Shoes for Planar Fasciitis
September 20, 2016 11:56 AM   Subscribe

For the first time in my life I have Planar Fasciitis so I need to figure out how I can get rid of it AND what shoes/slippers to wear indoors?

Never had this but a month back I ran in shoes that had no cushioning and that I think pretty much did it. So I now have this horrible early morning pain in my heel in one foot (not the other) and trying to figure out what footwear to use indoors (i was told to never walk barefoot for awhile).. Recommendations for indoors (and walking shoes) would be great.
posted by metajim to Health & Fitness (32 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I've found that for me it's more a matter of getting the right insoles for the shoes I plan on wearing. So, around the house I wear these comfy clogs if I'm flaring up with orthotics in them, out and about it's just a matter of making sure I pick my insole/orthotics equipped shoes. I'd tell you the brand, but all the markings are worn off from constant use, sorry. Hopefully this can help direct your inquiries though.
posted by Shutter at 12:07 PM on September 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Not sure who told you not to walk barefoot, but wearing shoes isn't going to help PF. Exercises, icing, rolling, and resting will do it. You can buy a special PF sock for the nighttime as well.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:13 PM on September 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

I went to a special orthopedic store when I had PF for a while. They said that I needed stiff soled shoes. I got some, and the PF resolved.

The sock that 317 mentions is called a Strasbourg Sock. I've never worn one.
posted by OmieWise at 12:14 PM on September 20, 2016

Crocs worked for me. The fugly clogs around the house, though it was winter so I got lined fugly clogs & they have shoes that look just like normal dress style shoes for when you go out & about everything from winter boots to strappy summer sandals & sneakers styles. No one believes me when I tell them that they are crocs. Hell I'm wearing some funky leopard print slip on sneakers of theirs as I type this.

They were the only thing I could wear to walk without pain for a while due to PF. Insoles etc did nothing for me and just bugged me, but other people have great results with them.

Edited to nth what others have said while these helped me to walk while it healed the only thing that cured it was exercise, rolling & icing.
posted by wwax at 12:16 PM on September 20, 2016

I've definitely seen and heard the "never go barefoot" thing either but FWIW, it's not been a problem for me. Stretching and night splints were the keys.

As far as shoes specifically, though, I've been okay with anything with good arch support and low or no heels. Dansko clogs were really helpful when I was in the most pain. I also did well with Birkenstocks. When you're ready for running again, New Balance and Brooks shoes have been really good for me.

I think some of this is going to be about your individual feet, though - high arches, low arches, pronation, etc., so you may have to trial-and-error it a bit.
posted by Stacey at 12:19 PM on September 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

I saw a podiatrist 7-8 years ago for PF. He recommended the following products in addition to frequent stretching:

1. Running shoes that flex at the toe, but not in the middle where your arch is.
2. The funny Strassburg sock
3. Orthotic insoles (I get a new pair of Powerstep each time I get new shoes)

The pain is almost completely gone daily, but if I wear flip-flops or go barefoot for any length of time over a couple hours, I can feel my feet & legs begin to ache.

Good luck!
posted by xiix at 12:25 PM on September 20, 2016

FitFlops have worked quite well for me and a friend who is a fellow sufferer, and would make a good indoor shoe. Superfeet insoles in my less supportive shoes have also helped me a lot.
posted by karbonokapi at 12:52 PM on September 20, 2016

i wore lined crocs around in the winter in the house. i did have trouble walking barefoot, even tho i hate wearing shoes. so for years i wore stupid crocs in the house.

i also started solely wearing sneakers, even tho they aren't fashionable. got a doctors note to be able to wear them at work. what worked for me were crosstrainers or trail shoes. i did new balance for a while, but my current fave for my over pronation is asics.

massage/rolling is also good. i had great luck with cortisone injections, but you can only get so many ever and a lot of people are against them.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 12:58 PM on September 20, 2016

Coincidentally, I just read a blog post about one person's experience recovering from plantar fasciitis, which points this series of one physical therapist's advice regarding plantar fasciitis Part 1: The Real Cause of Plantar Fasciitis; Part 2: Why Common Treatments Don’t Work; Part 3: Treatment Guide for Plantar Fasciitis.
posted by Lexica at 1:14 PM on September 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Barking Dogs may have some helpful recommendations for you.
posted by BostonTerrier at 1:44 PM on September 20, 2016

Birkenstocks are what did helped me. When plantar Fasciitis is at its most painful it is sore to walk barefoot. Birkenstocks allow you to spread your toes out and they are cushioned. There's a lot of questions and answers here on meta filter about PF, I found them very useful when at my wits ends over painful feet and conflicting advice.
posted by stevedawg at 1:54 PM on September 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

I run endurance events pretty much constantly so my PF never heals. To deal with the pain and keep the inflammation down I wear Hoka One Ones (Speedgoats and Challenger ATRs) and Altra (Lone Peak 3.0) shoes. They help a lot. Any of those big maximalist style shoes will help.

I do a bunch of other stuff for it too, but the shoes make the biggest difference by far.
posted by skintension at 2:46 PM on September 20, 2016

I still wear OrthoHeel flip flops around the house. I personally found that going barefoot exacerbated my PF pain. I also rolled a frozen water bottle along my arches 20 minutes/ 2x day for...ever. I think that and the shoe support really helped.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 2:50 PM on September 20, 2016

Your doctor may be able to give you a steroid shot that makes it go away as well.
posted by corb at 3:11 PM on September 20, 2016

I found that using Super feet insoles in all my regular shoes did the trick. You can get them online for $45 or at a Fleet feet store.
posted by SyraCarol at 3:23 PM on September 20, 2016

I find sandals with a memory foam insole the most comfortable around the house. Out and about, I have shoes with on OTC orthotic provided bipy my podiatrist.

Memory foam seems to be the in thing in casual shoes, but it may run counter to best practices with PF.
posted by SemiSalt at 4:09 PM on September 20, 2016

The sports-med doctor I saw about my plantar fasciitis told me never to wear flip-flops or any other shoes that was open (and strapless) at the back. She recommended Brooks Addiction running shoes and made a stiff 3/8" wedge to put in the shoe. Both of these helped a lot with the pain. Very flat shoes were terrible for me; I needed my heel to be raised at least a little.

I also bought some rubber/silicone heel pads that were great. For me, squishy pads made the pain worse. The ones I liked best were these. If you want something really firm, these are quite good. With any pad that's thicker than 3/16, put pads in both shoes.

This isn't about footwear, but one thing that really cut down on pain was moving my foot/ankle often while sitting. You've probably noticed that after sitting for a while, your bad foot can hurt a lot when you get up and walk around. I just slowly pointed my toe and then returned to a neutral position. At first I did it constantly, but then found that every few minutes was enough.
posted by wryly at 4:25 PM on September 20, 2016

Slippers don't tend to have the kind of structure you'll want, so you'll need to be a bit creative. Keep on wearing inside whatever shoes are comfortable outside; as indicated above, anything with a slight heel tends to feel better. What you wear on your feet at night helps a lot, too.

I found you can accomplish what that fancy sock accomplishes by wearing a pair of ankle (or higher) boots to bed. Strange, yes, but a boot will keep your foot in the right position while your foot heels overnight. (Blunnies work well!) As long as you can sleep with a boot on, of course.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:05 PM on September 20, 2016

I get a lot of relief from shoes with curved/rocking bottoms like Skechers Shape-Ups. I actually avoided flare-ups entirely for a few years by wearing Shape-ups regularly, so I was pretty annoyed when Skechers got sued over the fitness claims they made about the line and stopped producing it for a while. When they brought the style back, I immediately grabbed a new pair. I try to walk at least 4-5 miles/day most days, and whenever my PF flares, I wear the Shape-Ups for a few days and it calms back down.
posted by QuickedWeen at 5:25 PM on September 20, 2016

Shoes with enclosed heels rather than mules or slides helped me some, but the main thing that helped me was freezing a water bottle then putting it on the floor and rolling my foot across it. It helped the immediate pain because it was frozen, but helped work out the issue because of the muscle flexing.
posted by AliceBlue at 5:31 PM on September 20, 2016

Keen shoes! They're awesome and comfortable and last a long time. Also - weekly yoga to stretch out everything in the calf and the back of the heel and the bottom of the foot.
posted by Vatnesine at 5:36 PM on September 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Spenco inserts for all of my shoes, and Spenco flip-flops are the only ones I can wear all day without any pain.

Lots of achilles stretches and the dreaded foam roller on my calves has helped, too.
posted by TwoStride at 5:48 PM on September 20, 2016

Man, all I do now is talk about how custom orthotics (from a podiatrist) fixed my plantar fasciitis that persisted despite stretching, expensive OTC insoles, cheap insoles, acupuncture... Definitely feel free to try Superfeet and other OTC insoles--they helped me a little, and they're cheaper. But to just knock the plantar fasciitis out, don't fuck around. Just get custom orthotics. I could literally run again in like two weeks.
posted by c'mon sea legs at 5:48 PM on September 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

I got PF under control with stretching, exercises, and massage designed to loosen up the tightness and knots in my feet. Stretching your calves and Achilles tendons is crucial because tightness there works down to your sole. Fix that tightness and you'll improve a lot.

I got New Balance 711s to wear indoors with my orthotics, which are great for general support, not just PF. I tried wearing slippers or cheap sneakers with and without orthotics, but I needed the full support of a proper shoe. The 711 tread is relatively smooth, which means I don't trip on stairs or carpet.

(The 711s get worn indoors only as I am one of those fastidious Canadians who gets the vapours over outdoor shoes in the house. The orthotics get swapped to outdoor shoes as needed.)
posted by maudlin at 6:03 PM on September 20, 2016

I swear by Alegria shoes -- and they're funky looking and fit orthotics. (Not affiliated, here's the sale link but you can also get it at other stores.)

The rest of my personal PF cure has already been mentioned: ice in a waterbottle under your office desk, roll tennis balls around your feet under your desk if you don't have an icy waterbottle, stretches on the stairs.
posted by wenat at 7:15 PM on September 20, 2016

Mrs. slkinsey swears by Danskos for her plantar fasciitis. After a few years of problems, switching to Danskos was the only thing that solved it for her. Nowadays if she feels like flareup might be coming, she wears Danskos exclusively for a week or so and it seems to go away. slkinsey père had a similar experience with Mephistos.
posted by slkinsey at 7:26 PM on September 20, 2016

Seconding the Mephistos — they're my summer sandals.

I do miss the days when I could buy cheap shoes.
posted by wenat at 7:41 PM on September 20, 2016

Sanita clogs have been helpful to me for this. Sanita is the company that used to manufacture Dansko's clogs for Dansko (or something like that), and I find the original Sanitas more comfortable than Dansko's current ones.

My feet also seem to do well in Teva Tirra sandals. They don't feel quite as therapeutic as the Sanitas but they are still good.
posted by needs more cowbell at 10:08 PM on September 20, 2016

I have heard Crocs are the best for this, but I have not had plantar fascitis so I don't know.

My dad did have it though, so he wears custom orthotics and also he took this foot yoga class at the gym. Yeah, a whole class for stretching your feet. They stood on nubbly things and did toe lifts and I don't know what all. My dad said it was awesomely painful but he doesn't suffer from PF anymore, so there's that.
posted by chainsofreedom at 4:54 AM on September 21, 2016

Had a wicked onset of FP when working in Taipei - where I needed to walk about a mile to the office each morning. Found somewhat quick relief with 1) tennis ball exercise and 2) Switching to Clark's shoes, which had better support than my dress shoes. There are also insole supports made especially for PF, but I do not have a link handy. The Clark's design seemed to ease walking greatly, though.
posted by flyingrock at 9:32 AM on September 21, 2016

A stretch like this that works your hamstrings is what finally cured my PF. That pose is similar to what I did but I did not bend my other leg.
posted by soelo at 11:53 AM on September 21, 2016

Thanks so much for all your great suggestions-will try them one by one :)
posted by metajim at 4:27 PM on September 23, 2016

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