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Choosing the Right Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Participating in marathons and similar events isn’t realistic for most people, but engaging in some form of exercise, such as walking, can still benefit their health. According to the Centers for Disease Control, all it takes to be healthy and prevent disease is two hours and a half of brisk walking a week, which can be easily cut up into five walks of thirty minutes each. But if you’re dealing with plantar fasciitis, just five minutes of walking can already cause major discomfort or pain.

There could be a myriad of causes behind foot pain, and plantar fasciitis is one of those that top the list. It is mostly a result of a swollen plantar fascia, which is the tissue that attaches your toes to your heel bone. It’s a sharp pain that is typically felt in the morning when taking your first few steps, easing slowly as you move throughout the day. It can return, however, after you sit or stand for an extended time.

So what can you do to treat the pain? You can take analgesic for the pain, but if you don’t remove the cause, it will only come back. You can begin by buying the right footwear. While there are shoes created for those with plantar fasciitis, it is good to know footwear attributes that you should look for when shopping for a pair (needless to say, those flip-flops and sandals are out of the picture).

Deep-heel cup – ensures that your rearfoot is held in place and actually sits in the shoe

Firm heel cup – holds the rearfoot with just enough tightness that prevents shifting or twisting

Wide heel – adds stability and keeps the foot from wobbling

Adequate cushioning – reduces the pressure as you take steps when walking

Arch support – scatters weight in equal proportions around the foot and supports affected tissue (plantar fascia)

Podiatrists recommend buying footwear later in the day, a time when the feet have swollen a bit as they often do. And though you might think it’s obvious, don’t just rely on your last shoe size (when you purchased your last pair) because there can be huge variations in sizing with different manufacturers. Since one foot will always be bigger than the other, buy footwear for that bigger size. You should also try on footwear while having socks or hose on, or your orthotic device if you’re using one. These things can make a huge difference in terms of fit and comfort. Finally, don’t pay for any footwear unless you’re completely sure they’re good for you.

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