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Best Running and Walking Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis

Updated on March 26, 2017
Continual stress to the inflamed plantar fascia (tissue band on bottom of foot) causes heel spurs and constant pain with every step. Image credit: Tim Tadder / Corbis
Continual stress to the inflamed plantar fascia (tissue band on bottom of foot) causes heel spurs and constant pain with every step. Image credit: Tim Tadder / Corbis
Heel spurs form as your plantar fascia becomes severely inflamed, and every time you take a step, the spur "pinches" or presses the band, causing pain when you walk.
Heel spurs form as your plantar fascia becomes severely inflamed, and every time you take a step, the spur "pinches" or presses the band, causing pain when you walk.

Why does it hurt to walk, especially in the morning?

So, you’ve been an avid runner for some time now and the idea of joining the Spartan Race is like asking a broke college student if they want their loans paid: music to your ears!! Then, one day you wake up in the middle of the night and find yourself with excruciating pain on your heels and you limp your way to the bathroom. What’s that all about??

Most people don’t know what plantar fasciitis is because luckily, they don’t suffer from it. According to WebMD (and your podiatrist), it is a condition where the ligament that supports your arch becomes strained and causes major pain when a person walks. The condition is common among middle-aged people as well as: runners, people who have high arches, people who are overweight, and those who wear the wrong shoes.

Your podiatrist may recommend several options to relieve the pain, including surgery or custom orthotics. The only problem with surgery and custom orthotics is that both options are costly. So what are affordable options for orthotics?

As someone who has suffered from severe plantar fasciitis for over two years, I’ve been through the gamut of trying out several insoles—in addition to stretching and cortisone shots at the podiatrist. Here are some alternatives that might help you if you’re on a budget:


Most people feel the pain in the mornings when waking up, and after prolonged periods of standing, walking or jogging. This can cause further damage to the surrounding areas such as Achilles tendons and shins.
Most people feel the pain in the mornings when waking up, and after prolonged periods of standing, walking or jogging. This can cause further damage to the surrounding areas such as Achilles tendons and shins.
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Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx

Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx full-length orthotics: they look hard, but not nearly as hard and stiff as custom orthotics! The arch and heel are stiffer than the front part where the ball of your foot goes, but that makes it better to insert in casual shoes or running shoes.

These are good for power walking outside for 30 minutes or on a treadmill, if your current custom orthotics are worn out. Also, if your pain is not as severe and you can withstand the course of your workday if it requires standing long periods of time.

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Spenco® Polysorb Cross Trainer Insoles

Spenco® Polysorb Cross Trainer Insoles: these are great for running shoes! They have a ball at the heel that gives extra support. They don’t make your feet smell, which is always a plus!

These are good if your heel pain isn’t as severe, and you can still jog lightly. If your pain is severe and you cannot walk for long periods of time, I would stick to using these on an elliptical, stationary bike, or inside roller blades.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest, my pain has always been around nine, with seven being the lowest! As of today, I have not found a shoe even with orthotics that helps alleviate heel pain enough to attempt jogging. Even with Powerstep, Spenco and custom orthotics, the pain is too severe to jog. Until I find the perfect combo, I would only recommend using these for walking and if you have a job that requires standing for long periods of time.

Happy walking!

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