How to Get Plantar Fasciitis Relief & 5 Best Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis
If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, you know how painful it can be. It hurts every time you stand – and even when you’re lying down. It’s the kind of pain that sticks with you overnight, and if you’re like most people, you’d do just about anything to make it stop.
Thankfully, you don’t have to do anything drastic to stop your foot pain.
Let’s talk about those steps, along with some of the best insoles for plantar fasciitis that you can wear to help you stay on your feet.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis* is one of the most common foot conditions, and it happens when the plantar fascia become inflamed.
The plantar fascia is a tough band of tissue that connects your heel bone to the ball of your foot. It runs across the bottom of your sole, and provides support for the arch when you’re standing and walking. When it becomes inflamed, you’ll experience intense heel and arch pain.
When you stand or walk, your plantar fascia comes under stress, maintaining the shape of your foot as you put weight on it. This is particularly acute when you take a step and put weight on the ball of your foot.
Normally, the foot works like a well-oiled machine. But over time, the plantar fascia can lose elasticity and become inflamed. This can be exacerbated by many causes, including:
A recent increase in activity, such as a new exercise regime
Walking or running on hard or irregular surfaces
Footwear with poor arch support
Carrying excess weight
The shape of your foot
Other medical conditions that cause inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis
Tips For Home Plantar Fasciitis Relief
Want to manage your Plantar Fasciitis pain at home? Here are some proven, effective methods.
Over-the-Counter Heel Cushions/Insoles
If you watch a lot of TV ads, you probably think you need custom orthotics to manage your plantar fasciitis pain. These orthotics can cost hundreds of dollars, compared to as little as $10 for an over-the-counter orthotic.
Thankfully, there’s no need to invest a small fortune in your orthotics. According to a March 2018 study,* custom orthotics offer no statistically significant advantage over off-the-shelf versions.
So go ahead and drop a few dollars on some plantar fasciitis insoles or heel cushions. Scroll down for some suggestions!
Maintaining a Healthy Body Weight
If you’re overweight or obese, all of that weight is being supported by your feet. This puts excess stress on your soft tissues and can cause plantar fasciitis.* Losing weight can help to alleviate the symptoms.
Limiting High-Impact Activities Until Symptoms Improve
Running, jumping, and other high-impact activities all put direct stress on your plantar fascia.* Not only that, but they can cause your calf muscles to tighten, which worsens plantar fasciitis symptoms.
Wearing Supportive Shoes
One of the best things you can do to relieve plantar fasciitis is to wear good supportive footwear.* Avoid wearing high heels, cowboy boots, and other impractical shoes. If you’re walking on a hard surface, don’t go barefoot.
This last part can be challenging if you have a hardwood floor. Keep some athletic shoes by your bedside so you can slip right into them in the morning. And make sure to buy new sneakers frequently so they don’t lose support.
See a Physical Therapist
Every case of plantar fasciitis is different. The causes – and solutions – will largely depend on your lifestyle, needs, and the quirks of your own body.
This means you can only get so far by taking advice from the internet. If you want to get personalized advice, visit a physical therapist. They can help you find exercises and solutions that are ideal for you. And depending on your insurance, they can be surprisingly affordable.
Since plantar fasciitis is a soft tissue problem, stretching can go a long way toward relieving the related foot and heel pain. Here are a couple of good stretches you can try.
Standing Gastrocnemius Stretch
To do a standing gastrocnemius stretch, start by standing three feet from a wall. Then take one step forward with your right foot, while leaving your left foot planted.
Next, put both of your hands flat on the wall, and bend your right knee. Lean forward as far as you can while keeping your left heel on the floor, and hold for 30 seconds. Do this two to three times, then switch sides and repeat the process.
Standing Soleus Stretch
A standing soleus stretch starts similarly to the standing gastrocnemius stretch. Start three feet from your wall, plant your right foot one step forward, and place both hands on the wall.
Bend both of your knees, keep both heels on the floor, and lean forward as far as you can. Hold the position for 30 seconds, and do this two to three times. Then switch sides and repeat the stretch.
Self Massage With Golf Ball
Relieving plantar fasciitis pain doesn’t have to require specialized equipment. In fact, you can get excellent results with a simple golf ball. The nice thing about this massage is that you can do it pretty much anywhere, such as during your lunch break, or while you’re watching TV in the evening.
Start by sitting in a chair, with both of your feet firmly planted on the floor. Then put a golf ball under the ball of one foot, and roll your foot forward over it to your heel bone. Press down firmly; it should be uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t cause serious pain. Repeat the process with your other foot.
5 Best Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis Pain
As I mentioned above, there’s no need to throw money at expensive orthotics. An over-the-counter deep heel cup or plantar fasciitis insoles can do just as good of a job. Here are my five favorite plantar fasciitis inserts.
Dr. Scholl’s Plantar Fasciitis Orthotics
The Dr. Scholl’s Plantar Fasciitis Orthotics are some of the best insoles for plantar fasciitis. To begin with, they can be cut to fit almost any shoe size. This isn’t to say you can buy any old size. But if you buy a size larger, you’re guaranteed to be able to get a good fit.
These inserts have a contoured heel cup, along with a plastic bottom that provides added durability. Meanwhile, shock-absorbing foam provides good high arch support. And since they’re designed specifically for people with plantar fasciitis, they’re tailored to meet your exact needs.
ViveSole Silicone Gel Heel Cups
The ViveSole Silicone Gel Heel Cups are made from a gentle, moldable gel that conforms to the shape of your foot. Keep in mind that they’re just deep-heel cups, not full-foot insoles. As a result, you won’t get the arch support you’d expect from other types of plantar fasciitis insoles.
On the plus side, these orthotic insoles deliver maximum shock absorption, which is perfect if you have to remain on your feet all day. Not only that, but the gel has a massaging effect that helps to relax your plantar fascia ligament. And at a very low price, snagging a pair is insanely affordable.
WalkHero Plantar Fasciitis Insoles
The WalkHero Plantar Fasciitis Insoles are specifically designed for people who are on their feet all day. They’re constructed from a high-density foam that will last for months without needing to be replaced.
Meanwhile, the deep heel cup ensures that your arch has to actually curve. This is essential if you have flat feet.
These plantar fasciitis inserts are available in a wide variety of sizes to fit almost any foot size. They might feel a bit stiff for some people. But if you’re looking for firm arch support that won’t quit halfway through the day, you’re looking at a solid choice.
Superfeet Green High Arch Insert
The Superfeet Green insoles are a pricier insert that’s constructed from multiple layers. The bottom is made from hard plastic that won’t wear out easily, along with providing a deep heel cup. Meanwhile, the polyester foam provides semi-rigid arch support that can relieve foot and knee pain.
At the same time, you’ll be getting excellent shock absorption. This allows you to remain comfortable in everything from dress shoes to work boots.
Physix Gear Sport Orthotic Inserts
The Physix Gear Sport Orthotic Inserts are constructed from durable EVA foam. They’re designed primarily for arch support, which is essential for any plantar fasciitis inserts. However, they also have a deep heel cup that keeps you from rolling your ankles.
The fit can sometimes be awkward since the inserts aren’t very easy to trim. But once you get a good fit, you’ll find them far firmer and more supportive than basic memory foam insoles. And with their non-slip base, they won’t slide around within your shoes.
As you can see, there are many ways to relieve pain associated with plantar fasciitis, and most of them are cheap or free. From stretches to lifestyle changes, you can address your intense heel pain without leaving your home.
One of the best solutions is to find the best insoles for plantar fasciitis. A reinforced arch and deep heel cup can save you a trip to the foot and ankle surgeon. Without the stabbing pain caused by plantar fasciitis, you’ll be free to enjoy your life again.