Finding the Right Fit - PIH Health

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Published on December 18, 2017


Finding the Right Fit

The Link Between Shoes and Foot Pain

shoes and the right fitNot all shoes are created equal. Whether they are fancy or comfortable, we all have our favorite, “go-to” pair of shoes. However, shoes play a much greater role in our day-to-day lives than we may think. If your shoes look good, but don’t fit well, they can cause foot pain, discomfort and can even contribute to plantar fasciitis—an inflammation of the ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes. Though most common in middle-aged people, plantar fasciitis also occurs in young adults who are on their feet often, i.e. athletes or soldiers, and even children. People who fit the following criteria should wear supportive shoes with cushioned soles to prevent any future foot issues:

  • High arches or flat feet
  • Walk, stand, or run for long periods of time— especially on hard surfaces
  • People who are overweight
  • People who have tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles

“Plantar fasciitis is a progressive condition and, if left untreated, can lead to damage of the ligament such as small tears and possible bone spurs which can become debilitating for those suffering from the syndrome,” says Ken C. Nguyen DPM, PIH Health Podiatrist.

Common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include but are not limited to:

  • Aching, sharp, burning pain, in the sole of the foot
  • Pain when stepping out of bed or getting up after sitting for long periods of time
  • Swelling and redness in the heel area
  • Foot pain or discomfort that has lasted for more than a few days, or periodically over the course of months or years

There is good news. Plantar fasciitis is treatable and, if reviewed by a doctor soon enough (before the condition progresses), can be treated non-invasively with rest, cooling (either with an ice pack or a patch), or orthotics which include splints, wraps and shoe inserts.

If you are on your feet often and suffer from constant foot pain, take the first step into preventative care and wear shoes with good arch support and cushioned soles. Fashionistas who don’t want to give up the fancy shoes can use heel cups or shoe inserts (orthotics, as mentioned above) which also work well and provide foot support.

People who suffer from constant foot pain may want to see a podiatrist for an examination. For a list of PIH Health podiatrists in or near your area visit:

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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