If your heel pain comes and goes throughout the day, perhaps you need to re-think your overall treatment plan for plantar fasciitis. Maybe you already wear orthotic shoes during the day. But, what do you wear when you get home? Slippers are a popular option, however, flip flops for plantar fasciitis are even less invasive (and, can be equally as supportive). On top of that, they’re even more convenient for wearing out and about, to the beach or just when it’s too hot outside to wear anything else!
You need to take care of your feet all day long if you really want to relieve that heel pain. Specifically, you’ll need to ensure no barefoot walking during the day so as to give your fascia ligament the proper support it needs. Flip flops and sandals may not offer full support, but the brands and models below do offer a certain level of support that your traditional, flat sandals don’t.
From the bed, to the kitchen, to your mailbox. Flip flops with arch support can be ideal for your tired feet.
BENEFITS OF WEARING FLIP FLOPS
Sandals don’t offer ankle support. Heck, they barely offer ANY support. But, for your aching arches, flip flops come through just as well as can be expected – depending on the ones you wear, of course.
Much like wearing slippers around the home, they offer a few benefits
Arch support for those moments when shoes aren’t really an option, like work, the beach, going to the store, etc.
Perfect for wearing in and around the house
Using them saves wear and tear on your daily shoe wear
Easy on-and-off means it’s convenient to wear at any point
Even more breathability than slippers
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A GOOD FLIP FLOP
There’s not alot of components to assess when looking for the appropriate flip flops for plantar fasciitis, but there definitely are a few key characteristics.
Of course, you’ll want to have the proper arch support with a snug foot strap
Deep heel cup for motion stability
Comfortable and Functional (in other words, they’ve got to feel good AND work to alleviate pain)
- A Brand synonymous with foot health
Positive reports that they actually promote healing
COMMON COMPLAINTS ABOUT WEARING FLIP FLOPS WITH PLANTAR FASCIITIS
1. Depending on your aversion to strong heel support, they may take a little while to get used to.
2. They don’t provide full foot and ankle support.
3. More expensive than adding an orthotic to slippers you may already have.
GROUP STUDIES AND STATISTICS
No studies have been performed to specifically support the benefit of flip flops for plantar fasciitis, however, there have been numerous studies over the years that have shown the efficacy of using orthotic support when used in combination with other treatment protocols.
For instance, one study had been performed to determine the benefits of foot orthotics in those with plantar fasciitis. At the end of the study, it was concluded that having the correct orthotic assisted in the participants having a better quality of life through increased foot function and decreased foot pain after just 4 weeks. Many flip flops are designed like a foot orthotic, with strong arch support and to correct excess pronation.
Another trial demonstrated the long and short term benefits of wearing foot orthoses in conjunction with night splints. Theoretically, then, choosing the correct sandal with orthotic support (in combination with the use of a night splint) could produce similar results. Of course, changing the method of the study may also entirely skew the results.
BEST FLIP FLOPS FOR PLANTAR FASCIITIS – MEN
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Vionic is a foot health industry leader and specializes in motion control footwear, so it’s no wonder they’ve rated number one. The Bryce Toe Post flip flop is one of their best sandals, which is leather-made with triple-density EVA for extra cushioning and stability. As a bonus, it comes with a VIBRAM outsole which provides optimal traction for almost any surface.
Pros: Strong arch support – Quality construction – Brand name for Foot Health – Positive results from the plantar fasciitis crowd – Durability
Cons: High arches take getting used to – Expensive versus the competition
In the Orthaheel Ryder comes another podiatrist-designed shoe, engineered to correct excess pronation and bring your stride back to its natural motion. The Ryder also comes with a foam lined strap and soft toe post for comfort and to prevent irritability, while at the same time giving the sandal a very dress-casual look.
Pros: Comfortable heel cushioning – Good arch support – Adjustable strap for proper stability – Effective in alleviating heel pain
Cons: Not for narrow feet – Takes time to get used to hard sole – Traction not great on slippery surfaces
In the SOLE Sport sandals come another APMA accepted product. This lightweight flip flop comes with an orthopedic footbed for maximum arch and heel support, which is optimal for the plantar fasciitis sufferer. The SOLE flips are waterproof, with non-marking outsoles, and come with a forefoot cushion pad as an added benefit. These flip flops are as versatile as they come.
Pros: Prominent arch support – Good for narrow feet – Attractive sandal – Durable – Soft heel support
Cons: Strap material may cause initial blistering – May have to buy a size bigger – Hard foot bed – Strap too tight
Chaco refers to their sandals as “the flips without the flop,” which is perfect for undercover operatives and people that just don’t like the added clacking in their stride. This EcoTread flip comes with a polyurethane foot bed and a slip resistant design to optimize user experience, as well as a contoured heel cup and arch support for proper functionality.
Pros: Great arch support – By far the best reviews on durability – Good for minimizing plantar fasciitis pain – Nice, comfortable feel – Okay for wide feet – Can walk and hike in them
Cons: Tight fitting out of the box, may have to order 1/2 size up – Strange footbed feeling – Not great for wet surfaces
These Spenco PolySorb Yumis are one of the best sandals for comfort AND support. With a compression-molded, contoured footbed you can be sure that you are getting enough arch support. Not to mention the Spenco name practically stands for foot health with its quality orthotic inserts and other reputable footwear products.
Pros: Great for flat feet – Medium arch support – Stable support for multiple types of activities – lightweight sandal – Comfortable – Nice support for bigger guys
Cons: May cause some scuffing on floors – Cheapish look – Some early durability concerns
Other Top Men’s Flip Flops For Plantar Fasciitis
BEST FLIP FLOPS FOR PLANTAR FASCIITIS – WOMEN
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Once again, the Orthaheel brand finds itself on the top of our list. And for good reasons, people love them for their efficacy in dealing with plantar fasciitis and related heel pains. Their deep heel cups and solid arch support help correct improper motion control through stability and functionality. Pain relief through quality footwear is an Orthaheel specialty.
Pros: Excellent support after break-in period – Lots of positive reviews from people dealing with plantar fasciitis – A number of styling options – Highly rated for knee and back support
Cons: High arch takes getting used to – Expensive – May have to order 1/2 size down
The OluKai ‘Ohana sandal is a popular women’s flip flop for plantar fasciitis not only for its excellent arch support but also for its attractive design. With a compression-molded EVA midsole and a soft “drop-in” footbed, you can be assured of comfortability and support. This vegan-friendly product also boasts its 0% use of animal products.
Pros: Comfortable – Supportive for high arches – Lifetime warranty on some parts – Easy to clean – Works great for plantar fasciitis as per many users
Cons: May not fit a wider foot – Takes time to get used to
As Orthaheel is known for it’s support in its line of footwear, so does the Spenco line. Also considered one of the best flip flops for plantar fasciitis, the PolySorb Yumi provides a deep heel cup and orthotic-grade arch support to combat heel pain. Lightweight, with a cushioned forefoot and non-marking soles give this flip flop high ratings all around.
Pros: Some very positive reviews from women with plantar pains – Plenty of design choices – Good arch support for flat feet – Comfortable – Waterproof
Cons: Thin soles – Feels cheap – Toe strap discomfort – May have to order a size up
CROCS sandals are always a popular choice and the Capri IV has proven to be the favorite for those looking to settle their foot woes – and look stylish at the same time. Their formed footbed and elevated heel provides a custom fit, while their “massage pods” keep your feet feeling cushioned at all times. There’s a reason why CROCS have such a wide following. They make fully functioning products… like the Capri IV.
Pros: Offer good support – Very comfortable on soles – Good for wide feet – Nice set of color options
Cons: Loose fitting straps – May need to size down one full size – Not the best arch support – Some durability concerns
A flip without the flop, that’s their motto. Chaco’s EcoTread flip flop come with a polyurethane footbed and a slip-resistant pattern, which are perfect for the outdoorsy type. With enough arch support to contour your foot, you can be assured that your “dogs” will be well taken care of.
Pros: As durable as they come – Good for extensive walking and activity – Comfortable arch support – Great looking sandal – Solid outsole grip
Cons: Stiff footbed causes discomfort- May fit too loose for some – Can be a bit costly versus competing options
Other Top Women’s Flip Flops For Plantar Fasciitis
As you can see, there are plenty of options for flip flops for plantar fasciitis. Many of them are designed specifically to support your fallen (or high) arches and have plenty of user testimonial for you to decide which one is right for you. And, although sandals may not offer the best support for your entire foot, many of these fit so snug that there isn’t even a “flop” noise when you walk… which gives point to the fact that these flip flops conform to your foot as close as possible.
Finally, your treatment plan for dealing with your feet pain should focus on always supporting them. That means during the day, with an orthotic working or casual shoe or, for those that don’t like to wear sandals, some comfortable slippers for your after-hours arch support needs. Treat your feet right, and with the proper conservative treatments you should see some positive results.