Footwear choices

The correct footwear can make an important difference to plantar heel pain. Certain features of shoes can help to reduce pain, and allow the tissue on the bottom of the heel to improve.

  • Footwear with cushioning

    Footwear that has cushioning under the heel can reduce the pressure that goes through the heel when walking.

  • Try to wear shoes that have an elevated heel

    Shoes with an elevated heel will reduce the stress that is applied to some tissues in the heel. Try to avoid footwear without an elevated heel (such as ballet flats or thongs), or walking barefoot. Learn more about the cause of plantar heel pain.

  • Avoid wearing shoes that are too small

    Shoes that are too small, particularly in length, may cause the toes to claw inside the shoe. Clawing of the toes might then be responsible for placing too much tension on the plantar fascia, where it inserts onto the heel. If you are unsure if your shoes fit properly, go to a reputable shoe store and ask to have your shoe size checked.

Try to follow these three points as much as possible, even when walking around the house. It is important to note, that you may see a gradual reduction in pain after changing footwear, rather than an immediate effect.

So what is the ideal footwear for me?

There is no ideal shoe for everyone, however runners work well for most people. Most runners have a slightly elevated heel plus a suitable amount of cushioning. Be aware, that some runners do not have a heel that is higher than the forefoot, so it is important to check this if you purchasing new footwear.

Not everyone can wear runners all the time, however if you try to include a few of the points above, you will hopefully see a pain reduction.