Plantar fasciitis is the most common diagnosis provided to individuals who complain of foot pain. This condition is characterized by the inflammation of the plantar fascia – a long ligament that supports the arches of the feet by connecting the heel to the toes.
Treatments for plantar fasciitis are highly varied, but what a lot of those who suffer from the condition don’t always recognize is that the most obvious solutions are often the most effective. That is – a change of shoes, socks, or even insoles can make a world’s worth of difference and relief.
In this guide, we’re diving into the market of plantar fasciitis insoles. How do they help with P? What should you look for in a pair of insoles? And which ones are rated the most effective by buyers across the globe? We answer these questions and more through this comprehensive buying guide and review.
Why You Need Proper Plantar Fasciitis Insoles
How can something as simple as a pair of insoles make a difference for a condition as painful as plantar fasciitis? Here are some reasons why investing in a good pair of PF insoles is something you shouldn’t think twice about.
1. Reduced Impact – One of the reasons why plantar fasciitis can be so painful is because of the impact our feet sustain during heel strike. Because the fascia is inflamed, any sort of trauma (no matter how mild) can be translated into substantial pain. Using insoles for plantar fasciitis can help cushion heel strike and absorb the shock of your heel making contact with the ground.
2. Better Alignment – Sometimes, plantar fasciitis can cause whole body pain if you end up compensating to reduce the pain on your feet. This leads to improper postures that become the reason for leg and back pain. A good pair of orthotic inserts for plantar fasciitis can help improve your whole body alignment so that you don’t end up causing pain on other parts of your body in the long run.
3. Arch Support – The main function of the plantar fascia is to support the arches of the feet. But when it’s inflamed and injured, it loses its capacity to optimally hold up the natural contours of your foot. By using plantar fasciitis insoles, you can assist your plantar fascia in supporting the arches so as to reduce pain and limit the demand on your injured ligament.
What to Look for in a Pair of Insoles for PF
The reason why it’s so difficult to find a good pair of plantar fasciitis insoles is because there are a variety of options to choose from. So with more than a handful of products available, it becomes easy to fall into a purchase that won’t really meet your needs.
Don’t be swayed by flashy packaging and outlandish promises. Keep these factors in mind when you buy your plantar fasciitis insoles to get nothing but the best.
Insoles generally come in three different lengths. They can either be half the length of your foot, reach up to the balls of your feet, or extend to full length. For most cases, full-length insoles are ideal, but then again, it’s a matter of preference. If your pain is most pronounced around the heels with little affectation around the balls of the feet and the toes, you might do fine with one of the two shorter insole lengths.
Do you have high or low arches? This is possibly one of the most important considerations you need to make when purchasing insoles because of the plantar fascia’s role in supporting the contours of your feet. By choosing an insole that matches the height of your arches, you can properly assist the plantar fascia to reduce pain and discomfort.
There are four main types of material you’re likely to find when in search of insoles for plantar fasciitis. These include gel, cork, foam, and leather. For the most part, choosing a material depends on your own preference. But in general, those who have PF find gel and foam to be the most comfortable and supportive.
5 of the Best Plantar Fasciitis Insoles
Now that we know the important things to consider when purchasing plantar fasciitis insoles, let's take a closer look at some of the top options available.
Thorough research has led us to find that the Physix Gear Sport Full Length Orthotic Insert with Support is one of the best insoles for PF you’re likely to find. This high quality orthotic insert is made from premium medical grade EVA and PU, giving it a responsive yet dense foot feel that economizes your energy and reduces impact.
Designed with high arches, these insoles ride close to the curves of your feet, giving you substantial support ideal for reducing the load on your plantar fascia. A deep heel topography also ensures optimum stability while walking, allowing you to move freely without having to worry about your foot slipping out of place during movement.
This non-slip insole features anti-microbial lining that helps keep it clean and fresh even after multiple uses. This, in combination with the insole’s superior pliability, keep it feeling as good as new for months after you first take them out for a spin.
Designed to conform to the natural, anatomical contours of the foot, the WalkHero Plantar Fasciitis Feet Insoles are some of the most comfortable designs on the market today. These lined gel inserts are exceptionally soft, giving you superb rebound and impact-absorption so you use less energy when you walk.
Much like the previous design, the WalkHero Plantar Fasciitis Feet Insoles are designed with extra deep heel cups. This feature helps keep your foot in place, and also reduces the stress on the plantar fascia by gently pulling your foot into a slight plantar flexion.
Designed for everyday use, this insert can be ideal plantar fasciitis insoles for boots, office shoes, athletic shoes, and even heavy duty work boots. So if you were in search of something you could use throughout the daily grind, these insoles would make the perfect pick.
If you wanted something that wouldn’t put too much of a dent on your wallet, then the ProFoot Plantar Fasciitis Heel Insert is exactly what you’re looking for. These budget friendly PF insoles are designed to provide comfort up to your midfoot area, giving ample support and comfort to reduce any pain on your heel.
These insoles are made from high quality gel which reduces the impact on your tender heels to make pain much more manageable. It’s also designed to be particularly wide so that it can cradle the entire span of the plantar fascia for maximum support and pain reduction.
At under $10 USD per pair, the ProFoot Plantar Fasciitis Heel Insert is nothing short of a steal. Offering you premium functionality and effective relief, these budget-friendly inserts can definitely make your PF much less of a problem at a very reasonable cost.
The Airplus Plantar Fasciitis Orthotic Inserts are the second most affordable pick on this list. These budget-friendly inserts are cost effective just as they are reliable.
Unlike the previously mentioned inserts, Airplus Plantar Fasciitis Orthotic Inserts incorporate a sturdy, rigid arch plate to provide exceptional support to the curves of the feet. We found this to be particularly effective because they don’t lose their shape as you walk, so you get the same stable support throughout the entire gait cycle.
Some other features that make the Airplus Plantar Fasciitis Orthotic inserts a great pick include their cushioned gel heel components, ¾ length design to provide more space for toes, and the fact that they come in either male or female variations that almost make them work as well as custom orthotics for plantar fasciitis.
No list of footcare accessories is ever complete without a product from Dr. Scholl’s. With a long-standing reputation as one of the best manufacturers of products for special foot conditions, Dr. Scholl’s doesn’t disappoint when it comes to providing actual relief and comfort.
Their Plantar Fasciitis Insoles are designed with special technologies that make them much more effective than most other choices you might find. Among the most noteworthy is the Shock Guard Technology which absorbs shock for immediate, all-day relief. The tech has also been said to reduce stiffness that most people with PF experience in the morning.
Lastly, the Dr. Scholl’s Plantar Fasciitis Insoles are designed even for extra heavy users. So individuals up to 300 pounds can comfortably use the inserts without having to worry about losing density or efficacy under heftier weights.
Managing plantar fasciitis doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, the best over the counter orthotics for plantar fasciitis might be all you need in order to get the relief you’re looking for.
Shorten your search for the best insoles for plantar fasciitis by checking out our recommendations. These products have been tried, tested, and trusted throughout the years. So you can be sure that your decision to purchase won’t be met with buyer’s remorse anytime soon, and you’ll be able to regain your confidence to move even with PF.