Plantar Fasciitis Shoes to Avoid

Updated June 13, 2017

Do you have aching pains, irritation and swelling on the bottom of your foot? If so, you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis, and you need to avoid the wrong kind of shoe.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is described as inflammation of the muscles and ligaments on the bottom of the foot, causing pain in the heel and arch of the foot. This inflammation is caused by excessive stretching of the fibrous tissue located along the bottom surface of the foot, called plantar fascia.

The arch of your foot and the shoes you wear are important factors when treating plantar fascitis. If you are wearing shoes without enough support and cushioning, you may be doing more damage.

Foot Arch

Knowing the arch of your foot is necessary to determine which types of shoes to avoid for plantar fasciitis.

To determine your foot arch, do the wet test. You will need a piece of construction paper or paper bag. Dunk your foot in water and while seated, place the paper on the floor beneath your feet. Do not stand or walk while your feet are wet. Place your foot on the paper and push down on your knee with your hands to simulate standing. Next, lift your foot off of the paper, wipe it off dry and do the same thing with your other foot. Now look at the imprint of your feet on the paper to determine your arch type.

You have a flat arch if the paper has a nearly complete imprint--the entire sole or bottom of your foot shows on the paper. You have a neutral arch foot if the imprint has a flare but shows the forefoot and heel still connected by a wide band. If there is a lot of space between the forefoot and heel, you have a high-arch foot. It will look like there is only a narrow band connecting the two.

Shoes to Avoid for Your Arch

If you have high arches, avoid shoes that have thin, hard soles and flat to the ground. You will need plenty of cushioning to correct the underpronation your high arch is causing. Pronation is defined as the rotation when the heel strikes the ground.

If you have flat feet or low arches, you will tend to overpronate as the weight of your body will tend to rotate too much toward the ball of your foot. To correct this, you will need shoes that are rigid and well supported. Avoid shoes without sufficient motion control. Stay away from high heels and instead opt for lower ones with firm, durable heels and cushioned padding.

If you have a neutral arch, your choices are not as limited. Simply avoid shoes that are too heavy, do not provide enough stability, and are painful or uncomfortable to wear.

Ill-fitting Shoes

To relieve pain caused by plantar fasciitis, strictly avoid shoes that do not fit you well. The toe box should have enough space and comfortable enough for movement. Shoe designs and brands most often have variations in sizes, which makes it sometimes necessary to go for a size higher or lower for a better fit. Do not insist on always getting your usual size simply out of habit.

If you have narrow or wide feet, choose shoes that are made specifically for it. Ill-fitting shoes can further damage your joints and muscles leading to more plantar fasciitis pain.

Worn Out Shoes

Shoes that are worn out may no longer be giving you stability, cushioning and control. Normal wear and tear decreases the functionality of shoes and may lead to causing you more muscle aches and pains. Replace them immediately to help reduce plantar fasciitis symptoms.

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About the Author

Rona Aquino began writing professionally in 2008. As an avid marathon runner and outdoor enthusiast, she writes on topics of running, fitness and outdoor recreation for various publications. Aquino holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English from the University of Maryland College Park.