When I was about 14, my father developed plantar fasciitis. It was a severe disorder affecting his foot, and the only way to alleviate the pain seemed to be to keep his foot elevated. At home, he would often sit with his feet up on a chair or tucked under him while sitting on the couch.
It was tough for him to walk without wincing in pain, and even while watching TV in the evenings, he would often have to take breaks to get up and stretch his feet.But now, years later, I have experienced plantar fasciitis myself. It’s been nearly impossible to find decent shoes for this problem.
At the beginning of summer, I spotted the HR manager in my office (bless him) wearing Crocs. They looked comfortable and cute, but I was unsure whether they could mitigate the horrors of plantar fasciitis. Curious, I accosted him at the staff cafeteria and asked, “Are Crocs good for plantar fasciitis?”
Crocs are suitable for people who suffer from plantar fasciitis or foot pain. These shoes have been proven to eliminate foot pain and soreness, and the US Ergonomics Council and American Podiatric Medical Association have certified them.
If you experience heel pain even during a few steps, you may have plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that stretches across the bottom of your foot, connecting your heel bone to your toes.
Medical professionals can’t precisely tell why it becomes inflamed, but they know that it hurts like hell. Some treatments for this painful condition include anti-inflammatory medicines, surgery, plenty of rest, and, of course, wearing plantar fasciitis-friendly shoes like Crocs.
When Crocs first came out, they were marketed as waterproof, non-slip shoes. The shoes are made with a patented closed resin foam called Croslite, which molds slightly to the wearer’s foot. Their mold-to-foot feature made them very popular among people who suffer from plantar fasciitis.
Why do plantar fasciitis patients love Crocs? Because they are antibacterial and antifungal, making them less likely to cause infections. Their closed resin material, Croslite, is nonporous and cannot harbor bacteria or fungus like open-cell foam. Crocs also have holes that allow air to circulate freely around the wearer’s feet and closed toe boxes that protect the wearer’s feet from abrasions.
For people with plantar fasciitis, finding the right pair of Crocs can make all the difference between a lifetime of debilitating pain and a life free from foot-related ailments.
Benefits of Wearing Crocs
Crocs come in an assortment of colors and styles. Whether you’re looking to be comfortable in a color-coordinated style or escape biting heel pain, there’s a pair that will do the trick.
There is a wide variety of shoes to choose from on the market, but I’ve found that most people agree that these shoes offer plenty in the way of comfort and support. With their soft material, roomy toe boxes, air vents, and light weight, Crocs are a pleasure to slip on and off.
The contoured footbeds of some Crocs support and massage your arches while you walk, easing discomfort and pain resulting from plantar fasciitis.
Nubbed Foam Design
Do your feet hurt? It’s not your fault—I’ve been there too. But Crocs shoes have a secret weapon to help you feel better: tiny nubs. The patented footbed on each pair of Crocs shoes has small nubs that are constantly massaging the soles of your feet.
The effect of their massage is the stimulation of blood flow and lymphatic drainage in your feet, increasing blood circulation and relieving stress.
Shock Absorbent Heel
When they first appeared on the scene, Crocs were derided as the ugliest, uncomfortable shoes. But after a decade of manufacturing and marketing, the company has created a cult following of loyalists who swear by their comfort.
The key to what makes these shoes so comfortable is their shock-absorbent heel. This means that when your foot strikes the ground, instead of transmitting all that force through your heel bone into your body, it cushions it with air pockets between layers of Croslite.
Many users report feeling no pain when walking around in Crocs—a significant change from the usual soreness that comes from wearing other shoes.
Croslite material, a proprietary foam developed by the Crocs corporation, makes their shoes lightweight. The material’s unusual combination of lightness and rigidity is achieved through the use of closed-cell foam, which means that it’s filled with tiny, closed air bubbles that make it impermeable to water.
In addition to providing excellent arch support, heel cushioning, and complete comfort, Crocs feature closed-cell resin—a material that prevents foot odor by keeping bacteria from penetrating the shoes.
Potential Drawbacks of Wearing Crocs
If left untreated, plantar fasciitis can cause much longer-lasting effects, such as chronic foot pain and even limb deformities–all of which will make it difficult to walk or participate in usual or recreational activities.
Not Ideal for Extended Use
Mind that some Crocs are not meant to be walking shoes or running shoes for long distances. So, refrain from wearing them if you plan on standing, walking, or running for long periods.
Unfortunately, the softness of Crocs’ soles also means that pretty much anything will be able to poke through them. A paperclip, a shard of glass from a broken beer bottle, an extra-sharp piece of gravel—these things have pierced my feet while I was wearing Crocs.
Crocs with Extra Arch Support
These Crocs were designed for nurses and medical professionals with a non-slip sole and arch support, allowing them to stand for long shifts on potentially slippery surfaces comfortably. Check them out:
- Crocs Neria Pro II Graphic Clog
- Crocs Specialist II Clog
- Crocs On-The-Clock Slip-On for Medical Professionals
- Woman’s Mercy Clog
Wearing the Right Type of Crocs
Chances are, if you’ve ever been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, you know what it’s like to have this condition. You might even feel like you’re walking around on rocks when you’re barefoot because of how much it hurts to put pressure on your feet.
Plantar fasciitis is a specific type of injury that occurs in the middle part of the foot, caused by inflammation of the connective tissue on the bottom of your foot. It’s usually caused by overstretching or excessive pressure on the plantar fascia, which can happen when you do things like running too many miles or standing for long periods.
The short-term aches associated with plantar fasciitis tend to develop gradually and worsen over time. As the inflammation continues, small tears begin to form in the fascia itself, so it’s important to start treatment as soon as possible before you’re dealing with a full tear. The tissue can heal on its own, but this takes time and often involves rest from activities that aggravate it (like running).
Crocs also help with plantar fasciitis because they keep your feet in a natural position when you walk or stand – distributing your weight evenly to reduce pressure on your heels and arches.
Once the pain subsides, you should be sure to keep up with your arch support—and that requires shoes like Crocs that fit well and are designed to support your arch.
Choosing the Right Crocs for Plantar Fasciitis
Getting the right pair of Crocs for plantar fasciitis can be tricky. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision.
Your foot size changes as the day goes on. It gets larger, especially after a walk or at the end of the day, so it’s best to shop for Crocs when your feet have already expanded.
New Crocs are comfortable and easy to walk in right away. Please don’t try to break them in. You’ll only be placing unnecessary pressure on your feet.
It is best to purchase Crocs that offer extra cushioning for your forefeet, adequate ankle support, and protect your heels from shock.
What Experts Think About Crocs
Podiatrists warn that it’s not ideal for anyone to wear Crocs all day. While these shoes provide excellent arch support, some do not secure the heel adequately.
When your heels aren’t properly supported, your toes will grip harder on the insoles of your shoes, leading to tendonitis, calluses, broken nails, or toe deformities.
Despite their downsides, Crocs remain top-notch shoes for patients suffering from peripheral edema and cavus foot deformity.
If you have plantar fasciitis, you may be able to stay comfortable for long hours while walking by wearing the right shoes and finding ways to ease the pain.
Do well to take advantage of the cushioning and arch support that Crocs offer. These features help make your heel pain more bearable and help prevent your condition from worsening.