Which sandals for plantar fasciitis are best?

The plantar fascia is a long ligament that attaches the heel bone to the ball of the foot. This provides support and connection between the back and the front of the foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the ligament becomes injured or inflamed. It can cause debilitating pain. Fortunately, treatment often starts with noninvasive solutions, such as sandals for plantar fasciitis. These offer support and comfort right where you need it. They can improve your symptoms and relieve pain.

If you need more arch support in an everyday sandal, the Skechers Go Walk Arch Fit Sandal — Mission is a good choice.

What to know before you buy sandals for plantar fasciitis

Arch support

Pain can be anywhere in the foot, but when it’s located in the arch it can make every step uncomfortable. Plantar fasciitis inserts can provide additional arch support if needed, but the sandals you select should be able to provide comfortable, firm cushioning in the arch without them.

Sizing

Pay careful attention to the sizing of sandals for plantar fasciitis. You want your sandal to fit comfortably without pinching or sliding. This is especially important during the acute phase when pain is at its worst. 

Consider also if you plan to wear plantar fasciitis socks for additional support and size up if needed.

Material

The material affects both the comfort of the sandal and the way it looks. Some common sandal materials include:

  • Closed-cell ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer (EVA) foam
  • Leather
  • Rubber
  • Other synthetic fibers

Some materials are lightweight and waterproof, while others need more care. If you plan to wear your sandals near the water, avoid leather or any other materials that shrink or stain when they get wet.

What to look for in quality sandals for plantar fasciitis

Heel straps

Sandals without a heel strap are streamlined and sleek, but they can cause the arch of your foot to tighten, making the pain worse. Consider an adjustable strap that helps toes to better grip the shoe to keep it in place. 

Contoured footbed

A contoured footbed is slightly raised at the arch. This relieves pressure from other areas of the foot and can help relieve pain. 

Cushioned sole

Cushioned soles are great for reducing the impact of the ground on the foot. These prevent any further injury and also provide an extra layer of support for the sole. Look for cushioned soles that still have midsole flexibility.

Tapered heels

Although high heels are not a good choice for plantar fasciitis, sandals with a slightly higher heel take the pressure off the back of the foot. This can help during the most painful phases of the condition.

How much you can expect to spend on sandals for plantar fasciitis

The price depends on the materials and whether or not the shoes are built to last. Expect to spend $30-$100. 

Sandals for plantar fasciitis FAQ

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

A. Plantar fasciitis is easy to self-diagnose. The main symptoms include:

  • Pain in the arch of the foot
  • Pain in the heel
  • Sharp pain
  • Limping
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling

Symptoms may be worse in the morning and decrease with movement. They may also increase toward the end of the day if you are on your feet for long periods. 

What causes plantar fasciitis?

A. Plantar fasciitis is a repetitive motion injury. This means that anything like running, walking or long periods of standing can aggravate plantar fasciitis. Other risk factors for plantar fasciitis include:

  • Gender: Women are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis.
  • High BMI: Due to obesity or pregnancy.
  • Flat feet or high arches. 
  • Tightness in the Achilles tendon. 
  • Tight calf muscles. 
  • Walking on the inside of your feet.
  • Regular and excessive high-impact exercise. 
  • Wearing high heels.
  • Wearing flat shoes. 

Is going barefoot bad for plantar fasciitis?

A. For those who enjoy the feel of the floor underneath their feet, the news is not good. Going barefoot can aggravate plantar fasciitis and increase the time it takes to heal. When the plantar fascial is irritated or injured, it needs comfort and support to reduce inflammation.

 If you are experiencing symptoms of plantar fasciitis, it’s best to wear shoes for the majority of your day. 

What are the best sandals for plantar fasciitis to buy?

Top sandals for plantar fasciitis

Best Skechers Go Walk Arch Fit Sandal — Mission

Skechers Go Walk Arch Fit Sandal — Mission

What you need to know: These have podiatrist-certified arch support.

What you’ll love: These are hiking sandals that look great for just tooling around town, too. They have a contoured sole, arch support and neoprene fabric edging. Neoprene also lines the adjustable straps to keep them comfortable. They come in three colors.

What you should consider: Some people found the strap length was too long and did not adjust tight enough for narrow feet.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top sandals for plantar fasciitis for the money

Best Funkeymonkey Womens Comfort Slides

Funkeymonkey Women’s Comfort Slides

What you need to know: If you like color in your footwear, these are the sandals for you. 

What you’ll love: Soft EVA foam molds to the contours of your feet. They are waterproof and washable. They come in 42 colors.

What you should consider: These do not have a heel strap, so consider wearing these in places where you might normally go barefoot. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Best Crocs Women's LiteRide Stretch Sandals

Crocs Women’s LiteRide Stretch Sandals

What you need to know: These comfortable sandals are perfect for all-day wear. 

What you’ll love: The footbed features signature LiteRide insoles for comfortable support. Stretchy elastic bands around the back of the heel and on top of the foot keep the sandal in place all day. They are available in nine colors.

What you should consider: They run narrow and may feel restrictive if you have wide feet.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

 

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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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