Plantar Fasciitis/Footwear

I'm wondering what shoes you guys would recommend for my situation.
I've had plantar fasciitis for 15 months. It feels like it may be
starting to get a little better. Been getting some graston technique at
PT. And I use foot log, rubz ball, "the stick" on calves, bosu ball
exercises, wall stretch, epsom salt soaks, icing, etc. I just bought
some vibram five fingers and I like how they feel, but I don't think I'm
ready to be using them that much. Also just got some Brooks PureFlows.
For the past months I've been wearing Nike basketball shoes with custom
inserts that I molded in the oven, they feel pretty good but maybe
they're too much support that will not allow my foot to get stronger? Also was trying some Brooks Beasts for awhile.
I'm wondering is the best shoe or shoes for me to buy? I don't plan on
running very long distances, just some running mixed with
cross-training, weightlifting, etc. I'm leaning towards a low drop or
zero drop. Any other tips or recommendations would be greatly


  • If you are not used to minimalist shoes I would start with a transition shoe, with a 4mm drop and a bit of cushioning. I quite liked Saucony Kinvara, which I used after an injury to get back into running. I have since moved to more minimalist shoes but they were great for me at the time, very comfortable and light. 
  • Just as an off handed comment. I don't find the stick as useful for tight calves as the cheapest foam roller I could find.

    I say this because what I had diagnosed as PF turned out to be just tight calves. Once I got those loosened up my foot issues went away.
  • You have the Pureflows, which fit in with your desired characteristics. Have you tried running in them?

    I agree with @yugami about the foam roller, intensive foam rolling of my calves helped me beat PF.
  • I have kept PF at bay by rolling my calves with a foam roller, stretching my feet by sitting on the floor with legs extend out in front of me and pulling the feet back towards my shins, and rolling my feet with a firm ball (dog toy).

    Since getting metatarsalgia as well, I had to back off using a low drop shoe despite being a forefoot runner and I currently run in the Mizuno Wave Sayonara.  The heel cup is snug against my foot and helps hold it in where as other low drop shoes like Saucony and New Balance, my heels were slipping despite locking the heels with different lacing techniques.
  • G'day mate , I'd be passing on the vibrams for a while if i was you....too much strain on the pl. fasc insertion...and generally using a 8-10mm or higher gradient shoe / and most obviously not pushing it too much,
    Down time ...beginning of the day and evenings ..after running .( and weekends).get a pair of fit flop sandals...they have a built in gradient and mild shape and feel.. which will usually help.
    Be careful that your home baked inserts are not pushing up into your arch too much...this will block the ligament as it tries to lower ( normal under load)..while running and can actually make the issue worse. An incorrectly made insert can cause issues...and if you are doing squats etc...the arch pressure and gradient are very not too much pressure in arch and always use higher gradient shoes..otherwise your going to pay for it buddy

  • I like how the Brooks PureFlows have been feeling. But I'm still at the point where I haven't been running at all. Just walking and it gets pretty sore after awhile. I think I will try some foam rolling for the calves as well like you guys have said. @Mike So if I'm doing squats do you recommend the more supported inserts while doing those or the PureFlows. I also have some Otomix weightlifting shoes, but havent worn them since I got PF. Walking on the beach sand seems to feel kind of good too.
  • Theone shoe that always felt good when I had PF was Birkenstocks. Not a running shoe obviously, but really seemed to improve the pain around the house and out and about.
  • I would second wearing Birkenstocks in and out of the house (I have a pair of clogs for inside, and 2 pairs of sandals and 1 pair of clogs for outside) while dealing with PF pain.  Always wondered what the heel to toe drop on them are...LOL.

    I wear Birkenstocks during the teaching day as well so that I don't have to contend with aches and pains that other shoes might cause.
  • G'day again....wrt your question re wearing more supportive inserts with squats...well thats dependant on how much they press up into the arch..( think contact.. not pressure) i said with squats your heel height / gradient is important....i reckon at least 10+ mm with anything this is a generalisation...but squatting ,both via the bodies position( increased dorsflx at ankle joint, tightning of lower leg rear muscle groups, etc) and the likely to put some xtra strain on an irritated pl. fasc easy does it
  • See the website  Along with foam rollering the calves, he specifically suggests targeting the posterior tibialis muscle with some deep massage.  It hurt a lot for me, but made a huge difference.  Also, I'd recommend something that just doesn't hurt and lots of patience.  My most comfortable "shoes" are Xeros (no contours, no lift, no restrictive toe box).  I believe pf has many causes, you'll have to experiment and see what works.  Good luck.
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