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According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, approximately two million people are treated for plantar fasciitisa common condition that causes pain in the bottom of the foot, often directly under the heelevery year. The pain is caused by repetitive trauma to a broad band of connective tissue on the bottom of the foot, the plantar fascia. The repetitive trauma leads to inflammation and damage of the tissue, Sean Peden, MD, foot and ankle surgeon at Yale Medicine Department of Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation, tells Verywell Health.
People in a wide age range, from young to old, can develop plantar fasciitis. However, Dr. Peden explains that it is more common in runners, laborers who work on their feet on hard surfaces, and people who are overweight. It is also clearly connected to tightness in the calf muscle and Achilles tendon, as people with tighter calves are more likely to develop this condition, he adds.
Dr. Peden notes that he does not have any financial interest in any shoe store or shoe company. Instead, his recommendations are based upon his patients satisfaction and feedback.
Best Insoles For Plantar Fasciitis
Youve got painful plantar fasciitis… Urgh! Someone has recommended using insoles, but what are they can they help alleviate plantar fasciitis, and which are the best insoles for plantar fasciitis? This article will answer all of these questions and get you running faster than Usain Bolt… Well, maybe not that last bit.
Get Heel Pain Relief With These Inserts
Shereen Lehman, MS, is a healthcare journalist and fact checker. She has co-authored two books for the popular Dummies Series .
We independently research, test, review, and recommend the bestproducts. Healthcare professionals review articles for medical accuracy. Learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
Verywell / Sabrina Jiang
Plantar fasciitis is an issue that results when the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot becomes inflamedcausing a stabbing pain near your heel. Pain is often worse in the morning, though it can get better throughout the day.
Without proper support or cushioning in your shoes, plantar fasciitis can increase in intensity. The good news is that using specialized insoles can relieve the pain almost immediately while preventing a recurrence.
John Huenink, Founder of insole company BioMoto, encourages finding a pair of custom insoles but acknowledges that not everyone can invest in a specialized product. Look for an insole that wraps around the heel and that has some structure, he says. Huenink explains that an over-the-counter insole that prevents the heel from turning to the inside or outside of the foot is ideal.
Here are the best insoles for plantar fasciitis on the market.
Deep heel cradle for stability
Non-slippage also stops blisters
Fits in all kinds of shoes
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Orthotics For Plantar Fasciitis
If you’re suffering from persistent foot pain, you may have a condition called plantar fasciitis. Plantar Fasciitis is marked by a stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot near the heel, and is generally worse with the first steps you take in the morning. It can also be much more noticeable after long periods of rest, such as at a desk or while traveling, and the pain can range from mild to unbearable.
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the foot fascia. Fascia, in simple terms, is connective tissue. The tissue on the bottom of your foot that connects your heel to your toes is called your plantar fascia. Repeated use and overuse can cause inflammation of the fascia, which leads to varying levels of discomfort and pain.Foot pain can be debilitating, not only because it creates a distraction that can be difficult to deal with, but also because pain causes us to make adjustments to our gait. Plantar fasciitis can affect the whole gait cycle, and a compromised gait cycle can quickly result in further problems, such as knee, hip and back pain.Plantar fasciitis is extremely common. Statistics show that about ten percent of people in the U.S. have experienced heel pain at some point, and that’s because there are so many risks factors involved in developing it.
What Are The Best Insoles For Plantar Fasciitis
Shoe insoles for plantar fasciitis relieve pain by limiting pronation and taking stress off the plantar fascia. That allows it to heal so you can start and end your day feeling great.
To be effective, the best plantar fasciitis shoe inserts should have these features: firm, structured support, an arch height that matches yours, and a deep heel cup for shock absorption.
- Firm, Structured Support – Firm support is necessary to properly support the arch, remove stress from the plantar fascia, and limit pronation. Plantar fasciitis inserts will not buckle or deflect under force. If your insoles do, or if they are made from soft foam, it’s a sign they will not do the job.
- Great Arch Fit – To be effective, you need to support your plantar fascia properly. But that can only happen if the arch height of your insole matches the arch height of your foot. While you don’t need custom insoles, you do need orthotic inserts for plantar fasciitis that offer a choice of arch heights.
- Shock Absorption – The fatty pad beneath your heel bone is nature’s way of absorbing the shock and impact from each step you take. A deep heel cup keeps the fatty pad centered beneath the heel and that alignment promotes shock absorption. Foot inserts for plantar fasciitis with a deep heel cup also add to the stability of the foot, improving balance as well as performance in sports related activities.
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Winner: Pedag Viva Sport Insoles
Why We Love Them…
Comfortable design supports your arch to reduce strain Includes additional padding on the ball of the foot Thinner width is well suited to sports’ shoes
Running, walking and a range of sports Protecting your feet against strain and shocks Use as an everyday insole as well as for sports
Not the Best For…
Use in formal/court shoes People whose PF stems more from a medical condition
Editor’s Verdict: The Pedag Viva Sport are a very popular pair of insoles with our more active customers as they balance price and performance. If you’re new to using insoles and you don’t want to shell out for an expensive or custom pair yet, the Viva Sport are a great starting point. Just be aware that, as with most things, you probably won’t get the same length of performance from the Pedag Viva as you would from some of the higher-end insoles.
So Is There A Solution
Yes! Plantar fasciitis treatment starts with having the right support to allow you plantar fascia to heal while preventing further injury. When you have proper arch support underfoot you give your feet the help they need to do their daily work, lightening the load on the plantar fascia and allowing it to recover from the damage caused by excessive strain. While many people look for specific shoes for plantar fasciitis, you can add the arch support you need to any pair of shoes by wearing supportive orthopedic insoles. Having correct support will also help prevent the onset or recurrence of plantar fasciitis by avoiding excess strain and damage in the first place.
What Is The Plantar Fasciitis Insoles
Sorry if youre perplexed. I know its not an easy choice! But its one of the most crucial choices youll ever make. If youre still unsure which type of plantar fasciitis insoles is best for you, I recommend comparing the characteristics and functionalities of the plantar fasciitis insoles listed above. Each has advantages and disadvantages.
Studies And Data: Stretching And Insoles For Heel Pain Relief
A good orthotic insole is often one of the first treatment options given to you by your healthcare professional, and for good reason they work. There have been multiple studies over the years that include the successful incorporation of orthotics in their test groups.
For example, in an 8-week study of 246 patients to test the efficacy of Custom and Pre-Fabricated orthotic inserts, it was determined that pre-fabricated inserts were more likely to produce improvement in symptoms than a custom device. In fact, the pre-fabricated orthotic group out-performed a group that used a custom insert AND a stretching routine.
Another study to determine the clinical efficacy of foot orthoses in the treatment of plantar fasciitis concluded that a group assigned to wear functional orthotics had experienced a significant decrease in foot pain, and an increase in foot function after only 4 weeks. The final conclusion was determined that, although slightly more expensive, having the correct orthotic assisted in returning a better quality of life.
a group assigned to wear functional orthotics had experienced a significant decrease in foot pain and an increase in foot function after only 4 weeks.
Group Study ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- The best plantar fasciitis insoles score by the most amount of sufferers
- Strong Arch Support
7. ProFoot Mens and Womens Insoles
- Great value for a heel spur insert
- Fits in most types of shoes
- Good heel cushioning
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Types Of Plantar Fasciitis Insoles
Orthotic Arch Supports – these insoles feature a flexible support platform that offers you support without feeling too stiff. It conforms to the curves of your feet to make you comfortable all day long and is excellent for the prevention of over-pronation or supination.
Cushioned Arch Supports – the level of support offered by a cushioned arch support is less than that of the orthotic support. These insoles feature a heel cup for maximum stability, and they also come with inbuilt arch support. They are made entirely from cushioned padding thus, they’re incredibly flexible.
Gel Insoles – these are insoles known for their shock absorption abilities. Generally more substantial than other insole types, the gel insole is excellent for use by people who love to undertake high-impact activities such as walking, running and other sporting activities. Their gel construction reduces the occurrence of foot fatigue and also increases energy returns.
Flat Insoles – also referred to as replacement insoles, these units are insoles designed to line the bottom of your shoe thus, they have no arch support whatsoever. They replace sock liners, and they come in a variety of forms, some of them being made from wool, foam, leather, gel and other materials. If you need a quick sock liner replacement and do not require any foot support, this is the best option for you.
Reliable Plantar Fasciitis Insoles & Other Treatment Options
Plantar Fasciitis insoles from Footlogics are an excellent way to treat the effects and causes of heel and arch pain, while ensuring your feet receive the support they need throughout the day.
Our insoles will help to correct the position and shape of the foot, and allow you to enjoy a life that isnt hampered by frequent heel aches or arch pain.
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Best For High Heels: Ball Of Foot Forefoot Cushions
While high heels certainly look great, they’re notorious for being a killer on the feet. Fortunately, there are ways to make them a little more comfortable. Dr. Rimawi says these insoles “offload pressure on the front of the foot to provide symptomatic relief.” Ball of Foot Forefoot Cushions’ medical-grade gel pads sit comfortably at the bottom of your favorite heels to cushion your foot and absorb shock, helping to relieve pain, calluses, and more.
After trying the Ball of Foot Cushions for the first time, a reviewer said, “Instead of pain that made me not even want to wear my favorite shoes, there was this feeling of walking on clouds. It was so soft and cushiony. I then started walking around in them. Not only did that wonderful feeling remain, but I was extremely surprised at how well the cushions stayed in place.”
To buy: , $13
Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer
The Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer insoles are specially constructed for athletic users. However, they are also a great option for budget-minded folks seeking additional comfort and who want to reduce impact for their feet in day-to-day scenarios. The forefoot and heel both feature extra built-in padding, allowing these insoles to take on additional shock in the area of the foot most impacted when running and doing other sports.
If you have a condition that requires specific arch support, the lightweight polyurethane foam used in this model might not be the best as it only boasts moderate arch support. The insole doesn’t have any rigid components, and the lightweight design means they are more prone to wearing away over time. They aren’t as durable as some others we’ve tested, and their flimsy nature means they’re a bit tricky to get into your shoe. However, their super-thin profile and high level of cushioning make them great for those who don’t have extra room to spare but want extra comfort. We think you should consider the Spenco insoles if you are shopping for comfort on a budget.
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Best For Bunions: Walk
Dr. Rimawi says that the right insole for bunions varies depending on why you have bunions in the first place. For example, if you’re getting bunions because you have flat feet, you need to address that issue first. According to the Mayo Clinic, bunions commonly form when you’re wearing narrow or tight shoes, since that can cause the bones in your toes to shift uncomfortably. For that reason, Dr. Rimawi suggests an insole that has a “wide and padded forefoot sole,” like this popular option from Walk-Hero.
The , these add cushioning and shock absorption to your shoes for lasting comfort and many customers say these have helped relieve foot pain associated with bunions. “I am a bartender and waitress who is running around on my feet for long shifts,” one shared. “I have bunions and bad feet These inserts offered so much relief! I could feel the support immediately. Life-changing.”
To buy: , from $11
Pcssole Orthotic Arch Support Shoe Inserts Insoles For Flat Feet
- FlAT FEET: Medical grade Orthotic Inserts For common foot pain, arch pain, heel pain, ankle Pain,plantar fasciitis and over Pronation.
- 3CM ARCH SUPPORT: Rigid arch support distributes and minimize pressure in the foot .
- ALL DAY COMFORT MATERIAL :Durable EVA foam base and multi-layer cushion provide long-lasting support and comfort while walking, running and hiking.
- FIT MOST FOOTWEAR:Easily movable from shoe to shoe.
- SIZE SELECTION AND QUALITY GURANTEE:Choose an insole based on your old insole and our insoles are cuttable.
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Dr Scholl’s Running Insoles
The Dr. Scholl’s Running Insoles offer excellent shock absorption and arch support with their triple-zone design. Like the ones from Currex RunPro, these running insoles have padding for the ball of the foot and the heel as well as hard plastic reinforced arch support. The extra padded zones help absorb the shock associated with pounding pavement or trails, and Dr. Scholl’s claims that these insoles reduce shock up to 40%. This reduced shock combined with the thin plastic arch can help relieve pain associated with runner’s injuries like plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and runner’s knee.
These insoles slipped easily into our tester’s running shoes, who noticed their stride feeling lighter and easier due to their great shock absorption. But our testers found that these insoles took up valuable real estate in their running shoes, which made them feel snugger than they would prefer. There is also pronounced extra padding directly under the metatarsal, which could be great for someone suffering from metatarsalgia, but since our testers do not, this extra padding just put unwanted pressure on that part of the foot. Though they may sacrifice some room in your running shoes, these insoles provide great shock absorption and support for a low price.
Best Firm Inserts: Superfeet Blue Professional
For those who arent a fan of soft inserts, Dr. Peden suggests Superfeet. Superfeet tend to be a bit firmer, he explains. Superfeet are available in a variety of colors each with a different combination of thickness and arch support. Blue is their most popular style catering to medium thickness and arch, or medium volume and profile. Constructed out of high density foam to support and cushion the foot, they are shaped to take the pressure off problem areas while offering all the support you need to comfortably get through the day.
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Best For Running: Superfeet Run Comfort
Running-specific inserts need to be lightweight, supportive and designed to prevent foot fatigue. And, with the right pick, insoles can help your running, rather than slow you down.
Could My Running Insoles Make My Calves Burn?
Runners who suffer from calf burning may turn to running insoles to help alleviate discomfort related to running.
What makes the right insert may be different for every runner.
Runners with high arches or flat feet may discover they have unbalanced pronation, which can lead to calf burning. Improper insoles for your foot type can also cause burning in your calves. Orthotic insoles can assist in correcting bad alignment by restraining foot pronation, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association.
Orthotics work to restore the natural foot and arch alignment during running . Proper foot positioning can alleviate calf burning and other lower extremity injuries associated with running.
There are some tried and true ways to break in new running shoes, so if your new shoes are causing you calf pain, make sure you’re following the proper steps for getting comfortable in your sneaks.
Wearing the right shoe inserts for calf strain can help alleviate the pain. If you’re finding that it’s your running shoe inserts or the actual shoe that’s causing calf pain, you should meet with a running shoe product expert to discuss possible options.
Buy it:Superfeet.com Price: $49.95