Best Tennis Shoes For Nurses with Plantar Fasciitis
Walking for hours and standing still for long durations can cause immense strain on your legs. Nurses in particular develop conditions from injuries sustained by simply standing up for a prolonged period of time.
Most nurses struggling with plantar fasciitis and finding the right tennis shoes will make a world of difference. Proper cushioning, support, and stability are key in relieving the pain and discomfort associated with this condition.
From the multitude of possible conditions these injuries could result in, plantar fasciitis is the leading cause of pain and discomfort across the bottoms of the feet. Nurses have turned to tennis shoes as they prioritize stability and comfort, great support in the treatment of plantar fasciitis. But what even is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis: Symptoms, Causes and Possible Treatments
The name plantar fasciitis can be derived from 2 root words, Plantar meaning relating to the foot, and Fascia which is the fibrous tissue that connects the bones in our body. Medical jargon aside, the condition refers to the inflammation of the band of tissue at the bottom of our foot that connects the heel bone to the toes.
The inflammation is the result of micro-tears that appear after certain strains. This tissue is called the Plantar Fascia and it is essentially the stabilizer for the human body. When we walk, run, or perform any movement involving our legs, the whole weight of the body falls on our feet.
The impact of the ground can be quite tremendous, so to reduce the incoming shock, the springy Plantar fascia acts like an absorber. It is an essential part of our body that makes walking on our two hind legs a possibility. So when there’s damage done to the plantar fascia, it can impair movement but also cause inverse effects on other parts of our body like the back, hips, and neck. Let’s discuss some of these symptoms:
The main symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain concentrated at the heel but which can also spread toward the toes. Most commonly a sudden sharp pain can also present as a sustained stabbing sensation.
The worst of the pain tends to appear after having not stood for a prolonged period of time like when waking up or after sitting down for a while though standing up for some time can also cause sudden pain.
The pain can be sustained even after rest or it may subside after a while, only to appear again the next time you get up. Apart from the pain, another symptom be be a contracted fascia. As if you’ve pulled your toes shut toward the ground but you cannot relax them.
As described earlier, the body’s stability is compromised so to compensate for the pain in your foot, you might develop an awkward manner of walking similar to stumbling when one leg falls asleep. This could then further lead to body pains in your legs, back, and even neck.
As we have discussed, plantar fasciitis can manifest in many ways but what causes the condition to begin with?
There are many causes of plantar fasciitis including old age and simply hard flooring. Genetics also plays a big role in the development of plantar fasciitis. If the disease runs in the family of a close relative who has the condition, you will be more susceptible to developing plan fasciitis.
Similar to genetics, having supinated feet, and obesity can drastically increase the chances of developing the condition as more weight and pressure are placed on the fascia, causing the stretched-out fibers to grow weaker and develop tears.
Intense physical exercise is probably the most common cause but in the case of nurses, standing up for a long period of time on a hard surface is the leading cause. The fibers of the fascia get accustomed to their stretched state when standing up, weakening them and making them more susceptible to tears, just like in the case of obesity.
If there is no diagnosis and treatment isn’t started, the condition could develop into chronic pain, permanently impairing movement. Let’s discuss some of these treatments:
Though there is no cure, plantar fasciitis is treatable and usually, within 12 months of therapy, the condition should subside completely. Exercises and stretches performed regularly and consistently are the best methods for recovery.
To deal with the swelling and pain, simple home remedies like a cold water bottle, compression socks, and over-the-counter medication will help. Supportive insoles and footwear are also very important to avoid further injury and to let the fascia heal. We will be focussing on footwear today but insoles can be worn with any shoe and should definitely be considered.
The condition doesn’t often develop into chronic pain after therapy but if it does, certain orthopedic treatments will have to be administered. Surgery, where the fascia bond is detached from the heel bone, is the final treatment for this condition. To avoid such a future, consistent early treatment and supportive footwear are imperative. But how are some shoes better for patients with plantar fasciitis?
Other Best Products for Plantar Fasciitis Pain
What to look for in shoes?
As the plantar fascia rests right above the arch of the foot, proper support under the arches will help alleviate some of the symptoms. Similarly, as the shock-absorbing nature of the foot is compromised, thicker sufficient cushioning in the front and back of the feet, which are most in contact with the ground is recommended.
Wider shoes with larger toe areas that are also lightweight are good qualities to look out for. A lot of these properties are already seen in tennis shoes as they have thick soles to reduce the strain on the foot and proper support so the shoe doesn’t hinder performance during play.
Aside from these common factors, the shape of your feet is also a big determiner. Flat feet, also called pronated feet, neutral feet, and hollow feet referred to medically as supinated feet all require different sole structures.
As a nurse, plantar fasciitis is a scary diagnosis with a high chance of the condition returning due to the long shifts. But it is completely manageable by incorporating new exercises into your routine and by using the proper equipment.
They can be worn both during and after treatment as the shoes are designed for comfortability and support and can be used by all people, even those who don’t have plantar fasciitis. Thus buying a good and comfortable pair of shoes that will help with your plantar fasciitis is definitely a good investment.
Most brands don’t sell shoes specifically for the tennis demographic, therefore running shoes are a close substitute.
Our picks of the best tennis shoes for nurses with plantar fasciitis are as follows:
Top 7 Tennis Shoes For Nurses with Plantar Fasciitis
- ASICS Gel-Kayano (Best Overall)
- HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 8 (Most Expensive)
- ASICS Gel Dedicate 7 (Cheapest)
- HOKA Clifton 8 (Best for High-Arched Feet)
- Brooks Ghost 14 (Best for Flat Feet)
- New Balance Fresh Foam 860 v12 (Extra Stability)
- Saucony Triumph 19 (Best for Comfortability)
1: ASICS Gel-Kayano (Best Overall)
ASICS’ shoes are designed for comfort and stability and their line is one of the biggest sellers in the plantar fasciitis shoe market. Their Gel-Kayano in particular is a running shoe that can serve as a great tennis shoe as well.
They are some of the best foot-stabilizing shoes on the market prioritizing comfortability and breathability above all else. Most plantar fasciitis-friendly shoes are often bulky and unbreathable, with a sole soo thick, it feels unnatural to walk or run, not with the Gel-Kayano however. The shoe adds a more responsive feeling underfoot but retains the padding for a comfortable experience that offers rear-foot support.
Thus, this lightweight shoe is excellent for both neutral and overpronated feet. It even comes with reflective details though it is on the pricier side. For those who need a medical support shoe with stability, the Gel-Kayano is a great option.
ASICS Women's GEL-Kayano 27 Running Shoes
Not suitable for supinated feet
Not suitable for high-arched feet
Don’t come in a wide version
2: HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 8 (Most Expensive)
Hoka is a staple in the plantar fasciitis market and their flagship Bondi line of shoes is heavily recommended to plantar fasciitis patients by podiatrists. Their Bondi line revolutionized the ultra-cushioned shoe formula and the latest model, the Bondi 8 doesn’t disappoint.
The lightweight shoe is all about a soft and balanced experience. The shoes work great for running, walking, and even as everyday comfort shoes, perfect for nurses. The shoes even received the American Podiatric Medical Association’s (APMA) Seal of Acceptance as proof of their medical properties.
The shoe comes in standard, wide, and extra-wide widths making it great as a plantar fasciitis shoe and for people with wider feet. Even with the extra padding underfoot and cushioned heel, the Bondi 8 remains light, improving on its predecessor. The shoe has neutral stability, akin to a one size fits all shoe. But all of this comes at a heavy price point.
HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 8
Wider and extra-wide widths are available
Not suitable for flat feet
3: ASICS Gel Dedicate 7 (Cheapest)
Another shoe from ASICS, the Gel Dedicate 7 is one of their cheapest tennis shoes. This shoe is an affordable option for those not willing to break the bank, at around half the price of its competitors.
It is a great value for its price, retaining the ASICS-guaranteed quality with great cushioning and good stability. Nurses could definitely make use of the lower price and use them as simple everyday shoes as well. The synthetic leather upper improves support and gives your feet a nice comfortable fit. The Gel Dedicate 7 is an all-rounder and can be worn by most feet types.
ASICS Women's Gel-Dedicate 7 Tennis Shoes
Best for Indoor Games
Don’t come in a wide version
Not suitable for supinated feet
4: HOKA Clifton 8 (Best for High-Arched Feet)
Hoka’s best-selling shoe line, the Clifton series is an award-winning franchise. The shoe is a perfect blend of soft and light, with Clifton’s great cushioning but without feeling bulky and unbreathable.
Many podiatrists would recommend the Clifton for both everyday use and runs, which is why the shoe even has the APMA Seal of Acceptance. Its breathable mesh and extendable pull tab make these shoes an easy, accessible, and comfortable option.
They have neutral stability and balanced cushioning so these shoes can be enjoyed by most but more specifically, they are an optimal choice for high-arched feet. The small heel-to-toe drop makes them a very comfortable pick and the built-in spring gives amazing responsiveness. They are also one of the lightest shoes on the market.
Hoka Women's Clifton 8 Running Shoe
Suitable for high arches
Not suitable for flat feet
5: Brooks Ghost 14 (Best for Flat Feet)
Brooks is another podiatrist-recommended brand similar to Hoka with some of the most well-known shoes in the plantar-fasciitis market. The Ghost 14 is another industry classic, a tried and tested model that has been awarded the APMA Seal of Acceptance.
The Ghost line has been designed for optimum comfortability and with neutral support so be it pronation, supination, or normal walking patterns, the Brooks Ghost 14 will be a good fit.
Most importantly though, the shoes have a big heel-to-toe drop, making the shoe ideal for those with flat feet. The shoe even won a Wirecutter Pick for 2022 for its perfect fit, cushiony midsole, and not require a break-in period.
Brooks Ghost 14 Running Shoe
Wide and narrow widths available
PDAC A5500 Diabetic Shoe
Suitable for flat feet
Not suitable for arched feet
6: New Balance Fresh Foam 860 v12 (Extra Stability).
Many of New Balance’s shoes are podiatrist recommended but the Fresh Foam 860 v12 is their best for extra stability. Ultra-cushioning and a lightweight design are standard when it comes to plantar fasciitis shoes but the Fresh Foam was designed for support and stability.
The engineered mesh upper allows breathing room for your feet while giving proper support for a nice fit. The medial post exclusive to the Fresh Foam 860 v12 provides extra stability to help control pronation.
The running shoes are also very comfortable and available in the most number of sizes from any other shoe on this list. So if you’re looking for a premium shoe with extra stability in a medium price range, the New Balance Fresh Foam 860 v12 is a great option.
NB Fresh Foam X 860v12
Wide, X-Wide, and Narrow widths are available
Suitable for high/raised arches
Not suitable for neutral feet
Caroline Garcia french female tennis player also wear the New Blance shoes in her matches.
7: Saucony Triumph 19 (Best for Comfortability)
For a dreamy cloud-like when running or simply walking, look no further than the Saucony Triumph 19. Saucony is another of the many brands mentioned before it that know how to do plantar fasciitis shoes right.
The Triumph 19 line is formulated for the softest underfoot feel with more cushioning for a springier but lighter experience. Combined with the mono-mesh upper, the Triumph 19 offer an unbelievably comfortable experience no matter what you may be doing.
This shoe can be a very good option for nurses as at the end of the day, comfort is the biggest factor to look for in plantar fasciitis shoes. The underfoot even molds to the feet for a highly personalized fit. The shoe is neutral so it can be enjoyed by most people. This pair also offers great support.
Highly breathable plush upper
A little bit difficult to create a secure fit.
Some great options to consider include the ASICS Gel-Kayano, Brooks Ghost, New Balance 990, and Skechers Go Walk (didn’t mention it above). Don’t forget to consult with a medical professional to ensure you get the best shoes for your specific needs. With the right pair, you can stay comfortable and pain-free while tackling your demanding job.