When you play sports regularly, it’s a pretty good bet that sooner or later you’ll develop an injury. Ankle ligament strains top the list as the most common injury during sports games and training, as they account for 15% of all injuries. Aside from it, other possible injuries include plantar fasciitis, which explains the importance of wearing plantar fasciitis running shoes.
Plantar fasciitis happens when the ligament along the underside of your foot becomes strained, which then results in pain and inflammation. At its worst, the pain can be debilitating even when you’re lying down or sitting. The condition is oftenattributed to constantly running over a hard surface, and it’s exacerbated by poorly fitting shoes that offer little support.
College players like Isaiah Taylor of Texas and professional athletes like Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals suffer from the condition, and these people have access to experienced trainers, sophisticated technology, and good running shoes. That makes it a more likely problem for you, but with the right pair of shoes, you can avoid it.
Why Do You Need Good Shoes?
Playing sports often involves pounding your feet against hard surfaces for extended periods of time. It’s why this problem is very prevalent among tennis players, basketball players, and other athletes who run hard constantly. If you’re not a pro, then your doctor will probably recommend that you stop playing so you don’t exacerbate the injury.
With the right shoes, you can minimize the risk of plantar fasciitis, and you can also get shoes for plantar fasciitis pain management. For athletes, wearing orthotic inserts won’t do at all because they’re relatively makeshift remedies. You have to get a really good pair of athletic shoes to overcome plantar fasciitis as the pain can linger for many months. But that leads to the question of which shoes to get.
It’s the same question when you’re not playing or training, because your regular shoes can make things work for your feet even when you’re just doing your regular activities. It’s why you should wear good shoes right after getting up from bed in the morning, because going barefoot or wearing slippers will just make things worse.
So here are some factors you need to consider when you’re buying shoes to help prevent or alleviate plantar fasciitis.
1. Arch Support
The arches in your feet are formed by the tarsal and metatarsal bones and they’re reinforced by ligaments and tendons. The arches enable your feet to support your weight when you’re standing up.
The problem is that not everyone has the same arches. Your running shoes and casual footwear must match your arch requirements. You can tell if you have high arches by getting the underside of your feet wet and then walking on a surface that allow you to see your footprints easily.
If you have a normal arch, the imprint will show a wide band connecting the forefoot and the heel. If you have a high arch, there’s no connecting band or even if there is one, it’s very narrow. The problem with high arches is that it gives you incorrect pronation and weak shock-absorption, and these problems can lead to plantar fasciitis. If your footprint is almost filled in, then you have flat feet or very low arches.
- Some people have flat feet, when the arches on the inside of their feet are flattened. That means your whole soles touch the floor when you stand up. This condition increases your chances of getting plantar fasciitis.
Fully flat feet are relatively rare, although it’s very common for runners to have low arches. That can lead to overpronation when the inside of the foot rolls too much when your feet makes contact with the ground. Ideally, the foot rolls shouldn’t roll inward more than 15%.
If you have this problem you need shoes that offer stability and motion control. A good option offers a cushioning system that reduces the shock for the forefoot and the rear foot.
- Others have high arches, and this is also another risk factor. So if you’re getting plantar fasciitis shoes for men and you have high arches, you need a pair of shoes that offer stability to support the high arches. It should also let the front and back of the foot transition independently when you’re moving from heel to toe. Your heels will have to absorb most of the shock when you pound your feet on the hard playing surface, and for that you need lots of cushioning for your heel.
- You should also get special shoes if you have overpronation, even if you have a normal arch. With overpronation, your feet and your ankles may find it more difficult to stabilize your body when you run, and your feet don’t absorb the shock properly. At the end of the running cycle, you may mainly the big and second to push your feet off the ground.
You can tell you have overpronation problems when you examine your shoes. Look on the inside edge and see if it is more worn down than the outer edge. If that’s the case, then you may have an overpronation problem. It’s also a bad sign if your shoes tilt inwards when you lay them over a flat surface.
The shoes you’ll need should have the right arch support, but it should also offer a flat midsole and a wider base. These features combine to create a secure structure that’s needed for overpronation.
- For mild pronation, you need cushion and control. The midsoles should keep the pronation smooth and neutral, and the midsole and the outsole should work together to set your feet down with a balanced and efficient position.
- Supination is the opposite of pronation, and it too can lead to plantar fasciitis. It’s the opposite of pronation, when the outside edge of the inside of the shoes is more worn down, and the shoes tilt outwards when set on a flat surface.
This problem requires a light and flexible rubber outsole that can still protect your feet and ankles. You may also want to look for soft support for your foot as a buffer, while some firmer density foam should offer support.
2. Shock Absorption
This is a crucial feature if you’re looking for running shoes to protect against plantar fasciitis. Every time you run or land after jumping, you get a strong jolt of high-impact shocks that can wear down the ligament underneath your feet.
So you’ll need to look for several features:
- On the outside, you need excellent rubber that can offer additional shock absorption. You need to keep them a bit soft instead of hard, so it seems like you’re running or jumping on a rubber mat.
- On the inside, you also need lots of cushioning. Some offer a dual layer sole-piece or they may come with standard EVA foam. Others offer even more specialized cushioning, like gel and carbon-plate enhancements for the midsole.
Keep track of your running distance, however. According to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, most shoes lose their shock absorption after 350 to 550 miles. And shoes do not recover their cushioning even after you rest them.
3. Proper Fit
Your shoes should fit you perfectly and that can be a problem for some people. Some people don’t have feet that measure the same, while others may have a proper shoe size that’s in the middle of preset shoe sizes.
Also, shoe sizes are often based on just the length of the feet. But some people have narrow feet while others have wider feet.
So what should you do? Basically, you just need to test each pair to see if they fit you perfectly in a 3D way. The best shoes can offer a customized fit by offering layers of memory foam. But at the very least, take them out for a spin.
Here are some tips:
- Pick shoes with laces, as they’re easier to adjust and they’re also more secure on your feet. Just don’t lace them up to tightly, and instead have some spread in the midfoot and forefoot.
- Even if you’re buying plantar fasciitis shoes for women, the height of the heel should be no more than 1.5 inches. If you go higher, you can put too much pressure on the forefoot. And if women need to wear high heels, they should first run in the morning and then wear high heels. Women who wear high heels during the day and who then switch to flat running shoes are more prone to plantar fasciitis.
Keep in mind when you’re buying shoes, you’re probably better off with the high-end brands, especially when buying running shoes. Cheap shoes can come in low-quality materials, and they may not offer enough foot and heel support. You also want to avoid shoes that are too light and flexible.
Plantar fasciitis is a problem that can linger for many months, so you really need good shoes that can prevent or alleviate it. Invest in a good pair of shoes, because it will be more cost-effective for you in the long run.