The Best Inserts For Plantar Fasciitis
- What is Plantar Fasciitis?
- How Do Orthotic Insoles Work?
- Factors to Consider When Buying Inserts
- Dr. Scholl's Plantar Fasciitis Insoles
- Physix Gear Sport Full-Length Insoles with Arch Support
- ViveSole Gel Heel Cup Insole
- Sof Sole Men's 3/4 Insole
- Honorable Mentions: Superfeet Green and Powerstep Pinnacle
- Superfeet Green
- Powerstep Pinnacle
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that affects runners and other athletes. It can seriously affect your ability to train, run, and walk. It may even lead to many other health problems, including heel spurs, knee pain, sciatica, and back pain.
PF is an inflammation of the plantar fascia. This ligament connects the heel to the rest of the foot and runs underneath your sole. The first sign of plantar fasciitis is a sharp, stabbing pain at the bottom of your foot near the heel when you first wake up. The pain generally subsides after you've taken a few steps but will return when you stand or sit for a long time.
Luckily, there are plenty of treatment options for PF. Some of the most popular include insoles that provide extra support for your feet, usually in the arches and heels.
While purchasing orthotic inserts from the internet is a great place to start, they work best as part of a treatment plan. If you find that using them doesn't help relieve the pain from PF, consider speaking to a healthcare professional as well.
How Do Orthotic Insoles Work?
Full-length orthotic inserts support the arch of the foot. They're great for people with flat feet or excessively high arches as they normalize the pressure on the arches, heels, and toes.
These products fit into your regular shoes, ensuring that you get the support you need throughout the day. High-quality orthotics will usually have cushioned heels to provide heel pain relief and relief from PF pain.
Orthotics offer several benefits to help combat PF and other foot pain. Some of the benefits of trying these out include:
- Inserts fit in almost any closed shoe. Orthotic insoles are designed to fit in dress shoes, running shoes, sneakers, boots, and even slippers. Try to buy shoes with removable insoles so that you can replace them with your plantar fasciitis inserts.
- Deep heel cups add extra cushioning and shock absorption. Most foot pain comes from repeated pressure and shocks traveling up the heel and through the plantar fascia. A deep heel cup will relieve heel pain, knee pain, and other running-induced injuries and prevent you from developing plantar fasciitis in the first place.
- Almost immediate effects. Since PF is a ligament injury, it can take months to heal properly. However, getting proper arch support and a deep heel cup takes significant pressure off your feet, giving your tendons, ligaments, and joints the time they need to heal.
Factors to Consider When Buying Inserts
Most people will try over the counter orthotics before consulting with a physician and getting customized inserts. Often, these over the counter insoles provide enough support to relieve ordinary foot pain.
However, insoles for plantar fasciitis are not all the same. Some are better than others, and you should shop around and do your research before deciding on your set of orthotics.
Size and Fit
The most crucial factor is to choose a product that is just the right size for your foot. An orthotic insole that's too big will cause your foot to move around, stopping you from getting the relief and treatment you need. Too small, and the insert will cause more foot pain than it solves.
One of the most significant advantages of buying from reputable online sites is that you can test the product and return it if it doesn't fit. Take the time to settle into the insert to see if it works for you and refund it if it's too big or too small.
Ideally, you want the best medical-grade materials in your insoles. Your insoles will see a lot of use, and they need to cope with a lot of wear and tear.
You should also consider your lifestyle when selecting an insole material. Runners and active people should consider a material that breathes and has anti-microbial properties. If you suffer from severe plantar fasciitis, consider gel heel inserts that add an extra layer of cushioning to reduce your condition's impact.
While PF often develops due to inadequate arch support, the part of your feet that hurts the most is usually the heel. Your heel takes a lot of pressure, and shoe insoles with a deep heel cup will help your foot cope better by providing extra cushioning in the heel.
Insoles with deep cups offer another advantage since they provide a lot of stability. If you play sports, the heel's cushioning will give you a better grip and more traction on the field.
Cushioning is undoubtedly essential to help minimize PF pain, but you still need an insole with proper, high-quality arch support. Soft foam insoles may feel comfortable in your walking shoes, but they won't provide you with the benefits of plantar fasciitis pain relief that you want.
Arch support insoles are particularly important in people with flat feet. Try to find an insole with medical-grade support that works for all your footwear, including dress shoes and slippers, so that you get 24/7 support. The more support you get, the lower your chances of developing PF.
Easy to Clean
You'll be using your insoles a lot, so give them the best care you can. Ideally, your insoles should be easy to clean, anti-bacterial, and easy to insert and remove from your footwear.
Most people like machine-washable shoe products for PF, but some insoles are designed for gentle handwashing only. Always check the label and see how to care for your insoles.
Dr. Scholl's Plantar Fasciitis Insoles
Offers under $13.
Dr. Scholl is a household name for foot care and healthy feet. The company lives up to its reputation by producing the best insoles for plantar fasciitis. What makes these insoles for plantar fasciitis so good is their versatility. They are well-made and suitable for everyday wear and will reduce PF pain almost immediately.
The insole features Shock Guard technology, which provides cushioning and shock absorption to prevent further pain. It also features a rigid curve that provides excellent support for your arches that won't wear away with time.
These PF-busting items also have the convenience of being relatively customizable. You can cut the product to fit your foot correctly, allowing you to wear these inserts with any footwear, regardless of shoe size or shape.
There are plenty of Dr. Scholl shoe inserts for plantar fasciitis available online, so shop around to find one that suits your feet. It's best to find a seller that offers a money-back guarantee to give you peace of mind that you'll get the best products for your feet.
Physix Gear Sport Full-Length Insoles with Arch Support
Offers starts from $13-$29
Physix makes some of the best insoles for plantar fasciitis in athletes. Their products are hard-wearing, breathable, and contain an anti-microbial outer layer to reduce bad smells. Their products are machine-washable and quick-drying, so you can quickly put them back in your shoes and stop worrying about the pain from plantar fasciitis.
The Physix Gear Sport series is the best product for athletes who need superior arch support. The insoles are rugged and made from more high-grade materials, perfect for plantar fasciitis sufferers who don't want to interrupt their training.
ViveSole Gel Heel Cup Insole
Offers under $10.
The ViveSole Gel Heel Cups aren't strictly plantar fasciitis insoles but instead provide support for your heels. As such, it may not be one of the best insoles for plantar fasciitis, but it will still protect your feet from many of the shocks of daily walking and running.
The cup sticks to the bottom of your shoes to prevent movement, while the moldable gel fits your feet perfectly, offering excellent heel support.
Sof Sole Men's 3/4 Insole
Offers under $20.
Some of the best plantar fasciitis insoles are surprisingly affordable. The Sof Sole line of products offers excellent products for reasonable prices. These 3/4 soles work best on men’s feet, though you can adjust them to fit any shoes within a practical limit.
These insoles are 3/4, which means that they can fit in most shoes, including dress shoes and other non-standard footwear. They're just as easy to remove and will provide all the support you need to spend your day pain-free and active.
Honorable Mentions: Superfeet Green and Powerstep Pinnacle
These products don't make our list of best products, but they're still worth a look. They both have excellent build-quality and high-end technology supporting their function. We like these two products as backups, which is useful if you have multiple pairs of shoes, and you don't feel like continually switching your inserts between shoes.
Offers under $40.
Offers under $32.
PF can be debilitating and is sadly a widespread condition. While stretching and icing can alleviate some pain, it's always a good idea to address the root cause. Using the right PF inserts can improve your gait and running style and prevent the development of PF in the first place.