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Best Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis

As the warm temperatures come around with the summer season and we begin to look into the later months of summer, people are more and more likely to look kindly on wearing sandals. And why shouldn’t they? They’re comfortable, they’re easy to put on and take off, most of them are very easy to clean, they’re open-toed and very breathable, and they are almost all designed to be used in the water without any problem. They’re really a great footwear for the summer months.

Here is a list of the Best Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis

Unless, of course, you suffer, as so many do, from plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is characterized by sharp pain in the heel and the bottom of the foot. While medical science is not entirely sure about what the cause of the issue is, there are a few things that have been linked to plantar fasciitis; it is very common in those who are obese or larger, it is very common in those with flat feet, and it is very common in those with unusually high arches and leg length inequality (having one leg longer than the other).

For those who suffer from plantar fasciitis, finding any sort of footwear is a bit more difficult, but it is even harder for them to find sandals which will provide enough support to make sure that they are going to be able to prevent or lessen the impact of plantar fasciitis. The problem is that most sandals are designed to be light and thin, and most of them do not have any support to speak of, let alone enough support to make sure that your feet are going to be protected from plantar fasciitis.

Why is it Important to Pick the Right Sandal

Picking the right sandal, when you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, is very important. If you are currently suffering from plantar fasciitis, picking the right footwear can help you to make sure that your plantar fasciitis doesn’t get any worse than it currently is. If you’ve gone through plantar fasciitis before, you will find that the right shoe can help to make sure that you are not going to have to suffer through another flare-up.

In general, though, you will find that picking the right sandal for you and your uses is a good way to make sure that you don’t experience unnecessary discomfort, along with ensuring that you don’t end up feeling like you wasted your money on the wrong footwear. The right footwear keeps your feet safe, keeps your gait proper, and makes sure that even on slippery surfaces (for example, rocks submerged in a stream, or the wet planks of a dock or a yacht) you are going to have some stability and some surety when you take a step. There is also the fact that the right sandal will be able to stand up to the terrain and the uses you buy it for, whether you’re buying a sandal for kayaking or a sandal that you can take up and down the sandy beaches, or even if you’re one of those people who think that hiking in a sandal is a lot of fun.

The right sandal compliments the natural shape of your foot and conforms well to it. It provides stability and comfort, and, if you’re a sufferer of plantar fasciitis, then the right sandal will also need to have plenty of features that are there to help with stability and with the proper dispersion of the forces of your footfall, to make sure that your foot feels less of the force of your step.

Benefits Of Choosing the Right Sandal

When looking to choose the right sandal, there are a number of benefits to making the right choice for you. Here are just a few of those benefits that you can enjoy if you do the right research and find the right sandal for you and for your needs:

  • Lasts longer
    • ​The right sandal for your uses will last longer under the conditions that you intend to use it for. If you’re looking for a sandal that is going to be used in the water most of the time, then you are going to need to look for a sandal that will stand up to such uses. If you buy a sandal that is meant for easy use on a beach and then put it in the water all the time, the sandal will quickly fall apart.
    • Make sure you find the right sandal for the right use, even if that means that you end up spending a little bit more.
  • Better for your feet
    • There are a myriad of issues that you can suffer if you’re wearing the wrong shoes, and they are much more serious than the pain that comes along with plantar fasciitis. You need to find sandals that are designed for your feet and that are comfortable, or else you will regret it in the long run.
  • ​Prevents plantar fasciitis issues
    • Wearing shoes without proper support can lead to plantar fasciitis, and continuing to wear such shoes can either make it worse and lead to irreparable damage or it can cause the issues you had with plantar fasciitis to flare up again. If you’ve had issues before, then you will need to make sure that you are getting sandals with proper support, to ensure that you do not have those issues again.
  • Shoes made by a known company
    • This may not seem like a big point to many people, but if you have issues with your sandals and need them replaced, it is much easier to work with a large company than it is to work with one that no one has ever heard of before.

Common Features of the Best Sandals

The list below has some of the best sandals for those with plantar fasciitis listed for your perusal. However, if, for whatever reason, you do not feel that the footwear on the list is up to your desire, here are a few common features of the best sandals on the market that you can keep an eye out for to ensure you can find a great sandal.

  • Sturdy construction
    • Sandals are meant for hard use. They’re not flip-flops that are designed for gentle use in the house or around a pool; people take sandals hiking, camping, and even into the ocean on boats. Because of this, if you’re looking for a sandal, you should be able to find one that is at least somewhat well-made and that will stand up to the uses that most people will put a sandal to.
  • ​Padding
    • If you’ve suffered from issues related to plantar fasciitis, you are going to need sandals that are properly supported. Failure to find such sandals, with proper padding and proper support, means that you run the risk of making your foot issues worse, which can lead to permanent issues and injury that is a lot more difficult to reverse than basic plantar fasciitis.​
  • Waterproofing
    • It’s the summer, and in the summer, people tend to spend a lot of time in the water. Water, particularly salt water that you find in the ocean, is very tough on any footwear, and sandals are no different. Many sandals that are made for use in the water or on the beach are designed to stand up to the rigors of salt water or water in general
    • If you buy sandals and they are not waterproofed, depending on the material that they are made from, you may even be able to waterproof them yourself with something like a Gore-Tex waterproofing spray or a similar product. This will be in your best interest if you want the sandals to last as long as they possibly can.

Common Complaints With Sandals

There are a few common complaints that people have with sandals. Here are the complaints, as well as ways that you can avoid purchasing sandals that are not as good for you as they first seem.

  • Not good for plantar fasciitis
    • ​As I’ve made mention of, sandals are not generally thought of as footwear for people with plantar fasciitis. PF is a disorder and swelling of the joints that generally requires a lot of padding and support, and sandals do not necessarily tend to be footwear that comes with both of those things. Because of this, you are going to find that a lot of people stay away from sandals if they have PF.
    • A good way to make sure your sandals are going to be fine for you if you suffer from PF is to just read the reviews online. Don’t be disheartened if there is one or two bad, so long as there are many more that are positive about the footwear.
  • Not durable
    • A good running shoe will last for a hundred miles or more. On the other hand, most sandals are not made to stand up to such strenuous use and long-distance uses. Sure, some will stand up to a lot of hiking, but most will not.​
  • Hard to replace while under warranty
    • Replacing any used footwear that is under a warranty is a difficult process. However, if you are looking to be able to replace footwear that has been made by a smaller company that makes sandals, you may be in for an even more difficult time replacing them. So, if you’re looking to make sure you have an easy time with your sandals, it serves well to make sure that you purchase from those who are bigger businesses.

The Best Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis

Now, let us take a look at some of the best sandals for those suffering from plantar fasciitis, covering a wide variety of types of sandals and uses.

 1.  Vionic With OrthaHeel Unisex

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0

First we have an offering from Vionic, a company begun by an Australian podiatrist named Phillip Vasyli a few decades ago. He began the company in order to provide people with footwear that would soften the blow from walking, running, whatever you may be involved in. He had studied the evolution of the human foot, and he looked at the environment that humans normally traversed, and he noticed that we were walking on more and more solid surfaces, and it was causing issues like plantar fasciitis and other damage.

His response was to make shoes that offer fantastic support and that are designed to do two things, and do them both well: firstly, they cushion the blow, and secondly, they ensure that the forces from the footfall are evenly dispersed across as much of the foot as is possible.

The OrthaHeel is designed to make sure that the stresses are well dispersed, and it performs that function admirably. Even better, though, is the fact that the OrthaHeel ensures that the foot maintains a natural shape and a more natural footfall, which allows your body to work as it was designed to do when walking. Your body is well-designed to be able to optimize its gait, but where it has problem is with the fact that so many things we walk on are so very tough. Streets paved with asphalt, cement sidewalks, even hardwood floors are hard on the feet, and by absorbing more of the blow with the OrthaHeel and dispersing the rest of the blow more effectively, you can prevent plantar fasciitis or help to undo damage that may have been done to your feet thus far.

My singular complaint with these sandals is that they have what I would consider to be a ‘feminine’ look to them. They are advertised as ‘unisex’, but the reality is that they look much more feminine than anything, so while they may be ‘unisex’, they certainly don’t look it. They come in ‘unisex’ sizes, which translate into Men and Women’s sizes.

 2.  Keen Newport H2

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0

Keen is one of the newest shoe companies out there, having only been in operation for about fifteen years or so, but they have quickly made themselves well known by making very high-quality and durable footwear for those who enjoy sports like hiking and other sports that require footwear with good grip and long lifespans.

This offering from Keen, the Newport H2, is a sandal that is well-designed for sporting uses. You could wear it while you’re out kayaking or canoeing, while you’re on the deck of a small boat, or even while you’re swimming or walking through the water or a stream. They are designed to be able to stand up to rough use, as are most Keen products, and that means that you will find them able to stand up to almost any use you could put them to.

Keen Newport H2 Video Review

Now, many sandals have just one or two straps, maybe a back strap, maybe a strap in the front that divides the big toe from the rest, and that’s it. On the other hand, the Newport H2 is more like a shoe that has had the mesh portions cut away and has never had any shoelaces added to the design. They are made of polyester webbing, which allows them to be in water without any worry of damage. They have a rubber outsole and siping sole, but most important for those of you who suffer from PF or are looking to avoid it, they have an EVA footbed.

EVA rubber is the same kind of thing that they make most orthotics out of. Having an EVA footbed means that you’re cutting down on stress that the foot feels while also making sure that the force of your footfall is well-dispensed across the entire foot, instead of being centered in one place. This is very good for your foot, and it provides both better cushioning and better distribution of the forces of your step. There’s a reason that they make so many orthotics out of EVA rubber, after all.

These come in both Men’s and Women’s sizes, and they are fantastic footwear, available at a very affordable price.

 3.  Teva Hurricane XLT

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0

Teva (produced teh-vah, Hebrew for ‘nature’) is a very popular outdoor footwear brand that has been around for about 33 years. They are especially popular with those who are looking for a ‘utility sandal’; a sandal that somewhat bridges the gap between being a sandal and a shoe. They were designed by a man who worked as a rafting guide, and noticed that there really wasn’t a lot of footwear appropriate for those who are engaged in river activities like kayaking.

Since then, Teva sandals have become popular with everyone from surfers to kayakers and even to the Navy SEALs for use in workouts and in training that requires constantly getting in and out of the water. The best part about these sandals is that they manage to offer all of this, and they do it affordably.

Now, these Hurricanes are especially good for those who have issues with plantar fasciitis. They have the usual rubber construction, synthetic sole, and textile Velcro straps that keep the sandals in place firmly, as well as making sure that the straps don’t fall apart the first time that you step into the ocean. However, the real money-maker here, so to speak, for those who suffer from plantar fasciitis, is the contoured drop-in EVA footbed.

Teva Hurricane XLT Video Review

The EVA footbed makes the sandals so much more comfortable, and more than that, it ensures that not only is the footwear comfortable, but that it properly disperses the forces of the footfall evenly across the foot. As an added benefit, it also ensures that the foot is going to be experiencing less force through the use of an effective material to cushion the blow.

The Teva XLT line is affordable, and comes in both Men’s and Women’s sizes. It can be found for very low prices, and though it looks like a basic sandal, it has a lot to offer those who are looking to deal with their PF problems on a budget.

 4.  Teva Original

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0

A second Teva product makes the list, but this isn’t simply because I think they’re great sandals (although, having owned a handful, I absolutely do think that they make a great product that you would be glad to own and that are extremely reasonable in their price). It’s because they offer quality sandals that are good for those who are suffering from PF, and do it at such great prices.

Teva Original Sandals are very bare-bones sandals. They’re not flashy, they don’t have expensive designs on them, they’re not something that you would wear to try and impress someone. They’re utilitarian, not for impressing people.

Thankfully, they’re much sturdier than most of the footwear you find people bringing into the water, owing to the simplicity of design. A wise man once said ‘Keep it simple, stupid’; the less there is that you assemble, the less there is in the footwear that can fall apart. The Teva Originals have a dimpled rubber platform, a rubber sole, and 100 percent textile straps. What this means to you is that it is a simple construction, and not flashy, but a working construction. These are the Tevas that made the brand into what it is today, and they still hold up.

The real deal for those with plantar fasciitis, the best thing that they have to offer for those who are so afflicted, though, is the EVA cushioned footbed. As I’ve mentioned before up above, this is a great boon to anyone suffering through plantar fasciitis; it cushions your foot from the forces of striking upon the ground, and it also ensures that your foot is going to be bearing the brunt of those forces with a better dispersion pattern. Remember that EVA is the same kind of material that they make most popular orthotic inserts out of; not only does it right your step and better support your foot, but it also acts to cushion the blow when you take a step.

These extremely plain and affordable Teva Originals are available in Men and Women’s sizes, and will be a great choice for those on a budget.

 5.  Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0

Merrell is another latecomer to the world of footwear, but like their competition in Keen and Teva, they make a fantastic product that is very capable of keeping your feet feeling great while you’re on the go, no matter what afflictions your feet may have had.

It was established by two executives who worked for Rossignol skis who decided to make snow boots; they contacted R.J. Merrell, a famed maker of custom boots, and in 83 produced their first product. Eventually, R.J. Merrell sold his shares and went back to making custom boots, but the company continues to turn out a fantastic product.

The Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve is a sandal, though some may call it a ‘water shoe’. It is designed for use in the water, of course, which means it is very sturdy, but in a pinch it can hold its own as a shoe on dry land, so long as you’re not going to be hiking dozens of miles in it. Unlike most of the other sandals on the market, this one is made with leather, which tends to be tougher than most other materials used in shoemaking or sandalmaking.

Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve Video Review

It features a UniFly midsole that helps to keep your gait natural, which helps to prevent injury that can lead to the inflammation that causes plantar fasciitis. Its 3mm lug depth means that you don’t need to worry about not having enough traction to get by, too, which allows you to use it as a hiking shoe if needs be.

For those suffering from, or worried about, PF, the Vibram sole does a great job of protecting your foot and making sure that the forces from your footfall are well dispersed across the entirety of your foot. It also helps that this sandal is much more like a shoe than a sandal, ensuring more even distribution and stability in the step. Vibram soles are widely said to reduce the risk of injury to the muscles of your feet due to their increased padding and their efforts in properly distributing the forces of your step.

Affordable, sturdy, and available in both Men’s and Women’s sizes, the Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve is great if you’re going to be doing some kayaking or canoeing with hiking interspersed throughout.

If you’re looking for other sandals that may be good for your plantar fasciitis issues, just make sure that you take into consideration the support that they can provide, so that your feet will remain well taken care of.

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