Our feet get us wherever we want to go. Plus, they bear our weight without ever ‘questioning our choices’! But unfortunately, some of these choices usually catch up with us. And when they do, our feet sometimes have to pay the price!
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that can cause heel pain. To help relieve the pain, consider browsing some of the best inserts for plantar fasciitis. Having said that, the condition occurs when the tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes becomes inflamed. This tissue- known as the plantar fascia- is responsible for absorbing shock and supporting the foot’s arch. As a result, plantar fasciitis occurs due to overuse or repetitive motion.
Activities that stress the feet, such as running or dancing, can worsen the condition. Tight shoes and high heels can also contribute to plantar fasciitis. Similarly, a sudden increase in activity or weight gain can result in the condition. Typically, treatment includes:
- Stretching exercises
In some cases, physical therapy or orthotic devices may also be recommended. Surgery is rarely necessary.
So, what are the best orthotics for plantar fasciitis? Here’s a rundown of the qualities to help you winnow the chaff from the grain while you shop for shoe orthotics or prescription insoles (we’ll use the terms interchangeably).
When dealing with heel pain, the last thing you want is a device that rubs or pinches your foot. In short, look for comfortable orthotics that don’t irritate your skin.
Given that you’ll use the insoles consistently and usually for a long time, you need a product that’s easy on your heel. Opt for insoles with sufficient cushioning, including moisture-wicking technology to keep your feet dry. They should also be breathable to allow air circulation.
Many times, people with plantar fasciitis also have flat feet. In this case, you’ll want an orthotic that provides arch support and helps redistribute weight evenly. This can result in less pressure or tension on the heel, which usually helps reduce pain and inflammation.
To do this effectively, the orthotic should keep your foot from flattening, as this can worsen your condition. In short, it should conform to your foot arch. Arch support is especially important if you have high arches. Also, some plantar fasciitis orthotics have a cut-out section to relieve pressure on the heel.
A stable orthotic helps keep the foot in alignment and prevents excessive pronation or supination. The former implies that the foot rolls inwards, while the latter means your foot rolls outwards. An excess of either condition puts undue stress on the heel and ankle joint.
Dependable orthotics provide medial (arch) and lateral (heel) support. In so doing, they help stabilize the foot and ankle, which can, in turn, alleviate pain. And in practice, a good device will support your foot and promote stability while offering other features.
Besides fitting well over your feet as intended, insoles or orthotics should fit snugly in your shoes. Otherwise, they can slip and rub, which can lead to blisters. And if they’re too big or too small, they won’t be effective. These devices are designed to fit into the shoes you intend to use them with, so you can get on with your routine. If they don’t fit comfortably, consider looking for other options.
Usually, we get what we pay for, and the same goes for orthotics. In general, cheaper insoles are made of lower-quality materials, implying they offer less-than-desired support. They also tend to wear out quickly.
On the other hand, higher-quality orthotics are crafted to last and can provide better support for your feet. Put plainly, if you’re going to be wearing them daily, they should be able to withstand regular wear and tear.
Preferably, it’s worth investing in a good pair of orthotics if you can afford it. That means you won’t have to keep swapping out your devices now and then.
While over-the-counter orthotics can be effective, they’re not always the best option. Custom-made orthotics may be a better choice if you have a more severe case of plantar fasciitis. That’s because they’re specifically designed to fit your feet, providing better support and relieving pain more effectively.
A podiatrist can take measurements of your feet and create a mold used to make the orthotics. This way, you can ensure they fit well and provide the support you need. And although custom-made orthotics tend to be more expensive, they may be worth the investment if you’re looking for long-term relief from plantar fasciitis.
The best plantar fasciitis orthotics will offer all of the qualities we’ve explored and then some. But all in all, the ideal orthotic for plantar fasciitis can greatly help manage pain and promote healing. And as you consider treatment, consult your physician for expert advice on the recommended types of insoles for your situation.