Can Shoes Cause Plantar Fasciitis?
Did you know that slip-on shoes are too tight? If they weren’t they’d be called slip-offs! Your feet are dynamic, a shoe is static. A slip-on shoe utilizes the spreading of your foot to force the heel into the Heel Seat of the shoe. “Penny Loafers” have that band where the “Penny” goes for reasons other than showing off that prized 1937 “D”. That Band is there to strengthen that area of the shoe. If you have chronic “Plantar Fasciitis” your tight slip – on shoes might be the problem. In general, shoes that are too restrictive or tight may not allow the foot to move naturally. This could increase pressure unnaturally throughout the foot, which could aggravate conditions such as plantar fasciitis.
The Fascia is arguably a cross between a ligament and a muscle that is located on the plantar aspect, “bottom” of your foot. It is concentrated on the posterior aspect, or “front of the Heel Bone” and fans out to the metatarsal heads, the “Ball” of the foot. This is a “Tensile” muscle.
The Fascia is designed to get bigger and smaller, unlike flexors and extenders. A pair of shoes that is too tight will not allow the Fascia to get bigger and smaller, nor will it allow the toes to extend and flex as they were designed. This leads to inflammation of the ligament, the result being what we call Fasciitis. “Bone Spurs” in the heel are one of the most painful symptoms of this condition.
The body, trying to relieve the fascia, begins to grow a bony material to attach to a different part of the ligament in hopes of relieving the inflammation. Of course, the bone spur becomes is painful and not to remedy at all. Fasciitis can also manifest as foot pain on many other areas of the foot. Front of the heel bone, sides of the heel, ball of the foot etc. If it is chronic, aside from trauma, its likely something you are doing every day that is causing it.
You can figure out what it is by troubleshooting.
Does my foot “bend” where the shoe bends. A short shoe will bend too close to the toe of the shoe creating pressure on the metatarsal heads. A long shoe will bend too close to the arch of the shoe and will not function the way the shoe was designed. If a shoe is too long the toe will stick up a slightly like an Elf would wear. Note: a shoe too big will feel great at first because it allows the foot to spread out, but the comfort won’t last in most cases.
Does my shoe have a “shank” or any kind of support for my arch? Most “Running” shoes don’t! Running shoes are designed to fit snug, be light weight, and shock-absorbent. They are not made to stand in all day. Standing is much different than running. If you can bend the arch of your shoe, it has no support.
Going barefoot can cause Fasciitis. Almost every surface we walk on is hard and flat. Concrete, Wood floors, Carpeted houses all are hard flat surfaces. The foot is Plantar Grade, that’s why we wear shoes, along with foot protection of course.
Here’s a trick!
If you have Fasciitis or any foot pain and you have a pair of running shoes with a removable internal insert, take the insert out of the shoe and try them with no insert! This creates more room in the shoes and can sometimes reveal a lot. Fasciitis can also occur if your custom shoe lifts or elevations are not done properly. Note: Sever Fasciitis can lead to problems with the Achilles tendon also.
Wearing the wrong pair of shoes can increase your chances of developing foot pain, such as plantar fasciitis, bunions and other foot problems.