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What is the plantar fascia?
Plantar fascia refers to the band of tissues in your foot that go from the heel (calcaneum) to the middle foot bones.
What is Plantar Fasciitis aka ‘joggers heel’?
Plantar Fasciitis is characterized by a pain in the heel, which is caused by a problem with the connective tissue on the heel arch. The tissue can have tiny scars. On some cases, the tissue on the foot underside and heel become inflamed.
Do I have Plantar Fasciitis?
If you get very sharp pains in your heel particularly after periods of rest, then you may have this disorder. You are best to consult your doctor for a formal diagnosis.
What causes Plantar Fasciitis?
It is unclear what really causes this disorder. Cited issues range from obesity to the foot turning inwards when walking or running.
How to treat Plantar Fasciitis?
For mild symptoms you can try resting the area for a few days; massage and hot/cold treatments using ice packs and hot water bottles. You can also try anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen, this will relive the pain and reduce the inflammation. Once the pain has eased, you can try some of the Plantar Fasciitis excercies in the video below. Also ensure you are using a pair of the running shoes for Plantar Fasciitis highlighted below.
If the heel pain continues, we advise a course of physiotherapy. Find a physio near you that has good recommendations, especially from other runners. They also might recommend wearing a night split to speed up the recovery time.
If the pain is more severe and debilitating you may need endoscopic plantar fasciotomy, which is a minor surgical procedure. A growing number of doctors have also recommended extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) which uses sound waves to encourage tissue repair.
Best Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis
Here are some good stretches from James Dunne, a UK based sports rehab therapist and running coach.
What type of running shoes should I buy to help my Plantar Fasciitis?
The two main factors to look for in a running shoes to prevent plantar Fasciitis is excellent heel cushioning to absorb the impact and good arch support. Never choose a cheap pair of sneakers to run in if they are not made for running. Top running shoe brands like Asics and New Balance spend millions on research and development to produce running shoes that are built to help you run with the best support.
Best Mens Running shoes for Plantar Fasciitis 2018
- FlyteFoam Midsole Technology ; ASICS GEL-Nimbus 19 is made for under- Foot Type:High arches , neutral- Foot Type:Normal size arches ; Heel Height: 23mm ; ASICS FluidFit upper technology combines multi-directional stretch mesh with stretch reinforcements that adapt to the athlete's foot, creating a truly customized glove-like fit.
- Fluid Ride Midsole: Fluid Ride provides the ultimate combination of bounce back and cushioning properties with reduced weight and exceptional durability.
- Rear foot and Forefoot GEL Cushioning Systems: Attenuates shock during impact and toe-off phases, and allows movement in multiple planes as the foot transitions through the gait cycle.
- Heel Clutching System Technology: Exoskeletal heel counter provides improved support and creates improved heel fitting environment.
Asics need no introduction to our readers, they are one of the top running shoe brands in the world. The Gel-Nimbus 19 is one of our top rated running shoes if you suffer from plantar fasciitis. The shoe is designed for neutral and underpronation runners, which refers to how your foot rolls inwards when you run.
This running shoes has been years in development and has some serious technology which will help any heel pain. The heel to the shoe is filled with the a Gel, part of Asics’ cushioning technology, along with a heel clutching system. The midsoles also have their Flytefoam and fluidride technology which incredible bounce back and protection of the foot arch.
- Rubber Sole
- The Adrenaline GTS 15 runs slightly smaller than previous models. If you are between sizes, we recommend choosing ½ size up.
- BioMoGo DNA midsole provides custom comfort
- Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar for added control
Brookes use a technology they call ‘Progressive Diagonal Rollbar (PDRB)’ which provides supreme arch support which helps keep you aligned when running. This technology can stop your foot rolling inwards and creating excessive stress on the arch tissues. They also utilize Brooks’ BioMoGo DNA which is their cushioning technology found in the heel and midsole.
Two members of our team have done half marathons in these and found them very comfortable, despite suffering from plantar fasciitis in the past.
- mpact Guidance System (I.G.S) (Running) : ASICS design philosophy that employs linked componentry to enhance the foot's natural gait from heel strike to toe-off.
- FluidRide: FluidRide provides the ultimate combination of bounce back and cushioning properties with reduced weight and exceptional durability.
- FluidFit: ASICS FluidFit upper technology combines multi-directional stretch mesh with stretch reinforcements that adapt to the athlete's foot, creating a truly customized glove-like fit.
- Heel Clutching System: Exoskeletal heel counter provides improved support and creates improved heel fitting environment.
- Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL Cushioning Systems: Attenuates shock during impact and toe-off phases, and allows movement on multiple planes as the foot transitions through the gait cycle.
Yet another awesome running shoe from Asics. They built this shoe for long distance runners and have been around for many years with a few slight tweaks along the way. Like the Nimbus, the heels have Asics gel to really protect your plantar Fasciitis from further injury. The running shoes also protects your midsole with SpEVA and Flytefoam support and has a very supportive arch. This running shoe is lightweight weighing only 300g.
Some people moan about the price, but you can easily find a good deal on these if you shop around. The above link will take you to Asics’ store on Amazon.com where they offer very competitive prices against other running shoe brands.
Best Womens Running shoes for Plantar Fasciitis 2018
- Cloud wave offers a soft, lively, and lightweight feel
- Engineered Mesh Upper for a sock like yet breathable fit
- u4iCx cushioning enhances cloudlike feel
- Fit in motion upper
- Soft anatomical sock liner for extra arch support and cushioning
Mizuno’s U4ic Midsole provides quality support of your arches and highly cushioned heels. The outer shoe has the X10 outsole to provide even for cushioning for you foot as it hits the ground. Runners love this shoe as it allows your feet to breathe with Mizuno’s Airmesh uppers and intercool system.
This running shoes comes in eight different colors on Amazon and sizes 4-12. The Mizuno Wave Rider is a neutral running shoe.
- EVERUN topsole
- Woven heel support
- EVA+ midsole
Saucony has been around for years, developing running shoe technology for decades. The Kinvara 9 is the successor of the Kinvara 8, giving a 2018 make over. The Saucony Kinvara has now been around for 9 years, loved my female runners for its lightweight and comfort. The Kinvara uses Saucony’s EVERUNTM Topsole which is supposed to increase the energy returned to the foot after each stride.
The Kinvara 9 has not been out long, but is quickly gaining rave reviews, you can also check out the reviews of the 8 model to see how much it is loved.
The Saucony Kinvara 9 is a neutral women’s running shoe with a 4mmm heel to tip offset.
Further reading and citations
Image sources: Amazon.com, asics.com, Brookes