Since making their debut in 2002, Crocs have sold more than 300 million pairs of shoes worldwide.
The fashion world has argued about their stylishness since the brand’s inception, but the shoes aren’t built to be trendy. Instead, they’re built to be as comfortable as possible.
Many people wear Crocs when they have jobs that require them to stand all day, like working retail or in the food service industry. But there’s also the main question:
Do Crocs help with specific medical conditions as well, or do they just provide general cushioning?
Do Crocs Help Plantar Fasciitis?
According to thousands of people with both Crocs and plantar fasciitis, the answer is yes. The shoes have more insole cushioning and arch support than many competitors on the market.
In fact, when they first hit the market, they offered so much more comfort than the average shoe that top-of-the-line industry leaders had to scramble to keep up.
Cushioned insoles and arch support are the two biggest things you should look for if you want a plantar fasciitis shoe.
However, there is a caveat to this. While Crocs are good for general pain relief, they only work to a certain point.
If you use them in the short term, they’re extremely helpful. But all-day wear won’t provide lasting relief.
In fact, retail workers and food service employees may be dismayed to hear that some podiatrists believe Crocs shouldn’t be used for all-day wear at all.
Although the design gives your arches good support, the shoes don’t secure well to your heel. This means your toes are unstable.
As you walk, your toes will instinctively flex and attempt to grip on the shoes to increase their stability.
This constant, repetitive motion leads to unnecessary strain on your muscles. It can increase your chances of developing tendonitis.
So even if they’re relieving your plantar fasciitis pain, they may lead you to develop another painful walking-related condition.
According to other podiatrists, there are more reasons not to use Crocs for your go-to all-day support wear.
Shoes are designed with a mechanism called a shank, which is a supportive structure connecting the toes and heel. Crocs bend in the shank, which can increase the likelihood of developing foot pain.
The Best Crocs for Plantar Fasciitis
Since launching the iconic and perhaps infamous original design in 2002, Crocs have made multiple lines of shoes with varied styles and features.
Some of the choice will depend on your own fashion preferences. If you’re not sure what shoe works best for your particular feet, you should talk to a podiatrist.
#1. Santa Cruz Loafer
This shoe doesn’t have the look of a traditional flip flop. In fact, it would be more easily placed alongside comfy slippers and other soft footwear.
But the shoe is designed for use on the beach and when traveling, making it a great summer choice. It’s available in six colors.
The shaft of the shoe is about 3 inches from the arch. Each shoe is created using lightweight canvas uppers. These have been refined and redesigned since the original Santa Cruz launch from Crocs.
The shoes also have the softest footbed that Crocs offers. It’s crafted out of memory foam layered over a Croslite foam base.
Memory foam conforms to the shape of your foot and disperses your weight evenly, reducing pain and pressure points.
Meanwhile, the Croslite foam offers additional support. In addition, the Croslite material is engineered to reflect your energy, so your steps are bouncier and conserve your strength.
Unlike the original Croc flipflop design, the Santa Cruz loafer is designed similarly to a slip-on shoe. The heel doesn’t slip around, so the fit is much more stable and snug.
If you’re seeking flipflops or sandals because you plan to be near the water, the Swiftwater is a great option.
Unlike the Santa Cruz, it’s designed with water in mind. It’s made to get wet and be wet, providing protection in slippery conditions.
The shoe uses water-friendly mesh that’s super breathable, so your foot stays cool. There’s also a protective toe cap plus a leather hook-and-loop closure that’s easy to fasten.
The material doesn’t absorb or retain water, so it dries easily. You can remove the back strap if it’s causing discomfort.
One major advantage is that this design is slip-resistant. When you’re dealing with plantar fasciitis pain, the last thing you want is to fall and cause yourself further injury.
The material and sole design both provide ideal traction in wet, slick conditions. On top of that, the shoes are lightweight, so you don’t feel like you’re dragging around a huge weight.
The sizes do tend to run narrow, so this shoe may not be the best fit for those with wider feet. In addition, the seams on the inside can be rough against the foot. If friction causes sensory issues for you, you might want to pass on these.
Crocs are famous for providing superb comfort. While podiatrists have pointed out potential flaws in the original design, there are many other lines that mitigate these issues.
The Santa Cruz Croc line is fantastic if you’re looking for support. The soft footbed has enough spring to keep you from sinking all your energy into the soles, and the heel secures the fit.
For those who are planning to spend a lot of time at the poolside, the Swiftwater line is designed to keep you safe and slip-free. It also dries quickly enough to be convenient.