Healing Plantar Fasciitis: Best Shoe Choices

Healing Plantar Fasciitis: Best Shoe Choices

Good morning, folks. My
friend and frequent co-author, Brad Kearns, is stopping by the blog
today with a follow-up post to his recent article here, How to Cure
Plantar Fasciitis. You can catch Brad on the Primal Endurance
podcast, his weekly keto show on the Primal Blueprint podcast, and
on his new personal podcast venture called Get Over Yourself. If
you haven’t checked it out, I’d recommend it. I stopped by a
while back for a two-hour show Brad ended up calling “The
Ultimate Mark Sisson Interview.” Thanks to Brad for sharing his
experience with plantar fasciitis in today’s post and
accompanying video. Enjoy!

Since you’ve worked so hard to heal your chronic pain by
making longer, stronger, more supple muscles and connective tissue,
let’s make sure you never again regress into plantar
fasciitis hell
! Today I’ll detail how to transition
gradually and sensibly toward a more barefoot/minimalist
lifestyle—and what types of shoes will interference the least in
that process (when you have to wear them).

As you increase your barefoot competency, you’ll reduce the
risk of chronic pain and injury to your feet and throughout your
lower extremities. You’ll also improve your technique (in running
and other sports) as well as your balance, explosiveness, speed,
endurance, and kinesthetic awareness when doing all manner of
physical activity. Yep, bare feet are functionally superior and
more comfortable than shoes in most every way—except when you
need the support and protection of shoes for specialized physical
endeavors that could easily injure exposed feet.

Why and How To Transition To a Barefoot Lifestyle

While I don’t have concrete proof at my fingertips, I’m
going to make the bold proclamation that Grok did not suffer from
plantar fasciitis. Our ancestors walked, hiked, sprinted, and even
ran long distances over assorted natural terrain for 2.5 million
years using bare feet, or rudimentary sandals or moccasins. A
shoe-dominant lifestyle came into play only as recently as the
Industrial Revolution. The epidemic chronic foot pain and
assorted conditions suffered by modern humans are strongly
influenced by spending a lifetime in cushiony, constrictive
footwear with an elevated heel.
Modern footwear weakens
your lower extremities, messes up the synchronistic functioning of
your entire musculoskeletal system and central nervous system,
compromises correct
, and makes you vastly susceptible to injury,
dysfunction, and chronic pain.

You may be aware of some backlash in the minimalist footwear
movement in recent years, as naysayers caution about the increased
risk of injury with bare feet or “flimsy” shoes. As misguided
as these negative claims are, it’s reasonable to gracefully
acknowledge the inherent injury risk of being foolish when
transitioning to more barefoot experiences and to learn how to do
it the right way. Accordingly, here are some tips for
making a safe and comfortable transition:

  1. Do the stretches and mobility exercises mentioned in the
    To Cure Plantar Fasciitis
    regularly. Consider adding some
    barefoot strengthening exercises, such as those listed in my
    awesome eBook, Amazing Feets. (Check the end of this post for how
    to get yourself a copy.) If you just start by making aggressive
    circles with your feet while watching T.V., you are in business
  2. Try to spend as much time as possible barefoot around the house
    (or in stocking feet if you need warmth)
  3. For runners: complete your training sessions in your typical
    shoes, then jog on grass or other soft surface for a few minutes at
    the end of each run.
  4. For workers on feet: If you have to wear orthotics to make it
    through your nursing shift, pair that with some barefoot time
    around the house after work.

Suggestions For Minimalist Footwear

Acquire a pair of minimalist shoes that you will
integrate into daily life here and there.
Here are some
athletic shoe models, listed in order of progression from most
support to most barefoot-like: Nike Free’s (flexible sole, but
well-built on top), New Balance Minimus (minimal heel elevation,
but well built on top), Merrell Trail Glove (fits your foot like a
glove, with little or no heel elevation, but a full toe box and
good support for trail running), Luna Sandals (inspired by our
ancestors, and invented by the irrepressible Barefoot Ted
McDonald), Vibram Five Fingers (the ultimate barefoot experience
with the independent toe operation; today there are many similar

Choose the lowest heel elevation option for your dress
shoes, leisure shoes, and athletic shoes.
 For women who
are accustomed to wearing heels, any reduction in heel height will
make a difference, but ideally you’ll move to flats. Guys, this
might mean choosing a different dress shoe that looks the same, but
with less heel. Elevated heels promote shorter, weaker, Achilles
tendons and calf muscles, unwinding all the hard work you did
stretching and mobilizing.

Over time, strive to make progress. Start using
minimalist shoes during strength training sessions at the gym.
Progress through the footwear options to the least support. Reject
the “shoe mileage” ethos and keep your shoes until they are
battered and worn down to the bare minimum!

Finally, please employ the tips in the proper context of
your personal situation.
Your barefoot efforts should feel
great and should be free from any sort of pain and suffering. If
you experience next day muscle tightness after jogging a mile on
the grass, work through it with stretches and drills, and expect
improvement and increased resiliency over time. If you’re hobbled
and inflamed after spending a full or half shift in your fancy new
minimalist shoes, dial it back to a goal of one hour in the minimal
gear and the rest in regular.

Even if you follow all the guidelines well, realize that
your decades of using cushiony, elevated shoes has generated
significant atrophy in your lower extremities.

Consequently, you’ll have a moderate to significant risk of
injury during your transition. If you have to retreat here and
there from an aggressive strategy, don’t be discouraged. As with
transitioning from carb dependency to becoming fat- and
keto-adapted, everything that happens can be a positive learning
experience—even an indulgence followed by a recalibration.

Check out this video for more about minimalist shoe wear and how
they support long-term plantar fasciitis recovery (as well as
general foot health).

Let’s hear from you? How has your healing process for plantar
fasciitis gone? What shoes have you settled on, and how has
barefooting made a difference in your recovery? Thanks for reading
today. (And if you’re interested in learning more about a
barefoot  lifestyle, take advantage of the special offer to
download the Amazing Feets ebook for free on my website.)

The post Healing
Plantar Fasciitis: Best Shoe Choices
appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s