Having a hard time shopping for fashionable women’s shoes for plantar fasciitis? Take heart, you are not alone! As a Doctor of Podiatry, it’s a complaint I hear often from many of my patients. The good news is, a solution exists. I tell all them all the same thing: focus on flats! Offering high-style feels minus the elevation and angle of high heels that can exacerbate inflammation of the plantar fascia, their low-profile support will take your wardrobe to heights you never thought possible while also (most importantly!) helping you get your stride back.
Ready to stay stylish and provide support for your feet? Check out our picks of best flats for plantar fasciitis…
Our Favorite Flats for Plantar Fasciitis
In my opinion, the best ballet flats for plantar fasciitis, are made by Vionic, specifically the following styles:
This pair of flats comes in a timeless quilted-leather with a patent leather toe cap.
This style comes with a classic elasticized top line accented by delicate stitching and cross-over detail at the toe cap.
Offered in a variety of fabrications, including leopard and cork, each with a contrasting toe cap and feminine bow detail, this pair of ballet flats offers a stylish take on shoes with arch support.
This style is meticulously-crafted with a delicate perforation-pattern that was inspired by shadows cast from sunlight streaming through macramé! Pretty, right?
Not only are all of these flats super cute, but the cushioned footbed in each (as is the case with all Vionic shoes) is also “bio-mechanically” designed (based on the scientific study of human movement) with Vionic’s signature “Three-Zone Comfort with Ultimate Arch Support.” That means they have a supportive innersole with a deep heel cup for rear stability (zone #1), a contoured arch mid-foot (zone #2), and ball-of-foot cushioning upfront for superior shock absorption (zone #3).
How to Find the Best Flats for Plantar Fasciitis:
When looking for the best flats for plantar fasciitis, look for flats that have structure. Floppy shoes will not do, ladies! There are a few ways to test the shoe:
1. Heel Test
Push the heel of the shoe toward the inside of the shoe. If the shoe heel bends easily, it won’t provide good support for your heel. The best flats for plantar fasciitis have a sturdy heel to support the entire foot and ankle.
2. Toe Test
Push the toe of the shoe up to try to bend the front of the shoe up. If the shoe bends easily it will not provide good support. The best flats for plantar fasciitis will have very little bend except for the ball of the foot.
3. Twist Test
Hold the shoe in both hands with one hand gripping the heel and one hand gripping the bottom of the front of the shoe. Twist the heel in one direction while twisting the front of the shoe in the opposite direction. The best flat for plantar fasciitis will be difficult to twist. If the shoe is easy to twist, it will not provide good support.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment and Prevention Tips
Of course, prevention is always the best cure for any sort of pain we experience. Luckily, there are several things you can do to stay steps ahead of the problem and avoid foot pain. My advice for plantar fasciitis treatment and prevention includes:
1. Avoid being barefoot
Even when you’re walking around at home! Wear supportive shoes always — avoid thin, flat, old, and worn-out shoes. If you want more of a cozy shoe to wear at home, try wearing supportive slippers.
2. Calf Stretches
Calf stretches in the morning and after long periods of rest are also very important in the prevention of plantar fasciitis. Keeping the achilles loose, limber, and stretched so it doesn’t tighten up is paramount. If the achilles tendon is tight, the plantar fascia will become tight and inflamed. This stretch can be as simple as straightening out your leg, so your knee is locked straight and then pulling the top of your foot toward you using the muscle in the front of your shin. Think about pulling your “toes toward your nose.” You can also stretch the calf muscle in a standing position, but if you do this, it’s very important to keep your arch up while you lean forward to stretch the calf muscle. If you stretch the calf with a relaxed foot, the force of the stretch will go to your arch, not your calf muscle.
3. Massaging the Calves and Arches
This is one of the more simple plantar fasciitis home remedies that you can incorporate into your daily routine. Massaging the calf and arch can also provide relief as well as prevent fasciitis. An easy way to incorporate this is after a bath or shower when applying body moisturizer. Apply a bit more pressure when going over your legs, calves, and arches. Use your knuckles to get into the fleshy part of your calf for a deeper, daily massage and use the “tick-tack-toe” cross fiber technique in your arch. Massage lengthwise as well as across your entire foot arches. This does a really great job of fascial release and prevention of fasciitis. Another way to help support your arches is through plantar fasciitis taping.
Keep Supportive Footwear at the Forefront
By keeping these tips in mind and working ballet flats with arch support into your wardrobe, you should be able to gain control in your struggle with plantar fasciitis. Feel better and look great doing it.
Looking to switch up your whole wardrobe entirely and find supportive shoes of all styles? Vionic carries comfortable shoes with arch support in a variety of styles, from dress shoes to sneakers to walking shoes and sandals, we have it all. Browse our women’s shoes for plantar fasciitis today to find a supportive style you love.
Wishing you wellness always…and happy shopping!
– Written by Vionic Innovation Lab member, Dr. Jacqueline M. Sutera, DPM.