Struggling with plantar fasciitis? Fortunately, there are many tools at your disposal.
But unfortunately, it can be hard to decide which one to buy first. Here’s our overview of some items you might be considering, including plantar fasciitis socks, splints, slippers, and insoles, along with the pros and cons of each.
Plantar Fasciitis Night Splints
Plantar fasciitis night splints are typically worn at night to hold the foot at a 90-degree angle relative to the tibia (leg). This theoretically prevents the plantar fascia (a foot ligament) from shortening at night. It may also actually stretch the Achilles tendon, facilitating healing.
One main motivation people have for buying night splints is that their physician recommended it. The goal of the doctor is to ease the pain from the most painful step of the day; usually, this is the first step out of bed in the morning. Unfortunately, good quality night splints aren’t cheap, and they can feel pretty awkward to wear, as well. Many fall off at night during normal tossing and turning. In addition, they may not be covered by your insurance plan.
- Makes the most painful step of the day--the first-morning step--more bearable
- Allows for reduced tendon and fascial contractures while you sleep
- Ensures that the Achilles tendon gets a good, constant stretch
- Often bulky and uncomfortable
- Only wearable at night
- Fairly expensive, $150-250 for a quality brand
- These can bother people that have any component of nerve-based pain
Plantar Fasciitis Socks
These snug socks are designed to apply a constant compression to the structure of the plantar fascia. The socks are wearable with pretty much any other kind of footwear, including running shoes, and can be combined with other solutions including kinesiology tape.
Their versatility and low cost make them frugal options. But the constant compression can get uncomfortable, and the socks rarely heal plantar fasciitis on their own. Compression on the fascial tissue works along with the same principle as low dye taping and other techniques of treatment. It is thought that the compression assists the fascia in maintaining the arch.
- Can be combined with other solutions and worn under shoes
- Relatively inexpensive, $15-30 dollars per pair
- Can be worn overnight
- Most often must be used in conjunction with other treatment tools to achieve healing
- Constant compression can get uncomfortable
- Don’t always work well
Plantar Fasciitis Insoles
As a plantar fasciitis sufferer, you may feel pain with every step. Insoles seem like a natural choice since they can be worn in all types of footwear and may be inexpensive. Insoles work by altering the alignment and/or distributing body weight in a different pattern. Custom insoles do a better job of this, but typically cost $500 per pair and aren’t covered by insurance.
But insoles are far from miracle cures and are best used in conjunction with other tools ( such as specialized shoes) as part of a complete healing plan. Also, some brands can be uncomfortably hard and can fall apart easily, depending upon usage.
- Versatile; can be work in most kinds of shoes
- Relatively inexpensive (range $40-120)
- Can be worn in all occasions if they fit into your shoes
- These must fit properly and also fit into your shoe
- Hard material insoles or poor-fitting insoles can actually worsen the pain
- Some brands may be of poor quality
- Custom insoles work better than off-the-shelf insoles but are much more expensive
Plantar Fasciitis Slippers
Who doesn’t love a nice warm pair of slippers? After all, when you’re relaxing at home, the last thing you want to feel is foot pain.
Plantar fasciitis slippers are, above all, comforting, often with large arch support and cushioned heel pad. This can be enough to keep the pain away temporarily, but many people don’t walk enough in slippers to achieve any sort of healing. In addition, the softness and comfort of a slipper are not very structural and actually may not promote natural healing.
- Comfortable and warm
- Pads foot and eases pain quickly
- Can usually be combined with orthotic inserts but then they become less soft
- Somewhat expensive, $50-$500
- Few studies exist that prove they actually heal plantar fasciitis
- Only may be worn at home
- Relief is temporary only
Plantar Fasciitis Flip Flops
It may come as a surprise that some flip flop styles are actually ideal plantar fasciitis footwear. They’re comfortable, can be worn for long treks (once broken-in), and they have thick soles.
The Healing Sole is one of a very limited number of footwear options that are not only comfortable but actually support natural recovery with every step. While they’re not as cheap as some lighter options like socks, they typically get better results and last longer as well.
- De-stress, stretch and cushion the foot appropriately with every step
- Clinically proven to work (single study)
- A much less expensive alternative to surgery, injections or other physician-directed treatment
- Allows for recovery of the foot and support of pain from foot conditions in the comfort of your own home and while still enjoying life
- The method of relief is a flip-flop and this allows the use of this popular style of footwear
- Not as cheap as some footwear, such as socks or insoles (may qualify for HSA, HRA, Flex, or similar medical expense cards)
- Can’t be worn at work sites with OSHA closed-toe requirements
Summing it Up
Some plantar fasciitis footwear options simply alleviate pain, but some allow for treating the condition itself.
It’s often worth spending a little more on footwear that might take your plantar fasciitis away completely, especially before you go all in on surgery or injections. Experiences vary, so trying a few options might yield the best results. Your feet are your foundation for physical and financial health: treat them well.
Try The Healing Sole for yourself to see how you can walk without pain. Visit our website to learn more and order this patented flip flop today!