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 could be a myriad of causes behind foot pain, and plantar fasciitis is one of those that top the list. It is mainly due to the inflammation of your plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes. It’s a sharp pain that is typically felt in the morning when taking your first few steps, easing slowly as you move throughout the day. But it can come back after you sit or stand for long periods.
So what’s a good way to deal with the pain? You can take oral medication for the pain, but unless you treat the root cause, the condition will keep coming back. A good way to begin is to choose the right footwear. There are certain types of shoes that are meant for people with plantar fasciitis, but in general, there are things to look out for before buying a pair (say no to sandals and flip-flops!).
Deep-heel cup – ensures that your rearfoot is held in place and actually sits in the shoe
Strong heel cup – gives the rearfoot a firm but comfortable grip so it doesn’t shift or twist
Flared heel – prevents wobbling by adding stability
Adequate cushioning – reduces the pressure as you take steps when walking
Arch support – scatters weight in equal proportions around the foot and supports affected tissue (plantar fascia)
Podiatrists recommend buying footwear later in the day, a time when the feet have swollen a bit as they often do. And though this may seem like a basic, don’t just depend on the size of your last pair of shoes because manufacturer sizing can differ widely. Because your feet will never be exactly equal in length, buy shoes for the larger foot. Also try on a pair with socks or hose on, or any other orthotic devices you may be using. These things can make a huge difference in terms of fit and comfort. Finally, don’t pay for any footwear unless you’re completely sure they’re good for you.