF for about 9 months. I've tried a plastic boot, Good Feet orthotic insert ($300- yes I was a desperate idiot), heel cups, Kuru shoes, and Orthoheel shoes - and also physical therapy and acupuncture. All helped somewhat but not enough. I finally found OOFOS sandals and shoes. These have been the best for me, and are cheaper than all of the above (except just the heel cups). They are SO cushy that they ease that painful impact shock on my heel. I really think I am going to heal now. I just had to share this because these sandals were not easy to find for some reason. I was surfing the internet for solutions for quite a while before I found them.

DO wear a boot every night. And keep stretching. There is a new botox injection treatment to the calf that I may try, also. I want my life back 100%. I'm about 80% back now.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 10:08AM
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I had PF but the doc gave me a shot that stopped it. He also recommended the Merrell air slides, they have a mesh top. I now have arthritis in my feet and can walk temporarily in house slippers, but if I wear them all day I get a bruised feeling under my big toe that is painful. So now I wear Merrels all day and no discomfort at all. I was afraid they would quit making them so bought another pair of black and several pair in colors. I also do the stretching in the mornings while still in bed.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 11:23PM
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