The most common cause of plantar fasciitis is walking barefoot around your home. Bare feet don’t have any support, which makes you more vulnerable to developing injuries.
If you’ve been looking for a pair of shoes for casual home wear, you’re probably searching for pairs that help plantar fasciitis. Birkenstock sandals are often top of the list.
Many people highly recommend them, and they’re available in a variety of styles.
But what’s the truth? Are Birkenstocks really the best option? And if they’re good for plantar fasciitis, why?
Are Birkenstocks Good If You Have Plantar Fasciitis?
There’s no ignoring the consensus on the internet. Many of those with plantar fasciitis say that the sandals are not only good, they’re wonderful.
They’re especially effective for those whose pain is most concentrated and sharp in the heel.
Unlike many other supportive shoes, Birkenstocks are light enough to wear casually, especially when you look at the available sandal line.
Each Birkenstock sandal is designed with either a classic or soft footbed. With the classic footbed, you get a firm sole, while the soft footbed offers a little more comfort and cushioning.
With that said, the soft sandal models wear down much faster and only last for a couple months at a time. The classic sandals tend to have a significantly longer lifespan.
While rubber soles may seem like the standard in footwear these days, that isn’t true for Birkenstock sandals. Instead, they use cork soles.
If you’re used to rubber, the cork may take a little while to get used to. Rubber tends to be a little more flexible and offer traction, while cork is much harder and more inflexible.
The soles tend to soften up after just a few wears, though.
Classic Birkenstock designs are sturdy enough to last a while. Because of this, though, they tend to be significantly more expensive than their soft counterparts.
What to Keep in Mind When You Look for Plantar Fasciitis Shoes
It’s not a good idea to grab the first pair of Birkenstocks you lay eyes on. The shoes come in a range of different styles and designs.
You should have an idea of your needs going in, and try on a few pairs until you find the one that suits you best.
There are a number of features to compare and contrast. Some of the designs are waterproof.
These are ideal if you’re heading to the beach, the lakeside, walking in the rain, or simply want to wear your shoes for continued relief when you shower.
Since sandals don’t have the same enclosing upper that most other shoes have, it’s exceptionally important to get a perfect fit.
You know the fit is perfect when your entire foot rests comfortably inside the footbed without your toes escaping the edges or your heel hanging.
For those with plantar fasciitis, a perfect fit can make the difference between pain relief and no relief.
You should also think about shock absorbency. Any footwear designed to help plantar fasciitis takes shock absorption into account.
Not only should the sole have the right cushioning and shape to reduce shock, but the overall construction of the shoe should add to the shock-absorbing qualities.
When you reduce the impact of your stride on your plantar fascia, you reduce your pain.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to plantar fasciitis, though. People all have differently shaped feet.
Some have wide or narrow toes, some have high arches or flat feet, some have the tendency to overpronate — the list goes on and on.
If you’re not sure what design will suit your pain levels and foot shape best, your best bet is to talk to a podiatrist about your needs.
There’s a huge variety of Birkenstocks sandals available, but we’ve compared some of the best ones for plantar fasciitis to get you started in your search.
The Birkenstock Women’s Birko-Flor Sandal is a great choice. It uses a soft footbed, so it may wear out fast, but you might appreciate the extra comfort. There’s built-in arch support, a toe grip, and an EkteSkinn insole.
The Birkenstock Salina is a sturdy design that uses leather and synthetic materials. It’s stylish and comfortable, with a strappy design that keeps the shoe in place. The sizing may run a little narrow, though.
The Birkenstock Mayari is a good choice for those who want a classic footbed instead of a soft one. It will last a long time.
The adjustable buckled straps allow a snug fit regardless of your foot shape, and the lightweight EVA sole provides increased impact cushioning.