Finding the best shoes for a specific foot problem can present different challenges. Since each of us has complex foot biomechanics, the shoes that work with the other person having the same foot problem as yours may not work with you. Another consideration is that the degree of damage is not the same. And you must be 100% sure that the symptoms you are seeing are being caused by a specific foot condition because there are foot issues that are misleading.
Types of Pronation of the Foot
Neutral Pronation. This is the most ideal biomechanics of the foot. It has the least tendency of having overuse injury because all parts of the foot (i.e. heel, arch, and toes) work together well to carry the weight in proper posture. The best shoes for neutral pronation are neutral shoes.
Supination (or underpronation). This is the type of pronation that forces the outer edge of your foot to receive most of the impact during foot strike, then transfers the force to your smaller toes when pushing off to complete your step. The supinated foot motion is rigid (or less flexible) during different phases of the gait cycle. High arches are common to supination. The best shoes for supination are neutral shoes with extra-cushioned footbed. These shoes are flexible and have the support for too much outward roll of foot.
Overpronation. This is the pronation of the foot that has too much inward roll and over flattening of arch. If you have flat feet, you will tend to overpronate during foot strike. Overpronation also causes the foot to be heavy at heel strike causing issues on the heel. The too much inward roll of foot misaligns your lower limb so you will have struggle with balance. The best shoes for overpronation are stability shoes because they have the arch support you need. The arch need to work to help with stability.
1. Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is a common heel injury because of damage in the plantar fascia. With increasing age, you will be prone to plantar fasciitis if you have postural deformities (supination and overpronation). The best shoes for plantar fasciitis and overpronation are stability shoes while the best shoes for plantar fasciitis and supination are neutral shoes with extra-cushioned footbed.
2. Best Shoes for Heel Spurs
A heel spur is a foot condition similar to plantar fasciitis because the pain is also in the heel. But heel spurs are calcium deposits build-up under the heel bone and not caused by damage in the plantar fascia. Although the heel spur itself is not painful, the tissue damage surrounding it brings pain. The best shoes for heel spurs are excellent in heel cushioning and can subdue the pain at the bottom of your heel bone. These shoes have good arch support so that the entire weight will be even across the foot surface for a softer impact.
3. Best Shoes for Metatarsalgia
Metatarsalgia (or stone bruise) is a foot condition caused by a compromised balance in the metatarsal bones. So prone are the athletes who take part in high-impact sports that can put too much stress on the forefoot. But it can affect non-athletes as well and older people who have weight problems and those who have bunions and Morton’s neuroma. The best shoes for metatarsalgia have excellent forefoot cushion that can ease the pain in the ball of the foot. And they can protect the injured part of the forefoot.
4. Best Shoes for Morton’s Neuroma
Morton’s neuroma is a foot condition similar to metatarsalgia because it also affects the ball of the foot. But this malady is caused by an entrapped nerve leading to your toes. Wearing tight-fitting and high-heeled shoes can cause Morton’s neuroma. The best shoes for this foot condition have excellent cushion in the forefoot. They have a wide toe box that can ease the pressure and irritation in the ball of the foot.
5. Best Shoes for Sesamoiditis
Sesamoiditis is a foot condition affecting athletes who take part in high-impact sports that can put too much stress on the forefoot. The common symptom of sesamoiditis is pain in the joint under the big toe which makes it difficult to bend or straighten. The best shoes for sesamoiditis give excellent cushion in the ball of the foot. You may need a shoe with a rocker sole because they don’t allow too much bending in the forefoot at the end of your step.
6. Best Shoes for Shin Splints
A shin splint is an injury that can affect athletes who take part in sports that involve a lot of running and jumping. This malady happens when your tibia suffers trauma of tissue which causes swelling. The best shoes for shin splints have excellent full-length cushion capable of absorbing shock. They also redirect the force away from the injured inner part of the tibia.
7. Best Shoes for Hammer toes
A hammer toe is a deformity affecting the middle toes causing them to bend. This is the foot condition that is easy to correct but may require surgery if left unchecked for a long time. The best shoes for hammer toes have firm sole but soft in the upper portion of the toe box.
9. Best Shoes for Arthritis
Arthritis is a painful joint disorder that has over a hundred forms. When arthritis affects your knees and feet, the pain becomes unbearable. The best shoes for arthritis have excellent cushion and shock absorption systems that can create a soft impact. And they can redirect the force gently away from the affected areas.
10. Best Shoes for Bunions
A bunion is a deformity of the joint affecting the big toe causing it to push against the next toe creating a painful sensation. So prone are women who wear tight-fitting and high-heeled shoes for a long time because they can put too much stress on the forefoot. The best shoes for bunions have excellent forefoot cushion and a wide toe box that can ease the pain in the big toe. The shoe must be snug in every part of the foot.
Now that you have seen the various foot conditions and the best shoes for each of them, know also the application of common treatments to help ease the pain or speed up the healing.