Participating in marathons and similar events isn’t realistic for most people, but engaging in some form of exercise, such as walking, can still benefit their health. According to the Centers for Disease Control, all it takes to be healthy and prevent disease is two hours and a half of brisk walking a week, which can be easily cut up into five walks of thirty minutes each. But if you have a condition such as plantar fasciitis, even five minutes of walking can already be uncomfortable or even painful.
There are several factors that lead to foot pain, and plantar fasciitis is among the most common. It is mostly a result of a swollen plantar fascia, which is the tissue that attaches your toes to your heel bone. It is characterized by stabbing pain during the first few steps you take in the morning, usually going away later in the day as you go through your usual routine. But it can come back after you sit or stand for long periods.
So what’s there for you to do to handle the pain? You can take oral medication for the pain, but unless you treat the root cause, the condition will keep coming back. Start by buying appropriate footwear. You may find shoes that are made specifically for plantar fasciitis, but generally speaking, there are characteristics that you should prioritize when you go out to shop (flip-flops and sandals out!).
Deep-heeled cup – secures your rearfoot in a comfortable and stable place
Firm heel cup – holds the rearfoot with just enough tightness that prevents shifting or twisting
Flared heel – prevents wobbling by adding stability
Good cushioning – relieves the pressure on the first heel strike when you walk
Arch support – spreads weight equally around the foot and supports the plantar tissue
Podiatrists recommend buying footwear later in the day, a time when the feet have swollen a bit as they often do. And while this may seem obvious, don’t simply rely on your size when you bought your last pair, considering that sizing can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. As one foot is naturally larger than the other, use the bigger foot’s size when you buy footwear. Also try on a pair with socks or hose on, or any other orthotic devices you may be using. After all, these things do change fit and comfort. Finally, don’t pay for any footwear unless you’re completely sure they’re good for you.