If you are awakened with a sharp and stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel in the morning or after sitting for a long time, then maybe you are suffering from a medical condition known as “Plantar Fasciitis”. You may feel better with activities but worsens again after you spend a long time on your feet (not during it).
Plantar Fascia is a thick ligament connecting your heel to the front of your foot and is in the shape of a bowstring, supporting the arch of your foot and absorbing shock when you walk. When this ligament is overly stretched, micro-tears can develop which will cause pain and inflammation. Risk factors involved in developing Plantar Fasciitis include age, specific exercises, obesity, occupation that requires standing position over prolonged periods. Also, flat feet, high heels, high arch, or an abnormal pattern of walking may contribute.
Untreated Plantar Fasciitis greatly hinders your mobility and will cause chronic heel pain. If you change the way you walk due to the pain, it may create problems for the foot, knee, and back. To mitigate such conditions, there are several treatments like physical therapy, pain medication, and wearing orthopedic shoes, Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis, or orthotic Inserts. Supportive footwear is an effective method to naturally realign the foot. It will relieve the pain for the short term. Also, it will prevent further injury and ensure better health for your feet.
Top Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis
How to Choose Right Sandal for Plantar Fasciitis
For a Plantar Fasciitis patient, appropriate shoes are of crucial importance. Doctors always advise wearing the best shoes for plantar fasciitis as it is one of the first and effective treatments for this condition. Since these shoes are intended to treat medical conditions, functionality takes over aesthetics when choosing the correct pair of shoes for a patient. I concoct a list to highlight the essential qualities of such footwear.
Plantar Fasciitis shoes must be ergonomically designed for maximum comfort. Such shoes will minimize impact when the foot is propelled forward as they have customizable cushioning, flexible and ergonomic soles. Proper cushioning and properly designed soles incorporate memory foam or other materials that conform to the couture of foot. They absorb the impact force during footsteps to prevent further injury. Also, these shoes have to bend gradually from ball to foot. Too stiff or too soft shoes won’t serve the purpose.
Also, the footwear should allow the feet to breathe and it should be lightweight for better comfort.
Most of the time, we buy shoes which have little room for toes and they are cramped. Such variety will worsen the Plantar Fasciitis condition and cause severe pain. It’s rather important to check for the manufacturers’ sizing chart to get the best fit. Moreover, you should look for extra deep shoes to accommodate orthotics.
The Plantar Fasciitis shoes prevent overpronation which reduces the tension on Plantar Fascia. In order to do that, these shoes have anatomical arch support located at the correct position under the arch. Sturdy shoes are for the person who has a high arch and a person with a low arch needs something less intense.
The deep heel cup keeps the heel bones in place and also controls pronation and supination. They also provide stability and support for natural alignment. An ideal deep heel cup surrounds the heel tightly to provide better stability and thus reduces the pain in the heel area.
When you are purchasing the Plantar fasciitis shoes, you can do some tests on the spot to select the correct pair. First, the heel test, you have to push the heel inward. If the heel doesn’t bend easily, it is most likely sturdy enough for good support. The second test is for the toe of the shoe. Try to bend the front of the shoe upside. The supportive toe will resist the bend and the best quality shoes will only allow bend for the ball of the foot.
Finally, test the shoe for the twist. Hold the front of the shoe with one hand and the heel with the other and try to twist both ends of the shoe in the opposite direction. If you can easily twist it, then it will not provide much support.
Best Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis
Although it may be difficult, it’s not impossible to find the right pair of shoes for a Plantar Fasciitis patient. Cheap flip-flops and other types of Sandals that have enough cushioning may not be appropriate for such conditions as they don’t have much arc support. So, you should choose specially designed Sandals or shoes for this purpose. Some of these shoes are gender neutrals while others are quite fashionable. Some items are discussed here available in the market to give you some ideas about such products.
Unisex Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis
1. Birkenstock Unisex Arizona SFB
The Birkensen has a long and rich history of footwear since 1774. The shape of the Birkensen Footwears evenly distributes the body weight over the whole foot and thus gives optimal support. The core of every Birkenstock design is the legendary footbed and the meticulous and detailed design which is molded to fit and it serves the purpose of proper foot wellbeing and health. The deep heel cup hugs the heel in position and keeps the cushioning right under the heel bone.
The longitudinal arch support provides stability by supporting the sides of the footbed and transverse arch support brace in the middle of the footbed. This ensures the correct stance and alignment. The raised toe bar helps to grip while walking and it also exercises the legs and stimulates circulation. A spacy toe room ensures better balance and correct foot alignment.
Topnotch Suede leather-lined insole absorbs moisture and helps to ensure a pleasant foot climate. Double adjustable straps allow you to fit different shaped toes perfectly. The sole is made of synthetic materials
- Molded footbed is ergonomically designed
- Sturdy arch support
- Suede leather ensures comfort and quality experience while wearing
- Deep heel cup surrounds the heel for proper alignment of the foot.
- Adjustable straps guarantee a perfect fit.
- Suede leather is hard to clean.
- This footwear is designed for people with a high arch. It’s not recommended for low arched feet.
- There are lots of fake products and original Birkensen products are not sold in the Amazon platform anymore.
2. Vionic Kiwi Slide Sandal
Reputed podiatrist Phillip Vasyli who has contributed largely in the field of lower‑limb biomechanics, established Vionic shoes in 1979. Vionic is well known for Orthaheel orthotics and this brand has numerous collections of stylish shoes, sandals, boots, and orthotics.
These slide sandals from Vionics are designed biomedically for after sports therapy and outdoor activities. The orthotic EVA(Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate) footbed and deep heel cup help to realign your ankle and foot. It also supports and stabilizes the foot. The outsole is made of durable TPR rubber and has a wave pattern to prevent skidding.
It features a hook-and-loop Nubuck polyurethane upper with padded neoprene lining that provides a perfect fit. These sandals are very easy to clean; all you have to do is wipe off with the damp cloth and air dry under indirect sunlight only.
- Sole is skid-proof.
- Synthetic insoles are easy to clean.
- The hook-and-loop upper can adjust for a perfect fit.
- These sandals can be worn with socks during winter.
- Greatly improve the Plantar Fasciitis conditions
- Accepted by APMA
- These kiwi slippers are not very fashionable.
3. Birkenstock Essentials Unisex Gizeh EVA Sandals
This is another great and genuine classic from Birkenstock. The whole sandal is molded from cork and made of environment-friendly EVA. it’s ultralight and highly flexible. The footbed is shaped anatomically and it’s highly elastic with shock-absorbing properties. To fit your feet perfectly, the upper T-strap of the sandal is adjustable.
The footbed incorporates interior and exterior longitudinal arch supports which contours the footbed and surround the tarsal bones inside and out. This is essential for stability during the footstep. It also has transverse arch support to make the foot naturally straight and solid stance. The toe grip, raised indentations at the front of the footbed near the toes, support the natural motion of toes and let them spread out in natural position.
The moulded heel cup activates the calf muscles and supports the back foot which improves gait and coordination. These sandals are washable and skin-friendly. This product is extensively tested for harmful chemicals and it has no chemical odor.
- Deep heel cup will improve walking steps and support the ankle.
- Sufficient arch support for proper alignment of the foot.
- Toe grip keeps the toe in a natural position and also bears natural motion of the toe.
- Very comfortable to wear. You will feel like standing on the sand.
- Hazardous chemical and odor-free.
- Adjustable T-straps.
- Waterproof and washable.
- High-quality EVA sole absorbs shock.
- Make funny noises while walking
- Some customer complain about the shrinking of the sandals in heat
4. Footminders BALTRA Unisex Orthotic Arch Support Sandals
Footminder has developed a wide range of orthotic products with the help of professional podiatrists. Such products are designed to support your arch of the feet whether you have a normal, high, or low arch and they help prevent and relieve problems such as plantar fasciitis, heel pain, and even knee and lower back pain by realigning your lower body and improving overall balance and walking functions.
The BLARTA flip-flop sandals are anatomically shaped orthopedic footwear for men and women to support low arch for maximum comfort and wearability. The middle sole of these thong sandals utilizes compression-molded EVA material which can absorb shock and provide comfort and cushioning as it is pliable.
The insole is anatomically shaped to support flat feet and relieve Plantar Fasciitis pain. The straps are made of neoprene and they have to cushion for maximum comfort. For traction on every surface, the outsole is made of textured non-slip rubber. The BLARTA sandals also have a deep heel cup for better balance and stable walking motion.
- Comfortable straps.
- Shock absorbing and pliable midsole
- Deep heel cup for cradling the ankle and improving balance.
- Anatomically designed insole to support low arch feet
- Not very durable. Color wears off after several months.
- It doesn’t support the high arch.
Best Women’s Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis
1. Vionic Women’s Tide II Toe Post Sandal
Tide II women’s sandals are available in women’s whole sizes 5-12 and they will accommodate medium/wide B/C widths. Vionic is one of the leading manufacturers of orthotics footwear to help Plantar Fasciitis or flat feet and heel pain.
These thong sandals incorporate leather and synthetic materials (TPR) for insole and outsole respectively to increase functionality and comfort. In addition to that, the midsole is made of lightweight, flexible medium-density EVA for absorbing shock. The straps are foam-lined and soft woven toe rest ensures cozy fit. The TPR outsole is durable and has tread patterns for improved traction
There is no shortage of functionalities either. The footbed features orthotic designs with deep heel cups for arch support, alleviate heel pain, and also reduce stress on feet, ankle, and knees.
- APMA approved
- Reasonably priced.
- Stylish flip-flop sandals
- Washable footwear. But don’t submerge in water
- Reduce pain in Plantar Fasciitis condition.
- Orthotic footbed with deep heel cup.
- People without flat feet may need some time to adjust due to arch support
2. UGG Womens Kari Metallic Sandal
UGG is one of the leading international lifestyle brands which is very popular for its iconic classic boot. Kari Metallic Sandals from UGG is quite versatile footwear and they are rather comfortable, too. These stylish sandals will match with outfits like athleisure basics, cropped jeans, or light summer dresses and they can be worn to go anywhere.
The outsole of these sandals is a famous Treadlite sole by UGG with rubber toe and heel. Treadlite utilizes rubber and so, you can expect maximum elasticity, cushioning, and rebound. These outsoles are exceptionally durable and will not break down as quickly as some other outsole materials. Also, the rubber material has quite a strong grip on both wet and dry surfaces.
The insole is an imprint by UGG which is fashioned with three layers of soft and cushioning foam that are molded to feet for all-day support. The top of these three layers is made from memory foam, the middle layer from PORON® foam, and the bottom layer from EVA material. This insole will give you pillow-like experiences. The crisscrossed straps are made from leather with metallic finishing. The platform height is 1″ and the heel measures approximately 1.5″.
- Comfortable footbed with three-layer cushioning.
- Durable outsole with excellent grip
- Criss-crossed leather straps for good fit
- The leather strap can cause blister sometimes
- The size of the shoes aren’t standardized. You have to order a size larger than the size you normally wear.
- No deep heel cup
3. Teva Women’s Tirra Sandal
Teva paved the way for sports sandal trends back in 1984. This brand features footwear for outdoor activities and they will endure the harshest conditions while providing comfort. If you like adventures and don’t want to stress your feet altogether, then this is your footwear.
The main material used in the TIRRA sandals is quick-dry webbing using REPREVE® polyester yarn synthesized from recycled plastic and it is traced and verified by Unifi®. Due to micro zinc treatment, these sandals prevent odor caused by microorganisms.
In the heel area, there is a cushioned shock pad to absorb impact. There is a contoured EVA midsole for added arch support. To stabilize and support your feet on uneven terrain, Nylon shanks are incorporated along with adjustable hook-and-loop upper straps. These straps come on and off easily and they can be adjusted for best fit. Spider Original rubber outsole is extremely durable and designed to work in wet conditions which also supplies great traction.
- Recycled materials are utilized for sustainability
- Shock pad in the heel cup for absorbing impact.
- Nylon shanks for added stability in rough surfaces.
- Adjustable straps
- Great for outdoor activities
- EVA midsole for arch support
- Germ resistant. Thanks to micro zinc treatment
- Not very feminine.
- The heel cup is not deep
4. Taos Footwear Women’s Trulie Leather Sandal
Founded in 2005, Taos is intended to provide comfort without compromising the style and aesthetics. Named after the city of Taos, New Mexico, the brand tries to highlight serenity, artistic nature, and casual lifestyle of the landscape on the products.
Trulie is one of the top-rated sandals from Spain. This casual footwear has the footbed of cork-polyurethane lined in suede leather. This lightweight cork midsole is very comfortable. The outsole is of synthetic lightweight rubber with woven straps which has velcro fastener for adjustment. The heel measures approximately 1.5″ and the platform measures approximately 0.5″. Trulie is lightweight platform sandals that offer excellent metatarsal support and your feet will hardly get fatigued. To make this footwear rather fashionable, these sandals embellished with earthy stone, intricate stitching, rich fabrics, and colorful embroidery.
- Very fashionable and intricately designed
- Comfortable cork midsole
- Toe support
- Hook and loop adjustable strap
- Suede leather lining is very cozy
- Minimum orthotic features
5. Dansko Women’s Sophie Sandal
Dansko’s mission statement says that the company wants to improve people’s lives through great products. Established in 1990, Dansko is a 100% employee-owned company. The word Dansko means “Danish Shoe”. In the beginning, Dansko promoted the clog, perfect as barn shoes. Now, the company produces a wide variety of footwear. You can also customize your clog with them.
Dansko’s Sophie Sandals are easy to slide, fully adjustable two-strap sandals that don’t compromise fashion for utility. The straps are composed of leather and the footbed has Dri-Lex ® sock lining for absorbing moisture. For additional cushioning, there is a front insert. The beveled heel cup ensures stability and heel height is 2.25″. Foam midsole absorbs shock and provides comfort in every step.
Sophie’s outsole has tread patterns for better traction on slippery ground. The platform measures 1″. These sandals are suitable for wearing all day long. As for promoting better care of the foot, this item is APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) accepted.
- Shock-absorbing foam midsole
- Moisture absorbing sock lining
- The front insert provides extra cushioning
- Adjustable leather straps
- APMA accepted
- Not recommended for high arch people.
6. Vionic Women’s Rest Paros Backstrap Sandal
Vionic Rest Paros Sandals are fabulous supportive sandals for women. The Vionic is an iconic brand for orthotic products and you will find the perfect sandals for women from a wide variety of products, no matter the occasion, you can select a pair of chic suede wedges, or even beach sandals for a stroll on the sand, and switch to backstrap leather sandals for a night out.
Rest Paros sandals can be considered as travel shoes and you can also wear them on any casual occasion. The adjustable velcro back straps provide firm support on uneven terrain and perfect fit. The footbed of the Rest Paros Sandals are made from cork with a covering of microfiber to absorb moisture. EVA midsole acts as a shock absorber to protect your feet. The tough rubber sole is fashioned with tread patterns for traction. The performances of these sandals are comparable with orthotic inserts.
- Adjustable back strap for customization and more grip
- The treaded rubber sole is tough and lightweight
- Shock-absorbing EVA midsole
- Microfiber lining on the footbed keeps the feet dry
- The color of these sandals are not perfect. The white color sandals of this model are a little bit yellowish.
- The arch support is not adequate for some people
- Microfiber is hard to clean
Best Men’s Sandals For Plantar Fasciitis
1. Drew’s Warren Leather Open Toe Sport Sandals
Whether you are seeking footwear suitable for walking trails or wet weather, Warren River sandals will draw your attention. These open-toe sandals have enough room and spacious forefoot section to wiggle your toes freely. Your toe will be securely fit inside the sandals by hook and loop fasteners at three points at toe, instep, and heel. These are leather fasteners that have soft, breathable, and stretchy fabric lining.
The most compelling feature of the Warren sandals would be the replaceable ULTRON® footbed. If needed, you can completely remove the insole and put any orthotic insert you want. The built-in insole is also anatomically designed to provide enough metatarsal support and it is twice as deep compared with the traditional shoes. So, the footbed is ideal for extreme conditions. The sandals have molded EVA midsole and the lightweight rubber outsole has slip-resistant grip and shock-absorbing qualities.
- Detachable insole allows different orthotic insert
- Anatomically designed footbed with extra depth
- EVA midsole
- Three-point adjustment
- Comfortable straps
- Different orthotic inserts may be difficult to fit sometimes.
2. Vionic Ryder Thong Sandals
The collection of men’s footwear gives a customer the freedom to choose from a vast array of stylish sandals, shoes, boots, casual footwear, and many more. Comfortable Vionic shoes for men allow you to step out in the latest footwear trends and still enjoy a comfortable, arch-supporting shoe and this footwears don’t compromise between style and comfort. At Vionic, shoes are designed to alleviate some pain for those who suffer from heel pain such as plantar fasciitis and improve the conditions.
Ryder thong sandals from Vionic incorporate Vio-motion support which includes stability, arch support, and cushioning. They also help to promote the natural alignment of metatarsal bones and a healthy stride. The tri-planar motion control system of Ryder will prevent overpronation and it will relieve lower back, knee, and heel pain.
The treaded rubber outsole provides stability and grip on slippery surfaces. The insole is made of EVA along with a plush toe post for preventing rubbing irritations. There is a medium-density EVA midsole to absorb impact while striding. The straps utilize nubuck polyurethane and neoprene upper lining. In order to clean, use damped cloth and don’t submerge in water.
- APMA approved
- Easy to clean
- Soft toe post for extra comfort
- EVA midsole absorbs shock
- Insole supports the arch and reinforces healthy gait
- Relieve Plantar Fasciitis pain
- Not very durable
3. KEEN Men’s Newport H2 Sandal
KEEN greatly emphasizes the preservation of the environment and it aims to exceed the highest level of environmental standard. The brand utilizes recycled and repurposed materials for the products. If you buy a genuine KEEN product, you will get a warranty against manufacturing and material defects for one full year from the date of purchase.
Newport H2 is a cross between shoes and sandals which has the airiness of a sandal and the toe protection of a shoe. These are the footwears for the serious adventurers and the rubber sole is razor-siped for superior traction. Moreover, a multi-directional lug pattern on the footbed also increases traction and it is anatomically designed for improved support.
This classic water shoe has washable webbing straps of polyester. To help you to navigate in rough terrain, these sandals have a secure fit lace capture system. The midsole is made of EVA which is compression molded. The material used in these sandals are PFC free and completely machine washable. The footbed is infused with microorganisms to repel sweat odor. The straps dry quickly after getting wet.
- PFC free materials
- Freedom of sandals and toe protection of shoes altogether.
- Quick-dry upper lining
- Razor siped rubber outsole for excellent traction
- Metatomical footbed for better support
- Anti-odor probiotics
- Machine washable
- Stitching is not durable.
- There are some sizing issues for UK consumers.
4. SOLE Men’s Sport Flip-Flop
Established in 2001, Canadian company SOLE has this unique idea for a customizable sole that offers the best fit possible. These innovative and adaptable products ensure the best cushioning and support to optimize your foot’s natural functionality. The wear-moldable footwears can be customized at home by reheating and wearing them.
Sole Sport flip-flop is a great choice for casual footwear, you can wear it at the beach, poolside, park or even inside your home. The sandals adopt anatomical shape and natural splay to provide dynamic metatarsal support along with maximum natural heel cushioning. The footbed is wear-moldable and made of EVA material. This anatomic design and personalized orthopedic support improves balance and posture, reduces plantar fascia strain, and equalizes pressure distribution. The synthetic Nubuck PU thong straps have to cushion with a super soft polyester liner and the outsole is of rubber. The midsole is tough and made of EVA.
- Unique customizable footbed.
- Personalized orthopedic support
- Plantar Fascia strain is reduced by 34%
- Durable midsole
- The straps are very comfortable
- Some complaints about the placing of thong
- Size issues. If you have wide feet, you have to order one size bigger.
5. OluKai Men’s Ohana
Olukai Ohana Flip-Flop is extensively designed for beach walks. These sandals are crafted for a simple everyday style. Since these are beach sandals, the water-resistant synthetic straps have ultra-soft, quick-drying jersey knit lining and a soft nylon toe post which will dry quickly and practical to wear in wet conditions. The smooth drop-in ICEVA footbed is anatomically contoured and deep for extra comfort. And for extra traction, non-marking rubber outsole has coral reef lug design.
Olukai offers a free 30-days return policy in case you have a change in mind. Also, there is a 1 year guarantee period for every genuine product.
- Waterproof and quick-dry material
- Anatomically designed drop-in footbed
- Comfortable toe post and straps
- Slip-proof outsole
- The heel cup is not very deep
- Arch support is too high for some people.
- Some users get sweaty feet.
Benefits of Wearing Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis
Orthotic inserts, shoes, or sandals will provide short term relief in case of existing Plantar Fasciitis. But it will prevent further injury. If a regular person wears orthotic footwear, the chances of occurring plantar fasciitis are greatly reduced.
Drawbacks of Wearing Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis
Poorly designed flip-flop sandals can cause Plantar Fasciitis, not to mention the worsening situation in already existing conditions. The traditional flip-flops have no arch support and while walking in these flimsy sandals, you have to adjust all the time. It will cause intense heel pain.
Another bad choice is platform sandals with rigid footbeds which impede the natural movement of feet and add pressure to metatarsal bones. Pointy-toed footwear causes painful blisters, nerve pain, and hammertoes. It will degrade the Plantar Fasciitis conditions.
Besides, if the shoes don’t fit properly, it will create serious problems and injuries, no matter how well designed the shoes are.
Not all the good quality shoes are suitable for Plantar Fasciitis. Only anatomically designed orthotic footwear will improve the situation. But you don’t have to throw away your favorite shoes right away. You can buy orthotic inserts separately and put them inside. Be careful when you buy shoes for heel pain or Plantar Fasciitis. American Podiatric Medical Association approves healthy footwear. So, APMA approved sandals are perfect for such conditions.