How to Choose the Best Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis: A Guide for Beginners

How to Choose the Best Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis: A Guide for Beginners

by Mark Paigen 10 minute read

If you dread getting out of bed because of the stabbing pain in your heel, you’ve got company. About two million people in the US are affected by plantar fasciitis.

This condition can make simple tasks such as stepping out of bed or standing up unbearable. As soon as the foot touches the floor and pressure is exerted, the stabbing pain begins.

The wonderful news is that with the right pair of plantar fasciitis sandals, your feet no longer have to bear pain from the moment you wake up. You’ll experience relief and get back to enjoying your active days.

The Basics:

  • Plantar fasciitis is a foot condition that affects the plantar fascia, a band of tissue at the bottom of your foot that runs from the heel to the toes.
  • Symptoms include stabbing pain in the heel when you stand, especially after a period of inactivity such as sleeping or sitting.
  • Sandals with proper arch support, firm cushioning, and a shock-absorbing midsole will manage the pain and discomfort caused by plantar fasciitis.

As a beginner in the world of podiatrist-recommended sandals, this guide will help you identify the features to look for in your sandals for managing the condition.

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Table of Contents

1 - Focus on Sandals With Arch Support

Tread Labs Women’s Albion Sandals

If you've been dealing with plantar fasciitis for a while, you may have tried medication, but it didn't work and neither did the night splints recommended to stretch your feet. That’s because arch support is the main thing that your feet are really asking for.

Sandals with adequate arch support align your feet so that they roll smoothly from heel to toe with each step you take. Improper alignment can collapse the arches and painfully stretch the plantar fascia.

These sandals also distribute weight evenly across your feet to reduce pressure on the affected area, which in turn reduces inflammation.

At Tread Labs, we use foam for our arch support sandals. It’s flexible and soft, making it suitable for people with mild pain or discomfort.

With arch support made of foam, your feet will take less time to break into the sandals, preventing your skin from blistering.

Here’s a quick video showing the incredible arch support and tread of Tread Labs Albion Sandal:

How to Identify Your Arch Type

Do you know your arch type? You could consult a podiatrist, but how about a fun way of doing it by examining your wet footprints?

Dip one foot in water, lift it out and shake off the excess water, then step onto a piece of paper. Your foot will leave an imprint which you’ll then compare against our arch height table to find your arch type.

You can make this activity more fun by inviting your family to dip their feet in water and see how everyone’s footprints differ.

The table below offers a quick summary of your arch height based on what your wet footprint looks like.

What Does Your Wet Footprint Look Like? Describe Your Arch Arch Height
low arch height My arch is flat when I stand or sit Low
medium arch height My arch is flat when I stand but appears when I sit Medium
medium arch height My arch is close to but doesn't touch the ground Medium
high arch height My arch is high off the ground when I stand High
extra high arch height No one has higher arches than me! Extra high

The anatomically sculpted footbeds in our plantar fasciitis sandals will support your arches, whether they’re flat, medium, or high.

If you want extra arch support for your feet, our Pace and Dash Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis are ideal for the job.

Pace Insoles deliver an extra firm, medical grade structure you need to support your arches, improve alignment, and enjoy long-term pain relief.

Dash Insoles are wafer thin and offer ultra-firm support. They’re engineered to biomechanically increase your performance and decrease your risk of injury.

No need to wonder if they’re suitable for your shoes. Both insole types are available for:

  • Shoes without removable inserts
  • Shoes with thin removable inserts
  • Shoes with full-length removable inserts

These insoles are also available for four arch heights—low, medium, high, and extra high.

2 - Select Sandals With the Right Cushioning

Tread Labs sandal with adequate cushioning

Cushioning is a critical component in sandals for plantar fasciitis. Adequate cushioning improves comfort by distributing pressure evenly across the foot to stop straining the plantar fascia tissue.

When selecting comfortable sandals, it's essential to consider the cushioning materials and their placement to ensure optimum pain relief.

Here are some common materials used for cushioning in plantar fasciitis sandals:

  • EVA (Ethylene-vinyl acetate): A lightweight, flexible, and durable foam material that provides excellent shock absorption and cushioning. Some orthotic footwear brands use EVA for its supportive properties and Tread Labs, use EVA for its supportive properties and comfort.
  • Memory Foam: It conforms to the shape of the foot, providing personalized support and comfort. It offers excellent pressure distribution that alleviates pain associated with plantar fasciitis. However, we don’t use it because it’s not stable and flattens over time.
  • Gel: It’s often used to provide targeted shock absorption in high-impact areas that cause pain in the heel. We don’t use gel cushions because they add extra weight to the sandals.
  • Polyurethane: A material with a spongy or foamy texture which we use to make our midsoles. Polyurethane is sturdy and offers your feet excellent cushioning and shock absorption while also giving your sandals durability.

The sturdiness and light weight of polyurethane gives you a shock-absorbent sandal that’s very effective at relieving pain caused by plantar fasciitis.

“I've been looking for a comfortable yet stylish sandal with arch support for a very long time. These sandals are light rather than bulky like with other brands and they look stlylish even though they're built for being active and on the move. Highly recommend!”
Sue Eakin, Verified Buyer, USA
“These sandals are great! I bought to take on my 2.5 week vacation to Bali. I wore them all the time-day and night, up and down lots of stairs, to the beach and out at night with dresses. They were perfect. Have Hallux Limitus and had no pain.”
Jeanne Jarrell, Verified Buyer, USA

3 - Ensure the Heel Cup Is Deep and Stable

deep heel cup in Men’s Covelo Sandal

A critical aspect of choosing the right solution for plantar fasciitis is to find pain relief footwear with a proper heel cup that has depth and offers your heel stability—such as our Men’s Covelo and Women’s Covelo sandals.

The heel cup is the area of the sandal that cradles and supports the heel. A deep and stable heel cup is ideal for plantar fasciitis as it helps to maintain proper foot alignment.

It keeps your foot in its natural position, preventing it from slipping side to side and damaging the plantar fascia further.

A deep heel cup also distributes your body weight evenly, which eliminates pressure on the heel and calms pain in the surrounding areas.

In addition to depth, a heel cup’s stability is crucial for managing plantar fasciitis symptoms. A stable heel cup provides a solid foundation for the foot, which is helpful for:

  • Enhancing overall foot support by promoting a balanced distribution of pressure on the whole foot
  • Improving shock absorption by absorbing the impact of each step to lessen the strain on the plantar fascia
  • Promoting proper gait by supporting the foot's natural alignment, which encourages a healthier walking pattern

Tread Labs sandals for plantar fasciitis have a deep heel cup which centers your heel and prevents it from moving side to side.

The deep heel cup concentrates the fatty padding under your heel and cushions it well, just like a good mattress does for your body.

“This is a great sandal, that fits well, and has enough cushion for my feet. Appears to be of good quality and fast shipping.”
Dr. Bryan Scott, Verified Buyer, USA

Evaluating the Heel Cup Depth While Trying on Sandals

To ensure that the sandals you choose provide the ideal heel cup depth and stability, you may want to try them if you have access to a physical store.

Tread Labs brick-and-mortar stores are located in several places in the US, which you can visit to evaluate our sandals before buying. Check out our store locator for a list of stores.

Once you’ve found a store, here’s how you test the heel cup for depth and stability:

  1. Inspect the heel cup area to determine if it’s deep enough and has contours that resemble the shape of a foot.
  2. Try on the sandal and pay close attention to how your heel sits in the heel cup by moving your foot back and forth. It should be snug and secure.
  3. Walk around in the sandals and notice how the heel cup maintains contact with your heel. If it’s stable and comfortable then it’s right for you.

Try on several sandals and feel how the heel cup fits. You might be surprised that after trying on a few pairs you find a better fit than the one you initially selected.

Quick Tip: When trying on sandals, make sure your heel is centrally placed in the heel cup. This ensures proper alignment and reduces the risk of foot pain.

4 - Choose Sandals With Adjustable Straps

Tread Labs sandal with secure adjustable straps

When searching for the perfect pair of sandals for plantar fasciitis pain, adjustable straps are crucial for a secure and comfortable fit.

Adjustable straps allow for a more tailored fit that accommodates different foot shapes. This ensures that the sandal's support features align with your foot to provide targeted relief for plantar fasciitis symptoms.

If slip-ons don’t offer you that extra grip that you like, our Tread Labs’ Men’s Albion and Women’s Albion plantar fasciitis sandals have back straps for an even more secure fit.

To secure orthopedic sandals, closures such as buckles, zippers, and velcro strips are used. Some sandals don’t have a closure but use elastic straps to provide a snug fit.

Here are the most common closure systems for plantar fasciitis sandals:

  • Velcro: Velcro consists of two strips of nylon fabric that are joined together to provide a secure fit. Unlike elastic straps, velcro is adjustable to loosen or tighten the sandal.
  • Zippers: They’re used as a closure system at the heel area. They provide a secure fit but unfortunately can’t be adjusted in case your feet swell.
  • Buckle straps: These can be adjusted for a precise fit due to their secure grip that ensures the straps don’t loosen during movement.

Tread Labs plantar fasciitis sandals have 3D knit adjustable straps. This sustainable manufacturing process knits whole fabric without cutting any pieces and hence reduces waste.

The technology knits durable fabric by looping and interlocking it in three dimensions, so our straps—knit from 100% recycled polyester yarns—are guaranteed to last long.

We use aluminum buckles because of how well they secure the straps, ensuring that they don't loosen after a few hours of activity.

Aluminum buckles can also be polished or given a matte finish to give the sandals a pleasant look.

So, next time you’re selecting sandals, focus on adjustable straps. Besides giving your feet a comfortable fit to relieve plantar fasciitis, your feet will be extra grateful for adjustable straps that can be loosened to accommodate them on days when they are swollen.

5 - Choose Plantar Fasciitis Sandals Based on Your Lifestyle

man wearing Tread Labs sandals

When selecting sandals for plantar fasciitis, consider your lifestyle and the activities you engage in regularly. For instance, if:

  • You’re active, consider sandals with excellent shock absorption, traction, and stable heel cups that reduce impact and prevent injury during activities such as hiking
  • Your job involves standing all day or walking on hard surfaces, choose sandals with good arch support and ample soft cushioning
  • You plan to wear your sandals during the summer months, consider sandals with breathable and moisture-wicking materials to prevent sweaty feet

Tread Labs sandals are designed with anatomically sculpted footbeds that are suitable for these activities and more. We recommend them for all foot shapes, including those with high arches.

Myth Buster

Myth: Plantar fasciitis only affects athletes.
Fact: While common in runners, plantar fasciitis can affect anyone, especially those who spend long periods on their feet.

Our stylish sandals are excellent for managing plantar fasciitis and include:

They all have the following useful features:

  • Direct attach construction where the pieces are molded without glue
  • 3D knitted uppers made from 100% recycled polyester yarns
  • Low profile and non-slip aluminum buckles that provide a secure fit
  • Shock-absorbing midsoles that combine lightweight EVA and durable polyurethane
  • Durable arrowhead design rubber outsoles that are slip-resistant and resoleable
  • Microfiber suede footbeds treated with microbial treatment to keep your feet and fresh

In short, Tread Labs sandals are lightweight, cushioned, versatile, and machine-washable. Our design aesthetic removes anything unnecessary, leaving only clean, inspired footwear to help you manage plantar fasciitis.

The following table shows the four Tread Labs sandals that can help manage plantar fasciitis.

Women’s Covelo Sandals


Men’s Covelo Sandals


Women’s Albion Sandals


Men’s Albion Sandals


Find Relief From the Stabbing Pain With Plantar Fasciitis Sandals

two people wearing Tread Labs sandals

Plantar fasciitis is a frustrating foot condition because it prevents you from enjoying simple day-to-day activities like taking a walk with your dog.

To combat the pain, plantar fasciitis sandals are designed to provide comfort to the inflamed plantar fascia and help you get back to your usual routine.

Selecting the best sandals for plantar fasciitis requires careful consideration. From understanding the features to selecting sandals that complement your lifestyle, there are many critical decisions to make.

It’s equally important to make general foot care a top priority. This includes performing stretching exercises, resting your feet, and consulting with a podiatrist when necessary.

By following these guidelines and making informed decisions, you’ll alleviate the symptoms of plantar fasciitis and prevent further injury.

Tread Labs sandals feature built-in arch support, excellent cushioning, adjustable straps, and anti-slip soles to give your feet all the support they need to manage plantar fasciitis.

Investing in the right pair of sandals makes a significant difference in managing and eliminating the pain associated with plantar fasciitis, so take your time while selecting.

“I love these sandals. I have plantar fasciitis and need good foot support. Last summer I wore tennis shoes all summer in the heat and hated it, so I was determined to find a better option this year. I have tried a few different pairs of sandals from other brands and still experienced discomfort with them. I have worn these sandals for extensive periods of time without any discomfort, I'm very pleased with them and look forward to using them all summer long.”
Lexi, Verified Buyer, USA


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