How To Choose The Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis Recovery
Every day at our Four Vermont Locations, the Danform team talks with people who are looking for shoes to ease their foot pain. Derek, our Danform Shoes General Manager has noticed that “while we serve a fair amount of customers who regularly see a podiatrist, many self-diagnose using the internet instead. We believe foot pain should always be properly diagnosed by a medical professional. With accurate diagnosis, Danform can perfectly match footwear options to aid in your recovery.”
Our highly trained team is ready to talk you through a selection of therapeutic footwear options that will support your recovery without disrupting your career or lifestyle.
“We see customers with Plantar Fasciitis across all ages and activity levels—they just have pain and want to be able to walk without it getting worse,” notes Rob Colchester store manager, "our approach, especially if they have not seen a specialist, is to begin with some questions:
- How long have you been experiencing foot pain?
- Do you feel tired within a couple of hours of being on your feet?
- Tell me about the first step you take in the morning - typically it’s incredibly painful and the customer will relate to this question
- What do you do for work and/or what are your daily activities?
- Do you currently use an orthotic?
- What shoes do you currently wear?
We also encounter a wide range of working professionals suffering from chronic foot pain and plantar fasciitis symptoms. Plantar Fasciitis affects a number of lifestyles and professions, proving pain has no single target. Some common behaviors that tend to produce pain involve prolonged standing, overuse, heavy lifting and walking on hard surfaces.
Common professions that experience Plantar Fasciitis symptoms include:
- Medical Professionals: Nurses, Doctors, Lab Technicians
- Culinary Professionals: Chefs, Servers, Kitchen Staff
- Service Industry: Hair stylists, Retail Sales, Computer Techs
- Education: Teachers, Administrators, Maintenance
- Athletics: Runners, Skiers, Tennis and Soccer Players
- Facilities Management: Custodians, Cleaners, Handyworkers
- Construction Management: Laborers, Architects, Engineers
LOOK GOOD & FEEL GOOD, FOR LESS
Following a medical diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis, “Our first recommendation is to find a quality, affordable orthotic, like Superfeet that can be added to a customer's current shoes,” adds Derek, a twenty-year Danform veteran. “You shouldn’t have to spend $500 right off the bat to get relief.” Danform's goal is to build trust for a lasting relationship. Plantar Fasciitis recovery is often ongoing. Once you have developed Plantar Fasciitis, you are vulnerable to recurrence. Choosing supportive shoes increases the odds that your feet will stay pain-free.
The #1 thing we want you to understand when suffering from foot pain is, “Most footbeds that come with shoes don’t provide the level of support necessary for people with PF—your shoe must hold the arch up throughout the day.”
For clients experiencing Plantar Fasciitis pain, Derek often recommends going with a brand like Taos. “They have really cornered the market by creating a cute canvas shoe that actually has great health benefits.”
Derek cautions that customers often believe a highly cushioned shoe is the antidote to Plantar Fasciitis when in fact support that "will hold up the arch throughout the day is the critical element."
The classic "sit and fit" experience is key in solving Plantar Fasciitis. Being fit in person assures that a trained professional evaluates your foot in the shoe. Danform can also share some recommended stretches to alleviate your pain.
Some of our favorite brands with superior arch support are Vionic, Taos and Aetrex. “We love recommending these lines because they cradle the foot well, providing the health benefits you need with Plantar Fasciitis—plus they look great for a range of activities.”
With Plantar Fasciitis you must support your arch from the minute you wake up in the morning, to your very last steps at night, It is common for our customers to transition their whole footwear collection to a few brands that agree with them—Taos, Vionic and Birkenstock cover a lot of ground in this aspect. The other big lifestyle change that a lot of people aren’t ready for is that "you should never really go barefoot again.”
“You should really never go barefoot again—Even a pair of Joybees rubber clogs is better than nothing.”
BUT WHY GO BAREFOOT WHEN THERE’S BIRKENSTOCK?
Danform carries a wide range of Birkenstock styles because every pair is Ergonomically Designed to promote good foot health and comfort. We love to get our clients wearing Birkenstock, especially the ones who used to go barefoot, says Shelburne Store Manager Sean, “After a week of wear, your Birkenstocks will mold to your feet like a custom orthotic.”
AND FOR THOSE WALKING OR WORKING ON THEIR FEET ALL DAY
The Dansko Professional is our top pick for Nurses, Teachers and Restaurant Staff. The classic slip-on design makes changing shoes quick and easy, while a sturdy heel and durable construction mean they’ll support your feet for the whole day. Further, most Dansko models have the Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association. A great option for industry professionals that use a custom orthotic comes from Blundstone, whose boots are also popular for their heightened ankle support.
OUR NUMBER “ONE” WALKING & RUNNING SHOE FOR PLANTAR FASCIITIS
Hoka One One makes a premier range of athletic and athleisure options to support your on-the-go lifestyle. Noted as the best shoe for injury prevention and rehabilitation, Hoka’s “Bondi” ensures the maximum level of cushioned support while the comparable “Clifton,” has a thinner sole and more modest cushioning with increased agility. “If you tend to pronate, we always recommend the ‘Gaviota’ for heightened stability in your running shoes.”
The more time your foot spends in arch supportive footwear, the better your chances to keep plantar fasciitis at bay. Easy slip-on Active Recovery shoes like those from OOFOS are quickly becoming staples in a foot-healthy quiver.
MAKING A FULL RECOVERY FROM PLANTAR FASCIITIS
Remember that it can take over one year to recover from Plantar Fasciitis, and as Rob reminds us, “Wearing the correct shoes eases the pain and speeds your recovery. PF develops for many reasons, but wearing the wrong shoes is a key factor.” The human foot is no longer able to absorb the impact of hard flooring all day long. “People think I am joking when I recommend a more supportive slipper, like Haflinger, but if you support your foot with absolutely every step you take throughout the day, you will be on the fastest path to recovery.”
Rob, one of Colchester's top fit specialists, recently recounted the story of a customer who shared, "Danform is the only place I buy shoes because you know what you're doing." Helping customers find the perfect pair of shoes to match their style and relieve their pain can be trial and error, but Rob is game for the challenge. It's that combination of in-store expertise and thousands of shoes on hand that makes Danform Shoes the go-to guru if you are suffering from Plantar Fasciitis. A store "sit and fit" visit is the best way to find the ideal shoes for your recovery, but our online collection features many of our recommended shoes for Plantar Fasciitis as well.
DANFORM RX AND VERMONT PHYSICAL THERAPY DAYS
We began the Danform Rx program in order to collaborate directly with local Vermont Physical Therapists. Clients are highly encouraged to come by for our free in-store “PT Days,” an incredible way to find some relief. Participants receive:
- A 15-minute appt with a Physical Therapist
- Your “PT” analyzes gait and looks for anatomical issues relating to leg length discrepancies, or years of walking improperly, as well as pronation, supination, plantar fasciitis and other painful foot issues
- Danform fit experts work with each client to properly fit them with “PT” approved footwear
- A review is performed wearing the suggested footwear
- 15% discount off recommended footwear or compression socks
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