Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, making up 15% of all foot pain related complaints that require medical care and treatment. Because it is so common, experts have come up with a variety of methods for alleviating the symptoms of this widespread condition. Some are extensive and expensive, requiring medicated injections to manage pain. Then there are others that are simple, effective, and cost efficient – like socks.
Wearing the right socks can help diminish swelling, improve circulation, and reduce pain. But with so many different kinds of socks on the market, some people can’t help but ask – what are the best plantar fasciitis socks? We weigh in with this comprehensive buying guide and review.
What Types of Socks are Best for PF?
There are a variety of socks that you can use to help manage foot pain caused by PF. But only a few designs have proven to be effective solutions against the discomfort caused by the condition. Make sure to keep an eye out for these specific types of socks to achieve the greatest possible relief.
There are two types of compression socks that you’re likely to find – traditional socks which cover the entire foot including the toes, and open toe socks that stop just around the base of the toes. These socks are designed to apply calculated pressure over the most affected areas of your feet in order to relieve pain and reduce swelling. Most compression socks feature a design that changes pressure along its length in order to apply appropriate compression over the different areas of the feet.
Night socks for plantar fasciitis are intended to gently stretch the feet as you sleep in order to prevent soreness that most of those with PF experience in the morning. These are designed with a unique strap that can pull the toes either toward the shin or toward the calf, depending on which you find to be more effective. Some designs are also worn with night splints in mind. These special socks for wearing a night splint are breathable and thin, intended to make the experience of wearing a rigid splint much more comfortable, especially for first time users.
What Types of Socks to Avoid
Just as there are socks that are ideal for plantar fasciitis, there are also those that aren’t quite as effective. Avoiding these types of socks eliminates the chances of aggravating the symptoms of PF and developing further complications.
Non-binding socks are those that don’t reduce circulation to the foot, so binding socks are just the opposite. When your socks hug too tightly around the calf or ankle, they can prevent blood from flowing freely to the feet. This causes more pain and may even exacerbate plantar fasciitis. Make sure to consider your own size before purchasing socks so you don’t buy into a pair that might cause more problems in the long run. As much as possible, read the labels to make sure you’re getting socks that are non-binding.
Socks That Constrict the Toes
Studies have shown that the abductor hallucis muscle plays a big role in the development of plantar fasciitis. By reducing pressure on this muscle, you can achieve better relief. So socks that bunch up around the toes, or that constrict the toes too close together can significantly worsen PF. If you’re buying traditional compression socks that cover the entire foot – toes included – make sure to consider how they wrap around the toes. Better yet, choose a pair that leaves the toes free all together.
Socks That Lack Arch Support
The arch is one of the most painful areas of the feet for people with PF. That’s because the plantar fascia’s main purpose is to support the arch. Special socks for plantar fasciitis help relieve this by designing their weave in such a way that pulls along the arch to provide necessary stability. Limp, thin socks can make the plantar fascia work double time to support the arches of the feet. Make sure to avoid them as much as possible.
What to Look for in Plantar Fasciitis Socks
How can you tell if you’ve got a good pair of plantar fasciitis socks in your shopping cart? These factors should help you determine whether your chosen socks are worth buying.
A sock that applies compression randomly over your feet can do more harm than good. A specialized sock that targets specific areas with varying degrees of pressure can be much more beneficial. Compression zones are achieved by using multi-directional weaving over specific parts of the socks, giving you greater relief and helping reduce the chances of your PF getting worse.
Snug Yet Comfortable Fit
Pressure can work well to relieve plantar fasciitis pain, but too much can be problematic. As a general note, it’s ideal that you look for a pair of socks that fit your feet snugly without applying too much pressure on them. Socks that bunch your toes together can be particularly painful in the long run. That’s why in most cases, toeless designs are the most ideal.
Built-in Cushion Systems
Some socks go the extra mile by providing you built-in cushions that reduce the impact of your step. By doing this, these types of socks can make walking and standing much less painful, allowing you to move freely. Keep in mind though that if you plan to wear your socks with bulky, plush padded athletic shoes, built-in cushions might no longer be necessary.
3 of the Best Socks for Plantar Fasciitis Reviewed
Now that you know what to look for and what to avoid, we'll explore the three best socks for plantar fasciitis.
The SB SOX Compression Foot Sleeves are some of the most popular socks for plantar fasciitis on the market. These specialized socks are designed with multi-directional weave patterns that help provide controlled compression over the areas that need it the most. Its garterized openings are also designed to produce a snug fit without impeding blood flow to the feet or toes.
The fabric used for the design is also quite impressive. With moisture-wicking properties, the socks can easily maintain a cool, clean, and comfortably dry climate inside your shoes for extended periods of time. They’re also lightweight and easy to wash, maintaining their elasticity and fit even after months of use.
Lastly, it’s also worth mentioning that the SB SOX Compression Foot Sleeves come in four different sizes. This helps guarantee that each user will find their perfect fit to ensure optimal relief and efficacy.
The Plantar Fasciitis Compression Socks from ZaTech are another top pick for buyers who want real relief against PF. What makes these socks particularly special is that they incorporate a variety of support and compression zones to better assist the foot during ambulatory activities.
Multi-directional weaving provides support for the Achilles tendon, heel, and arches of the feet. Around the forefoot, mesh zones improve breathability to reduce sweating and discomfort from warmth. Around the toes, a seamless closure ensures utmost comfort, especially because most full-foot plantar fasciitis socks have been known to cause problems around the areas of the toes.
Coming in a variety of colors and four different sizes, the ZaTech Plantar Fasciitis Compression Socks are moisture-wicking, quick-drying, breathable, and comfortably snug, making them an easy, effective solution for the symptoms of PF.
Made from odor-eliminating, moisture-wicking fabric, the Bitly Plantar Fasciitis Premium Compression Socks are prefect for buyers who want PF socks they can use for sports and athletics. These socks are specially designed to gently compress targeted areas throughout the ankle and foot so you can experience relief against PF pain.
Another feature that puts the Bitly Plantar Fasciitis Premium Compression Sock among other frontrunners in the market is the fact that they’re designed to stimulate circulation to help reduce the symptoms of PF and aid in your overall healing. It achieves this by distributing compressive forces over the different surfaces of the feet so that blood is directed where it is most needed.
The only reason why the Bitly Plantar Fasciitis Premium Compression Sock didn’t make it any higher on the list is the fact that it is slightly more expensive than the other options. Had it not been for the extra cost, these socks would have probably ranked in at number one.
You don’t need to take medication, opt for injections, or undergo surgery just to relieve the pain caused by plantar fasciitis. In most cases, the first and only step you’ll need to combat its symptoms is a pair of reliable socks. Compression socks for plantar fasciitis have been found to be a highly effective treatment that doesn’t only reduce the symptoms caused by the condition, but also aid in overall healing and recovery.
So, if you’re looking for a low cost and natural solution against plantar fasciitis that’s guaranteed to work, check out the socks we’ve listed above. The SB SOX Compression Foot Sleeves are particularly effective, and have made it big as the best choice on the market.
But if you find that they just don’t meet your standards, those from ZaTech or Bitly also make great picks. So be sure to read up on these three top notch picks to get the best plantar fasciitis socks and enjoy being pain-free from heel to toe.