Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition related to the long, fibrous tissue running along the bottom of the foot. This thick tissue, known as fascia, connects from the toes to the heel and is designed to help support the arch of the foot.
When the fascia is overstretched, which can happen for a variety of reasons, tiny tears can create inflammation, leading to a painful condition called plantar fasciitis. It’s common among athletes who engage in repetitive, high-impact sports. Women are also more affected by the foot condition than men.
Doctors can most accurately diagnosis plantar fasciitis, but often the condition results from common factors, including the height of your natural arch and contributing issues like tight Achilles tendons (the chords at the heel), an unbalanced foot position or stride, and wearing high-heel shoes.
Given the latter fact, it’s not surprising that we see a lot of Lems customers coming to our zero or low-drop minimalist shoes to try to help relieve plantar fasciitis or prevent it from occurring in the first place.
SYMPTOMS OF PLANTAR FASCIITIS
Before you make any changes to your footwear or activities, it’s important to clarify whether you are suffering from plantar fasciitis or another foot problem, such as a pinched nerve or stress fracture, which can present similarly.
Typically people with plantar fasciitis begin to notice pain near the center or front of the heel. It’s often worse in the morning when making the first step of the day. Prolonged standing, or sitting and then reengaging the foot, can spike the level of pain as well.
While plantar fasciitis may go away on its own with enough rest, ice and some over-the-counter medicine for inflammation, many people suffering from the condition want more immediate relief and a way to ensure the very painful foot ailment doesn’t return.
Physical therapy for stretching and strengthening the right parts of the foot is one solution. Plantar fasciitis can take six months to a year to heal completely. And for stubborn cases, injections and even surgery may be a last resort.
FOOTWEAR FOR PLANTAR FASCIITIS
Your doctor or physical therapist can guide you in selecting the best footwear for the physiology of your feet, activity type and level, and lifestyle. However, there are lots of choices and the process of choosing the right shoe during and after plantar fasciitis can be confusing.
Some podiatrists may suggest shoes with strong arch support. But at Lems we believe it’s best to help your feet strengthen themselves over time. Our minimalist shoes encourage every part of your feet to move the way they naturally want to, which can help fortify your body’s foundation over time.
To relieve pain after you’ve been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, it’s important to look for shoes with a wide toe box, broad heel base and lightweight profile to reduce the amount of force you are applying with each step.
Again, consult with your doctor about all the options available. But make sure your footwear is helping, rather than hurting your feet in the long run.