The purpose of this article is twofold.
- To help runners choose sandals that will help the recover from plantar fasciitis
- To help runners choose sandals to wear after a run to help avoid plantar fasciitis
If you’re in a hurry, here’s what you need to know:
- Plenty of cushioning will help you get around while minimising the pain and discomfort.
- Enough support to keep your feet in the right shape.
If you’re suffering right now or you’ve recovered from plantar fasciitis and you really want to avoid it coming back. This guide will help you find the best sandals for plantar fasciitis.
The sandals I talk about here are not to be confused with flipflops (or thongs as our Aussie friends call them for unknown reasons). Flip flops generally have a thin flat piece of foam between the ground and your feet.
Sandals describe a type of footwear that can be securely attached to the foot and do not make that ‘flip flop’ sound as you walk in them.
These points are good things to consider for the prevention of plantar fasciitis and to alleviate the pain if you have it. You might not be able to find a pair that have all these characteristics but you might not need to. You may find that a really soft pair of sandals with good arch support will do the job for you.
A Deep Sole
Having had plantar fasciitis I know all too well the relief ultra-cushioned foot wear can bring. Having a good deep bit of foam between the bottom of your foot and the ground is essential.
When I had mine all I had to help the pain were a pair of old crocks. They were old and showed their age but boy did I love them. I know they were (or maybe even still are) fashionable but all I cared about was the relief they gave when walking.
The crocks I had made walking possible without a huge phycological build up.
Take a look at the video for an explanation of why arch support is so important for plantar fasciitis in general. Essentially the plantar fascia forms helps form the arch in your foot. If you’ve damaged your plantar fascia you need to help it. The best way you can do that is by giving it all the support it needs.
Choosing sandals with good arch support will help with this.
Check The Heel to Toe Drop
Plantar fasciitis often emanates from the heel area of the foot. By choosing a pair of sandals that shift your weight from the back to the front of your foot. You take weight and therefore pressure off the back of your foot. This may help alleviate some of the pain.
Choosing sandals with a good bit of drop from heel to toe will help with this.
Contoured To Your Foot Shape
The insole, well its probably not an insole. Its probably a moulded piece of plastic. Whatever the material, the part of the sandals that come into contact with your foot should be ‘kind’ to your foot.
It should be soft to the touch and fit your foot like a glove. We are asking a lot of the humble sandal here but all these things will help.
Support requires firmness that’s counter to all the softness I’ve been talking about. This characteristic is perhaps more for those who have recovered from plantar fasciitis. Those looking for post run foot wear that’s kind to their feet who are not in pain.
Secure Heel Counter
The feeling of a securely cupped heel is reassuring to those who have to plan their route every time they stand up. The last thing you need to worry about is how loose your feet feel in your sandals. You need the reassurance that your sandals have ‘got you’ and you can rely on them.
The closest thing I can compare this to is the secure feeling I get from my Hoka Clifton’s. They have a great heel counter and give a great sense of confidence.
All feet are different. The ability to adjust your footwear to suit your feet has been a feature of sandals since Roman times. They conquered most of Europe in sandals, just think what could you do.
A pair of sandals that allow you adjust across the forefoot and heel. Will fit you better than a pair with not room for adjustment.
Inside vs Outside
Choosing a pair of sandals that you can wear in the house and outside will help. This falls into the category of things I wish I had done when I had plantar fasciitis. I had my Crocks for in the house but I couldn’t wear them outside or at work.
Choosing a pair you can basically live in until your feet get better sounds like a good idea to me. That’s if you can get away with that at work of course. Crocks were not appropriate for my office environment nor would they have been if I’d worked on a building site.
Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and is incredibly frustrating. It can take what seems like an age to repair itself. Keep moving and give it time and it will get better. You may find that one or two of these things help. If you need more detailed information about plantar fasscitis, take a look here
Plantar Fasciitis Gadgets
There are so many Gadgets on the market for plantar fasciitis from foot rollers (massagers) to PF socks. My advice. Get a few of them, test them all and see what works for you. You wont regret it
Apply Heat In The Morning
Plantar Fasciitis is worse in the morning. To alleviate it I would strap some heat pads to my feet for 30 minutes prior to getting out of bed. This really did help is my top tip (other than buying some appropriate sandals).
Custom Orthotics For Plantar Fasciitis?
Custom Orthotics will help give your arch more support in normal shoes. This can only be a good thing.
Final Thoughts: Best Sandals For Plantar Fasciitis
Recovery from plantar fasciitis takes time and effort. A good pair of sandals will help you get around if you have it.
If you want to avoid it coming back. A good pair of sandals will help but you will need to carry out some foot exercises build strength and flexibility.
The Gadgets are relatively inexpensive so try a few if you can.
If youve fully recovered and you need a new pair of running shoes, take a look at this guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the plantar fascia?
The plantar fascia is a think and strong ligament that runs along the under side of your foot.
What are the best exercises for plantar fasciitis?
Gentle to firm stretching of the plantar fascia either manually or with a tool (such as a roller).
How long does it take to recover from plantar fasciitis?
It should have cleared up after six months. Seek medial attention at the start of the problem as you may need medical help.
What are the best shoes to help me get around with plantar fasciitis?
Comfortable, soft and supportive sandals. See the article for more information.