What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is a disorder that causes discomfort and pain in the bottom of the foot and heel. More than 3 million people in the U.S. suffer from plantar fasciitis. One sure sign of plantar fasciitis is a biting pain in the bottom part of the foot. It can be very worrisome if you’ve never experienced it before, but it’s not serious. Like many disorders that accompany age, it has to do with inflammation. Specifically, it is caused by an inflammation of a thick band of tissue that links the heel bone to the toes.
I Think I Have Plantar Fasciitis. Should I be Worried?
It is a very common condition and nothing to lose sleep over. It is usually self-treatable, rarely requires imaging or lab tests to diagnose (you can diagnose it yourself), and often resolves within a couple of weeks.
Most cases clear up with a little time, rest, and a conservative treatment protocol.
Self-Treatment (It Starts with a New Pair of Shoes!)
Since it is self-treatable and you can take matters into your own hands, one of the first things you should do is change your shoes! Since what you’ve been wearing has probably contributed to the condition, it’s best to spend a little dough on shoes that will help with discomfort and alignment.
Many podiatrists (foot doctors) recommend wearing orthopedic flip flops if you have plantar fasciitis.
The caveat is that they have to be the right kind of flip flops. Otherwise, they can actually worsen the condition. Loose, thong-like sandals that weren’t designed with foot care or alignment in mind are a waste of money and can make the condition worse. Flip flops designed to provide orthopedic support are the only ones you should be looking at.
Some of the benefits of flip flops for plantar fasciitis include the following:
- Support: Excellent arch support and heel cups promote the right alignment of the feet and spine. This helps reduce strain across the body – from the feet on up!
- Alignment & Circulation: A contoured footbed, toebed, and circulation-stimulating material help to heal the foot and promote proper bone alignment.
- Stability: Deep heel cups keep the foot’s natural padding under the heel for stability.
The wrong kind of flip flops can make your feet hurt even more! Thin straps, thin soles, and no arch support are what Dr. Oz calls the trifecta of flip flop problems. Unfortunately, most flip flops are cheap, poorly made, and not designed for orthopedic foot support.
Since plantar fasciitis is a disorder of the heels and bottoms of the feet, the types of shoes you wear can have a major impact on your level of pain and how long it takes for the condition to resolve. The wrong types of shoes can exacerbate or prolong the condition.
Let’s look at the top 10 best plantar fasciitis flip flops.
Buying a pair of flip flops is one of the most important steps (pun intended) you can take in the battle against plantar fasciitis. Some of the best flip flops for plantar fasciitis are listed below.
Top 5 for Women:
Price: $30.03 – $69.00
Colors: Navy, Pewter Metallic, Black, Bronze Metallic, Gold, White/Natural, Gold Metallic, Plumberry, White
Rating: 4.4/5 (1,624 customer reviews)
Pros: The footbeds on these flip flops are second to none. A team of podiatrists designed them! That’s right – foot doctors actually designed the footbeds in these top-of-the-line orthopedic flip flops. The footbed, in tandem with the deep heel cup, helps to stabilize, support and realign the feet back to the right position. The midsole acts to absorb the shock of walking, which reduces street on the feet, ankles, and knees. They were designed to be comfortable, too. The soft woven material and foam-lined strap ensure a comfy fit. With a solid 4.4 rating and more than 1,600 customer reviews on Amazon alone, these flip flops have proven themselves in the open market.
Cons: Some reviewers with narrow feet said that these were too wide for them. Another common complaint was that there was actually too much arch support!
Rating: 4.8/5 (221 customer reviews)
Pros: A 4.8-star rating, a $39.95 price tag, and a free foot roller massager – what’s not to like?! This pair of flip flops has a specially patented footbed that offers excellent impact absorption and speeds up recovery, too. Supposedly – and this is not just from the manufacturer’s marketing material – their proprietary footbed and innovative design give you an amazing sensation that has to be felt to believed. Another major pro is that many customers with plantar fasciitis on the Amazon product page have commented on how they can wear these all day long without any foot pain. They’re said to be very comfortable, have plenty of arch support, and cushioned very well. In fact, it’s hard to find a negative review. Less than 5% of reviews were 3- and 2-star reviews.
Cons: Some customers commented that they did not receive the free foot roller massager as advertised. Other customers had miscellaneous sizing complaints, but the negative reviews made up less than 5% of total reviews.
Price: $53.00 – $99.99
Colors: Too many to list!
Rating: 4.6/5 (578 customer reviews)
Pros: This shoe has a molded shape that is designed to fit the foot perfectly and it is made of comfortable synthetic material. The sole is made of anti-grip rubber for stability on difficult terrain. Comes in a huge variety of different colors.
Cons: Might be too narrow for some feet, and some wearers have reported color coming off on their skin.
Price: $24.95 – $47.00
Colors: Aqua Lagoon, Grape Vine, Key Lime, Pink Flamingo, Sweet Tangerine, Deep Ocean, Espresso Brown, Fresh Cranberry, Midnight Black, Snow White
Rating: 4.4/5 (265 customer reviews)
Pros: High-quality comfortable shoes that come in ten different colors.
Cons: A few users have noticed issues with slipping, particularly when the shoes your your feet get wet.Purchase/More Info
Price: $48.91 – $180.00
Colors: Black, Bronze Metallic, Fuchsia, Purple, Red, Tan Leopard, Turquoise, White, Brown Leopard, Gold Metallic, Navy, Pewter Metallic, Blue, Gold, Pewter, Leopard
Rating: 4.5/5 (1,102 customer reviews)
Pros: Lots of colors, sporty curved shape.
Cons: They are a little wider than standard relative to the size, so wearers should take it under consideration before deciding which size.
Top 5 for Men:
Price: $53.45 – $109.95
Colors: Black / Black, Dark Java/Ray, Black/Dark Shadow, Brick/Dark Java, Depth / Black, Kona/Kona, Black, Charcoal / Dark Shadow, Navy / Black, Sour Cherry/Black, Blue Hawaiian / Black, Spearmint / Black, Charcoal / Dk Shadow, Green
Rating: 4.6/5 (578 customer reviews)
Pros: Leather, rubber-soled, molded and accurate footbed.
Cons: Well-built but the strap comes out after a short time.
Price: $24.80 – $225.00
Colors: Mocha, Black, Aqua, Steel, Melon, Lilac, Fuchsia, Periwinkle, Cloud White, Navy, Blue, Mint, Plum, Grey, Bengel Tortoise – Smoke
Rating: 4.6/5 (570 customer reviews)
Pros: Ergonomically designed with great arch support.
Cons: You need to wear something else part of the time or they will be too painful to wear. Some wearers have reported their feet sweating in these sandals as well.Purchase/More Info
Price: $94.00 – $109.95
Colors: Black/Grey, Khaki
Rating: 4.4/5 (125 customer reviews)
Pros: Very stylish, cushions the foot on both ends, comfortable, leather straps.
Cons: Some users reported an awkward fit. Only two colors.Purchase/More Info
Price: $55.00 – $61.95
Rating: 4.3/5 (263 customer reviews)
Pros: Light, with Orthoheel technology included.
Cons: However, they can be a bit big on narrow feet.Purchase/More Info
Price: $58.99 – $70.00
Colors: Black Shadow, Charcoal / Dark Shadow, Dark Java, Red Earth / Dark Java, Trench Blue / Black, Rosin, Dark Shadow/Dark Shadow, Rosin / Black
Rating: 4.7/5 (111 customer reviews)
Pros: Several different colors, water resistant on top.
Cons: A few buyers felt quality didn’t match price, but most were happy with their shoes.Purchase/More Info
A diagnosis of plantar fasciitis isn’t a death sentence. The condition usually clears up in a few weeks with a conservative, at-home treatment protocol. Think of it is an opportunity to get a new pair of orthopedic flip flops. These things are darn comfortable! Many manufacturers make indoor and outdoor pairs so you can enjoy comfort, stability, and support wherever you walk.