Nothing can dampen a day of strolling around the city, catching up with friends, and running errands like feeling that terrible pressure under the ball of your foot all day long. Going about your business without the right shoes for plantar plate tear can be a tough task, but we’re here to help.
Now, a plantar plate tear occurs when you overload or overstress your plantar plate (the ligament situated under the ball of your foot).
Whether you tend to overpronate when you’re walking, suffer from bunions or hammer toes, or lead an active lifestyle (running, dancing, etc.), you might end up tearing your plantar plate. Plantar plate tears are annoying because they prevent you from doing your favorite activities, but fortunately, they’re not considered serious.
More times than not, you can treat them by strapping your toes, wearing toe pads, opting for appropriate footwear, and resting. Moreover, the quicker you catch the condition, the easier the treatment. Surgery’s an option, but not a common solution.
When you notice pain, pressure, and swelling under the ball of your foot, schedule an appointment with your podiatrist ASAP. Playing the preventive game will keep your feet happy and healthy for longer – and that’s why you need to get your hands on the right shoes for plantar plate tears.
How can footwear affect plantar plate tear recovery?
Here’s the thing. When your podiatrist diagnoses you with a plantar plate tear, chances are you’re going to be advised to refrain from walking barefoot or walking at all for a few weeks.
When you’re suffering from a plantar plate tear, the worst thing you can do is put too much pressure on the ball of your feet. When you’re walking barefoot, the balls of your feet don’t get support or protection, which makes matters much worse.
Podiatrists recommend highly-cushioned, rocker-soled athletic sneakers to alleviate some of that pressure off your feet. On top of that, athletic sneakers tend to limit movement around strategic areas (depending on which sneakers or styles you opt for) to prevent you from causing more damage to your plantar plates.
Other than that, you might want to wear soft, padded sandals around the house, too, to avoid walking barefoot. Now that you know how footwear affects your plantar plate tear recovery, you might be wondering how to choose between the myriad of sneakers and sandals available on the market.
Choosing the right shoes for a plantar plate tear
We’ve brushed over the fact that you need to get your hands on highly-cushioned, rocker-soled athletic sneakers to speed up your plantar plate tear recovery.
Generally speaking, all athletic sneakers work well because they prevent you from walking barefoot – but there are a few specific shoe features to keep in mind, too.
Right off the bat, you need your footwear to fit correctly. When you wear something too big, you’re probably going to end up wiggling your toes too much which can cause more damage to your plantar plates.
When you wear something too small, on the other hand, you’re going to end up putting too much pressure on your plantar plates. But when your footwear fits right and molds to your feet, you’re going to get just the support you need.
Other than that, you can search for footwear that features a deep heel cup, mid-foot arch support, ankle support, and removable footbeds. Of course, you can wear custom orthotics to ensure you’re getting enough arch support and shock absorption, too.
What are the best shoes for plantar plate tears, then?
Our top 10 shoes for plantar plate tears
1. Hoke One One Bondi 8
We promised to provide you with a list of soft and stylish shoes for plantar plate tears, and that’s exactly what we’re doing. Maximalist styles seem to have taken the world by storm, and the Hoke One One Bondi 8 sneakers are the trendiest route you can take – and, they’re equally supportive and protective, too.
Where do we even start? These bad boys are breathable and lightweight because they’re made with high-quality fabrics and a mesh upper. They’re cushioned for comfort. And, they’re extra, extra wide for people who don’t have the narrowest of feet.
2. Brooks Addiction 2
Oh, you want stability? Brooks will give you stability with Addiction 2! Whether you’re walking, working out, or going to the office, your feet are going to be taken care of thanks to these sneakers’ plentiful cushioning.
Other than that, you can count on mid-foot arch support, ankle support, and a snug fit. They’re equipped with shock absorption to keep your feet protected, and they’re also responsive underfoot.
On the other hand, you might not want to wear your orthotics with these sneakers because they’re pretty chubby and heavy, unlike the Hoka ones.
3. Saucony Echelon 9
Podiatrists aplenty rave about Saucony Echelon 9 because they’re sturdy and stiff enough to keep your feet grounded throughout the day. Whatever your daily level of activity might be, you can’t go wrong with these sneakers.
We’re rooting for them because they’re equipped with a thick foam footbed and snug mid-foot support. We can’t forget about the fact that they’re breathable and lightweight even though they’re “thicc” at first glance.
And, you can wear your orthotics with them because they’re roomy enough to take on more padding.
4. New Balance 940 V4
Now, 940 V4 is perfect for people who want to prevent plantar plate tears by wearing appropriate footwear from the get-go.
New Balance designed these sneakers to accommodate overpronators who often tend to suffer from plantar plate tears, plantar fasciitis, and other foot-related problems.
With a high-density medial post, T-BEAM technology, and full-length ABZORB midsole, these sneakers are what dreams are made of. And, even though they’re promoted as running sneakers, you can wear them for walking, too.
5. Asics Gel-Nimbus 24
Asics knows what’s up, right? When you’re on the hunt for the perfect pair of shoes for plantar plate tears, don’t sleep on Gel-Nimbus 24 sneakers. As the name suggests, the entire line was designed with gel technology that absorbs shock, offers support, and alleviates pressure.
And these sneakers are equipped with a few other features, too – Trusstic System technology that reduces the weight of the sneakers, a mesh upper for breathability, and rubber outsoles that prevent slipping and falling. What’s not to love, right?
6. Vionic Orthaheel Walker
What are you supposed to do when you suffer a plantar plate tear while dealing with high arches and overpronation? You get your hands on a pair of Vionic Orthaheel Walker sneakers, of course!
These sneakers earned the American Podiatric Medical Association’s Seal of Acceptance because they’re designed to accommodate people with foot problems such as plantar plate tears, plantar fasciitis, fat pad atrophy, and capsulitis of the second toe.
You can count on flexible padding that allows your feet to move, a water-resistant leather upper that protects you from moisture, and a high-traction outsole that prevents you from slipping and falling.
7. Kuru Quantum
On the off chance you haven’t heard of Kuru footwear before, you’re in for a treat. Kuru Quantum is soft, stylish, and comfortable. These simple, sleek sneakers are designed to alleviate pressure, embrace your feet, and distribute your weight evenly.
They’re made with the brand’s patented Kurusole technology that hugs your heels and provides you with arch and ankle support. And, they’re equipped with comfy pads under the balls of your feet to keep you comfortable throughout the day.
8. OOFOS Original Sandals
We can’t forget about the strappy sandal season, right? Podiatrists agree that people who suffer a plantar plate tear shouldn’t walk barefoot, but what’s the consensus on strappy sandals? While Zara, Mango, and H&M sandals might not offer enough support and padding, OOFOS sandals do.
We’re pretty sure you’re going to adore these during your recovery because they’re cushiony (some say cloudlike) and comfortable. They provide excellent arch support and are soft under the ball of your foot. And, OOFOS offers a variety of colors to choose from.
9. Hoka One One Ora Recovery 3 Slides
Not everyone’s a fan of thong sandals, and that’s okay. Needless to say, Hoka One One Ora Recovery 3 Slides offer the same amount of support and stability that’ll get you through the day.
Whether you wear them around the house to avoid walking barefoot or sport them outside while running errands, the Hoka One One Ora Recovery 3 Slides’ anatomical design should prevent you from causing (more) damage to your plantar plates.
10. Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed Sandals
We had to add everyone’s favorite summer sandals to the list. When you don’t want to wear sneakers or strange orthopedic sandals, you can get away with Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed Sandals, too. Anything’s better than walking barefoot, right?