Be it because of age, flat feet, extended periods of time running or walking, or weight issues, plantar fasciitis can become a serious problem if not properly treated. The condition arises from the inflammation or strain of the ligament that supports our arch, running from the heel to the balls of our feet – resting your body weight on the sprained ligament (called the plantar fascia) can cause sharp pain driving up your foot. This is especially the case in the morning, since as we sleep, the muscles around our foot and calf tighten up, so the first contact of our sole with the floor overstretches the tightened plantar fascia, causing blunt, at times blinding pain, which may numb over the course of the day but spike if you are on your feet too long or go long periods before standing.
Thankfully, while painkillers and massages do their part, braces have also yielded results when it comes not just to reducing plantar fasciitis pain, but preventing it in the first place. A type of therapeutic bracing, night splints or brace socks help to keep the plantar fascia compressed and properly stretched, especially while we sleep, so we don’t end up putting excess strain on it when we slip out of bed in the mornings. Take a look at our top picks of braces to say goodbye to plantar fasciitis.
Physix Gear Support Plantar Fasciitis Socks
If you’re a sensitive sleeper and aren’t sure you can doze off with all the straps and buckles of a night splint, these nylon-spandex ankle brace socks are your solution to a good night’s rest – and a good morning’s first steps. The stretchy socks may feel stiff when you first put them on, but once you’ve broken into them they’ll hug the contours of your feet like a dream, compressing your plantar fascia and giving your arch the support it needs to make walking and standing the painless experience it should be. The fabric is breathable, nylon being a soft but highly durable, wrinkle-resistant material with additional moisture wicking properties that won’t leave you overheating as you kick back for the night, while the spandex ensures the ergonomic sleeve retains its support-providing shape. The socks come in a range of attractive colors, suitable for wearing by day or night, with your shoes, splints, under your regular socks or by themselves, keeping the movement and angle of your feet natural and helping the ligament recover. You can keep the pain at a minimum by slipping into these ankle support braces in the morning, or can even wear them through the night so the compression of your plantar fascia as you sleep keeps it from tightening up too much.
KEN’S BUDGET PICK
1st Elite Achilles X-Sleeves
These low-profile socks are perfect to slip on during the day or at night to keep your plantar fascia properly compressed and your blood circulation running healthily to help repair the ligament faster and reduce discomfort. With careful measurements promising the most accurate and effective fit, these braces give your arch and heel the proper support, keeping the plantar fascia ligament stretched out enough to numb and over time completely get rid of the biting pain in your heels. Available in bright, statement colors and low-key neutrals, the design of these sleeves are seamless, so you won’t experience pain or aggravation from your skin chafing against any stitches, while the soft, mesh-like fabric is a product of Medical Grade Compression Technology, designed to bring pain relief not just to plantar fasciitis patients but also those suffering from Achilles tendonitis, sprains or fractures or other foot or ankle-related injuries. The breathable fabric makes them comfortable to have on, letting you wear them by themselves or under socks or shoes as you go about your day.
MARS Wellness Plantar Fasciitis Posterior Night Splint
Night splints have shown overwhelming effectiveness in helping not just reduce plantar fasciitis pains but to cure the condition altogether, and if you experience unbearable heel pains in the morning, not responding to any amount of massages or medicine, this might be the solution for you. The splint is secured into place by three padded straps that don’t sit uncomfortably on your foot or dig into your skin, holding the splint in place and properly immobilizing your foot. The dual tension straps and wedge inserted in under the toe-flap will keep your foot bent and angled in the desired way such that your plantar fascia is appropriately stretched through the night, so when your feet do hit the floor the next morning, the ligament and calf muscles won’t be tightened up and subsequently won’t flare up from the sudden stimulation.
The splint is designed to be as comfortable to the wearer as possible, with an open air, lightweight construct that doesn’t make it too awkward to have on or leave you sweating, especially for finicky sleepers. Don’t worry if wearing the splint the first couple of times leaves your foot feeling numb – this is an expected outcome, since it’ll take you some getting used to the stretch when you’re first starting to use it.
StabilityAce Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint
The splint comes with two removable wedges and padded straps to buckle your foot in for the desired angle and stretch, the soft foam interior looking to ensure the wearer’s comfort when having these on. Two wedges of different sizes are included with this splint, to be inserted in under the toe-flap or base to give you the extra stretch should you need it. The splint comes in four available sizes, with size charts available for both men and women, the lightweight construction and open design allowing for ventilation and comfort for the wearer. The stretch keeps your plantar fascia properly compressed through the night, and repeated use over a period of time has helped many users completely recover from plantar fasciitis.