I'm a Podiatrist and These Are the Best Shoes for Foot Pain
Depending on the kind of foot pain you have, try out one of these recommendations.
We all have different pain points, but aching feet can be downright debilitating. If you have a job that requires you to be on your feet every day, or if you spend your time taking care of your kids and grandkids, foot pain can really interfere with your daily life. Even if you're more sedentary, it's still unpleasant to have sore arches when walking around or getting a workout in. If you find yourself struggling with these issues, you might want to reconsider the shoes that you're wearing, podiatrist Paul Macaulay says. Read on to discover his picks for the best shoes for foot pain.
Check these out if you have plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common conditions that cause heel pain, involving the inflammation of the plantar fascia tissue running along the sole of your foot, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. There are several different potential causes, including an uptick in your activity level, the structure and shape of your foot, and the type of shoes you wear.
Macaulay, a British podiatrist now based in Singapore, recommends a few different options for this condition, which he notes can be "complex to treat."
In a June 8 TikTok video, Macaulay—who's known by his handle @paulthepodiatrist—explains that some people with plantar fasciitis need support, others need cushioning, and others need a combination of the two.
If you need cushioning, he recommends the New Balance 1080, which has a layer of soft foam through the base.
"This foam technology makes it cushioned throughout the whole foot, especially underneath the heel, so patients find it extremely comfortable," he says.
For stability, Macaulay recommends the New Balance 860, which differs from the 1080 because it has a firm base that "will reduce the amount of pronatory forces that go through the foot, which can reduce the stress on the plantar fascia."
For both support and cushioning, try sneakers from Hoka, which are known for their thick, soft soles.
"You can get a maximum cushioning shoe but also with built-in stability, so this has both, I think this is a perfect combination for a lot of people with heel pain," Macaulay says, noting that when you're at home you should always be wearing shoes with arch support to relieve pressure.
If you have Achilles tendinitis, there's one shoe Macaulay suggests.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Achilles tendinitis is caused by overuse or injury of the Achilles tendon, which connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. It's most common in runners who increase the intensity or duration of their runs suddenly, as well as middle-aged people who play sports but only do so on the weekends.
Responding to a comment about the best shoe for this condition, Macaulay again recommends the Asics Kayano.
"The reason for this is because it has a 10-millimeter heel-to-toe drop," he says. "That means that the heel sits higher than the toe. It takes the load off the calf and the Achilles tendon—[it's an] artificial way of taking away the stress."
Macaulay also notes that the Kayano is "more stable on the bottom" meaning it won't put as much stress on the Achilles while you're walking or running on flat or uneven surfaces.
He has a few recommendations for those with Morton's neuroma, too.
Morton's neuroma affects the ball of your foot, most commonly the space between your third and fourth toes, according to the Mayo Clinic. The condition occurs when the tissue around one of the nerves leading to your toes thickens, leading to sharp or burning pain or the feeling of having a pebble in your shoe.
When it comes to this kind of foot pain, Macaulay says you need to "reduce the compression." With that in mind, he recommends a derby shoe.
"I've got a derby-style shoe here, and what that means is that there's no stitching between the tongue of the shoe and the upper, so we can really open up this space here," he says, demonstrating the stretch of the forefoot, or the front part of the shoe.
When you're shopping, also consider the type of material. Plasticky, synthetic materials don't stretch as much, but genuine leather options "will stretch to the feet, so it won't put as much pressure on when your feet are inside it," Macaulay says. He adds that you can also take these shoes to be stretched at the podiatrist or local shoe store.
For general foot pain, consider one of these options.
If you don't have a specific diagnosis and are just looking to reduce daily aches and pains, there are also a few shoes Macaulay suggests.
"Always good to get supportive shoes when your feet are painful," the video caption reads.
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Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the medication you're taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.