Imagine stepping out of bed each morning and into excruciating pain. If you have plantar fasciitis, you know this feeling extremely well. It is not a pleasant way to start the day.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the fascia, the connective tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel bone to each of the five toes. It's one of the most common causes of heel pain: one in ten of us will experience it at some point in our lives.
While plantar fasciitis typically lessens once you get up and move about, long periods of standing or sitting can aggravate the condition.
Your risk of developing plantar fasciitis increases if you:
Choose inappropriate footwear. Shoes that lack arch support increase your risk of plantar fasciitis and other foot, knee, hip and back problems. You can protect your fascia and maintain the health of your feet with plantar fasciitis shoe inserts. Learn more, below.
Stand or walk a lot for your job. If you work in retail, on a factory floor, as a teacher, or in another occupation that requires many hours standing on hard surfaces, this can stress your arches and lead to plantar fasciitis.
Are 45-64 years old, with an active lifestyle. This is when plantar fasciitis commonly occurs. Recreational and elite runners report plantar fasciitis the most. However, plantar fasciitis can also afflict people younger and older than this age range.
Have biomechanical issues. Structural conditions such as high arches, tight Achilles tendons, flat feet, or a tendency to pronate (turn your feet inward as you walk) can all contribute to plantar fasciitis risk.
Lead a sedentary lifestyle, or exercise excessively. Too little exercise is as much of a risk factor as too much.
How Arch Support Inserts Help Plantar Fasciitis
When you stretch or strain the plantar fascia due to any of these risk factors – or just in daily life – this thick, powerful ligament can become irritated and inflamed, causing severe heel pain.
Arch supports are designed to provide pain relief caused by common foot-related conditions, which can also affect your hips, back, and knees. With over 300 styles, flexibilities, and sizes, Good Feet Arch Supports are engineered to fit your feet with precision, to help provide pain relief and to help get you back on your feet.
10 Things to Look for in an Arch Support Insert to Help Plantar Fasciitis
Designed to Reduce Pain
The over-arching goal of plantar fasciitis inserts is pain relief. Look for plantar fasciitis insoles that are designed to relieve pain and provide comfort. Be sure to select the type of arch supports that can be worn with any style of footwear, to ensure you receive maximum support for plantar fasciitis no matter where your feet take you.
Your feet are the foundation for your entire body. Arch supports for plantar fasciitis should have transverse arch support to help distribute pressure evenly across your feet, thereby improving your stability. Effective plantar fasciitis inserts will provide this balance and stability.
Supports All Fours Arches of the Foot
The best insoles for plantar fasciitis support all four arches of the foot, placing your feet in the ideal position, evenly distributing your body weight, and aligning the body from the ground up.
A brief primer on your arches will help you understand why arch support inserts are so important:
The Inner Longitudinal Arch runs from the ball of your foot to the heel, and is unique in length and height to each individual. It helps control excessive inward or outward foot rotation.
The Outer Longitudinal Arch absorbs the "roll" of your foot as you walk, reducing stress on your ankles, knees, and hips.
The Transverse Arch, hidden inside the foot above your heel, improves balance and stability.
The Metatarsal Arch spreads across the ball of your foot, helping to reduce pressure on the forefoot and improve balance.
All four arches must work together to maintain a healthy foot.
Provides Side to Side Stability
Plantar fasciitis inserts should offer side-to-side stability, which is essential for people who are on their feet all day, especially if they're working on hard surfaces such as asphalt or concrete. For example, Good Feet Arch Supports provide inner and outer longitudinal support which is ideal for plantar fasciitis relief.
Maintains the Foot's Ideal Position
An arch support should keep your foot in an ideal position, providing support for all-day comfort and pain relief. A plantar fasciitis support needs to be designed to maintain the foot's arch infrastructure which is essential for daily and athletic activities.
Can Work in a Variety of Shoes
Since you'll want to wear your plantar fasciitis arch supports every day to protect your heels and relieve pain, it makes sense to choose arch supports that can work in various types and styles of footwear. Some arch supports work best in work boots or sneakers; others in sandals or flats.
An arch support should accommodate a wide variety of shoe styles, including dress shoes, flats, sandals, and even high heels. You can stay stylish wearing plantar fasciitis arch supports. No one else needs to know — unless you choose to share the benefits of this simple way to alleviate or even eliminate pain.
A Heel Cup Designed to Cradle and Cushion
In addition to aligning your body up the kinetic chain with better stability, balance, and evenly distributed pressure, the plantar fasciitis arch supports you select should have a heel cup that cradles and cushions your foot to absorb "step shock" and align your foot.
Personally Fit to You
While it may be tempting to buy insoles off the rack at a drugstore, this is a mistake. For arch supports to be effective, they require a precision fit.
At The Good Feet Store, a trained Arch Support Specialist will spend up to an hour getting to know you and your feet, which includes properly measuring and mapping your feet’s four arches.
Our Arch Support Specialist will ask about your lifestyle, work environment, and the type of footwear you prefer, in order to recommend the best arch supports for your needs – especially if you're seeking pain relief from plantar fasciitis.
A Part of a System for Long-Term Relief
Foot-related problems can often be caused by poor biomechanics. This can also mean that one type of arch support insert may not be enough to provide long-term relief across your many activities, from walking your dog to hiking to running. Consider an arch support insert that is a part of a system that is designed to provide long-term pain relief across all activities.
The Good Feet Store offers a 3-Step System to do just that. This unique system includes three pairs of personally fit arch support inserts: one Strengthener, one Maintainer, and one Relaxer. When worn together as a system across your various activities, Good Feet Arch Supports can help improve the poor biomechanics that often cause foot-related problems and can help reduce – or even eliminate – foot, knee, hip, and back pain.
Ability to Try Before You Buy
Finally, before you invest in plantar fasciitis inserts, be sure they're the right arch supports for you. At The Good Feet Store, our try-before-you-buy approach allows you to take all the time you need to walk around the store and see which inserts feel best in your shoes.
Once you're happy with your selections, you can wear them home that very day. Your journey to plantar fasciitis pain relief has begun.
Other Benefits of Arch Support Inserts
Did you know that about one-fourth of all adults have foot pain, and about half those cases are so bad they're disabling? That's no way to go through life.
Arch supports can be beneficial for a multitude of foot conditions. In addition to plantar fasciitis, some of the most common causes of foot pain include:
Be Personally Fit for Good Feet Arch Supports
Why tiptoe around in agony for another day? Our experienced Good Feet Arch Support Specialists stand ready to measure your feet, perform a balance test, and learn about your arches and lifestyle all to help you live the life you love.
Come into your local Good Feet Store for a Free Fitting and Test Walk. With 180+ locations throughout the United States and abroad, there's probably a Good Feet Store near you. You can schedule an appointment, or just stop by when it's convenient.