Choosing The Best Work Boots for Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is an extremely painful condition that affects millions of people around the globe. It’s more common than you think, and something you may suffer from and not even know it.
Boots can aggravate conditions of this nature, so when choosing the best work boots for plantar fasciitis, you have to keep things like the platform, heel and cushioning in mind.
We’ve provided an outline of areas that should factor into your buying decision, and included a few picks we feel are standouts when it comes to plantar fasciitis. That includes a budget-friendly option along with boots built for professionals.
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Considerations before buying work boots for plantar fasciitis
Before you figure out how to deal with plantar fasciitis, you first have to understand what it is.
There is a long ligament in your foot called the plantar fascia which runs between your heels and toes in the arch area. Whether it’s torn, strained or just weak, this area of the foot holds your weight so when you have plantar fasciitis, it can definitely be an issue while you work.
Cushioning is one of the easiest ways to combat plantar fasciitis and something every work boot has. How much cushion varies wildly, but rest assured there is a level of padding suitable for everyone.
If you use a custom orthotic, you may want to consider a work boot with a removable insole. While you need to keep sizing in mind, your custom insert may be better than the one that comes with the boot.
The footbed is where contours come into play and also where the insole rests. Some boots will keep things simple and relatively flat while others are contoured naturally to fit your feet.
Contoured footbeds are worth considering, just remember what works for some may not work for others and keep those custom insoles.
A good set of work boots provide support to areas that matter, but the best work boots for plantar fasciitis need to be sturdier than any old boot, so you will need something sturdy but flexible.
How the boot is made has a great deal to do with how much support you’ll receive. Leather is ideal, and the boot should have solid stitching and a good shank. Again, these will vary depending on the manufacturer and boot so you should be able to find something to suit your needs.
Pull-on boots are popular style and suitable for this condition, but lace-up work boots will provide more support and allow you to control the fit.
With flexibility, you need to make sure the boot isn’t too rigid and has enough give to be comfortable when you walk.
This can be difficult with steel-toe boots due to the break-in period, but you need some flex in the toe box if you have plantar fasciitis. Having a boot that fits “just right” is key for this particular condition.
Regardless of your approach to support, keep your arches in mind and focus on finding the right fit when looking for the best work boots for flat feet.
Shock Absorption and the Outsole
The bottom of your boot is just as important as the inside when you have plantar fasciitis. It’s also something that should be at the top of your list if you work construction or are around objects that can cause damage to your feet.
Work boots with thick outsoles are a must. It can add weight to the boot depending on the materials used, but it also adds durability and shock absorption.
Heel height is usually something we consider a personal preference, but not with this condition. You actually want a heel that’s slightly elevated, not flat, so that your weight remains evenly distributed whether you’re walking across a warehouse or standing for 8-hours a day.
A thicker outsole also keeps your foot from bending too much – something that can cause plantar fasciitis to flare up quickly.
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Top Choice: Wolverine W02421 Raider Boot
If you happen to work with or walk on concrete, you’ll be thrilled with the Wolverine W02421 Raider Boot. It was our choice as the top option for concrete and is a lock as one of the best work boots for plantar fasciitis as well.
The first thing we want to point out with these boots are the insoles. They are removable, so while you can use your own, we don’t think you’ll want to. The company’s Multishox insole will keep you comfortable all day while keeping your plantar fasciitis in check.
While that’s a key reason why we chose the boots, it’s not the only one.
The outsole will keep you upright on steep terrain or slick surfaces and are resistant to oil. Rocks and other abrasive materials are dealt with easily as well thanks to abrasion-resistant outsoles.
These boots don’t have an extreme amount of insulation but will keep your feet warm in most cases. Humid days won’t be an issue either considering they have a CK mesh lining which allows your feet to breathe.
The primary form of support on the Raider boot comes from a contour welt. It’s designed to flow with your foot and gives you a bit of elevation with a 1.25” heel and a 0.75” platform.
The entire exterior is made from leather, and they are of average height with a shaft measuring 5.5” from the arch.
There are compression pads on the bottom of the boot that take care of any bumps you may encounter while returning energy which in turn keeps your legs fresh. The flex where they should, and while they do not have Goodyear Welting, they are a well-built boot.
The Wolverine Raider will keep you comfortable, but it may not keep your toes intact.
That’s because it’s a soft-toe, so there’s no steel or composite material in the toe box on this one. There are also no special ratings against electricity or protection against nails going through your foot.
If you want a solid set of boots that won’t break the bank and will ease your pain from plantar fasciitis, the Raiders are well worth a look. There is a lot to like about these boots, and they are available in wider and larger sizes as well.
That said, they are not the type of work boot you’ll want if you’re doing hard labor or operating heavy equipment as this boot is built for light-duty.
Runner-up: Carhartt CMF6380 Rugged Flex Waterproof Work Boot
While our top choice is no slouch, Carhartt’s CMF6380 work boots bring something different to the table, and we’re not just talking about the style.
The first thing you’ll notice about this boot is the additional material on the toe and heel. It adds a bit of style but is also functional by covering the two areas of the boot that tend to take the most damage. Unfortunately, there is no steel behind that protective shell, but you will get some extra protection.
This boot has a “comp” toe and sports the standard 6” shaft height when measured from the arch. The oil tanned leather is waterproof, and the thick rugged outsole speaks for itself.
Oil, water, and chemicals are no match for the outsole of the Carhartt CMF6380, and there’s plenty of tread on the bottom from heel to toe. The former measures 1.75” and the platform is nice and sturdy with just enough arch and flex to keep you comfy throughout the day.
Carhartt’s boots will keep your feet comfortable, of this there is no doubt. They are also going to look great with the rest of your gear if you like to keep things in the family when it comes to name brands. We also appreciate the cement construction and 5-layers of cushioning from the OrthoLite insole.
As for the downside, that would be the fact they aren’t quite as “waterproof” as other boots in this class. They will get the job done, but some have reported that waterproofing doesn’t hold up well over time so treatment may be required.
Budget Choice: Skechers USA Men’s Verdict Waterproof Boot
Rounding things out is an affordable boot from a company that knows a few things about making budget-friendly footwear. That would be Skechers, and this is the Verdict Waterproof Boot.
Arguably the most stylish boot on our list, the Skechers Verdict stays true to the company’s vibe. That means it’s a sturdy boot with a thick rubber outsole and a padded tongue with their logo emblazoned across the front.
We don’t have the exact measurements, but these boots are shorter than the rest although still made from leather with nine metal eyelets. That gives you plenty of room to cinch things down, and there’s a bit of extra cushion around the collar which adds stability and support for your ankles.
This is another boot built for light-duty use as it doesn’t have a safety toe and won’t offer up as much coverage as a taller boot. It is waterproof to a degree, however, and is definitely in the budget class.
The Skechers Verdict is going to be comfortable as well considering it’s more shoe than boot and roomy enough to accommodate a custom orthotic. You can pick these up in five different colors including classic Black, Charcoal and Wheat.
Just because you have plantar fasciitis, it’s not the end of the world – even if you work 8-hour shifts at a rock quarry or run a register for hours on end.
As you can see, there are plenty of options when it comes to the best work boots for plantar fasciitis and a style for everyone. As long as you remember your size and keep your arches in mind, finding the perfect boot will be a breeze.